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From Phil to US Php - USD


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Old 31st August 2015, 07:31 AM
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Do you transfer monies from the Philippines to USA?
We'll be in USA for some time. Our plan is to sell our car and rent out our place for at least a year. Since the property is in the Philippines, we expect rental in pesos. What is the least expensive way of accessing pesos while in USA? What is most convenient?


Last edited by esv1226; 31st August 2015 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Make title clearer
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Old 31st August 2015, 10:37 PM
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You might check out Western Union. I bought some car parts from Japan, I paid in PHP & WU paid out in Yen at the current rate. You may have the renters submit in Peso's and specify to payout to you in US in USD. There will be a fee, of course. This will leave a paper trail. Just my thought on how to handle it.

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Old 1st September 2015, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by esv1226 View Post
Do you transfer monies from the Philippines to USA?
We'll be in USA for some time. Our plan is to sell our car and rent out our place for at least a year. Since the property is in the Philippines, we expect rental in pesos. What is the least expensive way of accessing pesos while in USA? What is most convenient?
Philippine bank would be the most convenient way to get money the draw back is 30 plus days waiting and most banks a $500 deposit.

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Old 1st September 2015, 02:33 AM
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A bank with offices in both countries might be the easiest way, but not necessarily the cheapest. I think Citibank has offices in the PI and in the U.S.

But... there will always be foreign transaction fees. This seems to be usually about 1%. There is also a WIDE difference in exchange rates.

I don't have experience with doing exactly what you are considering... Philippines to USA. But I do know that BANKS usually have terrible exchange rates. Money trading companies give better rates. Plus everyone has a transaction fee. And with a bank, there may be monthly account fees to add in.

As an example, I bought a piece of property from someone in NZ, and they wanted me to pay for it by using a Forex account. I balked at this, because it sounded scammy. He explained it this way:

"As a comparison:

today's Interbank rate: USD 230,000 = NZD 323,710

Local bank offers are:
Bank of New Zealand : NZD 304,000
KiwiBank : NZD 302,631
Co-operative Bank : NZD 314,380

and the rate offered by HiFX is : NZD 320,033

One can clearly see the motivation in using a forex firm's facility.

So, if it is going to be a lot of money transferred, all at once, then you really do care about the exchange rate offered, and not so much the transaction fees.

But if it's going to be a little money dribbling in over time (with a transaction fee each time), transaction fees will matter, and the exchange rate might not be as big a deal.

Unfortunately HiFX, the outfit he used, doesn't operate in the Philippines. So I can't offer advice on a Money Exchange company doing business in the U.S. and the Philippines.

I did use Western Union a couple of months ago to wire myself a chunk of cash because I was having trouble with ATM's in Malaysia and needed more than the daily ATM limits allowed. That was mostly a positive experience. I signed up for a Western Union online account, transferred money electronically from my US bank (I believe WU "pulled" the money from my bank using the account info I supplied while logged on to my account), and I picked the cash up from an affiliated Western Union representative in Malaysia. The exchange rate given by WU was better than what I was getting at an ATM. The only "lesson learned" was to scope out the receiving Western Union location first. You don't have to specify it, you can pick up from any WU outlet in the specified receiving country. But many WU outlets listed on their website could not be located, at least with Google Maps.

I have no affiliation with either Western Union or HIFx, just relating my experiences, hoping they will help others.

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Old 1st September 2015, 06:48 AM
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Keep in mind the easiest bank in the US doesn't equate to the easiest bank in the Philippines. If you live outside Manila the best bank is the one that treats you right (Major chained bank), some banks are crowded and there's no parking, many are located on one-way streets.

The bank that works for me in my region is the PNB, here's the reason why, they have parking inside a guarded compound and the guards remember you and take care of you, don't forget to take care of them on your way out, one of the draw backs of this bank is no ATM cards that I'm aware of but .... I'd rather have cash because some of the lowest priced spots take cash only. Many of the bank chains do have ATM cards, some banks won't allow you to withdraw money in a different location, so you can only withdraw from the bank location you joined (that's PNB), I think BDO allows to withdraw from any location.

Citibank is only in the Manila area.

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Old 1st September 2015, 08:15 AM
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I would check out the BPI near the PTT station. Look into setting up an account with online access and setting up foreign wire transfer paperwork in advance. The staff have been pretty accommodating in other matters for me. They also have been giving me whatever the live FOREX rate is at the moment of conversion ($ to PHP). It would also be helpful if they have an email that you can maintain contact and set up transactions as needed. In the past I have experienced wire transfers taking almost a week to get to the Phil from the USA. I would expect a similar timeline going to the US.
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Old 1st September 2015, 04:42 PM
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My recollection about my last PHP to US$ transaction many, many years ago : Transfer of funds (PHP) to US was regulated by the Central Bank. You could do it ONLY with Central Bank approval. In other words, Philippine banks would not sell you US$ without Central Bank approval in hard copy. I got mine in the form of Manager's cheque.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 04:52 PM
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I sold some property in the Philippines 2 years ago and had the pesos deposited into my BDO account. When I tried to have those funds wired to my US bank, the rep at my BDO branch (the same rep I've dealt with for years and who knows me well) said that BDO will not wire pesos out of the country and they wouldn't convert my pesos to dollars as they don't "sell dollars". They wanted me to withdraw the pesos, go to a money changer to convert them to US Dollars, then deposit those dollars back into my BDO Dollar account, which they could then wire to my bank in the US. I didn't want to get knifed on my way to/from the money changer so I declined to do that.

I talked to a buddy of mine who is friends with a branch manager at a different bank (BPI I think) and they confirmed that it is VERY difficult to wire pesos out of the country.

I ended up making a deal with another buddy of mine who needed to convert USD to PHP to take my pesos and he deposited USD into my USAA account.

If anyone has done this successfully, please let the rest of us know!


Last edited by HondaGuy; 3rd September 2015 at 04:52 PM. Reason: clarifications
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Old 3rd September 2015, 05:00 PM
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On a side note, I have a BDO ATM/Debit card that I was able to use in Bahrain to withdraw Bahraini Dinars from my BDO Peso account. I used an HSBC ATM and there wasn't a service charge but the rate was maybe p1 lower than the going rate.

You just have to make sure your BDO ATM card is branded with Visa or Mastercard as the ones without that branding I have heard will not work outside the Philippines.
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Old 4th September 2015, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HondaGuy View Post
I sold some property in the Philippines 2 years ago and had the pesos deposited into my BDO account. When I tried to have those funds wired to my US bank, the rep at my BDO branch (the same rep I've dealt with for years and who knows me well) said that BDO will not wire pesos out of the country and they wouldn't convert my pesos to dollars as they don't "sell dollars". They wanted me to withdraw the pesos, go to a money changer to convert them to US Dollars, then deposit those dollars back into my BDO Dollar account, which they could then wire to my bank in the US. I didn't want to get knifed on my way to/from the money changer so I declined to do that.

I talked to a buddy of mine who is friends with a branch manager at a different bank (BPI I think) and they confirmed that it is VERY difficult to wire pesos out of the country.

I ended up making a deal with another buddy of mine who needed to convert USD to PHP to take my pesos and he deposited USD into my USAA account.

If anyone has done this successfully, please let the rest of us know!
Isn't that something, we live in a country where money changers are main stream. My bank PNB doesn't carry to many dollars either, I have to let them know I need some or they sell it.

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I am not a regulated immigration adviser. I am offering an opinion and not advice. Check here for professional help with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration PBI https://www.facebook.com/officialbureauofimmigration or Philippine Retirement Authority PRA for an SRRV Visa https://pra.gov.ph/contact/ Always stay alert and don't let your guard down.
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