Cutting the Cost of
Money Transfer to the Philippines

Cutting the cost of money transfer to the Philippines is a challenge for OFWs and Filipino immigrants. The Philippine government needs to do more on this. But the real challenge rests with you.

The cost of sending money lessens the amount received by your family. That amount means something. It can buy things for the children, or it is simply extra money for whatever expense it can afford. In any case it is money out of the pocket.

Whether you like or not, there are always costs of sending money to the Philippines. Cutting costs means taking into account...

  • the exchange rate
  • ease of use
  • security and efficiency and
  • speed of delivery.

You may check the exchange rate at www.xe.com.

Making money transfer to the Philippines

There is no single money transfer service that applies to all OFWs and Filipino immigrants. The cost of sending money remittance varies from one country to another. It is good to shop around for the service that fits you best.

Here are two services to think about...

1. ATM Service

Sending money to an ATM bank account in the Philippines is handy. Choose a bank with branches near you and your recipient. Better if you opened an account before leaving the Philippines for sending money. This exempts your account from maintaining balance required by banks.

This ATM service also works if the remittance center has a tie up with the bank of your recipient.

I used to receive transfers to my Equitable PCI Bank account and in just a few minutes I could withdraw the money in any ATM. But be careful. Some banks make double charging. They charge you the sender and deduct fees from the remitted amount.

You can also use this method of money transfer to the Philippines. Open an account at any bank in your host country that uses international ATM system like Plus or Cirrus. You then send the card to the Philippines. Do not send the PIN with the card.

Your recipient will use the ATM card to withdraw money from your account. Every withdrawal charges at least $1.50. Better ask your bank about the exact fee. Also, most international ATM cards allow P4,000 maximum per withdrawal.

2. Online Service

If done right, online money transfer to the Philippines is fast, easy and secure. But it is not always cheap. You do it in the internet using your credit card or bank account as your fund source.

This means you can only transact with a credit card or bank account in your host country. You decide whether it is door to door money remittance, pick up or deposit to a bank account.

With Paypal, money remittance online is instant. Paypal lets you send money to the Philippines to anyone with email. Your recipient can withdraw the money through a bank account or card in 2-7 days.

I tried a few online services. I found Xoom easy, fast and secure to receive money from outside the Philippines. Fee is as low as $11.99 for $1,000 using the value service. The value service uses your U.S. checking account as the fund source and takes 3-7 days to complete. This is good for sending money regularly.

The right service for you and your family depends on your situation. Trying a few services will give you an idea on which service fits you best. Cutting the cost depends on the service you want about money transfer to the Philippines...


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