A friend who is living in a first world country was a bit shocked when I told her I don’t have a credit card. Then she started telling me how weird it is for people to survive without credit cards. Maybe she just overreacted.

Years ago, it was difficult to buy things online without credit cards. Paypal is another best option and here in Philippines, you can’t have Paypal funds unless you’re working for a US based company or your employer is a foreigner. One of my employers was an American and I was lucky enough to have Paypal funds. However, some sites won’t allow Paypal transactions, especially sites selling Chinese or Korean products. Before Zalora, there was Multiply and other Philippine sites that let you pay through Globe Gcash or bank deposits. I don’t have enough patience when it comes to bank to bank transactions. I don’t like long lines with a bunch of strangers – I feel obliged to smile and engage in small talks.

I like buying cheap tickets online though I don’t travel much. Cebu Pacific offers really crazy ticket prices. It’s a tough competition actually. You have to be quick in booking tickets. The website is always down and you need to have extra patience. Cebu Pacific accepts Paypal and credit cards so it’s convenient for those who have one.

I’ve always wanted to have my own credit card because I shop online. My friends didn’t really have good experiences with credit cards. As for me, I don’t like buying things on credit. Also, I have issues with money management so I have to stick to debit cards.

Last month, I got excited when I got my ePrepaid MasterCard from BPI. It’s a prepaid card and it’s reloadable, no credits. It’s definitely for those people who love shopping online. You can even use it when you buy at department stores or even supermarkets. It’s also possible to connect your card to your Paypal account so you can make an online purchase to sites that require Paypal accounts. You can also check your balance online or through text, making it easier for you to keep track of your money from time to time. The best thing about it is it guarantees 100% application approval so it’s hassle-free.


How to apply for BPI ePrepaid MasterCard (from their website):
I. At BPI Express Online
    1. Go to the Apply for products and services here
    1. Select Prepaid and Gift Cards
    1. Completely fill-out the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form.
    1. Nominate a branch where you want to pick-up your card by clicking the Branch Locator button
    1. Click Submit
    1. Print-out a copy of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form.
    1. Bring the following to your nominated BPI/ BPI Family Savings Bank Branch, five (5) banking days for
      GMMA branches or seven (7) banking days for branches outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao after submission of card application:
        • Print-out of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form
        • Payment for the card processing fee (P500 for GMMA, P600 for outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao)
        • One (1) valid ID.
      Note: GMMA consists of NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.
II. At BPI Branches
    • Visit any BPI Branch or BPI Express Banking Center nationwide.
    • Fill-out a BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form
    • Submit the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form, present one (1) valid ID, and pay the card processing fee (P500 for GMMA, P600 for outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao) at the branch teller.
    • Claim your My ePrepaid MasterCard® at the same branch after five (5) banking days in GMMA or after seven (7) banking days outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao. Simply present your copy of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement, and bring one (1) valid ID.
For more information on BPI credit card processing, BPI credit card application or other concerns, visit https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/
The Drawbacks

1. You can’t get your money back once you’ve transferred funds from your debit card to your ePrepaid MasterCard through ATM. That means over the counter withdrawal is not possible. And you can’t send the funds back to your debit account through BPI express online.

2. Your ePrepaid MasterCard funds can be viewed online since it’s connected to your BPI express account and as stated in their website, you can transfer funds from your debit account to your ePrepaid MasterCard account online. This is so not true. I went to the bank a couple of times to check and complain but I still couldn’t transfer funds online so I finally gave up. I already enrolled my BPI ePrepaid account but it’s still not added in my enrolled accounts so each time I plan to buy something I have to go to the machine just to transfer funds.

3. You can only book and buy Philippine Airline tickets with your BPI ePrepaid MasterCard. Sadly, Cebu Pacific is not included in the list.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my ePrepaid MasterCard. It’s a debit card that works like a credit card so it’s highly recommended for online shoppers like me.

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