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The Flexibility of Credit Cards around the World

Updated on March 13, 2011

It is just the same as the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) card but the big difference is that you can pay for services you've acquired without cash.

The main requirement in order for you to avail one of those is to have an outstanding balance on your savings or checking account of at least, like for instance here in the Philippines, Php 30,000.00 (Thirty thousand pesos) or an ADV (Annual Deposit Value) of 5,000 points of more. Meaning you have a steady flow of savings and never drain your card to its limit.

During the early 90s, I've got a local credit card from the supermart here in Naga City while working at the radio station (AM band). It's not connected to any bank affiliates, so I only use it for exclusively in buying items from that mall. Some of the items I bought were casette tapes I used for my radio show and casual clothes. It reached it's limit and I was still paying for its interest of 2 to 4 per cent. When I didn't paid my liabilities on time, a letter from the store's resident attorney demanded me to pay the whole sum accrued. I've been helped out by my former high school classmate, who's assigned at the credit transaction office and pardoned me for my dues. This was because, I already paid for the principal amount and if the credit card holder cannot pay for the interest, then you have to submit yourself to a written permission to get away with it. Cancellation of my account followed. It's like I've been freed from jail; you know the feeling of getting away from that mess.

With so many credit cards criculating around the world, the main danger lurking at every store, airport or trasanction is the so-called identity theft. You'll never know what hit you once you receive your credit card bills and screamed at it when you see that your account have been salted away by unscrupulous people out there.

Hidden charges can accumulate faster than your usual transaction. It is often written in very small fonts that oftentimes you ignore reading it. It can cost you more than you expect it.

Freebies are just to encourage you to avail of the bank's promo once you use your card. Online banking offers you an account where you can check your accumulated points and the items you can retrieve once you reaches a target or threshold.

Some banks may even send your new credit card through snail mail that can trigger identity theft. This was discourage here in the Philippines due to the recent incidents involving some identity thieves who victimized their clients and cashed away their savings.

As of now, I don't want to avail a new credit line. It can be a kind of torture to me, again once I don't control my urge to use it frequently.

Flexible Credit Cards You & I Could Use

Maintaining one credit card issued by the bank you trusted for your savings/checking accounts is not enough. I know you can use it to all transaction, but, in order to avoid exhausting your fund, you can also accept the kind of credit card that is being offered by business firms with varying services. Some of these credit cards are:

  1. Reward Credit Cards - I have one reward credit card that I accepted recently when I shopped at the mall near the jeepney terminal bound to our place. The saleslady said that once it accumulated points, I can pay or retrieve it to fill in with my cash shortage. Gas Cards belong to this type of credit card.
  2. Cash Back Credit Cards - It's like a reward when you use your credit card (often issued by your bank). Cash back and rebate incentives encourage credit card holders to use it for their everyday purchases. The cash being return is just a little percentage of the amount being accrued from the purchased goods or services.
  3. Travel & Airline Credit Cards - Have you heard of the frequent flyer or travel reward credit cards? You can earn frequent flyer miles or reward points or even hotel rewards when you fly availing the services of your favorite airline company. I have two air miles credit cards but I cannot use it frequently. Anyways, I can also exchange it for a product at the inflight store or sell its points to interested friends.
  4. Business Credit Cards - Choosing a business credit card issued by your bank or private issuers should offer 0 % interest. Business credit cards let you manage your cash flows while earning rewards such as points, miles or cash back.
  5. Student Credit Cards - are offered to college students who want financial freedom. They can avail one without having a cosigner or parental approval. But of course, it will also depend to the paying capacity of these students while juggling their time with their part-time jobs.

I can also include Debit Cards since it pays for your credit. It is the ATM card you and I possess. This debit feature is new in my country; I was amazed when I directly paid for my purchases (when my cash was not enough) through my regular ATM card.

Online services required credit cards for payment. You just have to be witty in knowing the authentic websites and those that are scammers. Be careful when you subscribe or pay for items or services on the net.


Top Banks and Issuers of Credit Cards

Around the world, these banks and issuers make impressions for us to trust them with our accounts. If you're a business owner or one of the bank savers, there are array of credit card offers that you can choose, depending on your capacity to pay. It will also depend on your credit history.

You can choose any of the credit cards issued by the following:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citi Bank
  • Discover
  • First Premier Bank
  • HSBC Bank
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

MasterCard, Visa and American Express are the most popular and widely used credit cards. The logos of the first two can be seen to almost all regular ATM cards that can also be used as debit cards or international cards.

As a seafarer, my international ATM card can be used to other banks from other countries that accept transaction with my allotment bank from my country, Philippines.


3 Best Credit Cards c/o MoneyTalksNews


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You're so right, sailor. Many of us fell to the lure of credit cards.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Using credit cards can lead us to a lot of pitfalls. We just have to be careful on how to use it, if ever its necessary to do so.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, Simone. Did I win already? Kidding . LOL! I recently applied for another credit card but been declined due to my ADV.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks for rating it up, Ms. Pamela. Having a credit card is a pure temptation to purchase things that we don't want necessarily.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, Sandy. Are you joining the Mony Grows contest, too? I've been taking one entry at a time. I hope my entry will be recognized, too. LOL!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great Hub! I like the way you broke down and organized information on credit cards, and shared your own experience too. Great photos, links, and video as well!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Excellent information. I have too many credit cards but 0 balances on all of them. Several are from stores where I got a percentage off my purchase and I have canceled a couple. You don't want to cancel too many at a time or that will negatively effect your credit rating. Good hub, rated up.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Very useful information on credit cards.