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JeSsDaDdY

If you need a US Bank Account, check out SDFCU

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I hope this is in the right forum. If you're looking to open a US bank account while living in the Philippines, you may want to check out State Department Federal Credit Union. They are pretty easy to deal with and opening an account with your Philippines address is relatively straight forward. To join the credit union, you will need to be a member of an affiliated organization. You can sign up with American Citizens Abroad for $70 per year ($55 for seniors). There are other organizations that may or may not be cheaper to join, but I used ACA and can confirm that it works.

The application is all online and is pretty straightforward. Just enter your details, upload some valid IDs and proof of residence. On the website, it says to expect a decision in three business days (but it takes closer to 10 days in total.) I think they do a hard Experian pull for new accounts but cant confirm that just yet. I just received my first direct deposit in the account and am now testing Transferwise with it to move a few bucks to the Phils.

Again, this was all done without any U.S. address whatsoever. I dont think you really need to keep the ACA account after signing up, but the $70 investment was worth it to me to open a new U.S. account. I closed my other accounts there many years ago and have been searching for a way to open new accounts since.

SDFCU offers debit cards (havent received it yet) and credit cards. Even allows for home and auto loans overseas. Best part though is that it is a true U.S account, which means no FACTA. Your mileage may vary, but so far they seem like an excellent option.

Anyone else using SDFCU?

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Oh, BTW, joining ACA is instant with a credit card.

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Very interesting!  I'm going to look into it.  Thanks for sharing!

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Hope it works out for you. I set up Transferwise, but they havent debited my CU account yet. They said by the next day, but I guess it might take longer the first time.

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Update. Two Transferwise deposits that I initiated early Tuesday morning both finally showed up in their respective Phils accounts early Friday evening (Phils time). So, the whole process took a little over three days total. Although Transferwise is still showing the deposits in the local Phils accounts as pending and not final yet. Guess it takes a while to update. It seems that the money was deducted from my SFDCU account and deposited in the Phils accounts all on the same day in short order.

So far, I am really liking SDFCU. Their customer service via secure email is excellent (although it does take 12 to 24 hours for a reply.) They have even showed me how to open custodial accounts for the kids and add a non-US citizen spouse to the accounts. All of which seems pretty painless and easy.

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3 minutes ago, JeSsDaDdY said:

Update. Two Transferwise deposits that I initiated early Tuesday morning both finally showed up in their respective Phils accounts early Friday evening (Phils time). So, the whole process took a little over three days total. Although Transferwise is still showing the deposits in the local Phils accounts as pending and not final yet. Guess it takes a while to update. It seems that the money was deducted from my SFDCU account and deposited in the Phils accounts all on the same day in short order.

So far, I am really liking SDFCU. Their customer service via secure email is excellent (although it does take 12 to 24 hours for a reply.) They have even showed me how to open custodial accounts for the kids and add a non-US citizen spouse to the accounts. All of which seems pretty painless and easy.

If you had a need to do it, how would you transfer money FROM Philippines into those accounts?  Inquiring minds want to know!

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23 minutes ago, OnMyWay said:

If you had a need to do it, how would you transfer money FROM Philippines into those accounts?  Inquiring minds want to know!

That is an excellent question and one to which I have no idea as to how to respond. Never thought about that. I don't know if you can use Transferwise or another service to do that or not. My first guess would be "probably  not." I am also guessing that you might have to just do an old-fashioned wire transfer from the Phils to account to the American bank.

My primary reason for doing this was for receiving pension and annuity payments from the U.S. Until now, I have been receiving them via wire transfer directly into my Phils accounts. However, the banks here are routinely flagging what they consider to be "large" transfers and it seems like every 2 or 3 months I have to go into my local branch to "explain" why I am receiving money from the U.S. They all blame it on FATCA rules and say that the Phils Central Bank is deathly afraid of crossing the US on this. True? I dont know. But that's what they always say.

Having the SDFCU account will hopefully help reduce this stress, as I can send out smaller transfers with Transferwise anytime I want. Can also spread the love to the little lady's and kids' local accounts as well. This should make things easier. Even with the multiple transfer charges, actual cost to me remains about the same.

Edited by JeSsDaDdY

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On 11/16/2018 at 9:52 PM, JeSsDaDdY said:

My primary reason for doing this was for receiving pension and annuity payments from the U.S. Until now, I have been receiving them via wire transfer directly into my Phils accounts. However, the banks here are routinely flagging what they consider to be "large" transfers and it seems like every 2 or 3 months I have to go into my local branch to "explain" why I am receiving money from the U.S. They all blame it on FATCA rules and say that the Phils Central Bank is deathly afraid of crossing the US on this. True? I dont know. But that's what they always say.

What bank are you using in the Philippines which are flagging these routine deposits?

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26 minutes ago, earthdome said:

What bank are you using in the Philippines which are flagging these routine deposits?

RCBC. Hopefully, these flags will end soon with smaller routine deposits.

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I think receiving them via wire transfer is another reason for the flags. I am not sure though.

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