Author Topic: First trip money questions  (Read 15672 times)

Offline Montanacal

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First trip money questions
« on: March 31, 2018, 12:30:34 AM »
Hi All,,

I am going over for the first time in May,,

I have read about Xoom, Transferwise and others. I have watched videos about arriving there, using the ATM for some quick cash for the taxi situation and another video about going to an exchange place and what to look for in all of that.

Thats a lot of variation.

My questions are thus

I get off the plane and go where?
Do what?
Use what service?

Yes its remedial and wide open,,

I ask in this way because theres seemingly myriad of possibilities

Offline BudM

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 01:16:55 AM »
Hi All,,

I am going over for the first time in May,,

I have read about Xoom, Transferwise and others. I have watched videos about arriving there, using the ATM for some quick cash for the taxi situation and another video about going to an exchange place and what to look for in all of that.

Thats a lot of variation.

My questions are thus

I get off the plane and go where?
Do what?
Use what service?

Yes its remedial and wide open,,

I ask in this way because theres seemingly myriad of possibilities

Those are some good questions.  What are you talking about doing first?  Exchange money?  If so, get a small amount, since the exchange rate at the airport would not be that good, and go to your motel.  Then you can sit down and figure out more.
Whatever floats your boat.

Offline Montanacal

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 01:54:01 AM »
Ya,, my first impression and I don't know if its correct,, ATM for some pocket money,, just for little things the night that I arrive. I bet I wouldn't need 1000p that night as I land at  10:15pm and I have a shuttle to the hotel..

So then the next day I need to find out where to exchange about 1000USD for the next leg of things.

Thanks

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 02:53:17 AM »
Depending on which hotel you stay in that first night you should be able to exchange $100 for some pisos that night. Then the next day you can pick out an exchange office with a better rate. We get a great rate at the local SM mall and do 99% of our money exchanges there.
Louisville, KY USA

Offline Montanacal

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2018, 03:30:15 AM »
Thanks Grey
I am staying at the Rappricondotel in Paranque, so Ill check ot see if there are services there. Im only there a couple of nights then off to Roxas Palawan.


So,, would you carry the cash to do that,, in other words,, Would it be easier to just carry cash? Is it too much of a hassle to do it from a bank card situation?

Or,, if I use Xoom or another service that I can send money to myself to be picked up at the Palawan Pawnshop in either Puerto or Roxas is that how you might suggest to do it.

I know this is probably much simpler than im making it seem in my head but you guys are my encyclopedia .. thanks

Offline marshie

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2018, 04:25:46 AM »
Or you can just withdraw cash in ATM at the airport.  Thatís what I do when in need of cash (for cab/uber to the hotel).

Offline marshie

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2018, 04:36:32 AM »
^Ooops, wasnít able to read all the replies. 

Oh okay, you may want to google the nearest money exchange shop from the hotel (trusted aside from SM are sanryís and czarina).  That is if you want to exchange your dollar to Philippine pesos.

If you are going to withdraw pocket money in the airport, maybe it is better to withdraw the intended Php5000 instead of just Php1000 because itís the same withdrawal fee regardless of how much is withdrawn (possibly).  Exchange rate difference from other means wouldnít hurt since itís just $100.

Offline Lee2

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2018, 08:53:07 AM »
Hi All,,

I am going over for the first time in May,,

I have read about Xoom, Transferwise and others. I have watched videos about arriving there, using the ATM for some quick cash for the taxi situation and another video about going to an exchange place and what to look for in all of that.

Thats a lot of variation.

My questions are thus

I get off the plane and go where?
Do what?
Use what service?

Yes its remedial and wide open,,

I ask in this way because theres seemingly myriad of possibilities

My advice would be to bring some nice crisp new $100 and $50 bills to start with, for those from the U.S. and crisp new largest bills when from other countries, also I would recommend those from the U.S. open accounts with Charles Schwab or Fidelity while still in the U.S. so they can use ATM machines for free since both reimburse fees ATM fees charged. I use Fidelity and always have a couple of other bank ATM cards with me as well when here, then either use the ATM at the airport to get pesos or go to the money changer there and exchange $50 to $100 worth to get you started.

Should it really matter to any of us who have just spent a large amount in airfare that we will get a few pesos less at the airport than at money changers elsewhere, the difference in my opinion is just not worth worrying about when exchanging $50 or $100 but over time getting the largest exchange rate can mean a huge difference in total cost of living.

Next, of course off to the hotel, and then ask at the hotel which money changers in your area offer the best rates and go from there, usually go to a local mall and there is often many money changers there, I check the rate online HERE to give me a general idea of close to what I should get, usually get 10 to 30 centavos less than the online rate except in the airport, then it will be a couple of pesos less.

My opinion is to always have more than one way to get money, there had been times when I saw that the ATM machines were empty or not working for some people when people tried to use them, the money changer is usually open but I had seen no one in the booth one time when my wife and I arrived in Cebu. Also one time years back the international cable got cut and I was unable to get money from the ATM for days using my U.S. ATM card but no issue when using cash at money changers, my point is to always have a backup plan because I have personally found that nothing is for sure when in the Philippines.

Enjoy your trip..

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

Offline Lee2

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2018, 09:06:59 AM »
I forgot to add, before you leave, make sure to tell your credit card companies and banks or sign into your accounts and do it, if possible, that you will be in the Philippines.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline suzukig1

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2018, 10:01:21 AM »
Ya,, my first impression and I don't know if its correct,, ATM for some pocket money,, just for little things the night that I arrive. I bet I wouldn't need 1000p that night as I land at  10:15pm and I have a shuttle to the hotel..

So then the next day I need to find out where to exchange about 1000USD for the next leg of things.

Thanks

ATMs in the PHL charge a fixed fee usually P250 per withdrawal.  So if you are going to use an ATM you should withdraw the maximum allowed if you want to minimize costs.

Example:

ATM withdrawal P2,500.  The P250 fee would be a 10% fee.

ATM withdrawal P10,000 (maximum allowed for most ATMs).  The P250 fee would be a 2.5% fee.

ATM withdrawal P20,000 (maximum allowed for a BPI ATM).  The P250 fee would be a 1.25% fee.

Offline Lee2

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2018, 10:06:36 AM »
ATMs in the PHL charge a fixed fee usually P250 per withdrawal.  So if you are going to use an ATM you should withdraw the maximum allowed if you want to minimize costs.

Example:

ATM withdrawal P2,500.  The P250 fee would be a 10% fee.

ATM withdrawal P10,000 (maximum allowed for most ATMs).  The P250 fee would be a 2.5% fee.

ATM withdrawal P20,000 (maximum allowed for a BPI ATM).  The P250 fee would be a 1.25% fee.

ATM at HSBC, where available, p40,000 at a time, that is what I use whenever possible, even when fees would be reimbursed by Fidelity, why should I abuse Fidelity, it might make them stop the rebate someday if they get to be too much off their balance sheet.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline sonnychiba

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2018, 02:33:15 PM »
I have used the ATMs in the Philippines for 9 years with my debit card that was issued in Florida by my bank. Nowadays, the fee is P250 each withdrawal on foreign issued bank cards at the ATMs in Bacolod. I do not know any ATM in Bacolod that allows more than P10,000 each withdrawal.

I have found that BP!, Metro Bank ,RCBC and China Bank of the Philippines give the best exchange rates at their ATMs, which is very near the official online exchange rate. My bank in Florida does not charge me a fee for using my bank debit card in Philippines ATMs. They know I live full time in the Philippines at my bank.

For larger ticket items, I write a personal check at my bank in Bacolod and deposit it. On average, it takes 17 calendar days before my money is available on this end. There is never a charge on either end of this type transaction, not in Bacolod and not in Florida.

I last visited Florida in 2014. Graywolf remembers it, as I probably burned his ears talking to him so much on the cell phone! When I returned to Manila, where I had to spend one overnight before returning to Bacolod, I exchanged U$D for Pesos at a money changer near the luggage carousel. I was surprised by the good rate of exchange I received, as I knew the official rate. It was within the ballpark.

~ Gary ~
Bacolod City




Offline Lee2

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2018, 07:09:06 PM »
I have used the ATMs in the Philippines for 9 years with my debit card that was issued in Florida by my bank. Nowadays, the fee is P250 each withdrawal on foreign issued bank cards at the ATMs in Bacolod. I do not know any ATM in Bacolod that allows more than P10,000 each withdrawal.
~ Gary ~
Bacolod City
I do not know about on other machines but on the BPI machines, you can choose another amount rather than the amounts shown and then type in p20,000, that is what I have done using my U.S. atm card and then it says there will be a p250 fee, I say okay and I get p20,000, that is the highest amount it allows and my Fidelity account reimburses the p250 within days.

So lets think about this, a person pays p250 for each transactions and I suspect most of us use at least p50,000 to p100,000 a month, that is p250 times how many times, times how many months, usually for expats 12 months, so at p20,000 a pop that can get expensive per year, so a Fidelity or Charles Schwab account could save a person a few hundred dollars to $1,000 a year. I do not know about you guys but I would rather spend that money on going out rather than give it to the banks on service fees.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline sonnychiba

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 10:52:06 PM »
I cannot change banks in Florida. My income there is property income from holding the paper on 2 houses that I financed through a sale of property. The payments are deposited in my long time bank, where I am also a registered voter in the same county. I vote via Absentee Ballot.

My SSA Pension is direct deposited into my bank in Bacolod, RCBC. I must use my passbook to make withdrawals in person. No charge for that.

I will check out BPI next time and see if I can get more than P10,000 out at one withdrawal. Thank you for the information.

I usually withdraw money 2-3 times each month with my Florida issued Bank Card at an ATM. Around $10-$15 per month at the current exchange rate.

~ Gary ~
Bacolod City


Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: First trip money questions
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2018, 01:09:14 AM »
Thanks Grey
I am staying at the Rappricondotel in Paranque, so Ill check ot see if there are services there. Im only there a couple of nights then off to Roxas Palawan.


So,, would you carry the cash to do that,, in other words,, Would it be easier to just carry cash? Is it too much of a hassle to do it from a bank card situation?

Or,, if I use Xoom or another service that I can send money to myself to be picked up at the Palawan Pawnshop in either Puerto or Roxas is that how you might suggest to do it.

I know this is probably much simpler than im making it seem in my head but you guys are my encyclopedia .. thanks

I think most of your questions are answered by the other members, but here's my two pisos worth:

We bring a stack of crisp, new, unblemished $100 bills for every visit. We usually set aside $2000-3000 in cash for our trips. I say unblemished because the money changers and banks won't give you a single centavo for an old, or wrinkled bill. Period. If we're out and need money for the week, we usually go to the money desk at the local SM Mall to get cash exchanged. We also carry our debit cards and sometimes if we find ourselves short we simply visit a secure ATM inside the mall and get as much cash as allowed so that we don't pay extra fees.

I've not yet tried sending myself money through Xoom, but it's an option, I guess. Although you may find issues if you try to send yourself money from your bank at home while you're in-country. I think they have a way to pick on up the IP address you're attempting to do the transaction from. Maybe, maybe not. Like I said already, it's not something I've tried as we have simpler ways of making our exchanges. Simpler for us, anyway.

As others have already posted, be sure to tell your bank and credit card companies the dates of your visit and any cities you may visit while in the PH, otherwise your card(s) could get flagged and put on hold for any type of transaction. Not a good situation to be in when you're thousands of miles from home.
Louisville, KY USA

 


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