How I got my BPI Express Start Credit Card

There are tons of people who warns us about the dangers of using credit cards. It can be a powerful tool but it can also be your downfall. HAHA. However, I really want to get one for myself as it’s very helpful especially when you don’t have enough money at the moment and there are seat sale everywhere!

Since I am an online freelancer, it can be difficult to apply for credit cards. Good thing is, I read about secured credit cards online. There are numerous banks who offer this but I chose the BPI Express Start Credit Card as I have several accounts with them.

Secured credit cards are different from normal ones. To apply, you must have a certain holdout amount. It’s like you deposit an amount and the bank will hold the money. You may still see it on your account. It’s just that you can’t withdraw it. The bank will then base your credit limit from it. With BPI Express Start Secured credit card, your credit limit will be 80-90% of your holdout amount and as per what I’ve read online, your application is still subject to approval.

BPI Express Start Credit Card Journey

September 18, 2017 – Went to SM Megamall to apply for the Express Start Secured Credit card. Take note, this branch is always full of people. I don’t know what got into me and I chose this branch to be my Branch of Account. So, I was given an application form and 3 blue forms to fill out. The application form is the same form for the unsecured credit cards. You just need to choose the Express Start option. After I filled out everything, the teller said everything is all set and it takes at least 2 weeks for the process and I may even receive a text as early as this week. They didn’t give me a copy of the blue forms which made me wonder but decided to ignore it. So waiting game starts now. I checked my Express Online account and saw that my holdout amount was already held. You will still see your money in your account though but you can’t withdraw it.

September 25, 2017 – Nothing happened the past week so I called the hotline just to check if there are any updates. They said, they still haven’t received my application yet. Since it’s just been a week, I let it go.

September 27, 2017 – I also tried to contact their email support. Same information – there’s no application under my name yet. This worried me since my holdout amount was already held the same day that I applied last week. I read that the TalktoBPI on Twitter was very responsive so I decided to contact them as well. They said I have to contact SM Megamall directly since they don’t access accounts for security purposes. I tried calling the branch but became very frustrated because they are not answering! I’ve called all the numbers that their twitter and hotline support provided but they are just not answering. Some calls are even rejected! I sent another message to TalktoBPI and their email support for assistance. Twitter support said that they will relay this to the branch and they will contact me for an update.

September 29, 2017 – I asked for an update regarding my BPI Express Start Credit Card application from TalktoBPI again and they said the branch tried to call me but I was not answering. This made me frustrated because I NEVER received any response from them. I tried to understand that the branch is a very busy branch so maybe that’s why they can’t answer calls immediately so I tried calling again at 5 pm which I think is not a very busy time for them. Thankfully, they answered! They said they already submitted my application since last week and I should make a follow-up and call the hotline. This gave me hope. At least they confirmed that they already submitted my application.

October 2, 2017 – This is now the third week since my application and I am now frustrated. I received an email response from their email support(please be advised that they usually respond 2-3 business days) this morning and they advised me that they DID receive my application but they asked me to visit the branch as there are impediments in processing it. So, I went back to the branch the very same day and I was told that I may have signed the old blue forms. So I filled out another 3 blue forms and decided to add an amount to my holdout. Again, they didn’t give me a copy. I also requested to update my contact details so they won’t say that I can’t be contacted again. Haha. The teller who assisted me didn’t promise a date but he said that he’ll text me for an update. I was still doubtful but I agreed. I asked him to expedite my application and he promised that he will. Well, we’ll see. It’s just frustrating that I have to wait AGAIN. *sighs*

October 4, 2017 – FINALLY! I finally received a text this morning that my application has been approved. I was actually expecting it that day but now, I got excited again. I immediately sent a direct message to TalktoBPI and they instructed me to send an email for the delivery instructions. Thankfully, their email support responded immediately and said they already requested for the delivery to be sent to SM Megamall so that I can just pick up my card there. The waiting game resumes…

October 5, 2017 – I received another text from BPI this morning with the tracking details from Air21. Yes, I’ve read that Air21 or LBC is the courier that deliver the cards. However, when I tracked it on Air21’s website, it says that they cannot deliver because the “Business is closed” and they will have to deliver the next day. I wonder why SM Megamall was closed on a Thursday. So I was like, “Oh, well. I’ll just call to make a follow-up tomorrow”. I was a bit disappointed though.

October 6, 2017 – I called the BPI hotline again to verify to which address the Air21 attempted to deliver my card. I was disappointed when the phone banker said that they tried to deliver it to my home address because I immediately sent instructions to BPI to have it delivered to my Branch of Account when I received the tracking information. Apparently, Air21 didn’t immediately receive the request and it’s still in “pending” status on BPI’s system. When I reread the email response from the email support the other day, they did say I have to wait for 6-7 business days. AGAIN. Oh, well… I also tried to contact Air21 where I had to wait 20 minutes to speak with someone and was told that the parcel is not for dispatch for today contrary of what the update on the tracking information that said they will deliver on the next business day. I didn’t know that the next business day meant next week even if it was still Friday. *eye roll* So yeah, I have to wait for 6-7 business days again.

October 13, 2017 – Today’s the 7th business day since I requested for my card to be delivered to my Branch of Account. I also saw in the initial tracking number that the card was already returned to sender (BPI) on the 12th. I called BPI to confirm this but unfortunately, they said the card is still on its way to the courier and won’t be delivered today. *long sigh*

October 16, 2017 – Finally! I got a text from my branch of account that my card is already ready for pick-up. I felt relieved though my excitement already died down because of waiting for too long.

October 17, 2017 – Just a day before my application turns a month old, I FINALLY got my BPI Express Start Credit Card! It’s already pre-activated so I immediately used it for purchases. Hooray for my first credit card! HAHA.

Experience so far

Since my card was pre-activated, I immediately used it for purchases and bill payments on the same day. It was intimidating at first because I didn’t know how it works but eventually, I got used to it. Yes, it can be dangerous because your debts can pile up immediately if you are not careful but if you use it wisely, it can be a very helpful tool. I just bought my brother a plane ticket with it when there was a sale. So hooray! Also, I liked how the card looks. It also comes with an EMV chip for security.

As to until when I’ll use it? I’ll let you know about my experience soon.

For more information on the BPI Express Start Credit Card, visit their website.

Update (October 10th, 2018): My BPI Express Start Credit Card is turning a year now and I was able to apply and got approved with RCBC Bankard and Citibank with it as my reference. Since I already have two regular credit cards, I’m planning to request for a release of the holdout money and retention of the card. Hope everything goes well. I will get back soon for an update.

You may apply for a Citibank credit card here. 

Update (November 27th, 2018): I already went to my branch of account on October 17th, 2018 to request for a release of holdout and retention. Since I am a freelancer, I submitted my Certificate of Employment from my direct client, a copy of my bank statement as proof of the remittances I am receiving and my statement of accounts from other banks. I was told that it will take 3 weeks to process. Unfortunately, it took more than a month with several follow-ups with my branch of account and BPI’s email team. I only saw an update regarding my request on my mobile app when they increased my credit limit. A week later, which is today, they finally released my holdout amount. So far, I am satisfied but at the same time very disappointed with their customer service(delayed responses, long queue in their hotline and my branch of account not answering my calls). 
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  • Reply aaaayes

    Ate same tyo. 3 weeks nko naghihintay plagi ko chinecheck yung application status ko wala daw yung pangalan ko don. Palagi ako tumatawag palging wala naman. Ano kya magandang gawin

    24 October 2017 at 9:17 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      I suggest going back or contacting your branch of account. Baka kasi may issue sa application mo. 🙂

      25 October 2017 at 4:46 AM
  • Reply Marsh

    Hi Aika, I applied for the Express Start Card last Friday November 10, 2017 and as far as I remember, I only filled out 2 forms. yung Express Start Application form and the blue form. When I asked the bank rep who processed my request if that would be all, sabi niya na yun lang daw then wait for 2-3 business weeks for the processing and delivery, magkakaproblema ba processing nito? tapos I asked her if pwede ba sa branch nila ipick up, sabi niya deliver daw dapat sa billing address so no choice sa home address ko na lang so what I did is i fill Friday sa preferred delivery day. Huhu. Parang magkakaproblema yata ako nito, maybe ill just need to wait and see. nahold na yung money ko on November 10.

    12 November 2017 at 12:22 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi Marsh! I’m not sure. I filled out the application form plus 3 blue forms. As for the delivery, di talaga ata nila ma pprocess agad na for pick-up.Ang sabi ng teller na nag process ng application ko, you may request lang for pick-up if processed na. Wait nalang atleast 1-2 weeks tas mag follow-up. If wala padin, balik ka sa BOA mo. Pero sana okay na yung lahat. 🙂

      12 November 2017 at 6:01 PM
    • Reply Harry

      Hi Marsh! I just want to check in if na convert na into a regular credit card yung BPI credit card mo?

      19 February 2023 at 12:50 PM
  • Reply Margie

    Hi po. How much po interest ng secured card nila? Thanks

    4 February 2018 at 4:25 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Same po sa regular cards nila. 🙂

      7 February 2018 at 6:05 AM
  • Reply lei


    Just want to ask if it will take a year bago ka pwede maapprove for a non-holdout credit card after mo magkaroon ng express credit card?? tipong pwede mo na ma withdraw un money from your account.

    15 February 2018 at 10:25 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      You can cancel your card anytime or apply for retention. I’ve read about others who have applied for retention in less than a year and some were approved. You can try with your Branch of Account. 🙂

      17 February 2018 at 8:59 PM
      • Reply Sassy

        Hi Aika,

        Retention means is this the regular, unsecured card na? 🙂

        31 December 2020 at 10:36 AM
  • Reply Joseph

    Hi there. Thank you for sharing your experience. Interested din ako na mag-apply for a BPI Express Start Credit Card.
    Just a question (I’m not familiar with using a credit card, so this may be a dumb one lol):
    Can I purchase something that exceeds the holdout amount (ex: P10K)? A P25K-priced item, for example.
    Or dapat ba I have around P26K holdout amount?
    I hope I’m making sense. Thanks.

    17 February 2018 at 1:08 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, Joseph! The item should not exceed your credit limit. So if your holdout amount is 10k and the approved credit limit is 9k, you can purchase items within that amount only. 🙂

      17 February 2018 at 8:57 PM
  • Reply MIMS V

    Hi miss,

    Question po, what if 9k ung hold-out amount ko, yun lang ba ung pwede ko gastusin hanggang mabayaran ko yung 9k? For example installment ng gadgets for 12months, hanggang di ako paid sa 9k na buo hindi siya magre-refresh? Pr monthly 9k ng 9k kahit may pending installment? TIA

    27 February 2018 at 2:25 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi! For example, may 9k credit limit ka and yung monthly mo is 750 for 12 months sa isang gadget – every month na babayaran mo yung installment mo, nababalik or napupunta sa credit limit mo. So if nagbayad kana sa first month, may 750 kanang available balance, tas another 750 pag nabayad ka ulit for the next month and so on and so forth. Sorry, sana maintindihan mo. I’m not good at explaining things. Lol. 🙂

      14 May 2018 at 8:18 PM
  • Reply Aleson Fuentes

    Hi! Ask ko lng if applicable yang card for installments ng gadgets? I mean dba kung 9k credit limit mo. Pero ung kukunin mo is mataas dun pero 1k per month lng sya na installment.

    10 March 2018 at 8:53 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, Aleson! Dapat within the 9k credit limit lang po ang pwede mo ipurchase for installment.

      14 May 2018 at 8:12 PM
  • Reply Michael Figueroa

    Hi Aika! I am not here to for any queries about credit cards. I just want to say that you are pretty 🙂 I hope I made your day haha!

    18 March 2018 at 10:30 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      LOL. Thanks, Michael! 🙂

      14 May 2018 at 8:06 PM
  • Reply Alyssa

    Hi! I’m planning to get this but I looked at the requirements listed on the BPI Website, it says “Must have a business or residence contact number” so did you provide a landline number? Also, someone told me you should have at least a savings account open for 1 year to be approved, is that true?

    11 May 2018 at 7:13 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi Alyssa! No, I did not provide a landline number. As for the savings account, I don’t think so. You’re only required to open a new account or just use your existing account.

      14 May 2018 at 8:01 PM
  • Reply Alyssa

    Noted. Thanks for your help ans sharing this post 🙂

    14 May 2018 at 9:23 PM
  • Reply MJ

    Hi senyorita! Have you already upgraded your card into a non-holdout credit card?

    27 July 2018 at 10:11 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, MJ! Not yet but I plan to this coming October during my card’s anniversary. 🙂

      27 July 2018 at 11:26 AM
  • Reply jr

    possible kaya if ang amount is 120k na deposit mabigyan ka ng credit limit na 100k? pero meron naman ako blue card sa kanila 60k limit pero yaw nila e increase to 100k since di pa daw one year ang card. gamitin ko sana sa visa for korea para mag multiple need lang ng gold card

    17 September 2018 at 2:11 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      I’m not sure po eh but it’s in their discretion if they’ll give you 90% or 80% CL from your total holdout amount. 🙂

      28 September 2018 at 7:09 AM
  • Reply Joy


    I already have a savings account. Can I apply for a credit card using my existing account?

    Thanks much!

    1 October 2018 at 8:44 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Yes, you can. 🙂

      5 October 2018 at 5:36 AM
      • Reply eissac

        hi i just want to ask say for example my initial deposit is 10k. can i deposit another 10k on the following month to increasemy limit?

        4 November 2019 at 7:25 PM
        • Reply Aika Callora

          Yes, you can. Just let them know that you want to add this to your credit limit. 🙂

          4 November 2019 at 7:34 PM
    • Reply Bea

      Hi Aika! Are there different types based on the limit (gold, blue, etc)

      29 December 2019 at 10:56 PM
      • Reply Aika Callora

        Hi, Bea! Yes, there are and it depends on the credit limit. 🙂

        14 January 2020 at 7:55 AM
  • Reply Gian

    Hi! per month ba ang basehan ng credit limit? for example 9k lang ang credit limit ko pero nag apply ako ng 12 month-installment for a laptop that costs 20000 so let’s say 1666 per month ang babayaran ko, ndi naman ba siya ma-dedecline kase nga 9k lang ang credit limit ko eh magsaswipe ako ng item worth 20000 pero installment nga lang?

    10 October 2018 at 11:01 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      No, dapat within your credit limit lang ang pwede mong ma spend for either straight purchases or installment.

      15 October 2018 at 9:06 PM
  • Reply Gian

    Hi aika i have a question. i have an existing BPI account. kailangan pa rin ba talaga mag open ng new bpi account para sa holdout amount? hindi ba pwedeng yung existing account na lang ung gamitin tapos ifefreeze na lang nila ung 10k na yun as my holdout amount?

    29 October 2018 at 10:09 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Yes, you can use your existing account. That’s what I did. 🙂

      30 October 2018 at 6:16 AM
  • Reply Sten

    Do you need to provide sss and Tin number? Mine is still on process

    9 November 2018 at 3:25 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, Sten. I don’t exactly remember but I think I did provide my TIN and SSS number. 🙂

      13 November 2018 at 8:26 PM
  • Reply Arolf Leo Masarate

    When you applied for RCBC and Citibank? Same lang ba yung credit limit na 9k? Or they offered you bigger credit limit. Also, if ever I applied for Express Start, kailangan ko ba maghintay one year before I can apply for other card with BPI Express Start as my reference card? Thanks

    2 January 2019 at 7:29 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      I applied for RCBC and Citibank last year using my BPI Express Start card as reference. They gave me different higher credit limits than my reference card. You can try applying pero preferred ng ibang banks na at least 6 months to 1 year na ang reference card mo if you’ll apply sa kanila.

      2 January 2019 at 8:00 PM
    • Reply yusuf d monir

      hi good day!

      1st question. just want to concern lang. kasi wala pa ako account sa bpi then nag apply ako for SAVING acc. then parang may charge na 500 then maintaining balance na 3k. tama ba naay charge sayo 500 for opening an acc.?

      2nd question

      nung nag “yes sure” na ako about dun sa sinabi ni teller about sa charge and maintaining bal. she ask me kung magkano dedeposit ko sabi ko 25k then dun nya inoffer ung credit card na may 10k minimun holdout pinapataasan sakin but di ko na tinaasan kasi first time ko sa credit card na yan. so yun naka feild up na ako then processing lang. ask ko if pag di ko na kailangan credit card ko pwd ko ba mabawi ung 10k holdout asap? and ung 10k na holdout nila makikita ko ba un sa savings acc. ko? sabi kasi ng teller 15k sa savings mo then 10k sa holdout nila.

      26 June 2019 at 4:53 PM
      • Reply Aika Callora

        Hi! For the first question, yes, may 500 pesos required initial deposit pero sa pagkakaalam ko, it will be deposited to your account. Not sure, pa verify nalang po sa kanila.

        For the second question (na madami, lol 😂 ),I think you can request for cancellation and get back the holdout amount anytime pero not really sure about this. Usually atleast 6 months or a year ung mga nababasa ko sa iba bago sila magpa cancel ng card nila. Yes, you can still see the holdout amount in your online account but hindi siya sa available balance. 🙂

        2 July 2019 at 8:24 AM
  • Reply Mark Adrian Repique

    Hello Aika. Very helpful ng vlog mo. Ask ko lang. Noong nag-apply ka ba sa RCBC at sa Citibank ng credit card, may deposit accounts ka na sa kanila or wala talaga? Kung wala, okay lang basta may isa kang reference card?

    11 February 2019 at 10:36 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Wala po akong deposit account sa kanila. Yes, okay lang basta may reference card. 🙂

      15 February 2019 at 9:00 AM
      • Reply Kate Tagaan

        Hi Maam Aika, Nung nag apply ka sa citibank ang RCBC, pinapapasa ka pa ba nla nh requirements? Like what po? 😊

        24 January 2020 at 2:33 PM
  • Reply kim

    hi, planning to apply for bpi express credit card, can i use to purchase like concert tickets abroad and plane tickets abroad din?

    1 April 2019 at 8:43 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, I’m so sorry for the the delay. Yes, you can use it like a regular credit card. 🙂

      1 May 2019 at 5:32 PM
  • Reply Flor Lim

    Hi Aika!

    did you surrender your credit card when requesting for hold-out? Thank you!

    7 May 2019 at 2:22 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi! I requested for the release of hold-out and retention so I did not surrender my card. 🙂

      7 May 2019 at 2:59 PM
  • Reply rachel

    i have a bad record in credit card. can i still apply for express start credit since they are going yo use savings or time deposit?

    18 May 2019 at 3:31 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Yes, you can. 🙂

      22 May 2019 at 10:04 AM
  • Reply Ross

    Can you use the deposit/collateral to pay the remaining balance on your credit card?

    21 May 2019 at 2:41 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Yes, I think, once you’ll request for card cancellation. 🙂

      22 May 2019 at 10:05 AM
  • Reply Eleni

    if it is okay to ask, magkano po ba hold-out para ma accept as reference (in the future) sa ibang banks?

    27 May 2019 at 2:33 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi! I’m not sure po but maybe 30k and up na credit limit.

      29 May 2019 at 1:38 PM
  • Reply Stcy

    Can i call them and get the tracking $ for cc delivery?

    28 May 2019 at 10:32 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Yes, you can. They will usually send you a text with the tracking number as well once it’s been shipped out.

      29 May 2019 at 1:37 PM
  • Reply Angelica

    Hi! Whats the email address you used to request the change of mailing address to your bpi branch address?

    6 June 2019 at 7:18 PM
  • Reply Ivy

    Hi, ask ko lang abt using the cc, what if ung ipupurchase ko is worth 20k and ang CL is worth 9k lang. Pwede ba na bayaran ko ung 11k then cc ko ung remaining 9k?

    30 June 2019 at 2:40 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi! Yes, pwede cash yung 11k then cc yung remaining amount but I think it still depends on the merchant na pagbibilhan mo so I suggest asking them first 🙂

      2 July 2019 at 8:25 AM
  • Reply Harriet

    Thanks for this post, really helpful since I’m thinking about trying for a secured credit card with BPI. I’m just curious because you wrote that when you requested for a release of the holdout a year later, you had to provide documents like a COE and bank statements? I’m curious because I’m a freelancer too and though I can get these documents, I don’t see why the bank would require these if it’s your money anyway. As long as you’ve paid your credit dues shouldn’t the release be straightforward? Thanks in advance 🙂

    14 August 2019 at 7:24 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, Harriet! Glad to know that this post has been helpful to you. 🙂 Anyway, you don’t need to provide these documents if you just want to cancel your card and get your money back. However, if you want to request to have your card be turned into a regular credit card(no longer a secured one with a deposit) and take your deposit, you need submit the needed docs and that’s what I did. 🙂

      14 August 2019 at 8:40 PM
      • Reply Harriet

        Oh, I see 🙂 Thanks for the clarification hehe

        15 August 2019 at 6:55 PM
        • Reply Aika Callora

          No prob. 🙂

          15 August 2019 at 7:30 PM
  • Reply Dianne

    Hi Ms. Aika. I have an existing BPI savings account and planning to open a secured credit card. Kailangan ba same branch from my savings or pwede sa ibang branch as BOA? Thanks.

    15 August 2019 at 12:05 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, Dianne! Yes, pwede sa ibang branch magpa-process ng secured credit card. 🙂

      15 August 2019 at 12:14 PM
  • Reply CESS

    Hi pwede ba magpaincrease ng credit limit ang secured credit card?

    27 August 2019 at 6:00 PM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, CESS! Yes, pwede. Punta ka lang sa branch to add to your deposit para madagdagan din yung credit limit mo sa secured credit card. 🙂

      10 September 2019 at 11:55 AM
  • Reply Zhen Michael

    Hi Ms. Aika ask lang po pwede po bang hindi sa BOA mo ipacancel ang iyong secured CC wala na po kasi ako sa Cebu which is doon ung BOA ko. Thanks a lot

    2 September 2019 at 11:45 AM
    • Reply Aika Callora

      Hi, Zhen! Hala, I’m not sure if pwede. You may call the BPI hotline to make sure. 🙂

      10 September 2019 at 11:54 AM
    • Reply Lory

      Hi, Aika!
      Thanks for the posts. They’re really helpful. I just wanna ask, when you applied for the citibank and rcbc, did you have the 9k credit limit with Bpi of more than that? Gusto ko kasi mag establish ng enough credit limit para maging reference ko mag apply din ng citibank. Thank you in advance!

      18 October 2019 at 11:06 PM
      • Reply Aika Callora

        Hi, Lory! No, I increased my deposit amount with BPI even before I decided to apply for a Citibank credit card. 🙂

        20 October 2019 at 8:42 AM
  • Reply Maricar

    Hi! I requested for a release of holdout and retention. It has been 2 weeks now kaso wala pa update from them. May I know how long exactly ka nag antay before ni-release nila yung holdout? TIA 🙂

    4 September 2019 at 11:23 PM