#FlyForFreeFaster with GetGo Unionbank Credit and Debit Cards

Last May, GetGo, Cebu Pacific‘s lifestyle rewards program, officially launched the GetGo Unionbank Credit and Debit cards that would earn points GetGo points faster (and therefore fly for free faster).

UnionBank GetGo Debit Card

At the launch, we had the chance to use the GetGo Unionbank Debit Card (which comes in a very cute aquamarine color) at R.O.X. If you’re not a big fan of credit cards (or can’t apply for one yet), this is a good alternative. Think of it as a prepaid card: just load it up, and use the amount you loaded to shop in physical stores or even online. You can also use it as an ATM card to withdraw cash, when you need it. For every Php 88 you spend, you get 1 GetGo point.

For faster point accumulation though, you can earn faster with the Gold and Platinum GetGo Unionbank VISA Credit Cards — you get 1 GetGo point per Php 30 spent. What’s more, all points accumulated within your billing cycle automatically gets transferred and converted to GetGo points at the end of the cycle. No more hassle of calling the bank to convert points, or worry about them expiring.

What’s even better is that if you use your credit or debit card to pay for your Cebu Pacific flight, you earn GetGo points from that purchase, not just the points from the ticket itself.

For example, if you booked a round-trip flight to Bangkok, you earn GetGo points not just from the base fare and add-ons, but also from the total amount (including taxes).

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.25.01 PM

Using this mock booking, you earn 1,809 GetGo Points (3,899 + 3,899 + 1,250 divided by 5). If you use the GetGo debit card to book this flight, you get an additional 124 GetGo points (10,934.06/88), or 364 GetGo points if you used your GetGo credit card.

As with the rest of the bloggers and writers who attended the launch, I was given both the debit and credit cards. I have only used the debit card twice: first at ROX, and then at lunch the following day. I continue to use it only to access Unionbank’s online banking facility so I can pay for the credit card.

UnionBank GetGo Credit Card

The GetGo Unionbank VISA Credit Card is widely accepted worldwide, and since it’s PayWave ready, it’s so easy to use. If you’re shopping at a merchant that has the PayWave NFC reader, paying for your goods is just a matter of tapping your card on the console. No more signatures, no PIN needed. If you’re worried about the security of your card, Unionbank sends out an alert email every time the card is used, so if you received an alert for a transaction you did not make, you can contact the bank immediately (without having to wait for your account statement at the end of the billing cycle).

I am in Melbourne right now, and will be here for the next couple of months. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to fly with Cebu Pacific and earn GetGo points from flights, so it’s great that I can still earn while I’m here. Since I arrived last July, I never had the need to exchange money or withdraw from the ATM, since credit card payments are widely accepted. Since I arrived, I have already managed to earn more than 1,000 GetGo points!

If you’re worried about ballooning debt, here’s what you do: don’t spend more than what you can afford and always pay the balance in full.

UnionBank GetGo Credit Card

GetGo Unionbank Platinum card holders also get additional perks: they get early alerts for all Cebu Pacific seat sales and exclusive sales priority check-in for Cebu Pacific flights, free 5kg extra baggage allowance on Cebu Pacific flights (provided you buy baggage allowance), and complimentary access to the MIASCOR Sky View lounge in Terminal 3.

To apply for either the GetGo Unionbank debit or credit card, visit their website at getgo.unionbankph.com/how-to-apply.

Review: Ocean Suites Bohol

I normally don’t travel during Philippine holidays, primarily because my work requires me to follow the US holidays, but also because I know everybody will be traveling then, and the prices go up. However, My birthday falls between Thanksgiving and Bonifacio Day this year, so when I chanced upon a Cebu Pacific seat sale, I quickly booked a trip to Bohol with my friends Sunshine and Bea.

Ocean Suites Bohol 00014

Just a couple of days after that, I received an email from Deal Grocer, asking me to choose among their hotel deals for an overnight stay. I was still in Bulusan that time (September), and won’t be back in Manila until the end of October, so I thought, why not use the voucher for a stay on my birthday, during our Bohol trip?
Continue reading Review: Ocean Suites Bohol

Dining options at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts are those places you enjoy too much and don’t want to leave, and Shangri-La Bangkok is no exception. Luckily, there’s a number of restaurants in the hotel where you can have a great meal.

Buffet Breakfast at Next2

Next2 Cafe is on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, where guests can have their buffet breakfast. They are also open for lunch and dinner, and an ala carte menu is also available.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok
Cereals, dried fruits, nuts, and cheeses
Continue reading Dining options at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Review: Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0

Last May, Asus launched the Zenfone 2 smartphone in the Philippines, and I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a unit to use and review. Though my review was based on just two days of use, I’ve continued using the unit until a couple of weeks when I received the Zenfone 2 Laser to review.

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 comparison

To easily differentiate between the two Zenfones in this review, I shall refer to my Zenfone 2 as Miss Satsuki.

First Impressions

I was given another red colored unit, and upon first sight, I thought it was identical to Miss Satsuki. The Laser is just slightly smaller though, measuring at 5 inches. Though I have gotten used to Miss Satsuki’s 5.5 inch screen, I have to admit the Laser is a more comfortable fit for my hands.
Continue reading Review: Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0

Review: Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Bangkok is one of my favorite cities to visit, and after several visits, I have already established some habits: staying at the same area, eating at the same places. For my recent trip, I knew I had to try something new, so when Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok offered me a great rate for a two night’s stay, I jumped at the opportunity.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok


The Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok is located at the banks of the Chao Phraya River. On my first visit to Bangkok, I was enthralled by the busy activity in the river — while it’s not the prettiest river to look at, I love how the locals use the river as part of their daily commute. It’s a river that’s teeming with life.

Though I often stayed in places away from the river, I love going there and riding the river express to Khao San Road or to visit the temples. I suppose as someone who lives in the city where the river is underutilized, this is somewhat a novelty that I indulge in when I travel.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

It was my first time to stay in Bangrak, and right after checking in, I was eager to explore the area, specially after reading that there’s a great restaurant that serves duck nearby. The area behind the hotel has plenty of shops that caters to the needs of the locals, rather than the tourists, and restaurant and food stalls frequented by office workers. It wasn’t a posh neighborhood, and the main road is really very busy, so you get a real feel of the local vibe.

Transportation to and from the hotel

For first timers to Bangkok, the hotel’s location by the river is ideal: it is right next to the Saphan Taksin BTS station, and within comfortable walking distance to the Sathorn Pier, which is the central pier of the Chao Phraya River Express boats.

The proximity to the BTS station means that you can conveniently go to the city center via the SkyTrain, while the pier means that The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Po, Wat Arun, and Chinatown are just one boat ride away.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

One note about the BTS though: there is no elevator going down to the ground level (at least, not near the Shangri-La exit), so if you took the train from the airport, you’ll have to lug your bags down the stairs. Also, it’s the Krungthep wing that is nearest to the BTS, so if you are staying at the Shangri-La Wing and are just about to check-in, they can arrange to have their tuk-tuk bring you to the Shangri-La Wing lobby. It was a really nice way to experience riding the tuk-tuk in Bangkok without having to worry about getting charged an exorbitant amount for a short ride.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

If you’d rather take the taxi though, the concierge can arrange for a taxi to come pick you up at the lobby. I was told that the hotel has its fleet of taxis, which means you won’t have to wait long for a ride. When a car comes, whether it’s a taxi or an Uber, the bellboys would talk to the driver to make sure that they know where your destination is. It’s a simple gesture that I really appreciate.

Deluxe Balcony Room

My room was a Deluxe Balcony Room on the 20th floor. Like all my previous rooms at the Shangri-La, it was spacious, has everything I needed for the short stay, and have a very luxurious bed.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

The bathroom, as always, was equally spacious, with a separate shower and tub. The shower stall has both the hand-held shower nozzle, which I prefer, and the overhead rain shower head, which others like, so it’s a victory for both camps.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

In this room, however, my favorite is the balcony. I had a beautiful, unobstructed view of the river and the surrounding Bangkok skyline. I can see the sun as it rose from the horizon, and had a glimpse of the splash of colors in the sky as it sets. I spent hours just sitting out at the balcony, munching on fruits and fudge as I watch the busy river traffic below. There was even a constant breeze, so it was pretty pleasant sitting outside.

Horizon Club and the Krungthep Wing

The Horizon Club rooms of the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok is from the 21st floor up in the Shangri-La Wing. Guests staying in these rooms have access to the Horizon Club Lounge, and have the option to have their breakfast there. They can also enjoy whole day access to the lounge, and evening cocktails and canapes.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok
The Horizon Club Lounge

All the rooms and suites in the Krungthep Wing have a river view balcony, and guests have access to the exclusive Riverside Lounge, and enjoy complimentary breakfast, afternoon high tea, early evening cocktails, and refreshing beverages all throughout the day, whether at the lounge or by the poolside.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok
Krungthep Wing Room

Shangri-La Hotels recently launched their Love Journey Deals where you can enjoy up to 40% off the published rates for certain months of the year. I checked the rates, and you can get a room in the Krungthep Wing for THB4,000+ per night, which is a pretty great deal! This is a limited online offer: you can get this rate only until November 11, 2015!

Coming up: Dining at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok