Best Credit Card for Travel

Discussion in 'Travel' started by lardcas, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Hero33

    Hero33 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Which BPI cards do you use?

    Is the signature worth it? That seems to be a new card didn’t think much of the invite.

    I’ve never read so much about credit cards lol. I’m happy with a low forex transaction and a generous limit.
     
  2. ignite

    ignite Active Member

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    I now use the Visa Signature. Its quite new only launched August 2018 I think.

    Yes its worth it as in gives me Terminal 3 lounge access to compliment my Terminal 1 lounge access via my Unionbank Platinum. Points earned via this card is put in a different bucket from my other BPI Cards (Gold Mastercard and E-Credit for online purchases) as it has a "premium" rewards selection that I have yet to explore.

    I use my BPI card as a backup to the HSBC and Unionbank for local purchases but it is my main card for all my foreign trips.

     
  3. testdummy

    testdummy Active Member

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    The Unionbank Platinum is also honored in the Terminal 3 Sky View lounge. I was able to use it several times. it's in their list of honored credit cards.
     
  4. ishg

    ishg I'm female!
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    But not the Pacific Club Lounge, which is said to be better and more exclusive than SkyView.
     
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  5. scubadiverdaw

    scubadiverdaw Active Member

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    Best for miles conversion si citibank at P 30 = 1 mile

    Best for travel to USA is PNB because it has a separate bill for USD and Peso. so when you travel to the USA and you get your bill you can pay in USD therefore no conversion fees and no other fees. Miles conversion of PNB is second best at P 33=1 mile
     
  6. duncan

    duncan Well-Known Member

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    hi scubadiverdaw.

    what particular citi bank card 30=1?
     
  7. b0gni

    b0gni Member

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    This is for the PremierMiles Card.
     
  8. ishg

    ishg I'm female!
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    All very good points! Just to add:

    Metrobank has the Travel Visa Platinum with conversion of ₱17 = 1 mile (for airline, hotel, and overseas spend).

    For USD billing, BDO also has this for their higher tier cards. :)
     
  9. pochiman

    pochiman PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Hi @ishg

    I was about to apply for the Metrobank Travel Visa Platinum a year ago in lieu of retaining the Citi Prestige card seeing that the former's conversion rate is ₱17 = 1 mile for overseas spend (any charge other than in ₱) which I believe has the Prestige's miles conversion rate beat by a peso or two on top of having a relatively low ₱5k annual fee (which can probably be waived upon request --- correct me if I'm wrong please) compared to the Prestige's ₱12k (which is billed upfront and non-waivable). I just have a few questions though:

    [1] The ₱17 = 1 mile, is this for PAL's Mabuhay Miles or the relatively cheaper conversion rate for Asia Miles? In case it isn't, how much would the conversion rate be for PAL MM?

    [2] Is the Priority Pass Membership built-in? I'm thinking it isn't based on how low the annual fee is. It's probably a separate fee I think? Though this isn't really a priority for me since I'm all about the miles (still Mabuhay even from far away!), travelling cheap and apologies for being paradoxical but the AMEX Platinum worldwide lounge access already covers for that.

    [3] And if someone was living permanently abroad but would like to have the benefit of earning PAL MM for foreign transactions, would you say this card would be the one to beat?

    I'm sorry I have a lot of questions. I haven't been able to stay in touch with the current offerings in our local card arena as much as I'd like to. Thanks for the heads up and I look forward to hearing back from you.
     
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  10. dasaint

    dasaint PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Metrobank Mastercard World
     
  11. ishg

    ishg I'm female!
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    Hi @pochiman!

    I actually don't have this card. But I've done a ton of research (as well as a ton of lurking in the relevant forums), so I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can. Anyone who actually has this card can correct me if necessary. :)

    It's for PAL Mabuhay Miles, Asia Miles, and SQ KrisFlyer.

    Your membership is free but you still need to pay the USD27 access fee to use the lounges. Free Priority Pass memberships are actually not all that uncommon for elite cards here in the PH, RCBC, BDO, and EastWest Platinum Cards have this perk as well. I've never used mine (from EastWest) because if I'm flying out of MNL I just use the Skyview Lounge (free), and I don't really care to use the lounges when departing from foreign countries as their airports are likely to be better than ours anyway. The only use case I see for the lounge is during transit. I usually transit in HKG, and JCB Platinum Cards offer a free lounge access to the Plaza Premium Lounge there (I think 5x/year).

    I would actually vote for the PNB Mabuhay Miles World MasterCard. While it does have a higher peso-to-mile ratio, it is regardless of type of spend. For the Metrobank, PhP17/mile only applies to travel-related (airline, accommodation, overseas) expenses. For someone living abroad it may be better too since PNB cards with higher credit limits have USD billing, so you'll save on foreign transaction fees. They have a welcome gift of 2,000 MM upon activation and bonus 10,000 MM if you reach PhP100k worth of transactions on the card with PAL. Not to mention the 5% discount if you book with the card on PAL's website. Finally, if you qualify for the World card, you get priority check-in at the business class counter in T2 even if you're not flying business class.

    No problemo! Just let me know if you have more questions. :)
     
  12. pochiman

    pochiman PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Hi @ishg ! Sorry, it's me again. Haha! Thanks for the replies! It got me thinking though:

    Going over Metrobank's Travel Visa Platinum site, it says "...for every ₱17 spent overseas." Does this mean for any kind of charge other than in PHP? I'm asking since reading their fine print makes me think this conversion rate isn't limited to just travel related foreign currency charges but any type of foreign transaction (ie. $, £, €, ¥) other than in PHP. (I know it would have been easier to just call their customer service line but I'd like to ask here first).

    If so, the forex transaction fees (which I imagine isn't any bigger compared to how much say Citibank charges) one would incur using this card abroad exclusively (for the sake of raking in PAL Mabuhay Miles) make it seem like the fees are a relatively small price to pay versus nearly double the conversion rate on the PNB Mabuhay Miles World MasterCard at ₱33 = 1 mile. I'm looking at this from someone who lives abroad, planning to use this card for everything else AMEX isn't accepted at.

    Thus I'm thinking, from a purely miles-earning / travel-centric mindset, the best cards would be:

    1. Citi PremiereMiles (for the ₱30 = 1 mile)
    2. Metrobank Travel Visa Platinum (if indeed the ₱17 = 1 mile is for any type of foreign currency transaction)
    3. US/CA/not-cobranded AMEX Platinum (for the worldwide centurion lounge access)
     
  13. ishg

    ishg I'm female!
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    If you scroll down a bit further on the Metrobank site, it says:
    • Earn 1 Rewards Point for every P20 spend in all your transactions. Plus, earn 1 mile for every P17 spent overseas and on airlines & hotel accommodations. Rewards Points earned in your other Metrobank credit cards cannot be consolidated with the Metrobank Travel Platinum Visa.
    So as someone living abroad (and thus spending overseas) I would think you would be able to take advantage of the P17 = 1 mile feature. Here you can read an account of someone who has had experience with converting points to miles using this card. For foreign transactions, Metrobank charges the visa rate + 2.5%, Citibank, 3.525%.

    Re: no. 3, just make sure it's Amex's "The Platinum Card" and not the "American Express Platinum Credit Card." Only the former has Centurion Lounge access, I believe.
     
  14. pochiman

    pochiman PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Thanks @ishg ! That person's account mirrors exactly how I accrued most of my Mab Miles on my Citi Prestige. And all those years I thought Citi's forex fees were quite acceptable already. I couldn't apply quickly enough for MB's Travel Visa Platinum since this only launched last year as I recall and I only saw it being offered like a month before I was set to fly off abroad.

    Would you think basing on my use case that I'd be better off giving up my MB World MasterCard and have it replaced with this, pending their approval?

    Re no. 3, yes, thanks for pointing that out. I was referring to Amex's Platinum charge card (regular/classic). I elected to get the Gold Rewards Card for now since I'm still in the process of racking up the Membership Rewards Points and I don't plan on traveling anytime soon. Once I have enough, I'll go for "The Platinum"... hoping they'd approve of course. :)
     
  15. ishg

    ishg I'm female!
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    Looked at the MB World MasterCard page just now and there are still a few features that may make it worth keeping like purchase protection and extended warranty (AmEx would have the former though IIRC). I'm pretty sure it's easy to ask for a second card from MB since you're already a World cardholder, you'll just have to reckon with two separate annual fees. Last I checked their conditions for waiver were reasonable; I was asked to spend P8k within 30 days to waive the AF of my Gold Visa. If I were in your position I would definitely go for the Travel Platinum Visa--living abroad pretty much means all your expenses charged to the card qualify for the PhP17 = 1 mile conversion. :)
     
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  16. REDcrazy

    REDcrazy Well-Known Member

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    Do the miles earned show as ACTUAL AIR MILES or just rewards points?

    Because, the thing with with Metrobank Cards is when you redeem your points for Premium Cards the conversion rate is 2.5 pts = 1 air mile, while the standard cards are at 7.5 pts = 1 air mile. So, even at PhP17 per point, Citibank's Premier Miles at PhP30 = 1 air mile comes out better.
     
  17. ishg

    ishg I'm female!
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    They're still credited as points. Here's a user's account on PEx:

    I think it just means that you get 3x points for the qualified spend, but the conversion is still P20 = 1 point. So for example you spend P100,000 = 5,000 points x 3 (for qualified spend) = 15,000 points = 6,000 miles. That comes to PhP 16.67/mile, which is how they arrived at PhP17/mile. :)

    TL;DR: It's not PhP17/mile, it's still PhP20/mile but there is a 3x multiplier for qualified spend.
     
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  18. louie_gudboy

    louie_gudboy Member

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    Hi, I'm currently using Citibank Premiermiles for my local expenses and AUB Platinum Mastercard for foreign ones (earns 4x Rewards Points for all my card transactions done outside the Philippines). But I believe AUB's rewards system will change starting April 2019 so I'm trying to look for a replacement card. I mainly collect Asia Miles and recently Mabuhay Miles (AUB). What is a good replacement card for earning points during foreign travel? I also need to consider the foreign exchange conversion charges, hopefully the lowest possible while yielding the most miles. Thank you!
     
  19. pochiman

    pochiman PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Without question, it would have to be... https://metrobankcard.com/cards/metrobank-travel-platinum-visa
     
  20. louie_gudboy

    louie_gudboy Member

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