Author Topic: General Banking Questions  (Read 501 times)

Offline FRaymie

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General Banking Questions
« on: July 17, 2017, 11:23:42 AM »
Good Morning All, as one of the newer members I've spent the last few days reading the forum for info and boy was that valuable. It's readily apparent that most, if not all, of my questions will be redundant to most of you. You appear to have 'been there, done that' with most situations. However, I would really appreciate suggestions, recommendations and even condemnations if they're appropriate on my pending plans. A quick summary...I'm retired (70) with my asawa (65) of 47 years, and after 'snowbirding' the PI for the last 10 years, we're moving permanently this fall. We built a home in Eastern Samar in 2006 and that will be the initial relocation spot.(some of your previous comments have generated some discussion about ultimate location). My plan of action relative to finances and banking:
- We intend to leave accounts (savings, checking/ATM) open with our US Bank (BOA). This will provide on-line access, ATM cards and checks. This is also the direct deposit account for SS, and annuity payments which are our income source.
- We intend to open a PI account (recommendations welcome). Considering our Samar location (Hernani) I'm considering BPI & Metro. This account will be for daily use and will be sustained through the BOA check deposit with the 25/30 day clearing process.
- I had planned on eliminating US address, but this looks to be problematic based on T's & C's or the IRS, SS and BOA. There may be others as well. As a result, I'll probably need to establish a mail drop and would appreciate suggestions and recommendations on that as well.

There you have my master plan.......appreciate any and all comments.

Frank

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 11:43:49 AM »
establish a mail drop

Have any young, reliable relatives in the States?

We used a mail drop service for a while, but it didn't work out so well.  Not saying that all services are bad. 

We now throw a few bucks at a nephew.  He screens our mail for us and scans/emails the important stuff.

We trust him more than an anonymous employee of a business.


Hope this helps.


Offline HappyBee

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 12:09:54 PM »
Regarding banking, this may or may not apply to you because I was moving from Australia:

I kept my main account open but I was careful to inform my bank that I would be using my cards in the Philippines in future. This is because I have had cards blocked in the past from using them here as the country obviously has a high rate of scamming and so on. My bank's security department jumps in very quickly if they see the card being used in a country with a high rate of crime and all of a sudden not being able to get money can be very frustrating or even dangerous!
^^ Just my personal opinion... take it or leave it!

Offline FRaymie

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 12:28:09 PM »
Have any young, reliable relatives in the States?

We used a mail drop service for a while, but it didn't work out so well.  Not saying that all services are bad. 

We now throw a few bucks at a nephew.  He screens our mail for us and scans/emails the important stuff.

We trust him more than an anonymous employee of a business.


Hope this helps.
Thanks....completely forgot about the scan/email. Really appreciate the input.

Offline FRaymie

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 12:32:12 PM »
Regarding banking, this may or may not apply to you because I was moving from Australia:

I kept my main account open but I was careful to inform my bank that I would be using my cards in the Philippines in future. This is because I have had cards blocked in the past from using them here as the country obviously has a high rate of scamming and so on. My bank's security department jumps in very quickly if they see the card being used in a country with a high rate of crime and all of a sudden not being able to get money can be very frustrating or even dangerous!
Great point.....I've had that happen with our cards when in the PI for vacation. Will make a trip to the bank tomorrow. thanks.

Offline RDS284

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 12:57:30 PM »
Happy bee,
What bank are you with in Australia please as i would like to do the same thing.
Cheers
Rob.

Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 01:17:37 PM »
Good Morning All, as one of the newer members I've spent the last few days reading the forum for info and boy was that valuable. It's readily apparent that most, if not all, of my questions will be redundant to most of you. You appear to have 'been there, done that' with most situations. However, I would really appreciate suggestions, recommendations and even condemnations if they're appropriate on my pending plans. A quick summary...I'm retired (70) with my asawa (65) of 47 years, and after 'snowbirding' the PI for the last 10 years, we're moving permanently this fall. We built a home in Eastern Samar in 2006 and that will be the initial relocation spot.(some of your previous comments have generated some discussion about ultimate location). My plan of action relative to finances and banking:
- We intend to leave accounts (savings, checking/ATM) open with our US Bank (BOA). This will provide on-line access, ATM cards and checks. This is also the direct deposit account for SS, and annuity payments which are our income source.
- We intend to open a PI account (recommendations welcome). Considering our Samar location (Hernani) I'm considering BPI & Metro. This account will be for daily use and will be sustained through the BOA check deposit with the 25/30 day clearing process.
- I had planned on eliminating US address, but this looks to be problematic based on T's & C's or the IRS, SS and BOA. There may be others as well. As a result, I'll probably need to establish a mail drop and would appreciate suggestions and recommendations on that as well.

There you have my master plan.......appreciate any and all comments.

Frank
I've had my BofA direct deposit checking account of all of my U.S. government pensions since 1998. We also have a BPI USD and PhP checking account, both with on-line and ATM access for over 15 years now.
We plan on stopping writing out our BofA personal checks for deposit into our BPI USD account since they now charge a $5 service fee for deposit and just use my on-line Transfer Wise remittance, which has a good exchange rate and service fee.
We have no issues using our U.S. debit and or credit cards here in the Philippines. I just go on-line and give them my travel dates so they do not block use of our credit cards. 
Also our TRICARE pharmacy claims are reimbursed directly to our BofA account and our annual IRS refunds and or payments also goes into or comes from out BofA account as scheduled. Our taxes were so simple (nothing declared) that we haven't paid for any tax preparation/service for the past 3 yrs via Turbo Tax. Word of advice, always have a U.S. address! That's why we have a personal address with our on-line Mail Forwarding Service in Texas that handles all of our mail via scanning our mail for our personal off-line viewing and charges a fee for sending us a copy to us upon request. 
Do as we do and you'll be fine with almost everything as I've mentioned above.   
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 01:36:25 PM by Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am »
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
"Do on to others as they would do on to You, but do it first"!
"Different strokes for different folks"!
"Que Sera Sera"!

Offline balutsky

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 01:38:58 PM »
Good Morning All, as one of the newer members I've spent the last few days reading the forum for info and boy was that valuable. It's readily apparent that most, if not all, of my questions will be redundant to most of you. You appear to have 'been there, done that' with most situations. However, I would really appreciate suggestions, recommendations and even condemnations if they're appropriate on my pending plans. A quick summary...I'm retired (70) with my asawa (65) of 47 years, and after 'snowbirding' the PI for the last 10 years, we're moving permanently this fall. We built a home in Eastern Samar in 2006 and that will be the initial relocation spot.(some of your previous comments have generated some discussion about ultimate location). My plan of action relative to finances and banking:
- We intend to leave accounts (savings, checking/ATM) open with our US Bank (BOA). This will provide on-line access, ATM cards and checks. This is also the direct deposit account for SS, and annuity payments which are our income source.
- We intend to open a PI account (recommendations welcome). Considering our Samar location (Hernani) I'm considering BPI & Metro. This account will be for daily use and will be sustained through the BOA check deposit with the 25/30 day clearing process.
- I had planned on eliminating US address, but this looks to be problematic based on T's & C's or the IRS, SS and BOA. There may be others as well. As a result, I'll probably need to establish a mail drop and would appreciate suggestions and recommendations on that as well.

There you have my master plan.......appreciate any and all comments.

Frank
You also have the option of having your retirement direct deposited to the local banks here if you wish.  I knew that BPI and BDO does this.  If you consider doing it, ask the bank when you open an account.  Another option that you might want to consider is joining the RAO (Retired activities organization).  It cost 4,000 pesos a year and they will give you a US mailing address here in the Philippines.  They have RAO in Manila, Cebu and Olongapo (that I know of).  I understand that you will live in Samar.  If you join, you can forward your mail to your address in Samar from RAO through a local courier service like Air 21, DHL or other couriers.  Of course for added cost (around 200 pesos average depends on the weight ).  If you are interested in joining the RAO, you can google them.  They have websites and FB page.  I am a member of RAO Manila.  they cater to military retiree.  However, we have members that did not retire from the military.  If you are interested, you can inquire.  here is a link to RAO Cebu.
https://raocebu.org/

Offline iamjames

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 03:56:45 PM »

- I had planned on eliminating US address, but this looks to be problematic based on T's & C's or the IRS, SS and BOA. There may be others as well. As a result, I'll probably need to establish a mail drop and would appreciate suggestions and recommendations on that as well.

Frank
Absolutely essential. Your banks there will need a US address to forward cards etc. They will not usually send them to a foreign country. There are 1000 good reason to hold on to an address in your native country - even use that of a relative.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 08:08:47 PM by Lee2 »

Offline BudM

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 04:06:10 PM »
You also have the option of having your retirement direct deposited to the local banks here if you wish.  I knew that BPI and BDO does this.  If you consider doing it, ask the bank when you open an account.  Another option that you might want to consider is joining the RAO (Retired activities organization).  It cost 4,000 pesos a year and they will give you a US mailing address here in the Philippines.  They have RAO in Manila, Cebu and Olongapo (that I know of).  I understand that you will live in Samar.  If you join, you can forward your mail to your address in Samar from RAO through a local courier service like Air 21, DHL or other couriers.  Of course for added cost (around 200 pesos average depends on the weight ).  If you are interested in joining the RAO, you can google them.  They have websites and FB page.  I am a member of RAO Manila.  they cater to military retiree.  However, we have members that did not retire from the military.  If you are interested, you can inquire.  here is a link to RAO Cebu.
https://raocebu.org/

Is he a military retiree or dependent?  If not, he can't get an FPO address.  I checked in to that a few years ago and I still see it on their website now.  I got 34 years DoD but only 6 active duty so I don't count by US law as qualified to get a mailbox.  And if you join still, you then have the usual group (and they are out there afraid you will get something of theirs) of military retirees who moan and groan about why since you are an outsider as far as they are concerned.   RAO doesn't seem too attractive to me.  Not worth 4k anyway.
Whatever floats your boat.

Offline bigrod

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 06:25:12 PM »
Since you are with BoA it is simple to update your ATM card for use here.  Just go to your on line account and update the overseas stay every 90 days.  As far as the direct deposit here of SS both yours and your wife's would be separate accounts with passbook only access, no ATM or on line access.  So any action would have to be done at your local branch and you or her could not transact on the others account.  Not a good idea in my opinion. I also use Transferwise and have had no problems with transferring Php to my BDO account, they only transfer Php to here not USD.  The direct deposit of USD checks is still the cheapest way to send money here I think even with the $5 charge it is just the 20 banking days wait that is a pain.

Chuck
Life is  to short not to live it right the first time

Offline balutsky

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 08:35:21 PM »
Is he a military retiree or dependent?  If not, he can't get an FPO address.  I checked in to that a few years ago and I still see it on their website now.  I got 34 years DoD but only 6 active duty so I don't count by US law as qualified to get a mailbox.  And if you join still, you then have the usual group (and they are out there afraid you will get something of theirs) of military retirees who moan and groan about why since you are an outsider as far as they are concerned.   RAO doesn't seem too attractive to me.  Not worth 4k anyway.
You might be correct as far as getting an FPO address.  I have to ask the RAO about it.

Offline Lee2

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 08:39:51 PM »
Good Morning All, as one of the newer members I've spent the last few days reading the forum for info and boy was that valuable. It's readily apparent that most, if not all, of my questions will be redundant to most of you. You appear to have 'been there, done that' with most situations. However, I would really appreciate suggestions, recommendations and even condemnations if they're appropriate on my pending plans. A quick summary...I'm retired (70) with my asawa (65) of 47 years, and after 'snowbirding' the PI for the last 10 years, we're moving permanently this fall. We built a home in Eastern Samar in 2006 and that will be the initial relocation spot.(some of your previous comments have generated some discussion about ultimate location). My plan of action relative to finances and banking:
- We intend to leave accounts (savings, checking/ATM) open with our US Bank (BOA). This will provide on-line access, ATM cards and checks. This is also the direct deposit account for SS, and annuity payments which are our income source.
- We intend to open a PI account (recommendations welcome). Considering our Samar location (Hernani) I'm considering BPI & Metro. This account will be for daily use and will be sustained through the BOA check deposit with the 25/30 day clearing process.
- I had planned on eliminating US address, but this looks to be problematic based on T's & C's or the IRS, SS and BOA. There may be others as well. As a result, I'll probably need to establish a mail drop and would appreciate suggestions and recommendations on that as well.

There you have my master plan.......appreciate any and all comments.

Frank
As others have written, keep your U.S. accounts but my opinion is to only have a few credit cards and more than one bank.

While some people have no problems with BoA I have heard of them closing accounts for others when they found out that they lived in the Philippines, so make sure they do not know you live there permanently.

Have a U.S. phone number, I always recommend a Magic Jack as one and the Magic Jack application on an android or Iphone, I have used the actual Magic Jack plugged into my router for years in both the Philippines and Florida but now only use the android application while in the Philippines and that worked out great this year yet having it plugged in makes it just like a home phone with free calls to the U.S., Canada and U.S. territories, so if I lived there full time then plugged in is the way to go. Another way would be T-Mobile prepaid, I will go into that below, also there is Google Voice but while I have a GV number, it does not work as well as my MJ.

Keep a U.S. address, a friend or relative works great and have an ip program for your online access, it works better logging into U.S. banks when they think you are in the U.S. although I had a problem with Wells Fargo from Feb to May this year even with my ip program on, they somehow knew I was not home, I am guessing that my ip program did not have my actual home ip, that caused me to have to call them each time I signed in and give them personal information and info off my atm card, then they let me sign in that time only. Things change all the time with online security, in all the years I have been going to the Philippines yearly, this year Wells Fargo dropped the phone call check availability and would only accept a text for security and my U.S. phone does not roam in the Philippines, therefore I recommend people think about using T-Mobile since they have wifi calling and have a 1000 minute prepaid plan for $100 a year, that may be all a person needs if they do not make a lot of calls, but whatever U.S. number you use, be sure to have it months before you leave the U.S. and register it with all your credit cards and banks.

Have more than one way to get money, I recommend Charles Schwab or Fidelity since both reimburse atm fees and I have used my Fidelity ATM card which has the Visa logo on it at HSBC and for free each year, it will probably work for free at other atm's with Visa logos, I will try next year but HSBC Cebu is right across from Ayala and the wife and I shop there all the time, thus it was not inconvenient to go there for us and HSBC gives up to p40,000 per transaction thus making it easier for me but whatever you do, have more than one way to get money, I suggest you have your direct deposits into two different banks, that way if one gets locked, the other should still get you by until you work out the problem.

Months before leaving the U.S. get your credit cards and ATM cards updated to the longest expiration explaining that you are going on an extended vacation, I had my Citibank ATM card expire when in Cebu one year and it locked me out of getting money from that account. Citibank is another good way to get money while out of the country with their global view and online transfers to a Philippine Citibank (or whatever they call it) if you happen to have high accounts, I do not so I eventually closed my U.S. Citibank account since Fidelity does all I need for money and we have BPI accounts in the Philippines too.

As for mail drops, I think that was the reason BoA closed one guys account, they knew the mail drop was not an actual address, I guess when they see a lot of people living at the same address they must look into it and then may close peoples accounts who use them.

Good luck.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline bigrod

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2017, 08:54:09 PM »
My only address for 6 years(2010 -2016) was my Philippine address, with BoA no problem.  They even sent my replacement ATM card to that address.

Chuck
Life is  to short not to live it right the first time

Offline Lee2

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Re: General Banking Questions
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2017, 09:19:10 PM »
My only address for 6 years(2010 -2016) was my Philippine address, with BoA no problem.  They even sent my replacement ATM card to that address.

Chuck
That is good to know, I am not sure why they closed the other guys accounts but I had heard of a few that got closed and Fidelity told me when I asked that we would have to live in the U.S. for them to maintain our account, something about U.S. banking and investment laws was what they told me, possibly those they closed did not keep enough money in BoA or they had investment accounts.  :-\

Each of us is different and have different circumstances, thus we each may be treated differently. I know HSBC had been closing bank accounts of people who live in the Philippines too, while others have had no problems with them.  If using a U.S address I see no reason to tell banks and credit cards that we live outside the U.S., I had been questioned a few times by Wells Fargo when calling in, possibly since I was cashing checks every year while in the Philippines, I stopped cashing checks for the most part now, while apparently others are not having any problems with WF while cashing checks.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

 


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