Another credit card approved! In search of banks which could offer me the highest credit limit, I had multiple applications during the first quarter of the year.
I got approved with PNB, Citibank, and Unionbank (in order of approval dates), but all of them offered almost the same credit limits, just within or a little above my monthly salary range.
While half of these cards already come with no annual fees for life (NAFFL), therefore worth-keeping as I build my credit score and wait for credit limit increases after a year, I am still in hunt for additional ones with higher credit limits.
Well, I have developed to be a responsible credit card user, so I worry less about the debt trap as one might otherwise advise about. Read this helpful article — 19 Tips for First-Time Credit Card Users in the Philippines.
In this article, I’ll provide my satisfactions and disappointments in getting my first EastWest Bank credit card — Silver Privilege Mastercard:
 Long Evaluation and Approval Process (Disappointed). I admit I was already hopeless about my EastWest credit card application after months of getting no updates.
It was April when I submitted my application through an agent whom I met on Facebook. It was processed right away I knew.
I had a few follow-ups via EastWest System Tech Assistant (ESTA), EastWest’s chatbot, but I was just informed annoyingly over and over that it was still for evaluation.
The big surprise came in November. Out of expectations, the agent chatted me informing I got approved for an EastWest Silver Privilege Mastercard.
After a few days, I received an SMS notification from EastWest about the dispatch of the credit card.
So, it took more or less seven months before the sweet approval. You can get approved with Citibank in one to three days.
 Less Application Requirements (Satisfied). I applied through an agent, and as advertised in most Facebook pages, I was just asked to provide some basic personal details, plus reference cards. As far as I can remember, I gave all my three other cards for this purpose.
Interestingly, even if your reference card is just a month active, still you are qualified, and you can apply and skip the sending of income documents.
Another thing, there were no calls for verification as well, unlike for instance with BDO, their normal verification calls take almost 30 minutes, and you still end up with your application declined. Twice I tried with BDO though.
 High Credit Card Limits (Satisfied). EastWest offers so far one of the most generous credit limits in the market. Although my approved credit limit with EastWest Silver Privilege did not reach a six-digit figure, I appreciate it much, and it’s worth the wait as it’s triple the limits of my existing credit cards with PNB, Unionbank, and even Citibank.
I have my other cards for over six months already, and until now, I have been hoping still that there will be credit limit increases before the usual 12-month probationary.
To tell you, never have I missed payments nor paid just the minimum, rather always in full. Let’s see if EastWest Bank will be generous enough to give me some credit limit increase in a few months.
 No Card Delivery Updates (Disappointed). I started counting the days for the delivery of the physical card after receiving the SMS. Accordingly, it would only take around 10 days, but the period lapsed, and I never received any calls or texts about its whereabouts.
EastWest does not provide details about the courier and delivery, per other clients. I suspected it was lost or returned.
As I reached out to the customer service via an email (which I was given a response after 3 days), I was informed that it was returned to them after five days of dispatch. And I wasn’t informed about the failed delivery!
I discovered that there was a big issue with the address that instead of Barangay San Juan, it was mistakenly encoded as San Juan City. Within the next week though, it was successfully delivered to my office address.
 Easy Virtual Card Activation (Satisfied). While waiting for the physical card, I had the chance already to use it online via the temporary virtual card activation feature available on ESTA chatbot.
The card details — card number, expiration date, and CVV — were made available on a secured platform linked to the chatbot. So, I tried paying some bills with the card.
The chatbot also provides other helpful features such as viewing of the credit card balances and card locking and unlocking.
When I activated the physical card upon receipt, additional features were made available. The virtual card was also then disabled for security purposes.
 Physical Card Activation Hassles (Disappointed). Although ESTA chatbot comes with the activation of the physical card, it can be some sort of a headache.
It’s always unresponsive or down, and many EastWest Bank clients may have observed the creation of multiple versions of the chatbot already, maybe because of the high volume of transactions it can’t handle.
The QR code for the activation was just directed to the ESTA chatbot, and since it was unavailable that time I received the physical card, it took me hours before finally activating it.
Annoyingly, my concern about the activation via the chat on the EastWest Bank main page went just on a seen mode.
 Troublesome Mobile App Enrollment (Disappointed). Out of excitement, I downloaded the EastWest Bank app to my smartphone when I learned I got approved with my credit card application. The app is another disappointment though.
Until now, I haven’t enrolled my credit card to the app, same issue with other cardholders I read on social media. My account details are already recognized, i.e., the mobile number and email, but I am always stuck in the details review section of the enrollment. It does not proceed.
I emailed EastWest Bank about the issue already. There was no solution provided, and I was just advised to use the ESTA chatbot features.
I told them via email that I was just suspicious about their chatbot given that it already comes in multiple versions, three or four already, and it can be a struggle figuring out which ones are legit and secure.
In conclusion, if you already have a reference credit card, want another with a higher credit limit, and skip the income documents, applying for an EastWest credit card can be a good option for you.
What you need is just an application form accomplished and submitted. You might want as well to get in touch with credit card agents out there to help you out with your application. That’s what I did!
More patience needed though, you may find that EastWest Bank still has more to improve in terms of their customer service and investment in digital technology. Let’s hope they read and listen to the reviews and feedback of their clients, particularly on their mobile app.