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Accessing my money

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clarkee:
Hello everyone!  I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to access my money, once in the Philippines from my US bank account until I am eligible to open a Philippine dollar/peso account. I will be applying for the SRRV extended courtesy visa once I arrive. I hear some of these money transferring services will cut you off after a certain period of time. I talked with Remitly and they said they would cut you off if you were permanently living in the Philippines.  Their service was only good for a temporary visit of not more than 1 year.

JoeLP:
What are you really looking for?  You want to close your US bank accounts?  Or keep them open and just find the cheapest way to transfer money from them to the ones in the Phils?  The "free" way is to have a checking account in the USA and just write a check to your account in the Phils.  But, this method requires you to wait a few weeks for it to go through.  If you plan ahead and write 1 or 2 checks a month and can wait for them to go through, that's the "free" way.
Otherwise you'll be paying for the transfers.  That's all there is to it really.  I pay a $5 fee each month to transfer my  money here and I need to send it to Tina.  On top of that, if they ever find that I live in the Phils that service will cut out.  Been using it for 6 years now no problem.  But, you get the idea. 
There really is no "free" way to electronically transfer money from your US accounts to you Phils accounts.  Even if you have a Chase/RCBM account in the US and one here.  They are still actually 2 different banks and will charge a fee.  Just the way it is.  Sucks, but that's a hurdle you'll have to learn to deal with. 
One option is to see if your income source can direct deposit to your Pinoy account.  That brings with it other obstacles...so you get the big picture...to free and easy way to go about it.

clarkee:
Thanks Joel but I already know about writing a check on your stateside checking account and depositing it to your Philippine bank account.  That's old news to me!  I'm talking about BEFORE I am eligible to get a Philippine bank account then what is the best method of wiring/sending money from my US checking account for "cash pickup" since I want have a Philippine bank account. I already know there will be fees in any and all of this! Hell, their banks they don't do jack for free!  If I hear things right Philippine bank accounts cannot be opened on a tourist visa unless something has changed!  I will be retiring on a SRRV extended courtesy visa since one of my pensions is from the US Air Force.

clarkee:
And yes, my US bank account is staying open!

bigrod:
Since you are applying for a SRRV and all the paperwork is correct you probably will have the approval in a couple of weeks.  PRA as I understand will help opening bank accounts. I would bring enough to live on for probably 3 months minimum.  In that case no need to transfer funds.  If emergency arose you could always use ATM/CC card from stateside bank.  HSBC has ATMs in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao which you can withdraw 40K php per transaction up to your bank daily limit.  If not in those areas you are stuck with local banks with withdrawal limits from 5K-20K per transaction with an additional 250 php user fee per withdrawal.  Prior to coming set up an account with a transfer agency that allows local pick up for back up.  Recommend you google them to find the best fit for you.  Since I already have my $/php accounts I use Transferwise which only sends php with a total cost of less than 1%, if I need money in an emergency.

Chuck

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