The Philippines is far from being a cashless country, but when it comes to certain transactions, the pluses of swiping a credit card outweigh those of paying with cash. Used wisely, the shiny piece of plastic can offer its owners more bang for their buck.
Booking Plane Tickets
Some cards are designed specifically with the frequent flyer in mind, with the card providing its holder with a plethora of luxuries while on the go. Plane tickets, for instance, can be purchased with Frequent Flyer Miles, and the lower the conversion of miles to pesos spent, the more advantageous for the traveler.
The new BPI Visa Signature card, for example, offers benefits such as a premium rewards points system with a lower conversion rate of one premium point for every 20 pesos you spend. Cardholders can then book flights with the premium points they've accumulated. If you accumulate enough miles to cover at least 10 percent of the price of your plane ticket, you can already use your accrued points and pay the remaining balance with your card. Cardholders also get unlimited usage of NAIA Terminal 3's Pacific Club Lounge, and preferential conversion rates when you exchange foreign currencies at BPI and when you use the card in other countries.
Finding a Hotel Room
A room at Shangri-La at the Fort
Apart from room upgrades offered by partner hotels, credit card companies sometimes also offer clients a 24-hour concierge service that helps in booking last-minute hotel suites or making dinner reservations at trendy restaurants.
As for the BPI Visa Signature card, its concierge service can do the research for you and break down your options so you can pick the offer that best suits you. This time-saving service can help you arrange everything they need for a hassle-free experience.
Mireio at Raffles Makati, a partner establishment with the BPI Visa Signature card
According to Visa's market research, dining out tops the list of the average Filipino's expenses, which is why the company wanted to make the experience more worthwhile.
One of the biggest benefits of using your credit card instead of cash is the discounts you get with partnering restaurants. Throughout the year, Visa has partnered with several of the most frequented dining spots around the city, such as La Cabrera, Flame, and establishments by Chef Jessie Sincioco, and outside the city for dining privileges like reductions off the total bill or a complimentary bottle of wine for a minimum spend. (Check here for a complete list of the Visa Epic Experiences perks.)
Reserving Concert or Event Tickets
Often, cardholders are given early bird access to concerts, musicals, and other shows before tickets are available to the public. Other perks include preferred or reserved seating or discounted ticket prices.
While the use of prepaid cards is on the rise, credit cards still act as another layer between an online retailer and your funds. If a deal goes wrong or the transaction turns out to be a scam, your credit card company can detect it and notify you. With credit cards, the fraudulent transaction may not automatically reflect on your balance, as compared to when you're using a debit card or prepaid card. This is best to remember when you're dealing with a small company.
Purchasing Electronic Gadgets or Home Appliances
Transactions that involve electronics or appliances are best paid with a credit card since credit card companies usually offer an extended warranty for free. If the item you bought is faulty, it can easily be replaced or repaired within the warranty period. Some cards also offer a purchase protection that covers item loss and theft.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.