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Transferring Money Between Us And Philippines

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We write a USA paper check as needed and deposit it into our BPI dollar account and wait the 3-4 weeks for it to clear

 

You wife is very smart.  If my money was paid to me in US$ I would do the same.

 

Write check

Deposit

Wait for it to clear

Take out cash

 

Could it get any simpler or cheaper?

 

 

Ummm Yup. Looking to buy a bike (motorcycle) so put my system to the test today. Went to BPI to make an ATM withdrawal. Did two p20,000 transactions one right after the other. Smooth as silk. XE.com says USD exchange rate is 47.44 and I got 47.63. 

 

disclaimer - BPI adds p200 fee to each transaction but I use my Charles Schwab account because they reimburse the fees every month. Net fee = $0.00 which at the current rate is p0.00

 

So, Moved $$$ from the States to p40,000 in my pocket in less than a minute with no fees. Could it get any simpler or cheaper?

 

Must be a catch somewhere? Minimum deposit? Monthly account fee?

 

 

The catch is you must open a brokerage account to open a checking account (with fee paid debit card). No minimum deposit, no monthly fees. I originally opened my accounts with $100 a year and a half ago. Only other catch is you need a US address (if my memory is correct). Check it out at http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/accounts_products/accounts

 

This may be the next big thing but only because the banks stopped raking in the money on the forex rate which wouldn't have been true 1-1/2 years ago. Nobody can tell if the banks will go back to raking us over the coals on the forex. The upshot is ride this horse until it drops. My last transfer with WU their forex rate was competitive with the money changer next door whereas they were horrible before, almost 1.5% on top of their fee. Things change with no warning, stay flexible.

 

I will probably stay with what I do now because it is working well, I don't make that many transfers, no more than 6 per year and that was while I was setting up. I also like getting $100 USD bills that I can change at my leisure as they are more portable and I can do a little micro forex, at 42-$1 I would only change what I needed, at 46-$1 I changed it all and wired myself more USD to change. It is a pain standing at the money changers and counting the 3k USD you just changed to 1000 piso notes when the notes are brand new and stick together. It makes for quite a wad too. It would be nice if there were a 10,000 piso note because it can be a pain in the rear to go buy a car and pay cash.

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This may be the next big thing but only because the banks stopped raking in the money on the forex rate which wouldn't have been true 1-1/2 years ago.

 

My last transfer with WU their forex rate was competitive with the money changer next door whereas they were horrible before, almost 1.5% on top of their fee. Things change with no warning, stay flexible.

 

 I will probably stay with what I do now because it is working well, I don't make that many transfers, no more than 6 per year and that was while I was setting up.

 

In Schwab's case they are wanting to acquire people's brokerage accounts (although I was very surprised about no minimum deposit)

 

Staying flexible is very important, I have several other ways/accounts to get money if needed, including a WU account.

 

I We have talked about what is easy and what is the best rate. There is also something to be said for the comfort factor of knowing something works. There is not one correct answer for everyone as everyone has different circumstances and systems already in place.

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Does anyone have experience with sending USD from abroad directly into your PHP account in BPI Family Savings? Is that even possible or is it rejected by the bank? If it's possible are there any fees at BPI or they just automatically exchange it to PHP at their exchange rate?

Thanks everyone :)

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Hmm I finally found the commissions info I was looking for ( https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/695/inward-remittance ), looks like TransferWise is still cheaper. I was just pissed off that they raised their fees for small transfers so was looking for alternatives, but I guess a direct transfer isn't cheaper still.

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1 hour ago, jimdones said:

Does anyone have experience with sending USD from abroad directly into your PHP account in BPI Family Savings? Is that even possible or is it rejected by the bank? If it's possible are there any fees at BPI or they just automatically exchange it to PHP at their exchange rate?

Thanks everyone :)

I have never done a direct bank x-fer, I used a service like Western Union or Xoom.  I have found WU usually has a better exchange rate but a higher fee.   Xoom is usually a faster transfer.

I am visiting the US for a bit and had to send some money home. I used Xoom and sent it from my bank to BPI, no problems... well one oddity... the money was deposited in my BPI bank for 3 days before it got taken from my USAA ha ha. 

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7 hours ago, jimdones said:

Does anyone have experience with sending USD from abroad directly into your PHP account in BPI Family Savings? Is that even possible or is it rejected by the bank? If it's possible are there any fees at BPI or they just automatically exchange it to PHP at their exchange rate?

Thanks everyone :)

 

7 hours ago, jimdones said:

Hmm I finally found the commissions info I was looking for ( https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/695/inward-remittance ), looks like TransferWise is still cheaper. I was just pissed off that they raised their fees for small transfers so was looking for alternatives, but I guess a direct transfer isn't cheaper still.

Direct wire transfers from bank to bank are usually only cost effective for larger amounts that you need quickly.  When I transferred money for my lease purchase from Chase USA to BPI PH, Chase charged me $40 and BPI charged about $6.50.  Chase has a $25,000 limit so I have to do that 3 times with 3 sets of charges. 

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I don't know if you can transfer money to yourself, online, through Moneygram.  Three years back it was a great way.  I had a friend in the US who would send me US$1,000 at a cost of $10 and I would pick up the US$ at L'Huillier and get the best cash exchange rate I could find, which was always better than any online rate.

Things change so I cannot say if that works today, but it's worth looking into if you find yourself in a spot where you need to transfer money from US to Philippines fast (immediate) and cheap (I think $10 is cheap)

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1 hour ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

I don't know if you can transfer money to yourself, online, through Moneygram.  Three years back it was a great way.  I had a friend in the US who would send me US$1,000 at a cost of $10 and I would pick up the US$ at L'Huillier and get the best cash exchange rate I could find, which was always better than any online rate.

Things change so I cannot say if that works today, but it's worth looking into if you find yourself in a spot where you need to transfer money from US to Philippines fast (immediate) and cheap (I think $10 is cheap)

We use transferwise bank-bank ACH from USAA to RCBC. Trnsferwise only charges @$6.99 and it takes about 3 days to appear at RCBC with no addition costs. I have not read if there is a maximum with transferwise though. The exchange rate is only 1 Peso less than the current exchange rate , ie if Peso at 54.05 then exchange rate would be P53.05  for USD.

 

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2 hours ago, roddavis said:

We use transferwise bank-bank

So do I.  And the rate is excellent.  But I find it is still not as good as the rate I can get for crisp new $100 bills at the money changers in Cebu.  Your mileage may vary.  

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