Best International Credit Cards in the Philippines for Overseas Trips

Venus Zoleta
·13 min read
Best International Credit Cards Philippines | Moneymax
Best International Credit Cards Philippines | Moneymax

Credit cards that bear the logo of Mastercard, Visa, or American Express are accepted as a payment mode for transactions around the world. Yes, nobody’s stopping you from swiping your card—the only problem is that it can be really costly if you’re using just a regular card and not any of the available international credit cards.

A number of international credit cards in the Philippines help Filipinos save money and earn rewards on purchases made abroad. Some cards have low foreign transaction fees, while others have great rewards programs for international purchases. They also provide travel-related perks such as travel insurance and free access to airport lounges.

Looking for that kind of credit card? Read on to find out the best international credit cards for overseas spending.

Best International Credit Cards Philippines

HSBC Platinum Visa

best international credit cards - hsbc platinum visa
best international credit cards - hsbc platinum visa

HSBC offers a generous rewards system to Platinum Visa cardholders who use their card abroad (except for cash advance), with 4x bonus points for every qualified transaction.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards:

    • 4 bonus points per PHP 20 overseas and online spend (Points can be redeemed for miles at 1 air mile per PHP 25 spend.)

    • 3 bonus points per PHP 20 spend on dining and shopping

    • 1 bonus point per PHP 20 spend elsewhere

  • Travel perks:

    • Exclusive privileges at over 27,000 establishments in 160 countries worldwide

    • Up to PHP 10 million travel insurance coverage

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 5,000 (waived for the first year)

  • Interest rate: 3.50%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3.50% (2.50% of the converted amount plus 1% Visa assessment fee)

  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher

Maybank Platinum Visa / Platinum Mastercard

best international credit cards - maybank platinum visa
best international credit cards - maybank platinum visa

Maybank Platinum Mastercard and Visa credit cards offer the same set of benefits for international travelers. In addition to rewards points redeemable for air miles and cash credit, cardholders can also earn cashback on purchases made abroad. On top of that is a low foreign currency conversion rate of 1.75%, making it one of the top choices for international credit cards in the Philippines.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards: 1 TreatsPoint per PHP 25 spend

  • Rebates: 1% cashback on overseas transactions (Up to PHP 12,000 savings per year)

  • Travel perks:

    • Golf privileges worldwide, including access to 100 golf clubs in 23 countries

    • Exclusive discounts and privileges in the Philippines and abroad

    • Instant SMS notification for every approved transaction anywhere in the world

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 3,500

  • Interest rate: 2%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 1.75%

  • Cash advance fee: PHP 200 per transaction

EastWest Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer World Mastercard

best international credit cards - eastwest krisflyer
best international credit cards - eastwest krisflyer

If you’re a member of KrisFlyer, the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines, it makes perfect sense to grab this new co-branded card from EastWest Bank. Earn KrisFlyer miles fast, especially when you book Singapore Airlines flights using your EastWest credit card. The EastWest KrisFlyer World Mastercard offers the lowest foreign transaction fee credit card in the Philippines at 1.70%.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards: Up to 3 KrisFlyer miles per PHP 36 spend depending on the category

  • Welcome gift: 6,000 KrisFlyer miles for new cardholders

  • Travel perks:

    • 15,000 KrisFlyer miles per PHP 200,000 spend within 12 months from card approval date

    • Free access to over 1,100 lounges in over 500 airports worldwide for cardholder plus three guests

    • Dining, shopping, and wellness offers at airports

    • Up to PHP 20 million travel insurance coverage

    • Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee and Hotel Stay Guarantee

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 5,000

  • Interest rate: 2% (effective November 3, 2020)

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 1.70% (inclusive of 1% Mastercard assessment fee)

  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 600, whichever is higher (plus 2.75% interest on the cash advance amount and service fee)

BPI Signature Visa

best international credit cards - bpi signature visa
best international credit cards - bpi signature visa

One of the best international credit cards to use abroad is the BPI Visa Signature—a travel and lifestyle card made for frequent overseas travelers. With its great earn rate for credit card rewards, you can redeem flights and shopping credits fast. You can also have your transaction billed in the currency of the country you’re visiting, so you’ll be charged BPI’s low foreign transaction rate of 1.85% instead of the higher rate of the country’s local bank.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Dual currency billing: Option to have overseas transactions billed in the local foreign currency instead of PHP

  • Rewards: 1 point per PHP 20 spend

  • Travel perks:

    • Up to PHP 2 million travel insurance coverage

    • 24/7 Visa worldwide concierge service

    • Discounts and privileges on airport amenities worldwide

    • Free access to Pacific Club Lounge in NAIA 3

    • Special foreign exchange rates when buying foreign currencies

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 5,500

  • Interest rate: 2% (effective November 3, 2020)

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 1.85% of the converted amount (inclusive of the 1% Visa assessment fee)

  • Cash advance fee: PHP 200 per transaction (effective November 3, 2020)

Read more: 6 Dual Currency Credit Cards for Filipino Travelers

PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles World Mastercard

best international credit cards - pnb pal mabuhay miles card
best international credit cards - pnb pal mabuhay miles card

This PNB credit card is a must-have if you often fly to international destinations with Philippine Airlines (PAL). PNB generously provides World Mastercard customers with bonus PAL Mabuhay Miles and a wide array of overseas travel perks.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards: 1 point per PHP 30 to PHP 55 spend depending on the category

  • Welcome gift: 2,000 Mabuhay Miles for new cardholders

  • Travel perks:

    • Additional 10,000 Mabuhay Miles upon reaching PAL transactions worth PHP 100,000

    • Year-round discount on select international flights booked via PAL website

    • Priority check-in at PAL Business Class Counters at NAIA 1, 2, and 3

    • World Assist travel and medical concierge service

    • Up to PHP 10 million free travel insurance coverage

    • Up to PHP 250,000 free purchase protection insurance

    • PHP 250,000 fraud transaction insurance (for only PHP 120 per year)

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 6,000

  • Interest rate: Starting at 2.7% depending on the outstanding balance

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.50% of the converted amount using Mastercard’s exchange rate of the day

  • Cash advance fee: 5% of withdrawn amount for PHP transactions / 2% for Dollar + transaction fee of PHP 100 or USD 3

UnionBank Miles+ Platinum Visa

best international credit cards - unionbank miles+ platinum
best international credit cards - unionbank miles+ platinum

UnionBank’s premium air miles credit card awards higher points for travel expenses, so the more you travel, the higher rewards you accumulate. Use your points to redeem PAL Mabuhay Miles or Cebu Pacific GetGo Points. This card is one of the best international credit cards for travelers who often fly with PAL and CebuPac.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards:

    • 1.5 points per PHP 25 travel-related spend

    • 1 point per PHP 25 spend elsewhere

  • Rebates: Up to 2% cashback that can be redeemed with your Miles+ points

  • Travel perks:

    • Free airport lounge access

    • Up to PHP 10 million travel insurance

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 3,000

  • Interest rate: 3.50%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2% of the converted amount in PHP

  • Cash advance fee: 6% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 300, whichever is higher

Metrobank World Mastercard

best international credit cards - metrobank world mastercard
best international credit cards - metrobank world mastercard

Get double rewards points and cashback when you use the Metrobank World Mastercard for transactions while traveling abroad. Compared to other international credit cards, the Metrobank World Mastercard also has a higher credit limit to stretch your purchasing power, especially for overseas spending.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards: 2 points per PHP 20 overseas spend / 3 points per PHP 20 spend at Rustans Department Store / 1 point per PHP 20 spend elsewhere

  • Rebates: Cashback on shopping, dining, and wellness transactions in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the US, and other countries

  • Travel perks:

    • Free access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide

    • Dining, pre-flight massage, and shopping discounts during a flight

    • 24/7 Global Emergency Services for credit card-related concerns

    • 24-hour VIP concierge Service

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 6,000 (waived for the first year)

  • Interest rate: 3.50%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.50% of the converted amount in PHP or a select foreign currency converted using Metrobank’s exchange rate

  • Cash advance fee: PHP 600 or 3% of the withdrawn amount, whichever is higher

BDO Platinum Mastercard

best international credit cards - bdo platinum mastercard
best international credit cards - bdo platinum mastercard

Aside from the travel benefits typically offered by other international credit cards, BDO gives something extra on its Platinum Mastercard. First, enjoy a high credit limit that’s available in both PHP and USD. Your Peso credit limit is similar to your Dollar credit limit.

Also, your annual fee is automatically waived if your transactions with the BDO Platinum Mastercard reach at least PHP 600,000 in a year. Also, BDO offers no annual fee for life for up to six supplementary cards. This makes the Platinum Mastercard for families who often travel abroad.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Dual currency billing: Option to pay the exact amount in USD or PHP (based on the prevailing exchange rate)

  • Rewards: 1 point per PHP 40 local spend and USD 1 overseas spend

  • Travel perks:

    • Up to PHP 20 million travel insurance coverage

    • Exclusive treats on overseas spend

    • 50% discount in dining establishments at BDO partner hotels

    • Exclusive rates and packages at partner hotels and resorts

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 4,500 (waived for the first year)

  • Interest rate: 3%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.50% (1.5% of the converted amount plus 1% Mastercard assessment fee)

  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 500 / USD 10, whichever is higher

BPI Family Credit Card

best international credit cards - bpi family credit card
best international credit cards - bpi family credit card

For frequent travelers who want just a basic credit card for overseas use, the BPI Family Mastercard fits the bill. It comes with a low annual fee, interest rate, and foreign transaction fee.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Dual currency billing: Option to have overseas transactions billed in the local foreign currency instead of PHP

  • Affordable to own because of its low annual fee, interest rate, and foreign transaction fee

  • Cash advance of up to 30% of credit limit

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 1,350 (waived for the first year)

  • Interest rate: 2%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 1.85% of the converted amount plus 1% Mastercard assessment fee

  • Cash advance fee: PHP 200 per transaction (effective November 3, 2020)

Security Bank Platinum Mastercard

best international credit cards - security bank platinum mastercard
best international credit cards - security bank platinum mastercard

This premium rewards card is a dual currency credit card that bills overseas purchases in US Dollar instead of Philippine Peso, saving you from the high cost of exchanging a foreign to local currency.

Security Bank credit cards, including the Platinum Mastercard, don’t charge a foreign currency transaction fee. This saves you money on your credit card bills.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Dual currency billing: Separate credit card billing statements for international transactions

  • Rewards: 1 point for every PHP 20 spend

  • Travel perks:

    • Automatic cashback at participating overseas merchants

    • Free access to over 1,000 lounges at 500 airports worldwide for the cardholder and one guest

    • Free unlimited access to the Sky View Lounge at NAIA 3

    • Up to PHP 10 million travel insurance

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 4,000 (waived for the first year)

  • Interest rate: 3.50%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.50% (1.50% service fee plus 1% Mastercard assessment fee)

  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher

RCBC Bankard Visa Infinite

best international credit cards - rcbc bankard visa infinite
best international credit cards - rcbc bankard visa infinite

People who enjoy shopping when traveling abroad can maximize their spending with this premium lifestyle credit card. When you charge your Visa Infinite credit card at any clothing and apparel shops here and abroad, you can get a 5% rebate.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Rewards: 1 point per PHP 36 spend (PHP 125 for grocery, medicine, and fuel purchases). Accumulated rewards points have no expiry and no limits, and these can be redeemed for cash rebates, air miles, or shopping vouchers.

  • Rebates: 5% cashback on clothing and apparel purchases at all local and international retail shops

  • Travel perks:

    • 0% installment for overseas transactions

    • Up to PHP 1 million travel insurance and purchase protection insurance

    • Free access to select airport lounges for the cardholder and one travel companion

Fees and Charges

  • Annual fee: PHP 3,600 (waived for the first year)

  • Interest rate: 3.50%

  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3.50% of the transaction amount (inclusive of 1% Visa assessment fee) or 2.25% of the amount converted to PHP

  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the withdrawn amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher, plus an interest charge at the prevailing rate

Read more related articles:

How to Use an International Credit Card Abroad

best international credit cards - how to use credit card abroad
best international credit cards - how to use credit card abroad

Using a card abroad for the first time? Knowing how to pay for overseas transactions with your credit card will save you from inconveniences and embarrassment when traveling.

Remember these pointers for using an international credit card before, during, and after your trip abroad.

Notify the Bank About Your Trip

Call your credit card provider to let them know your travel plan. Find the bank’s customer service hotline on the back of your card or your billing statement.

You should do this before you leave so that you can use your card internationally without any problem. If your issuing bank is not informed beforehand, chances are it will suspend your account for security purposes when it detects transactions from unusual locations. Or it will decline your overseas transactions.

What details should you share with the bank aside from your plan to use your card internationally? Make sure the bank is notified about where you’ll be going (including layovers and stopovers), when you’ll leave, and when you’ll come back.

Take the opportunity also to ask questions about your card’s overseas transaction charges

Compute the Currency Conversion Rate for Your Overseas Transaction

To ensure you’re not overspending with your credit card abroad, calculate the Philippine Peso (PHP) equivalent of your purchase in the local currency of the country you’re visiting before paying. In doing so, you’ll know how much a particular international purchase will cost you in PHP.

Mastercard and Visa have their respective exchange rate calculator[1] that you may use for computing the currency conversion rate.

Simply select Philippine Peso as your card’s currency and the currency of your transaction, and then enter the amount and bank fee (the foreign currency transaction rate). The calculator will display the foreign exchange rate (applicable on the transaction date) and the converted amount in PHP.

Choose to Pay in the Local Foreign Currency

When paying with your credit card abroad, you’ll be given an option to use your home currency (PHP), which is called Dynamic Currency Conversion[2]. If you say yes to that, you’ll be charged a higher exchange rate for converting to PHP by the overseas bank that handles the transaction.

When using a credit card abroad, what currency should I choose, you might ask.

So that you’ll get the lower rate offered by your issuing bank, pay in the local currency of the country you’re visiting. For example, if you’re in Thailand, opt for Thai Baht when paying with your international credit card.

Check and Keep Your Receipts

Don’t immediately throw away the sales receipts you receive from all your international transactions. Double-check the information on the receipts, paying close attention to the foreign currency you’re charged.

When you get back home, review your receipts and check them against your billing statement. The number should match. If you notice any discrepancy, report it to your credit card provider right away.

Final Thoughts

It’s not too early to shop for international credit cards. While waiting until it’s safe and less restrictive to travel abroad, you can use your credit card to collect points and air miles for your future overseas trips.

Find the right credit card for you at Moneymax!
Find the right credit card for you at Moneymax!

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