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Philippine Pre-load/Reloadable Debit Cards for travel or online shopping?


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   I do not want to use either my actual American or Philippine bank's debit card for online shopping. Nor do I want to be carrying my actual American or Philippines bank's debit card in my wallet. I would much rather be able to preload a predetermined specific amount, of independent funds, into an unrelated debit card. If I travel say to Davao, Cebu, Manila or neighboring country; there is the high probability I would be traveling alone. As my wife has personal business interest here which she manages, not always but most. If by unfortunate happenstance I were pick-pocketed, robbed, hotel burgled or simple brain-fart; leading to my being detached from my wallet, my primary bank's debit cards are safe and here with my wife. If I purchase a meal, general purchase, transport or lodging on the road; I do not have the burdensome worry of my actual personal American or Philippine bank's debit card information/access being compromised.

   And if I chose to purchase an item or two online, I do not have to worry as much about internet and debit card scams. an unrelated debit card if hacked or scammed would be held to a minimum. If hacked by a scanner, only a minimum amount is lost (dependent solely on remaining amount contained); and if an online merchant tries to double-bill or later-bill, they actually have no direct access to your American or Philippine bank's debit card information. Just spend a few hundred pesos for a new loadable card and move on. I know they're such cards available here in the Philippines, perhaps even banks offering them as a security option for students. But since before in the Philippines I have never purchased or held one, but with the ever-increasing sophistication of scanner and internet criminality, I see were purchasing and using such cards could be a useful extra protection against the unsavory elements determined to fleece you. 

   Who here actually has personal knowledge and experience with such loadable debit cards? I am sure I am probably not the only one curious. Pros? Cons? Anyone?

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15 minutes ago, jamesmusslewhite said:

   I do not want to use either my actual American or Philippine bank's debit card for online shopping. Nor do I want to be carrying my actual American or Philippines bank's debit card in my wallet. I would much rather be able to preload a predetermined specific amount, of independent funds, into an unrelated debit card. If I travel say to Davao, Cebu, Manila or neighboring country; there is the high probability I would be traveling alone. As my wife has personal business interest here which she manages, not always but most. If by unfortunate happenstance I were pick-pocketed, robbed, hotel burgled or simple brain-fart; leading to my being detached from my wallet, my primary bank's debit cards are safe and here with my wife. If I purchase a meal, general purchase, transport or lodging on the road; I do not have the burdensome worry of my actual personal American or Philippine bank's debit card information/access being compromised.

   And if I chose to purchase an item or two online, I do not have to worry as much about internet and debit card scams. an unrelated debit card if hacked or scammed would be held to a minimum. If hacked by a scanner, only a minimum amount is lost (dependent solely on remaining amount contained); and if an online merchant tries to double-bill or later-bill, they actually have no direct access to your American or Philippine bank's debit card information. Just spend a few hundred pesos for a new loadable card and move on. I know they're such cards available here in the Philippines, perhaps even banks offering them as a security option for students. But since before in the Philippines I have never purchased or held one, but with the ever-increasing sophistication of scanner and internet criminality, I see were purchasing and using such cards could be a useful extra protection against the unsavory elements determined to fleece you. 

   Who here actually has personal knowledge and experience with such loadable debit cards? I am sure I am probably not the only one curious. Pros? Cons? Anyone?

I'll admit I do carry my 3 debit cards around with me but they are debit cards, not credit cards, so any loss would be limited but still...  For online purchases I only use if COD is not available (rare case) and use a local debit card which has a small balance so I'm limiting risk again.

I can't help you on the loadable cards but you could do what I do above, keep 1 account with a smallish balance and mange risk that way if you have no luck with the loadable card.

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Posted (edited)

I don’t know about getting or using a prepaid card there as I mostly use cash. When I’m there I only carry my driver’s license, ACR card and one credit / debit card with me. The card only has a small limit / amount in the account.  I also use an RFD protected wallet (one of those small aluminum types). 
 

For most of my online purchases I use a virtual card number via Citi Bank. Adds a few extra steps to the purchase (logging onto my Citi account and a few clicks to generate the card number), but I know that since it’s a one time use number I never have to worry about my card info being hacked or used by an unscrupulous merchant. 

If you’re an iPhone user, Apple Pay allows you to add a virtual debit card to your “wallet”. You can simply add funds to the card as needed. I know this won’t help for getting cash from an ATM there (unless they’ve started to upgrade their ATM machines like here in the USA) and I also know most merchants don’t accept Apple Pay there either, but some of the larger chain stores do. 

Edited by Gator
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James, I use prepaid, almost exclusively, for my day to day purchases and transactions.  I bank with Navy FCU and Bank of Hawaii, and although they both provide great protections on their cards, I still don't trust the odd chance of getting cards stolen or electronically scanned.  Here's a recap of my situation (and I've been using prepaid here for over 5 years).  I use a PayPal prepaid Mastercard that is administered thru Netspend.  The card/account is FDIC insured and has all the same protections that my other real credit cards (1 master and 1 visa).  I have no problem using it anywhere here as it is treated like a regular credit or debit card, and it's the same at the ATM too.  I have an online app for it and 24 hour customer service.  I can conduct all my normal bank functions, ect, online or using the app.  No difference than the other cards and you control the balance.  Now here's the bonus........ I have one of my retirement checks direct deposited to it each month and I receive the money, credited to my account, 5 to 7 days early, every month.  There's many other things I could mention, but the bottom line is, it is safe, secure, and is accepted everywhere a credit or debit card is accepted.  Feel free to ask any questions you have, and best of luck.

jws

FYI............I forgot to mention, I have an extra care in my wife name for here to use too.......the same as with any credit or debit card.

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Reloadable Visa cards are easy to get... they work... just type "reloadable Visa card in Google"... dozens of options.

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A while back I used a virtual card from PayMaya for online transactions. Basically you register and given your own card number if I recall correctly. You can also buy cards. 

https://www.paymaya.com/

https://store.paymaya.com/

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2 hours ago, Snowy79 said:

Gcash is also very popular here.  You can load it with as much money as you wish and just download the App to your phone. https://www.gcash.com/

Yes we have found this increasingly handy in Philippines, accepted almost everywhere. Especially good for buying load, recently my partner used it for pre paying a doctor appointment as was the only option to confirm appointment.

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On 7/4/2021 at 6:04 AM, Snowy79 said:

Gcash is also very popular here.  You can load it with as much money as you wish and just download the App to your phone. https://www.gcash.com/

Yes but the OP was asking about cards such as pre paid . Gcash do not have that where PayMaya  do.

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7 hours ago, Jollygoodfellow said:

Yes but the OP was asking about cards such as pre paid . Gcash do not have that where PayMaya  do.

You can load Gcash with money and cash it in at Lhullier, Palawan and many other places in an emergency.  You can also pay for shopping, bills, bank trnsfers etc.  It pretty much works like a card but instead of swiping it in a machine you just scan it's code. 

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