My UnionBank GetGo Debit Card Review
Banking,  PERSONAL FINANCE

My Unionbank GetGo Debit Card Review: Not Worth It?



This UnionBank GetGo Debit Card Review tells you my personal experience in getting the UnionBank Getgo Debit Card. This also includes the perks and downsides of getting one as well as the process of the application and online banking registration.

But first, what is UB’s GetGo Debit Card?


What is UnionBank GetGo debit card?

UnionBank GetGo Debit Card Review



Unionbank’s GetGo debit card is the first and only debit card that lets you earn GetGo points. You can earn points for purchasing and doing business transactions using this card. Usually, only credit cards have this feature. 

If you’re wondering about the differences between a debit and a credit card, you can check my previous post: Is getting a credit card a wise choice?



UB’s GetGo debit card comes with a GetGo account. Your points will automatically be transferred to this account. You can then use your accumulated points to book FREE flights with Cebu Pacific!

This may sound interesting especially if you’re fond of traveling. But before creating an account, I strongly suggest weighing its perks and downsides first.


Pros and Cons of Getting the Unionbank GetGo Debit Card

1. Why should you get a Unionbank GetGo Debit Card?

1.1 One-Day ATM Processing

If you apply for ATM cards in any PH bank, it usually takes 7 banking days to get your physical ATM card. That’s after your bank account application has been approved. The process of applying for a PH bank account is quite tiring, to be honest. Not to mention the long queue you have to surpass during the application process. 

UnionBank’s email after successful online registration



But with UB’s GetGo Debit Card, you can get your ATM card immediately after your successful online application. You just have to go to any UB’s physical branch and present your application reference ID and a valid ID. I got mine in more or less 10 minutes!

Accepted IDs for UnionBank GetGo Debit Card Application
  1. Passport (Note: Mandatory for foreigners)
  2. PRC ID
  3. NBI Clearance (Note: must include receipt)
  4. GSIS e-card / GSIS ID (membership ID)/ Unified Multipurpose ID (UMID)
  5. SSS ID/ Unified Multipurpose ID (UMID)
  6. SSS ID/ Unified Multipurpose ID (UMID)
  7. IBP ID
  8. School ID (Note: along with the registration for the current school year and birth certificate)
  1. ID issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs
  2. Driver’s License
  3. Senior Citizen Card
  4. Government office and GOCC ID
  5. Company ID issued by private entities or institutions registered with or supervised or regulated either by the BSP, SEC or IC (Note: ID must match employer indicated in the application form)
  6. PhilHealth Insurance Card ng Bayan
  7. Overseas Workers Welfare Administration ID
  8. OFW ID
  9. Seaman’s Book
  10. Alien Certificate of Registration/ Immigrant Certificate of Registration
  11. Postal ID (Note: Old Postal IDs must be issued by Post Office of the Residence indicated in the Application Form)
  12. Voter’s ID
  13. TIN

IMPORTANT: If your ID does not show your current address, please bring any of the following supporting documents for verification:

  • Credit card statement of account
  • Electricity, water, or telecommunications bill

1.2 Better Dollar Conversion Rate 

My very reason for getting this card was to take advantage of UnionBank’s better dollar conversion rate. I am a part-time online freelancer and I’m receiving my pay in my local bank accounts. Yet basically, that also means being charged with high USD to Peso conversion rates.

Now, if you happen to receive $$$ as well, opening a bank account in UB will help you maximize your $$$. And having the UnionBank’s GetGo Debit Card is one of the easiest ways of opening an account in UB.

1.3 Get Flight Discounts

If you’re a wanderer, you can take advantage of the 10% discount on points when booking flights with GetGo. You’ll also get early alerts to Cebu pacific and GetGo seat sales!

1.4 GetGo Points Accumulation

Now, this is the very advantage of getting this debit card. You earn 1 point for every P 100 spent using your UB GetGo Debit Card. The points you’ve earned will automatically be credited to your GetGo account at the beginning of each succeeding month.

UB will give you a separate GetGo card. If you have an existing account with GetGo, you can also give your account number so the previous points you’ve earned will be accumulated. In the later section, I’ll expound how you’ll be able to earn and redeem your GetGo points.

1.5 No Maintaining Balance

Unionbank’s Regular Savings Account requires a maintaining balance of P 10,000. They also have a Personal Savings Account that does not require a maintaining balance. However, it has an annual card fee of P 350.

The UnionBank GetGo Debit Account does not require a maintaining balance to activate your account. However, there’s an annual membership fee of P 500. The advantage of this card is your ability to participate in Cebu Pacific’s GetGo rewards program.

2. What are the downsides of getting this card?

2.1 ATM fees

This is one of the biggest turn-offs for this particular debit account. There are ATM fees for balance inquiries and withdrawals ranging from P10 to $3 (P150) per ATM transaction. But you can save yourself from some of these fees by registering your account to UB’s online app. 

2. 3 Annual Membership Fee

Most debit cards in the Philippines do not charge annual fees, only maintaining balance. UB’s GetGo debit card, however, charges you P 500 a year for the membership fee. But don’t worry, you’ll be waived for this fee in your first year. UB will start charging this fee exactly a year after you opened an account. And that will continue for the years onwards. 

Summary of GetGo Debit card fees and charges

Balance Requirement
Initial DepositNONE
Maintaining Balance Requirement (MBR)NONE
Minimum ADB to Earn InterestP10,000
Interest Rate0.10 % (for accounts with ADB of P10,000 and above subject to withholding tax)
Annual FeeP500
Inactivity Charges
No Transaction Penalty (no transaction for one year)P200 per month starting on the end of 12th month of inactivity until the account becomes dormant
Dormancy Charge (no transaction for two years)P500 per month starting on the end of 24th month of inactivity
ATM Withdrawals
UnionBank ATMsP10
Non-UnionBank ATMs within the PhilippinesP12
International VISA Plus ATM
Balance Inquiry$1
Withdrawal$3
Withdrawal Declined Due to Insufficient Funds$1
OTC Withdrawal Convenience FeeP100
Fund Transfer (Outward)
Send Electronic Funds Transfer to Another UnionBank AccountNONE
Send Electronic Funds Transfer to Other BanksNONE
Fund Transfer (Inward)
Receive Electronic Funds Transfer From Another CEBU PACIFIC GETGO AccountNONE
Receive Electronic Funds Transfer > From Another UnionBank AccountNONE
Receive Electronic Funds Transfer > From Another BankNONE
Based on UnionBank GetGo Debit Card Fees and Charges

Is it really a wise decision to open a Unionbank GetGo Debit Card?

Honestly, I really find opening a UB GetGo Account beneficial. As an online freelancer myself, I can take advantage of UB’s better USD to peso conversion rate. I can also benefit from this debit card’s GetGo rewards program.

But if I have to put myself in other people’s perspectives, specifically those who just want to open a bank account the earliest possible way, I don’t really think it is a wise choice.  

Assuming you use a domestic ATM twice a month and an international one twice a year, that’s already P 540 a year. Add the annual fee and it will total P 1,040 a year. 

Now, let’s do the Math!

Offsetting Fees with GetGo Points

Maybe you’re thinking of offsetting your fees through its GetGo reward program. I actually did some digging up on the peso equivalent of one GetGo point. I compared the usual airline fare to the GetGo points needed to book flights for free. One GetGo point’s peso equivalent greatly varies but on average, it’s roughly 50 centavos per GetGo point. 

Now, in order to offset that P 1,040, you need to spend around P 208,000. Now, think about that. That’s breaking even the fees alone. You still have to spend more than P 208,000 a year to actually consider this card profitable. The good thing about the GetGo points, though, is it does not expire. 

You have to take note, however, that the figures I laid recently are just safe assumptions. You have, of course, a different spending habit so I suggest calculating the possible amount of GetGo points you can acquire based on your spending patterns in GetGo’s points calculator:


Visit https://www.getgo.com.ph/flyforfreefaster to calculate your GetGo points


How to apply for UnionBank GetGo Debit Card?

1

Ready your requirements

Have at least two (2) Photo-Bearing ID

2

Complete their online form

Go to UnionBank’s website (https://getgo.unionbankph.com/debit-card) and select APPLY NOW.

3

Save your application reference ID

You’ll receive an email containing your application reference ID. Make sure to take note of it.

4

Go to nearest UB branch

Go to the nearest UnionBank branch and bring two valid IDs. Also, take note of your TIN number and application reference ID. They’re going to ask it from you.



Based on experience, I waited for my UnionBank GetGo debit card for around 10 minutes. UB printed the debit card with my name on it. Since I have no GetGo account, I also received the GetGo card. If you have an existing GetGo account, just tell the bank teller to link your debit card there. 



I can’t stress this enough but once you get your cards, make sure to ask for the terms and conditions of both cards. And of course, read those afterwards! Everything you need to know including the fees and GetGo points accumulation and redemption are all in there.

How do I activate my Union Bank GetGo debit card?

Basically, once you have your physical debit card on hand, it is already activated. You can even start depositing to your UB GetGo account. 

How to register GetGo card online

UB’s bank teller told me that it will still take 24 hrs before I can register my UB GetGo Debit Account to UB’s online app. That’s after getting the physical card. But I encountered errors in the first three days saying my account does not exist and I have to contact UB instead.

But I guess my account just hasn’t been recognized by their online system yet. So I tried a week after opening an account and my debit account was successfully added on UB’s mobile app.

To register your debit account online, just follow these steps:

Step 1: Login to your UnionBank mobile App. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can follow the same process I made for UnionBank Personal Savings Account.

Step 2: On your UB dashboard, Click ADD beside the ACCOUNTS and select ACCOUNT NUMBER.

Step 3: Input your 12-digit UnionBank GetGo debit account number.

Step 4: Enter the OTP you’ll receive in your mobile number.

Note: You can find your account number on your debit card. Look for the 12 digits below your name. (The 16-digit at the center of your card is your card number.)

Here are the snaps of the actual process:


UnionBank GetGo Debit Card FAQs

You can deposit money on your account at any UB branch, Interbank Fund Transfer, Paypal,  GCash, and via Bancnet ATMs. You can also use UnionBank’s Cash Deposit Acceptance Machines located at selected UnionBank branches.

Source: https://getgo.unionbankph.com/faqs

Your GetGo debit card is just like any other debit card. You can use it for usual purchases like buying groceries, shopping (online and offline), paying bills, paying online subscriptions, funding online investments, etc.  

The thing that separates this debit card from others, however, is pretty obvious. It allows you to accumulate GetGo points with every acknowledged transaction you make which I’ll enumerate below. 

All VISA purchases at or payments made to establishments including but not limited to the following are eligible to earn GetGo points:

  1. Gasoline stations
  2. Online purchases
  3. Drugstores
  4. Supermarket

You will earn 1 GetGo Point for every P 88 spend using your UnionBank GetGo Debit Card.

Note: This is based on Terms and Conditions under the Rewards Program Eligibility for GetGo Points Accumulation. I highly suggest asking for your own copy of the terms and conditions after while getting your physical card.

Transactions that will not earn GetGo Points

Fees and Charges

  1. Annual Fee(s)
  2. ATM Withdrawals
  3. Automatic Debit Arrangements (ADAs)
  4. Transactions routed via Bancnet
  5. Additional Account Fees and Charges assessed by the bank

Purchases for business transactions

  1. Wholesale – warehouse clubs, online wholesale stores and similar merchants
  2. Fleet – fuel, service, consumables, and other expenses related to maintenance of vehicles for commercial purposes
  3. Distribution – pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, dealers, networking or multi-level marketing
  4. Other purchases that may be deemed as business transactions
  5. Gaming transactions

Other GetGo Points Accumulation Conditions

  1. GetGo points accrue in the account holder’s name only.
  2. Points earned are non-transferable.
  3. Points earned on other UnionBank accounts under the same Account Holder’s name such as credit cards and other debit cards cannot be used or combined for redemption.
  4. GetGo points earned shall not expire as long as the account remains current and active.
  5. UnionBank reserves the right to forfeit GetGo points if determined that the cardholder has abused or violated the provisions stated in GetGo Points Accumulation’s terms and conditions.
  6. UnionBank may at any time, amend the terms and conditions.

Note: This is based on Terms and Conditions under the Rewards Program Eligibility for GetGo Points Accumulation.

There is no redemption process required to convert your card points to GetGo points. Your earned points will be automatically transferred to your enrolled GetGo account every first week of the following month.

To view your accumulated GetGo points, you can log on to www.GetGo.com.ph or call +632 71-GetGo (43846).

For the step-by-step guide on how to redeem your GetGo points, visit GetGo’s Help Center.



Unionbank getgo debit card review: Do I recommend it?

GetGo points can only be used to redeem free flights. Now, if you’re a homebody who has no plans of traveling, why care about getting GetGo points in the first place? Not mention that this debit card requires an annual fee and has ATM transaction fees.

If you just want to open a bank account with UnionBank without opting to maintain their regular savings’ maintaining balance of P 10,000, then I would highly suggest opening Unionbank’s Personal Savings account instead. That account still has an annual fee. Yet compared to UB’s GetGo Debit Card, you can save more on the fees using the personal savings account.

Now, if you are convinced that this debit card is still worth a try, I actually found something that gave me second thoughts on whether it is worthy to renew this card.

A post by Rupert on dreamtravelonpoints.com says that getting Union Bank GetGo Visa Credit Card is more cost-effective and rewarding than this debit card.

Unionbank GetGo Debit Card other options


In fact, there are a lot more options to accumulate GetGo points other than UB’s GetGo Debit Card. Just check it yourself on GetGo’s website.

Bottomline

I have already laid all the advantages and disadvantages of having this card. Try to weigh those out AGAIN. Because honestly, after all the important details I realized after opening an account, I don’t think I would renew this one. Anyway, I still have the UnionBank Personal Savings Account so I might use that account instead.

But if you feel like the benefits still overpower the extra $$$ you have to shave off, then go ahead and open one. I would appreciate it if you get back to this post and tell your own experience as well.

Sheila is a civil engineer by profession but has switched careers to become a copywriter. She loves making sales through stories that are relatable to the average person. She's also a sucker for memes and thinks she’s the funniest person in the world (even though she knows that’s not true). Her favorite drink is Kopiko Brown coffee, but she'll also take tea or beer if it's offered.

5 Comments

  • John H.

    I agree, the annual fee is so not worth it. Even the members-exclusive flight discounts, when they are on sale, are appalling. And also not to mention their customer service, or lack thereof. I’ve been requesting for more than a year for the resolution of a very uncomplicated issue and they still haven’t fixed it, rendering my card useless for online purchases—they just can’t get simple things done. Seriously. Goodbye, Unionbank! Never trusting my money to you again.

    • Sheila

      Hi John,

      Yeah we actually share the same thoughts. UB also seems to lack in providing a timely online customer service, which is very important nowadays. Though I still use one of my UB accounts since UB is very seamless when it comes to local and intl transactions.

  • HabibiWifeyAdventure

    I do have the exact card and you can actually get away with the annual fee if you don’t get their physical card at all … as per my understanding is you will only be charged when you get your physical card … then, kapag nakapag maintain ka ng 12k per month sa account #maintainingbalance of some sort is hindi ka rin mabibill ng annual fee…. if I need cash… I transfer money to my gcash kasi FREE naman and charge… so far, wala pang excess fees na nacocollect sa akin si UB hehehehe sarrey. ^_^ …. so far, happy ako with UB and them integrating free transfers sa GCash

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