Itís Your Money > Money Exchanging

First trip money questions

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--- Quote from: suzukig1 on March 31, 2018, 10:01:21 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.


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.

--- End quote ---

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.

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


--- Quote from: sonnychiba 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.
~ Gary ~
Bacolod City

--- End quote ---
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.

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

Gray Wolf:

--- Quote from: Montanacal 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

--- End quote ---

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.


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