Living in The Philippines > Expat life in Philippines

Safe Storage for Money?

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Planning on travelling to the PI when travel resumes.  So for now, I am in the planning stage.

I was thinking about bringing in $10,000 cash because I will need money to rent a place and buy a scooter to get around, but first, I will be travelling around looking at several areas, and I don't want to be carrying the money around.

From what I understand, I can't open a bank account without a ACR.  If that is the case, is there any other option for a safe place to put my money?



I am sure that I might get a lot of volunteers to hold it, but I am looking for something more secure.

From what I've heard there is no safe money storage.

I've read where safe deposit boxes were raided.  I've seen on tv news where bank employee's pull scams.  I've also heard a lot of different tales about relatives, friends, thieves, and pickpocket's.  I've been on the receiving end of this kinda stuff more than once.

Folks go so far as to reach through barred windows -n- doors with a kalawit to snatch stuff.

If I were wearing your flip flops I would organize a method of receiving money here.  Then pull from an off island account when I needed it.  Carry only what you are willing to lose.

The extra transfer fees would be the cost's of doing business.

Others may know of a better way.

Steve & Myrlita:
I was thinking that $10,000 might just set off that red flag.


--- Quote from: Steve & Myrlita on June 09, 2021, 03:22:23 PM ---I was thinking that $10,000 might just set off that red flag.

--- End quote ---

Currently international anti-money laundering, currency regulations require travellers to declare cash amounts of US$ 10,000 and above on arrival at the destination port - or such amounts that are of equivalent value, if in another currency.
If you are using an institution/bank/currency exchange, that institution will report any transactions above the limit to their national financial authorities, without any reference to you.

Amounts of US$9,999 or below in cash,are not required by law, to be declared on arrival, in the Philippines.

Point to keep in mind. It's not illegal to bring in whatever amount of cash you wish, as long as it is declared, if above the "free" limit.
A family travelling together has a combined total US$ 9,999, however, before being required to declare the currency. Meaning if husband brings in US$ 7,500, wife/kids can only carry US$ 2,499, before the total must be declared.

Travellers should do their own research, before deciding which method to use in moving money to their destination, as regulations change, mostly by being tightened up. :(

One way to consider safe guarding your stash, is the use of international pre-paid Visa or MasterCards. Most pre-paids have a limit on the amount which may be 'loaded'.
MetroBank pre-paid MC here has a maximum of PhP100.000, about US $2,000 (?) which may be loaded at any time. so a couple of these may be a short term solution.

A bank account is not required to obtain a pre-paid here. My daughter uses a "Cebuana" prepaid card, which we "load" every month directly from our Metrobank account, with her scholastic and living allowances. She then draws cash at any ATM, over the counter at a Cebuana Branch or uses it directly as a debit card to pay at McDohs, JoliBee or in the Mall shops. LOL!

Hope this helps.

Stay safe all.


Thanks for the suggestions.

I plan to have several ATM cards.  Among them, USAA and Charles Schwab don't have ATM fees.  However, there are usually low limits on how much you can withdraw at a time.

I also have Paypal, Xoom, and Wise accounts to send money.

I am also looking into thief resistant bags like PacSafe and others.

I just wish that I could open a bank account when I first arrive.


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