One of the disadvantages of having a credit card whether you frequently use it or not is the recurring of the credit card annual fee.  Usually on the first year, they waived it to encourage you to use it. But after the first year, it starts to appear on your statement of account – the bill that says Annual Membership Fee, ranging from P1,000.00 – P2,500.00 depending on type of your credit card (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum).

credit card annual fee

BPI Petron Credit Card

How To Not Pay Your Credit Card Annual Fee and still enjoy It

Just this morning, after taking my Power Drink, I quickly checked the mails on the table. One of them is my BPI Credit Card -  Statement of Account for the month. I quickly opened it and checked how much is my due. And since I frequently check my BPIExpressonline account, I already have an idea how much the balance that I need to pay.

But then again, I was surprised to see that it was P1,550.00 higher than my expected amount. I then scanned all the purchases that I made and in an instant, I saw the culprit. Since it was my credit card anniversary, so is the annual credit card membership fee.

Uhmmm, how dare are these credit card company to charge me P1,550.00 wherein there were times that when billing did not come on time, you are obliged to pay for the hefty finance charge. Of couse, I’m just saying it on the top of my head. :D  The first thing that got into my mind was to request to cut it since I still have 2 more credit cards at hand. That worked in my previous cards that I don’t really intend on keeping, hehe.

But hey, it’s my favorite credit card. I did mention in my last credit card post that BPI Credit Card is my favorite credit card due to several practical reasons (story here). What if it doesn’t work this time? I might end up loosing my favorite credit card.  So no can do! I got to think of another way so that I can get away with it. Then I just remembered this one article I read about reversal of annual fee just by calling them.

So I did just as I remembered it. I quickly dialled 89-100 and talked to the customer service representative.

Here’s how our conversation went thru.

“Hi, I’m Garry De Castro. I just received my BPI Statement of Account and saw that I got charged for Annual Membership Fee.”

“Hi Mr. De Castro, may I have your credit card number please?”, the CSR replied.

“It’s XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX”.

“Ok Mr. De Castro, what can I do for you?”

” I got charged with credit card annual fee and I was thinking if you can reverse it for me?”

“Ok Mr. De Castro, please stay on the line as I check if you are qualified for Annual Fee reversal”.

After a few minutes.

“Hello Sir, we just checked your account. Please wait for 2-3 days or check on your next Statement of Account for the reversal of Annual fee to appear. Here’s your Reference Number ***-***-***. May I know if you have other concerns?”

“That’s all, thank you!”

It actually worked.  I dunno if it works all the time. Maybe upon checking on my account, they saw that I diligently pay all my credits every month and frequently use the card.

bpi gold credit card

Beware of Identity Theft on Stolen Credit Cards

Let me tell you another story also related to credit cards. I have this distant relative living in the United States, it’s actually his experience.

When they were relatively new in the US, he was surprised that cash is hardly used in day to day transactions such as buying groceries, shopping and the like. Most of them are using plastic money as they call it.

Then there was a time that his credit card was lost. Good thing his other friend quickly helped him reporting it. Otherwise, he could have been a victim of identity theft which very much prevalent in the US and other parts of the world until now.

If you search more on the topic Identity Theft Protection, one info that connects to credit cards is that thief uses the credit card as if it was his while doing online transactions. And do you think they still need an ID? With online transactions, they don’t.

And do you know that you can actually avoid or stop fraud before it starts? Identity Hawk provides a full service that help anyone to quickly detect and defend if there’s any threat to one’s identity. Complete identity theft protection as they say.

So if you lost your credit card, quickly call your bank and ask to cut or freeze it.

Share your Credit Card Experiences

Have you had the same experiences with either credit card annual fee or lost/stolen credit cards? Please share by hitting the comments.

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Garry Zaldy de Castro is an advocate, Financial Advisor, Certified Investment Solicitor (Mutual Fund Representative), blogger, IT practitioner, husband to Aileen and a dad to Jacob Benedict. He started Financial Planning Philippines in 2008 just to share his financial learnings friends, relatives and anyone who wishes to be financially independent.
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