The pros and cons of the GCash American Express Virtual Pay

gcash amex

The premise of the Globe GCash American Express virtual card is pretty simple: for a P250 annual subscription fee, GCash gives you a virtual United States-based American Express credit card that’s funded by your GCash Wallet. You can then use the virtual credit card and its accompanying details (credit card number, security code, and expiry date and US-based billing and shipping address and telephone number) to shop at websites that don’t ship to the Philippines. The US address is offered in partnership with My Shopping Box, a company that accepts packages on your behalf and ships them to your Philippine address for an additional fee. Now, the GCash American Express virtual card is NOT new – it was launched last October 2012 – but this was my first time to use it.

How to register and how it works:

Here are the pros and cons based on my experience so far:

The good:
1. It works! I’ve already used it twice and it really does work like a credit card. However, please note that I had the packages sent to my aunt instead of MSB so I can’t comment on MSB just yet. The peso equivalent is deducted real-time from your GCash wallet.

EDIT: I have since used My Shopping Box to deliver several orders. I would only recommend using MSB if you are shipping small, high value items via air. Their rates for sea cargo are okay but they take a very, very long time to deliver. Most sea freight forwarders take 30-40 days to deliver to Metro Manila. In comparison, MSB takes 50++ days. My last sea delivery order left the US on December 15 and I received it on February 8.

The cons:
1. The GCash dollar-peso exchange rate is hideously high. The first time I used it, their exchange rate was $1 = PhP 46 compared to the BPI MasterCard rate of PhP 44. This problem was fixed by my third transaction, when their rate was “only” 50 centavos higher than BPI MasterCard. I hope this remains the case and was not a fluke.

2. The card and your transactions may get flagged as possible fraud and canceled. This happened during my second order with the same website. My first order worth $100 went through just fine. However, my second order worth $440 was flagged and canceled. This was because the card’s US billing address did not match my IP address, which was obviously in the Philippines. I got around this by placing my order via phone (and paying international call rates) instead of ordering online. Now, I’m not sure if the card number is permanently flagged and thus unusable or if they flag on a per-order basis. Sigh.

My tip: keep the order total low. If you can afford to, break it up into several smaller orders.

3. In the event of order cancellation, the credit back to your GCash Wallet is INFURIATINGLY SLOW. MY GAWD. Remember how my $440 order got canceled? I couldn’t fault the website because they were only protecting themselves from fraud. Their customer service agent was very helpful and was the one who suggested that I place my orders via phone in the future. However, I WILL and CAN fault GCash and Globe for their fucked-up system that takes 3 FREAKING MONTHS to credit back MY MONEY. The GCash funds were deducted the second I clicked “Check Out” but Globe is going to take 3 FREAKING MONTHS to credit back the funds after my order was canceled. HOLY HELL.

So yes, take note.

Overall, the GCash American Express virtual card is definitely a nice thing to have for as long as nothing goes wrong. Once something goes south… good luck with that.

107 thoughts on “The pros and cons of the GCash American Express Virtual Pay

  1. Arb

    thanks for this helpful review, reading through your experience. I too was planning to try amex but I might change my mind.

    1. Macy Post author

      My workaround for the IP address issue was to create a new US-based Paypal account and link the GCash Amex card to Paypal. That way, the site I’m ordering from doesn’t flag the order as fraud because the payment goes through Paypal instead of direct charge to the credit card πŸ™‚ I’ve used this on an order worth $170 and it worked just fine.

      Another option would be to install an IP address blocker like Hotspot Shield that will give you a US IP address.

      1. Ellen

        Hi Macy! I don’t know if this thread is still active. I hope so. After you linked your Gcash amex to paypal, how did you confirm your mobile number? Is it okay to leave it incomplete? I used Gcash Amex for the very first time on macys.com but my order was cancelled. The agent told me it’s because of the billing address. They can’t verify it. I plan to use a US-based Paypal for future purchases.I already linked the Gcash amex card to my paypal but my profile on it is still at 80%. Thanks!

        1. Macy Post author

          To use the GCash AMEX for US purchases, you need to link it to a US PayPal account. For the phone number in the PayPal account, use the phone number that was given with the US shipping address

  2. side-fish

    I think the time it takes them to refund varies. Globe GCASH accidentally deducted twice my purchase from amazon. I don’t recall, but they said their return policy can usually take as long as 6 months. And I’m like wut? I wanted to ask why it would take them so long. I was worried that if I called 6 months later, they might forget by that time, so I kept calling them at least once a week.

    In the end, I got my money back 28 days later. Yours may have taken longer because of the amount involved.

    By the way, shipping by sea through MSB will probably not take longer than 45 days. If I recall correctly, mine arrived 44 days later after my package left the MSB address. I read from another site about another guy using MSB and he got his package roughly the same time frame. So yes, it is an agonizingly long wait. Shipping by air takes 5 or 10 days from what I heard (also from that site I believe).

    1. Macy Post author

      Yes the refund time varies. It’s happened to me several times ready (sadness!) and the usual turnaround time is 14 days.

      Ah so MBS is basically a freight forwarder that consolidates people’s small orders into a big container so that they don’t have to fill the container on their own.

      1. Macy Post author

        That doesn’t work. The US address provided by the GCash AMEX card can only be used to fund a US Paypal account. To verify a Philippine account without a local credit card, you’re better off with a debit card or prepaid credit card like those offered by BPI.

  3. Allen

    As an aside, GCASH AMEX also enables postpaid users to puchase up to P500 worth of iOS/Android/BB apps to be put on top of their monthly bill (source: https://mygcash.globe.com.ph/gcashamex). Galing no?

    Anyway, ordered a Kinivo BTH220 Bluetooth headphone via GCASH AMEX recently, yun lang kasi afford ko now. Just waiting for it to arrive. πŸ™‚

  4. Julius

    Hi Macy, what can you say if my only intention to get the GCash Amex is for local online shops like metrodeal? will my money gets blown by the fee or conversion (if there’s any) or any charges?

    for us shopping, how much does it cost for MBS delivery?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Macy Post author

      Hi Julius,

      I would NOT recommend using the GCash Amex for local online purchases. Their conversion rate isn’t very good. Try getting a Visa debit card or a BPI prepaid credit card instead.

      I haven’t used MBS to ship items yet so I’m not sure about the current prices. But if I remember right, it’s about $2 per pound for sea freight and $7-8 per pound for air cargo.

  5. baglady38

    Hi Macy. Ive been planning to use my card at macy’s and have the items delivered to my cuzins US address instead of msb. Is this possible?

  6. Rich Torres

    May bayad ba ang U.S billing address? Im using g-cash kasi at nakalink sa bpi globe banko ko. May deduction ba kapag nagregister sa amex virtual pa yun? Thanks.

  7. Apple Pie

    hi, just wanna ask how were you able to reach a live person from their hotline? I tried 2882 and their landline but can find no way to talk to a rep. I need to process a refund too. thanks:)

    1. Macy Post author

      I just called the 2882 hotline πŸ™‚ There’s an option there somewhere to talk to a representative. They’ll tell you to email their staff your name, GCash AMEX card number, the items you purchased, the website where you got them from, the total peso amount charged to you, and the official emails from the merchant regarding the placement of your order and why the order was subsequently cancelled πŸ™‚

  8. Apple Pie

    i don’t know if it’s a problem with my phone but I can’t get to that point. Can give me the options to press? Thanks

  9. Ally

    @APPLE PIE – I am having the same problem as you! I went through all the options, English and Taglish and there is simply no option to tak to a rep!

  10. Chuck

    Hi, i was wondering how you can use a US paypal account with unconfirmed address with gcash amex. I did this but paypal said my account is limited so i cant use it for payment online. Thanks.

    1. Macy Post author

      Actually, yes you can πŸ™‚ I was able to pay using US Paypal and linked to GCash AMEX. It’s just considered “limited” because you did not link it with a US bank account. If you want to confirm the address, have an order shipped to My Shopping Box first.

  11. ric

    pano po kung hindi ako nag followup sa gcash about sa refund?na-nacancel kung order?automatic bang maibabalik yung cash ko?

    1. Macy Post author

      No you cannot. The Paypal registration is dependent on your shipping address and the credit card used for verification. Paypal US and Paypal Philippines also have different verification methods.

      1. jon

        You’re right because US paypal needs to be verified with bank account while philippine paypal needs creditcard or debit card in order to be verified but how can you use this gcash amex if its only intended for US paypal? did you use vpn to create US paypal account? It’s kind of risk thing to do.

  12. jon

    You’re right because US paypal needs to be verified with bank account while philippine paypal needs creditcard or debit card in order to be verified but how can you use this gcash amex if its only intended for US paypal? did you use vpn to create US paypal account? It’s kind of risk thing to do.

  13. Tony

    What a well-written post! Great on you author! Though may I add lang din na you can now book seats on Philippine Airlines (PAL) using GCASH AMEX. It’s a wonderful virtual service. πŸ™‚

    1. Macy Post author

      Theoretically yes but depending on the security measures of the website you’re ordering from, your order might get flagged as possible fraud and canceled. This is because your shipping address is in the US but your IP address is in the Philippines.

  14. renz david

    Can i ask. Im playing iruna online for andriod phone or apple.. I have amex vcc and inputed it to purchase coins in the game but.. It say currency does not support? I dont know why.

  15. miel

    I’m curious .. I’ll just ask if do you think we can use the amex card no. for receiving payments? I tried contacting 2882 but they’re line always got an automated response.. i even went to a globe store to ask about it but no one has any idea.. tsk

  16. GreatKanang

    This is so helpful! I plan to buy anything fro US just to try amex gcash. Now i know that it work, so i need to be serious what to buy now . Thank you for this! Godbless!

      1. MAI

        Paano po when you still have balance available in your GCash wallet. Di ba madededuct automatically if there will be charges like maintaining fee or whatsoever?

  17. Len

    Hi. I am planning to use this service. However, if I use the GCASH AMEX card, you said that the paypal account will remain unverified. I want an item on ebay but the seller said that she will only ship to a verified paypal address. So hows that? If I will put my PH address, she will ship to the PH which will cost me a lot. What is your suggestion on this?

    1. Andy

      You can use GCASH AMEX to verify your paypal account. Once you have linked your amex to your paypal… send an email to globe and request for your 4pin digit that’s going to be use for the paypal verification.

      As for putting up PH address, if the online store’s going to accept “custom delivery address”, then it’s possible… I’ve done it several times and works great.

    2. Macy Post author

      In my case, another eBay seller was willing to ship even to an unverified address. Once you have a successful delivery to your MSB address, Paypal will record it as a verified address.

  18. duanetan10

    Hi! Can you further explain the process of linking your Gcash to Paypal? How do you do that? May Paypal na ako. So, gagawa ba ako ng bagong account na may ibang address? Thank you TT

  19. Kissel

    Hi Macy! Clarify ko lang sana itong statement, “Actually, yes you can. I was able to pay using US Paypal and linked to GCash AMEX. It’s just considered β€œlimited” because you did not link it with a US bank account. If you want to confirm the address, have an order shipped to My Shopping Box first.

    When you made an account with Paypal US, ang address na ii-input is yung bigay ng MSB? Tapos yung US bank account that you mentioned here is GCash Amex? And if na-verify na nung Paypal US ang Gcash Amex account, hindi na magiging limited ang amount ng online purchase?

    Thanks! πŸ™‚

    1. Macy Post author

      As mentioned earlier, GCash AMEX (American Express) is a CREDIT CARD, not a bank account πŸ™‚ You will link this virtual credit card to your Paypal US account.

      Yes you use the MSB address as your US address for Paypal.

      “Limited” means that some eBay US sellers may not accept your order because it has not been verified by a US bank account.

  20. J

    Hi,

    I was thinking of using this to pay for websites and online subscriptions (with recurring monthly charges). Is it any good?

    Thanks.

    1. Macy Post author

      I suppose? It works like a regular credit card. Just make sure you have enough funds in your GCash wallet to cover the recurring charges.

    1. Macy Post author

      Sorry but I have no idea. Perhaps Paypal changed the rules since I wrote this post. Maybe you can try it out then leave another comment as to what happened πŸ™‚

  21. Aldrich

    Hi admin,

    Sinubukan ko po ang GCash AMEX, umorder ako ng shoes sa footlocker.. I was very cautious of my actions, I even let my kamag-anak to do the checkout(nasa US) para sa IP address issue. Ending, kinancel ng website yung orders ko, dahil sa “AUTH ATTEMPTS FAILED”. Ending, tinawagan ko si Gcash globe para sa money back ko. Worth pa naman nung items ko is nasa 280 USD.

    Any idea or workaround pa sa ganitong case?

    1. k

      ask ko lng kung sa amazon po kau nag order? plan ko mag order ng home theater speakers worth usd 2k. Kso natatakot ako sa cancelled order tapos ang hirap i refund. Tnx

  22. Erhique

    In case of Paypal kaylangan MSB as your US Address, ok lang din kung yung country is US. If you have a business Account sa Paypal I-add mo na lang sa Paypal yung Philippine address mo. Pero sa mga online stores Billing Address is Philippines dapat para walang problem. Shipping Address is MSB or Philippine Address basta nasa record mo sa Paypal

  23. Dex

    Hi Macy. When you signed up for PayPal US, did they authorize an amount of $1 from your GCash AMEX? If yes, were you able to receive that amount back?

  24. Rima

    Hi! I’d like to ask, If I’ll buy a CPU worth $250+ on Amazon, will they cancell it? ’cause my IP location would be PH? Thanks..

  25. Denise

    Hello! I just want to ask how you sent your package to your aunt’s house? Will it be okay even if you input a different shipping and billing address (the one generated when you register to this service)? And did you checkout without using Paypal? Thanks!

    1. Macy Post author

      Yes, I input the GCash AMEX address as the billing address and used my aunt’s address as the shipping address.This is a pretty common practice in the US (when you’re sending gifts for example) so it’s not usually a problem.

      As for Paypal, I don’t normally use it unless I have to (ex. eBay US purchases).

  26. Arvin

    Hi, why do you need to register it to paypal I’ve already used my amex more than 15 orders on amazon.com and there hasn’t been any problem at all even if you use it in the ip address that is located at the philippines.

    1. Macy Post author

      Because not all shopping sites are as loose as Amazon. Some of the sites where I shop from deny the transaction because of “irregularities” in the order. When I asked them about it, it’s because my IP address does not match the US-based credit card.

  27. joey

    hello macy i got isssue like this when im trying to verify my paypal account(the bank that issued ur card didn’t approved this transcation)im using gcash amex virtual pay..plsss reply

  28. yheame

    324-9401 suite,2807 west magnolia boulevard burbank CA 91505

    how to put this in exact?
    adress 1
    adress 2
    city
    state/region/province
    postal code

      1. Heinrich

        But I have applied three times now, with 2 numbers/accounts, been in to do the KYC, called many times, e-mailed many times, text support many times, went into the Globe office many times.

        It’s been weeks now. Nothing.

        Globe has no idea how to get the card info πŸ™

        My 4 little kids are going hungry, because my money is tied up with gcash…

        1. Macy Post author

          If you need to get actual cash OUT of Gcash (which I’m assuming you do since you have to feed your kids), then you don’t need the virtual credit card info. Just go to the Gcash outlet and withdraw your cash over the counter.

  29. leilani

    hello,
    i tried using the globe gcash amex virtual card in purchasing make ups from Sephora, one of their recommended sites btw. I install hotspot shield as per your recommendation, but upon checking UNSUCCESSFUL AUTHORIZATION pa din ang nakalagay. this is the 2nd time I tried buying from Sephora, thinking na baka I did something wrong nun 1st attempt ko. now my gcash balance has been debited twice for the 2 transactions. have you experienced this? the bad thing is, walang dedicated hotline ang globe solely for gcash amex virtual card, eh the agent I talked to seems to be confused on what to say to me πŸ™

    1. Macy Post author

      Unfortunately, this has happened to me several times already over the past few months. I haven’t been able to use my GCash Amex Virtual Card at all! Super hassle when ordering and additional hassle to get your balance refunded >_< How to get it refunded (I'm an expert already), as of October 2015: Email Annielette Cruz (zaocruz(at)globe (dot) com (dot)ph with the following details: Name GCash AMEX card number Transaction type Merchant
      Total GCash amount
      Date of transaction
      Copy of email from the merchant saying that your order has been cancelled/rejected

      Ms. Cruz doesn’t always reply that she received your message so follow up with her after a week. Also keep trying the GCash hotline. Most of the agents I’ve talked to know how to facilitate the refund process.

      1. leilani

        ahh i see, may I know what number can I contact Ms. Cruz regarding my dilemma aside from emailing her? I just visited the globe gcash amex page and clicked on the request for a refund option I found upon searching their website. mabilis ba narefund un money mo upon emailing Ms. Annielette Cruz? BTW, ano na ang ginagamit mo ngaun to purchase from international sites? please share naman, I have a lot of stuff I want to be gifted this coming christmas season πŸ™‚

        1. Macy Post author

          I’ve never gotten a separate number for her. They allow for up to 3 months for refunds but the longest time for me is 1 month.

          A Philippine credit card works fine for some sites like Amazon.com. It really depends on the site whether they accept PH cards or not.

  30. Dang Futalan

    Hi. I’m planning to use this as my “savings account.” In the past (up until now), I use Gcash for my loading needs. I stock around 1,000pesos a month so I can just reload my number myself. Would it be safe if I stock around 7,000 pesos and above? Or will Gcash Master Card eat my credit? Please answer!

  31. Mayk

    pwede b gmitin ung gcash pambayad sa amazon tpos kng ipapaship mo sa pinas ay lbc nman ang ggmitin mo para madeliver d2 sa pinas?

  32. Glenda

    Hello there! Just to clear things up, you also pay for the shipping by MSB through your Gcash Amex account, right? Thanks!

    1. Macy Post author

      I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing that you need to be 18 years old and above. You need to fill up a Know Your Customer (KYC) form prior to using GCash.

  33. meli

    Hi my globe amex virtual card was link to my phil paypal account and was verified. After a few months my paypal account was suspended need ko daw mag send ng valid id, proof of utility bill and proof of credit card billing to paypal para ma restore back account.

    Question is how will i provide my credit card billing since globe gcash amex is a virtual card and the ADDRESS IS IN THE U.S and the country is PHILIPPINES.

    Hindi siya match lalong iisipin ni paypal yon account ko is fraud. Hoping to get a prompt response thank you.

    1. Macy Post author

      Er, why did you link your Globe AMEX virtual card to your Philippine Paypal account in the first place? Since Globe AMEX is supposed to be US-issued, then it’s supposed to be tied to a US Paypal account. For a Philippine Paypal account, you tie it to a PH credit card or bank account. Best person to ask about this would be Globe GCash.

  34. Alyssa

    Hi, thanks for the informative post. ? I do have a question though cause I recently used the virtual card on a US website and purchased using the billing address in US given by MSB. However, the transaction was not successful, and like you, na-debit ang Gcash account ko. (I have already reported to Globe)
    Question: How did you write the US billing address into the address field? Sabi kasi diba everything should be exactly same with their registered address, like kahit na commma or spacing lang daw different, magiging unsuccessful. How did you write the address? Thanks in advance! More power to your blog!

    1. Macy Post author

      If the amount was debited from your GCash, that means that the transaction was successful on GCash’s end and the address was correct. The online store will not attempt to debit your GCash if the billing address is wrong. Most likely issue is the security of the website, where it matches your IP address to the credit card. Since your IP address is in the Philippines and the credit card is US-issued, red flag yun.

  35. Ralph

    Hi Macy, share ko lang experience ko. actually 3 out of 3 na ko nag error with kaltas sa cash using GCASH AMEX.
    twice sa ULTA.COM and once sa WALMART.COM (refunded by globe naman, pero hindi pa kompleto)

    Hindi ko alam saang part ako nagkakamali, pero tama naman inputs ko. billing address na ginagamit ko is ung provided ni GCASH, and shipping address ko is ung sa friend ko.

    Hindi ko pa natry ung mag VPN ka to US IP Address, and US Paypal.
    Siguro try ko ung US paypal kahit na hindi naka verified ung SSN (Social Security Number) .

    Ano po maadvice mo?
    US Paypal talaga + US VPN ?

    1. Macy Post author

      US VPN would probably work already, though some sites won’t even accept US VPN + US Paypal (like HotTopic.com). Try US VPN first. For US Paypal, I can use mine even without a social security number. It got verified once I bought something from Paypal and had it delivered to the My Shopping Box address (so the address attached to the Paypal account is verified).

      1. Ralph

        Thank you sa inputs, sige will try it.
        Though ibang address gagamitin ko, kasi may friend kami sa CA na pagsesendan. so gagamitin lang namin sa GCASH AMEX is ung billing address, then different shipping address.

        Wait ko muna refund ni globe. hehe

  36. Ralph

    Or may other way ka pa ma recommend so I can buy sa ibang US Online sites nila?

    grabe kasi si globe mag refund pag nag ka problem, ang tagal. nakakadelay sa plans hehe.

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