How to Apply for First Credit Card: 4 Effective Tips

If you’re receiving an average wage, getting your first credit card is hard. In this post, I’ll show you how to apply for first credit card. Yes, there’s a workaround.

Related post: Why get a credit card

Low salary = Hard to get a credit card

My monthly salary in my first job was just Php 13,500. And every time I applied for a credit card, I got rejected. Failed. I didn’t know that there was a minimum income requirement of Php 20,000. I was short Php 6,500.

So I wondered if there are only two variables I could change: my salary and the credit card issuer. But I know I could do something else to apply for my first credit card.

Shooting for the stars

I landed my second job with a higher salary. Almost there. Very near. But it didn’t reach the minimum income of Php 20,000. But I thought it wouldn’t make any difference as my salary was almost Php 20,000.

Related: BPI Scheduled Bills Payment

My salary was deposited in my BPI savings account. It’s where I automate my savings and pay bills online. Since I am a BPI client it would be easier for me to get a credit card, I thought. Feeling confident, I went to BPI’s website for the credit card online application.


Weeks passed. Months. No response from BPI.

I told my boss about it and he laughed. I was surprised to hear that major card issuers don’t really approve applicants without prior credit cards from other banks for at least 9 months!

So how would I even acquire my first credit card when they want an existing account from another bank?

Credit Card Application Spree

Desperate, I went on an online application spree to all credit card issuers (or companies) in the Philippines – SecurityBank, BPI, Metrobank, BDO, and PNB.

I filled out the online application forms, scanned my company & valid IDs, and sent it together with the last 3 months’ payslips.

Related: How to Open BPI Account Online

Another week passed.  And months. But wait, after 2 months and a few days I got an SMS from SecurityBank telling me that my credit card application was approved! I was stupified! (You can also apply for SecurityBank credit card)

Of all the banks I applied to, only SecurityBank has granted my application. Quite amazing and was very happy then. Kudos to them, for giving me a chance.

Two months after, BPI emailed me that my application has been approved! Woah, is this a coincidence? Why did it take them so long to approve my card?


Tips on How to Apply for First Credit Card

  1. Clear all your unsettled debts. Your unpaid loans and balances are visible to banks so it might hamper your application.
  2. Get a credit card with a low-income requirement. I personally recommend the SecurityBank card. Their income requirement is just Php 15,000 per month. No existing card requirement too.
  3. Like I did, do an online application spree. In this way, you can save more time and money. You don’t need to go personally to the banks. And if you get approved by all (which rarely happens), you have the option to choose the best and decline others
  4. As soon as you have your first credit card, the second one should be easy.


When I discovered the wonders of travel and e-learning, I was hooked. I went to Boracay and El Nido. I’m learning iOS app development in Udemy. It was awesome! But this couldn’t be possible without using a vital financial instrument – a credit card.

Not all debts are created equal. There are good debts and bad debts. I have both. I consider my Udemy courses as good debts but the iPhone I bought is a bad debt that affects my personal net worth. The bottom line, if debts are managed properly they shouldn’t mess up your life.

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Written byPaul Dabuco
I'm Paul Dabuco, the man behind Juan Investor, one of the top personal finance blogs in the Philippines. I’m passionate about investing and digital marketing. When I’m not blogging, I’m either tinkering on my clients’ Facebook ads or beachbumming. You can read more about me.

Leave a comment

  1. Avatar of Lawrence
    Lawrence 06/18/2016 at 10:39 - Reply

    I'm having a hard time applying for a CC. I have a substantial amount of savings both peso and dollars, and have a checking account as well with this bank. I applied online for a CC with them but got declined. They didn't ask during the credit investigation if I have an account with them or not… Which I assume for them it's irrelevant. So I got declined after 2 months of pending in their online status checking site. I've tried again quite recently last week… After 7 months since my first attempt. I'm not hopeful but definitely won't get bitter if I get declined again. I'm comfortable having multiple accounts with them and find their online banking very convenient. Definitely won't be pulling out my savings from them whatever the outcome with my application. By the way congratulations… Enjoy your credit card and use it wisely. Hehe

  2. Avatar of Paul Dabuco
    Paul Dabuco 07/24/2016 at 16:35 - Reply

    Hi Lawrence, like what I wrote in this post, during my first application I got a response only after 2 months! Haha

    I suggest you apply in person to other banks. There are benefits when you appear in person. You appear to be trustworthy if you present yourself before them.

    Let me know on the status of your application. Best of luck!

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