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  • 1 Post By tparker
  • 1 Post By UK/HKboy
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First Credit Card

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    859

    First Credit Card

    Am going to bite the bullet and apply for my first credit card tomorrow. (Caveat: I very temporarily "had" one but ended up cancelling and cutting it up without spending anything). The primary aim is to tether my phone bill and Octopus.

    There might also be a spot of (local only) internet shopping. Is it possible to apply for a credit card that lets me pay with GBP.?

    Any tips to make it as cost effective/least expensive as possible would be appreciated, thanks. What do you look for when you apply for one? Would prefer a 0% interest card.

    I bank with Hang Seng/BOC. I have downloaded and am actively using the Yuu point accumulation app. would an enJoy Card be the best course of action?

    FWIW. Would prefer Hang Seng. Don't really care for discounts/air miles etc.

    Last edited by angeluscomplex; 10-08-2020 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    289

    I often see people using EPS at the supermarket, and have wondered what reasons everyone has for not using a credit card? Genuinely curious.

    If the bill is settled on time then interest is 0% anyways - so just don't pay late. If one has cash for EPS, surely one can mentally set it aside for bill repayment?

    Meanwhile I find an itemised monthly bill useful, and of course the cash back is a bonus. Also helps in certain situations e.g. avoiding a deposit with some mobile carriers, online shopping etc... (though I suppose it's a bit better now with PayMe and various virtual cards?).

    Anyways... the Enjoy card is fine. I suppose more useful now that Yuu replaced Octopus Rewards, and the 8% off at Wellcome on 3/13/23rd of each months is a bonus. Probably easier to apply if you already bank there.

    Otherwise HSBC can give quite high cash rebates, if you can be bothered to navigate the rules, but you already mentioned you don't care for those anyways.

    angeluscomplex likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    859
    Quote Originally Posted by tparker:
    I often see people using EPS at the supermarket, and have wondered what reasons everyone has for not using a credit card? Genuinely curious.

    If the bill is settled on time then interest is 0% anyways - so just don't pay late. If one has cash for EPS, surely one can mentally set it aside for bill repayment?

    Meanwhile I find an itemised monthly bill useful, and of course the cash back is a bonus. Also helps in certain situations e.g. avoiding a deposit with some mobile carriers, online shopping etc... (though I suppose it's a bit better now with PayMe and various virtual cards?).

    Anyways... the Enjoy card is fine. I suppose more useful now that Yuu replaced Octopus Rewards, and the 8% off at Wellcome on 3/13/23rd of each months is a bonus. Probably easier to apply if you already bank there.

    Otherwise HSBC can give quite high cash rebates, if you can be bothered to navigate the rules, but you already mentioned you don't care for those anyways.
    EPS. is important because HK. is essentially a cash-focused place, majority of shops are cash only, the MTR. only accepts cash for top-ups, taxis accept cash only, you get the drift. Most locals are cash obsessed, you can see the difference when comparing and contrasting HK. with China, US. and UK. people here prefer going to shops and paying in cash as opposed to using their phone(s) or ordering things online from Amazon etc. It's especially convenient to use EPS. for cash if the nearest ATM. is too far/ not supported by your bank (HSBC. vs. BOC etc.) or has a queue (AKA.MTR. at rush hours).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by tparker:
    I often see people using EPS at the supermarket, and have wondered what reasons everyone has for not using a credit card? Genuinely curious.

    If the bill is settled on time then interest is 0% anyways - so just don't pay late. If one has cash for EPS, surely one can mentally set it aside for bill repayment?

    Meanwhile I find an itemised monthly bill useful, and of course the cash back is a bonus. Also helps in certain situations e.g. avoiding a deposit with some mobile carriers, online shopping etc... (though I suppose it's a bit better now with PayMe and various virtual cards?).

    Anyways... the Enjoy card is fine. I suppose more useful now that Yuu replaced Octopus Rewards, and the 8% off at Wellcome on 3/13/23rd of each months is a bonus. Probably easier to apply if you already bank there.

    Otherwise HSBC can give quite high cash rebates, if you can be bothered to navigate the rules, but you already mentioned you don't care for those anyways.
    There is always a psychology of spending money you don't have. It seems to be more of a traditional Chinese way of thinking?

    Its a bit like gambling. What you have to do with a credit card is very logical (spend within your means and pay it off by the deadline). But like gambling, not everyone has that self discipline. For them, using an EPS is better, because they can only spend what money they have.
    angeluscomplex likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    234

    I still find it really annoying to have to tot up what my actual cash position is and to add back the credit card balance, while factoring in when the payment will go through.

    But yeah, the reward points and discounts make up for that annoyance, and I guess all the EPS users are essentially helping pay for that (as the credit card charges are surely built into the excessive prices on everything here). Always a nice surprise to remember about rewardcash and then offset it against a meal out etc. to make it "free".

    However if OP really wants to pay in GBP I'd recommend the Halifax card with no foreign exchange fees... It's still my go-to emergency card as it's bailed me out so many times when overzealous HSBC policies have declined my card when I'm abroad or somewhere "suspicious"


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Hong Kong
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    Quote Originally Posted by UK/HKboy:
    There is always a psychology of spending money you don't have. It seems to be more of a traditional Chinese way of thinking?
    This raises an interesting cultural question. My (limited) time in the UK, albeit surrounded by tight-budgeted students and over a decade ago, gave me the impression that borrowing was very much in the trend: more from loans / overdrafts perhaps, but maxing out credit cards wasn't unknown. It wasn't just students. I could have a skewed impression.

    Meanwhile Asians do have a reputation for gambling - i've known many who threw away so much - but that's actual gambling. Many are also known to be shrewd and savvy. Calculating reward points, payment schedules, navigating coupons and keeping track of discounts - is also very much Chinese. For locals, I feel it's less a matter of "spending money you don't have" but more "squeezing every penny out of your purchase". A penny saved is a penny earned.

    Having a credit card is not really gambling, but I do appreciate not everyone has that self discipline. In these cases, knowing one's own weakness and pre-empting financial ruin is, of course, prudent.

  7. #7
    bdw
    bdw is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by tparker:
    This raises an interesting cultural question. My (limited) time in the UK, albeit surrounded by tight-budgeted students and over a decade ago, gave me the impression that borrowing was very much in the trend: more from loans / overdrafts perhaps, but maxing out credit cards wasn't unknown. It wasn't just students. I could have a skewed impression.

    Meanwhile Asians do have a reputation for gambling - i've known many who threw away so much - but that's actual gambling. Many are also known to be shrewd and savvy. Calculating reward points, payment schedules, navigating coupons and keeping track of discounts - is also very much Chinese. For locals, I feel it's less a matter of "spending money you don't have" but more "squeezing every penny out of your purchase". A penny saved is a penny earned.

    Having a credit card is not really gambling, but I do appreciate not everyone has that self discipline. In these cases, knowing one's own weakness and pre-empting financial ruin is, of course, prudent.
    Credit cards are very much on the decline here in Australia. Usage peaked around 2015 and has been going down ever since. Debit cards are very popular now, and then you can tack on afterpay, zippay, and all these other new services on top to give you "buy now, pay later", interest free days, etc.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    EPS... it conveniences someone to draw cash from Mannings/the supermarket for a cab ride or street food to go or to pay bills/services at government offices/hospital desk.

    Not everyone is eligible to apply for a credit card. Some have had bad credit or don’t want to be digitally traced (tax evasions, bankruptcies, self-employment...name it). However, I find it easier and quicker to apply for it here than abroad.

    angeluscomplex likes this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    48

    Another option for the OP would be one of the MasterCard franchise Debit Cards. The most popular are TapNGo - available from any 7-11 I think and NEAT. Both work on the same principle - you transfer cash in from your bank and then spend it.

    I got one for my daughter when she made her first solo trip to the UK last year. She now uses it to pay for her Spotify subscription and her own on-line shopping rather than hassling me

    I got myself a Neat card at the same time and use it online and in places where Octopus & EPS don't work. I save my credit card for regular monthly subscriptions and bigger purchases.The fact that Neat has an app is great - instant notifications and more detail than my HSBC credit card statement.

    A final bonus is the ability to cancel the card instantly. I had my wallet lifted from my bag in Central a couple of months ago. I cancelled the card in minutes and was able to watch the thief fail to use it in a TST Starbucks half an hour later.