With the promo extended through 2022, more BDO credit cardholders may apply for and get a multiple-entry Korean visa!
- Stand a chance to get a South Korea multiple-entry visa if you apply with your BDO Gold or Elite credit card from January 2020 to December 2022.
- You will be exempted from submitting financial documents like the ITR and Bank Certificate.
- However, together with the other basic requirements, you must present your eligible credit card and hand in your original Monthly Billing Statements to your preferred designated travel agency.
- The BDO Korean Visa promotion was first announced in 2015 and is extended until December 31, 2022.
- To make the most of your 5-year multiple-entry visa (fingers crossed!), book your tours and activities using WAUG — the #1 travel activity booking platform from South Korea! Download the app here.
UPDATE: June 13, 2020
Who can I apply for a Korean visa? To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines currently only accepts applications for long-term visas. Tourist visa processing (C-3) is still on hold pending the easing of travel restrictions in the Philippines.
What are the enhanced visa criteria? Those who are eligible to apply for a Korean visa must comply to these requirements and mandatory quarantine. Moreover, successful applicants will no longer be issued a visa sticker in their passport beginning July 1. Upon arrival in South Korea, they must present a printed copy of their visa grant notice instead.
What if I have a valid Korean visa? Single-entry Korean visas that were issued on or before April 5, 2020 are no longer valid. You will need to apply for a new one. However, if you have a valid short-term multiple-entry Korean visa (5 years), you do not have to reapply. Conditions permitting, it can still be used in the future. For reference, you can read the Embassy’s detailed explanation here.
BDO Credit Cards That Qualify for the Extended Korean Visa Promo
From January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022, all active principal cardholders of BDO Elite and Gold Mastercard, Visa, JCB, UnionPay, and Diners Club Premier, as well as members of BDO-issued American Express Card, will enjoy the following benefits when they submit their tourist visa application:
- Opportunity to get a multiple-entry Korean visa that’s valid for up to 5 years (to be issued when traveling during the promotional period)
- Exemption from submitting financial requirements, like the ITR and Bank Certificate
Below is the list of eligible BDO credit cards for the Korean visa promotion:
BDO Gold Credit Cards
- Gold Visa Credit Card
- Gold Mastercard Credit Card
- American Express® Gold Credit Card
- Gold UnionPay Credit Card
- Gold JCB Credit Card
BDO Elite Credit Cards
- Platinum Visa
- Titanium, Platinum and World Elite Mastercard
- American Express® Platinum Credit Card
- Cathay Pacific American Express® Credit Card (Standard and Elite)
- American Express® International Dollar Charge Cards
- Diamond UnionPay
- Diners Club Premiere
- JCB Platinum
The promotion does not include Affinity cards, Distribution cards, Purchasing cards, Corporate Cards, and Installment cards.
How to Apply for a Multiple-Entry Korean Visa with a BDO Gold or Elite Credit Card
The process is pretty much the same for regular Korean visa applicants (or those not availing the promotion), except that you won’t have to worry about submitting financial requirements. Here are the steps:
1. Prepare the Korean visa requirements
Here are the general documents that you must submit:
- Application Form
- 1 Passport-size Photo
- Original Passport
- Photocopy of Passport Bio-page
- Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamp/s to any OECD-member country from the past 5 years, if applicable
- Monthly Billing Statements (MBS) from the past 3 months
- Provide the original billing statements that were mailed to you.
- If enrolled in Electronic MBS (or e-MBS), print out the latest statements. (Some travel agencies may request e-MBS enrollees to have their statements certified.)
- Photocopy of the eligible credit card
- Submit a copy of the front side of your credit card. (Some travel agencies may request a colored copy.)
- Other applicable documents:
- For employees: Also submit an original Certificate of Employment (COE)
- For business owners: Also prepare a copy of your DTI or SEC registration and a copy of your business permit
- PRC or IBP card, if applicable
- If invited by a Korean entity: Also submit their ID or business permit and a letter of invitation
If you want a description for each requirement, click here to read our detailed guide.
2. Contact an accredited travel agency
Unless you’ll personally submit your documents to the Consulate in Cebu, you must contact any of the following travel agencies that are designated to process Korean visa applications:
- Aboex Travel and Tours
- Adventure International Tours, Inc.
- Ark Travel Express Inc
- Blue Horizons Travel and Tours Inc.
- Budget Travel and Tours Inc.
- Casto Travel Philippines Inc.
- City Travel and Tours Corporation
- Come on Phils. Golf & Travel Agency Inc.
- Constellation Travels, Inc.
- First United Travel Inc.
- Getaway Tours International Inc.
- Grand Hope Travel and Tours
- H.I.S. (Philippines) Travel Corp.
- Hanatour Manila Inc.
- Hankookceb Corp.
- Horizon Travel and Tours, Inc.
- International Journeys Inc.
- JOINENJOY (Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.)
- JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
- KP Joeun Consultancy Inc.
- Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
- Marsman Drsydale Travel Inc.
- MNK Travel and Tours Corp.
- North Star International Travel, Inc.
- Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
- Party-on Travel and Tour Community Inc.
- Rajah Travel Corporation
- Rakso Air Travel and Tours Inc.
- Reli Tours and Travel Company
- Sharp Travel Service (Phils.) Inc.
- Swire Travel Philippines Inc.
- The Baron Travel Corporation
- Travel Pros
- TravelServices Inc.
- Uni-Orient Travel Inc.
Let them know that you are a qualified BDO credit cardholder who wants to avail the Korean visa promo.
3. Check your application result online
Once the Embassy makes an assessment of your Korean visa application, you can easily check the result online even before you claim your passport from your travel agent. Read our guide here about using the Korea Visa Portal. (If your application is approved, you will see if you were able to get a multiple-entry Korean visa!)
Experiences & Activities to Book with Your BDO Credit Card
Got plans to travel to Seoul? Make good use of the BDO Korean visa promo by booking these tours and activities from WAUG:
- The River Bella Cucina by Han River – around ₱1,700 before discount
- WAUG Exclusive: Ganghwa Seaside Resort Luge – around ₱550 before discount
- Han River E-Land Moonlight Cruise – around ₱850 before discount
- Nami Island Petite France Bus Tour – around ₱1,800 before discount
- Seoul Palace Tour – around ₱1,700 before discount
You can also check out these experiences that you can have in Hong Kong, Osaka, Paris, Shanghai, and Cebu!
- Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car – around ₱1,000 before discount
- WAUG Exclusive: Akiba Kart Osaka – around ₱3,000 before discount
- Eiffel Tower Climbing Tour – around ₱2,400 before discount
- Shanghai Disneyland® – around ₱3,500 before discount
- WAUG Pink One Piece Hopping Tour – around ₱2,400 before discount
Don’t have WAUG on your phone yet? Download it here.
FAQ: BDO Korean Visa Promo Extension
Below we’ve listed the commonly asked questions (and answers!) regarding the promotion, however you may always contact BDO or your chosen travel agency to get the most accurate responses for your inquiries.
1. Can BDO supplementary cardholders join the Korean visa promo?
As noted by BDO here, eligible cards are all active Principal BDO Elite and Gold Mastercard, Visa, JCB, UnionPay, Diners Club Premier Credit Cardholders and BDO-issued American Express Card members only.
2. How do I get certification for my printed electronic Monthly Billing Statements (MBS)?
You may request certification from the BDO Customer Contact Center.
3. Is there a chance that I won’t get approved? Is it possible that I’ll get a single-entry Korean visa instead of multiple-entry?
While we’ve found a lot of successful application stories, there were a few BDO cardholders that were still denied a Korean visa. The common reason for rejection was that their “purpose of entry has not been explained in detail.” This being the case, it is good to be reminded that while your credit card is a huge factor to your visa approval, other information such as your reason/s for taking the trip, background, and travel history will still be reviewed. If you’ll apply with your family, their status and details may also be taken into account.
Moreover, it’s not always the case that applicants get a multiple-entry visa for 5 years even if they are a qualified and a long-standing BDO cardholder. It all depends on the Embassy’s overall assessment, so be open to the possibility of getting a single-entry Korean visa or a multiple-entry with a shorter validity period.
Here are some relevant terms listed in the promo mechanics provided by BDO:
“BDO does not in any way guarantee the issuance of any Visa, which issuance shall be left at the sole discretion of the Korean Embassy…”
“BDO shall not be in any way be held responsible for the issuance or non issuance of any Visa to BDO Credit Cardholders by the Korean Embassy…”
4. Can I still submit my ITR and Bank Certificate even if they are waived for BDO Korean Visa promo participants?
Yes, you can! If you think these financial documents will help your application, go for it.
All the best!
We wish you well in your application! If you have any questions or suggestions, share them below!