To get approved for a credit card may be a challenge for you. It’s up to the bank whether to issue one.
The good news is there is an alternate way to get a card without going through the eye of a needle. How? Grab an SCC!
If you are already fed up and would like to get your first card with 100% approval, then read on!
IT ALL STARTED…
On December 17, 2015, I ditched UnionBank, and I transferred my savings to BPI. I signed up for a passbook account with them.
Since BPI declined my CC application for whatever reason, I decided to get a credit card through their Express Start Program.
What is Express Start?
It’s a program for us or for new and existing BPI account holders who wish to get a credit card without submitting the usual papers. The primary requirement is collateral by holding a certain amount in a savings or time deposit (TD) account.
The purpose of the collateral is to secure a card that BPI will issue or solely for their peace of mind.
The standard contract duration is one year. After that, you can request the release of your held fund and a regular credit card without collateral.
If you wish to build a credit history, but gets denied by banks or lending companies, your alternate option is SCC.
Please note that if you have an unpaid balance, BPI has the right to recover, charge or deduct your debt including interest and penalties from your account. They have the right as well to terminate your card if there’s a violation. It’s on the contract.
Tip: Secured credit card or SCC is the usual term for a card released through this kind of program.
✔ A Savings or Time Deposit account – Passbook or BPI Express Teller ATM card (regular or payroll).
The minimum hold-out amount is 10,000 pesos if you will use a savings account. If Time Deposit, it’s PHP50,000.
You can sign up for an account and a credit card at the same time. If you want to know more about the process, check out this guide.
✔ A photocopy of your valid ID – UMID (Unified Multi-Purpose ID), Driver’s License, Passport, etc.
✔ A fully-accomplished Deed of Assignment and BPI Express Start application form – The first one must be filled out in three copies. It’s the contract.
✔ Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR), work permit or embassy accreditation papers – This applies to foreigners only.
✔ Age – You should be 18 or above.
See? No Certificate of Employment (COE), BIR Form 2316, payslips, or whatever.
Where to Apply
You can only sign up at any BPI or BPI Family Savings Bank in the country.
Approval and Credit Limit
If BPI approves your application, they will provide you a credit limit up to 90% of your frozen fund.
For example, if your hold-out amount is 10,000 pesos, BPI will provide you a credit limit of up to 9,000.
BPI will hold the remaining amount, and you can’t use it. The approval rate should be 100%, but I would say 99% because it is still subject to approval.
When I signed up for my card, I am 100% sure that my application will be approved and it was!
Approval Confirmation and Card Delivery
BPI told me that the time frame is 21 days, and they will call me about my application. They never did though.
For reference, here’s the timeline of my experience:
■ December 17, 2015 (Day 1) – I signed up for a credit card at one of the BPI branches in Ortigas.
■ December 28, 2015 (Day 12) – I called customer service (89-100) to follow up my application. The representative confirmed that it was approved. She told me that my credit card information might be posted late to my EOL account due to holidays.
■ January 5, 2016 (Day 20) – BPI uploaded my account details. At 1:33 p.m. on the same day, I received a text message from “BPIDelivery” about the delivery of the card within 5 to 10 business days.
■ January 13, 2016 (Day 28) – I have no idea where the card is, so I called customer service again. I requested to forward it to the BPI branch near my place, and they advised me to wait another six business days for the update. :(
■ January 15, 2016 (Day 30) – BPIDelivery told me through text message to pick up the card.
■ January 18, 2016 (Day 33) – I successfully claimed the envelope.
It took a month, but still, it was worth the wait.
BPI delivers a card through LBC and Air21.
Please note that the card that BPI will issue to you is pre-activated. There’s no need to call them up. You can use it asap.
If you have an existing EOL account and you wrote your registered email address on the application form, BPI will automatically associate your card details.
SCC from Other Banks
Aside from BPI, you can also apply for an SCC from UnionBank, RCBC, etc.
Please note that policy and procedure might change without prior notice.
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P.S. Should you need assistance, feel free to email me here. Make sure that your email address is valid if you want to hear from me. If you want, you can also inquire through the comments section below. You may also read the inquiries from other readers.