travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


How I Use My Credit Card to Get Freebies and Discounts

June 19, 2011

I am proud to say that I have never paid a single centavo for my credit card membership. I have three cards (1 from BDO, 1 from HSBC and 1 from Citibank). My tip in having your membership waived is simple – pay your bills online and in full. I never had any problems with BDO in requesting to have it waived every year. It is my first year with HSBC and Citibank, so I can’t tell yet if my simple trick would do wonders – if not, I can always tell them to deactivate my membership. The least I wanted is money and/or financial issues.

Credit cards should always work for your advantage. Aside from the points that I am earning everytime I use my credit card, I also take advantage of the promos and tie-ups.

During my birthday, I took advantage of the 10% discount from Yellow Cab Pizza for using my Citibank Gold Credit Card (for purchase above Php1,200).

Everytime I shop and somehow calculated the bill would amount to Php2,000, I use my Red HSBC Credit Card – so I can exchange my receipts to Starbucks drinks (and I always order Coffee Jelly Frappuccino). I think the Starbucks baristas (near our office) knew me too well that I only go there to claim free drinks 😉 I am not sure though if the promo is still on. It’s been months the last time I claimed a free drink.

Just last month, I bought some stuff from SM Department store, and my bill was only at Php1,700. I couldn’t think of anything else to add in my cart, and I was just glad that I saw a Citibank standee in the cashier area. It says that I can exchange my charge slip (worth Php1,000) to a scratch card in the SM Customer Service booth. So I used my Citibank Gold (instead of HSBC), and right after settling the bill, I went straight to the Customer Service booth, and I exchanged my receipt. I was handed a scratch card and a few scratches with a help of a 1 peso coin, I already knew I was a winner – a notebook bundle from SM Stationary section! I am no student, but I love prizes – in that case, I love notebooks!

Currently, HSBC is giving away local and international plane tickets to cardholders who would charge Php3,000 or Php10,000 using their HSBC Credit Cards. Unfortunately, what I have is HSBC Red Mastercard, and my purchases are not qualified.

Instead of sulking, I just checked BDO Credit Card promos and I am in luck. Php10,000 worth charge slip entitles cardholders to Php500 worth shopping voucher from Watson’s, Ace Hardware or Surplus Shop.

So for Php10,000 worth purchases, I use my BDO Credit Card. I exchanged my receipts to Ace Hardware and Watson’s. Ace Hardware was actually my second choice, since Watson’s didn’t have vouchers at the time I went there. I was worried that my receipt would soon fade, so I just went to Ace Hardware to have it exchanged.

What’s the take-away? Always check your cards’ promos and tie-ups so you would know which card to use to pay for Php1,000 worth, Php2,000 worth or even Php10,000 worth purchase. Make sure that you also exchange your receipts before they fade as most establishments are strict on this during redemption. More than anything else, make sure that you pay your bills in full and before due date to make the most of these good deals.

Remember, if you cannot pay it in cash, you cannot afford it.

What are the great deals you have claimed with your credit cards?!

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