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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI Everyone,

I have done a lot of moves in my time but never to SEA. I wonder if you could advise on what financial means I should bring with me to Manila?

Not knowing how long it could take for funds to be transferred from Netherlands to Manila, is it worth bringing travellers checks to open an account with? or is it enough to deposit say $1000 (or should I use PHP?) in cash? assuming I can still access my Dutch bank account via ATM for cash I can easily let the depposit sit while the account opening is processed....Does ti take long to open an account?

My employer is processing my work visa so I will arriveon a tourist visa...can I still open a bank account?

I have read many threads here and TBH I am no nearer understanding how it works over there...

Many thanks

/Mark
 

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Hi Mark,

Your best bet for the time being would be to (in just my opinion) bring just enough cash to get you by for 2 or three days but no more. You will probably be able to access your bank account from home using your ATM card. Just to be on the safe side though, make arrangements for someone at home to be able to send cash to you using Xoom or Western Union etc. Your employer here might have ideas for you on that issue also. Just use caution if your employer or anyone else suggests anything that sounds strange or risky.


Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HI Gene,

THanks for the advice....one more question if I may...I live in Holland right now, asusming Euros are not much use should I bring cash in as US$, GB£ or PHP? I ask only because im not sure how easy PHP is to get!

Best regards
 

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HI Gene,

THanks for the advice....one more question if I may...I live in Holland right now, asusming Euros are not much use should I bring cash in as US$, GB£ or PHP? I ask only because im not sure how easy PHP is to get!

Best regards
At your departure airport there you should be able to exchange a few Euros for Philippine Pesos. For any other cash you bring I would suggest British Pounds. That seems to be the best value when exchanging into Pesos at the moment. Your hotel here should have the ability to exchange whatever you want into local currency.

A word of caution---this is a 3rd world country so would suggest you carry/bring as little cash as possible or that you can afford to loose to theft.
Carry cash and credit cards in your shoe/socks or even underwear and avoid carrying such in a wallet.


Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Gene,

Sound advice and noted. I read your thread re the 'throw away wallet' I will be having one of those with me when I arrive.

Many thanks

/Mark
 

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Hi Gene,

Sound advice and noted. I read your thread re the 'throw away wallet' I will be having one of those with me when I arrive.

Many thanks

/Mark
You're quite welcome Mark. Also, be sure to watch weather before departure there. This is typhoon season and can delay or even cancel flights for days.
Hope you enjoy the islands here. If nothing else, it's a real eye opener-Hahaha...


Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ha! so I saw..I ve never experienced one before.....not sure whether its something to look forward to or not......
 

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Hi Mark,

You will not be able to open any bank account before you've got all the necessary visa and ids. Make sure you will be able to access your home bank account via the ATM while you are in the Philippines. Double check it with your bank before you leave. It took me almost 3 months to get my working visa and the other identifications.

The Philippines is not one of the safest place on earth, so do not carry tons of cash with you. All international credit cards are welcomed in Metro Manila.

Be prepare and enjoy your new venture.
 

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I'll attempt to research this further. When I was on vacation last time I tried to open an account but was told I needed this ACR card. So I could get one eventhough a tourist, open an acct, and be on my merry way back to the US?
 

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I'll attempt to research this further. When I was on vacation last time I tried to open an account but was told I needed this ACR card. So I could get one eventhough a tourist, open an acct, and be on my merry way back to the US?
I have accounts at currently at three different Philippine banks and have had accounts at three others! All were opened with only my passport! They simply photocopied the visa stamp page (along with info page) in place of the ACR "requirement."
 

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ACR card

I'll attempt to research this further. When I was on vacation last time I tried to open an account but was told I needed this ACR card. So I could get one eventhough a tourist, open an acct, and be on my merry way back to the US?
I opened my account and they needed my ACR Card but they didn't seem to familiar with it also all the other things that go with opening an account, they need pictures (each bank as size of photo on website) copy of electrical bill, I think that was it and $500 deposit plus another $40 for bounced check, they made me do this unsure if this is a bank-wide policy.

The money savings pays for itself in less than 6 months or even sooner depending on how much you deposit every month.
 

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I opened my account and they needed my ACR Card but they didn't seem to familiar with it also all the other things that go with opening an account, they need pictures (each bank as size of photo on website) copy of electrical bill, I think that was it and $500 deposit plus another $40 for bounced check, they made me do this unsure if this is a bank-wide policy.

The money savings pays for itself in less than 6 months or even sooner depending on how much you deposit every month.
The $500 for dollar savings opening/maintaining balance is pretty standard. The $40 bounce check is questionable as any US check is held for three weeks. The photos are standard for all new accts.
 

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Check holding

The $500 for dollar savings opening/maintaining balance is pretty standard. The $40 bounce check is questionable as any US check is held for three weeks. The photos are standard for all new accts.
They hold my check for 30 days plus holidays last year because of Holidays and the 1st landing on weekends I had to wait almost 45 days to get my money from PNB.
 

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I opened an account with BPI before I got my ACR I card, while I was on a
Tourist Visa, during the first 2 weeks I arrived here, all they required was my passport.
 

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Check holding

I opened an account with BPI before I got my ACR I card, while I was on a
Tourist Visa, during the first 2 weeks I arrived here, all they required was my passport.
Pauloz, whats the wait time for your check? Curious and do they also add holidays to that time frame and charge a 100 peso fee for check deposit.
 

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I opened my account with Philippine Peso cash, I do not know if they will open an account with a check or not, never needed to. But I am sure they probably would if you put in cash as well as the check. BPI seem to be more flexible than BDO in my experience.
 

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Pauloz, whats the wait time for your check? Curious and do they also add holidays to that time frame and charge a 100 peso fee for check deposit.
I opened my BPI dollar and peso accounts at one of the BPI office in Alabang, across from Festival Mall. For the dollar account I brought $500 cash and a check for a few thousand. They rejected some of the USD bills (torn, rips) but they were fine to open the account with the remaining $420 cash and the check. They were always very helpful and nice to us there at that branch.

I'm not sure of the exact methodology for holding checks, but my USD checks usually take 21-25 total days, weekend and holidays included. There is no charge for a check deposit.
 

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Fees

I opened my BPI dollar and peso accounts at one of the BPI office in Alabang, across from Festival Mall. For the dollar account I brought $500 cash and a check for a few thousand. They rejected some of the USD bills (torn, rips) but they were fine to open the account with the remaining $420 cash and the check. They were always very helpful and nice to us there at that branch.

I'm not sure of the exact methodology for holding checks, but my USD checks usually take 21-25 total days, weekend and holidays included. There is no charge for a check deposit.
I'm still trying to figure out all the gyrations people do to get money there before we move over...

You just do this to save the 200P plus ATM fee right? That fee is significant but in a pinch and if desperate you could simply use your US ATM card to get cash from the US account right? I'm speaking to daily expenses, pocket money, etc, not about needing cash to buy a car or other major purchase.
 

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US Banks

I'm still trying to figure out all the gyrations people do to get money there before we move over...

You just do this to save the 200P plus ATM fee right? That fee is significant but in a pinch and if desperate you could simply use your US ATM card to get cash from the US account right? I'm speaking to daily expenses, pocket money, etc, not about needing cash to buy a car or other major purchase.
Once you get here, hopefully there's family members that can mail credit cards and checks, it can be set up so your pension gets deposited or part of it in a bank so no more dealing with checks but if your US bank finds out that your living here they will close your account. Many places here don't accept credit cards even the major restaurants like Shakey's, Mcdonalds actually that might depend on ownership, these cash machines always run of out of cash when you need it most, what if they take the card?
 

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I'm still trying to figure out all the gyrations people do to get money there before we move over...

You just do this to save the 200P plus ATM fee right? That fee is significant but in a pinch and if desperate you could simply use your US ATM card to get cash from the US account right? I'm speaking to daily expenses, pocket money, etc, not about needing cash to buy a car or other major purchase.
Yes, its to save on the p200 (approx. $5) ATM charge on the Philippine end and the "Foreign ATM" fee, if any from the US Bank. US ATM/Debit & credit cards (mostly Visa/MC) work fine here. A lot of retailers don't accept credit cards and many who do pass their "fees" on to the user. ATMs are usually limited to p10,000 per transaction. If using your US Bank card overseas be sure to notify your bank so they can note that on your account! You don't want to have a transaction declined because your bank hit your account with a "fraud alert" freeze (happened to me. Now also have international toll free number to call just in case.).
 
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