In defense of the credit card

MANILA, Philippines – In our conversations, you’re highly likely to hear the words “credit card” in the same breath as utang, or debt.

Utang paints such a horrifying picture in the minds of those who hear it: working your hardest (in a job that you don’t really like, to boot) for a long time without being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor or being unable to afford even the smallest luxuries, all because the money earned is being used to pay off debt.

Or worse, you end up borrowing from friends and family members or taking out loans from banks only to pay off existing debts—putting you in an endless, vicious loop until you’re old and frail.

But unlike utang, owning a credit card doesn’t have to end up being a horror story because there are many ways you can manage your spending and even get more out of it.

We spoke with three young professionals and longtime credit card users to find out why having a credit card isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.

Using credit cards is a more organized way of spending

Owning a credit card is a symbol of being a confident, mature adult who’s responsible enough to remain on top of their spendings. It’s not necessarily extra money for you to spend, but a means through which you could funnel through your existing money to spend.

“[Having a credit card helps me] manage my expenses better without hurting my savings,” Jean, an account manager for a public relations firm, said.

Since you can track the transactions you’re making with your credit card, it helps you evaluate the way you’re spending your money, where you should cut down on.

It’s an opportunity to be more financially mature instead of the other way around as some would think.

It helps you get more value for your money

Most of us grew up being warned by our parents to use a credit card only when it is absolutely necessary or sometimes, not at all.

So when we have one, we treat at it as a backup, something to use only during emergencies. When in fact, you’ll get more from your credit card when you use it in everyday transactions like paying bills or grocery shopping because it helps you rack up points. You can use these to redeem rewards like free flights, access to exclusive events or cash backs.

And with so many now offering 0% interest rate, you have nothing to worry about if you are a responsible cardholder who pays on time.

Having a credit card allows you to enjoy the conveniences of life

Have you ever had to ask a friend for a swipe because you don’t have your own credit card to pay for a flight? Or simply because you’re short of cash?

Having a credit card lets you avoid these inconveniences.

“The best thing about having a credit card is it gives you peace of mind when you run out of cash,” said Joana, admin officer and analyst.

This is especially helpful when you’re traveling abroad or out with friends or family without access to ATMs.

“I don't need to always have cash with me, which translates to easier transactions,” said Chinky.  

We already know that carrying around a lot of cash is not the safest habit. If it gets stolen, it’s hard to get it back. Whereas when it’s your credit card, you can just call the bank to have it blocked.

Reaping the benefits of using credit cards

Apart from the perks and privileges you get, using a credit card and paying your bills on time will help you build a good credit score. It’s especially useful if ever you plan to apply for a bank loan to help you purchase your dream home or car, or an investment like a small business. A good credit score would show that you are capable of paying for these big-ticket items.

Credit cards aren’t just pieces of plastic that you use to spend in lieu of cash. Used wisely, they let you enjoy perks and rewards that can enhance your everyday experiences. –

For millennials who want to enjoy better budget management while taking advantage of double rewards, air miles, cash rebate, shopping vouchers, easy installment payment terms, and travel privileges, the RCBC Bankard Flex and Flex Gold are perfect.  Apply for a Card now at RCBC Bankard’s official website.