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Cash withdrawal in PHL

Discussion in 'Money Matters' started by ampalaya, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. ampalaya
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    ampalaya Member

    I am planning to spend 1 year in Philippines. What's the best way to bring money (around £20k) from UK to Philippines.
    Pre-paid cards look good, but they charge Fx mark-up charges of 2.5%. Is there any cheaper option?
  2. DJB
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    DJB Active Member

    Do you know most UK cash debit/credit cards work fine in the Phils.
  3. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Revolut is well worth considering, you get a virtual card in the app for online spending, and a physical Mastercard for cash withdrawal or card-present purchases. The rates are very good, generally interbank rate, though they have now introduced a 2% charge for ATM withdrawals (only) over a monthly free allowance of £200.
    https://www.revolut.com/uk/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolut

    ATM:
    • As you say the pre-paid cards may charge 2.5% FX mark-up.
    • Local banks in the Philippines tend to charge 200 Peso (about £2.95) per withdrawal for foreign cards and often allow a maximum withdrawal amount of 10,000 Peso (just under £150) or less. With a 10,000 Peso withdrawal that is a 2% charge, if the ATM only allows a 5,000 Peso withdrawal that is a 4% charge.
    • If you are using your UK bank's/debit credit card there are often additional charges for use abroad on top of the FX cut, sometimes a minimum charge as well.
    • So... a 5,000 Peso withdrawal costs 2.5% + 4% + possible extra UK bank charges. :erm:
    Moneychangers:
    • From past experience changing cash (GBP) at Western Union offices, they take about 2% cut off the interbank rate.
    • From past experience, if you can find a good independant moneychanger you will pay less. People often recommend decent places to change cash on Tripadvisor and Expat Forums, use Google to search.
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  4. ampalaya
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    ampalaya Member

    When withdrawing cash in Philippines using prepaid cards (e.g. Caxton, Fairfx, Revolut etc) issued in UK, shall I chose 'checking', 'credit', or 'current' ?
  5. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I always select 'current' and have never had any problems.
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  6. DavidAlma
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    DavidAlma Active Member

    If you're planning to be there for a year, have you considered opening a Philippines bank account? If you set up internet banking you can then transfer just what you need, when you need it and take advantage of the currency exchange rate variations. The local account will give you an Debit/ATM card so it makes it very easy to withdraw cash when you need it.
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  7. ampalaya
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    ampalaya Member

    When I withdraw cash in PHL using UK based prepaid card, do I write amount in GBP or PHP on atm machine? It seems different prepaid providers are telling me different things.
  8. DJB
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    DJB Active Member

    Definitely PESOS
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  9. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Agreed.

    If you select the option to be charged in GBP when withdrawing cash at an ATM abroad, (or making a purchase), you are selecting an option called "Dynamic Currency Conversion".

    This means that the rate is set by an intermediate and is likely to be a far worse rate than that offered by your UK bank.

    "Dynamic Currency Conversion", Google it!
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  10. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Reading your question again.. Be aware that many prepaid cards charge a flat fee for using your prepaid card in the UK.

    If you opt to be charged in GBP when you are abroad, as well as getting the worse DCC rate, the prepaid card provider will treat this as a UK ATM withdrawal and you will be charged this additional fee as well.

    After all they why should they lose their commission!
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  11. ampalaya
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    ampalaya Member

    Thanks Dave, very helpful
  12. uklove
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    uklove Active Member

    I got fed up with the charges and limits associated with ATMs. There is also limit of 10,000 pesos that you can take into the Phils in cash.
    We used Worldremit to 'send' some money to my wife (who was in the UK with me) and she collected it when we got to Manila.
  13. ampalaya
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    ampalaya Member

    That sounds a good option too. I can even send money to myself via Worldremit and collect cash at MLuhllier
  14. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    The Peso limit was increased to 50,000 just over a year ago, which makes things easier for us international jet setters.
    (Bangko Sentral Circular 922)

    You can still carry up to 10,000 US Dollars worth of other currencies, that is about £7,500.

    I can never work out what to do with 5 centavo coins, the little ones with the hole in the middle that you sometimes get in your change at the supermarket.
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  15. uklove
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    uklove Active Member

    It may be worth checking the conditions for the ID you will need to produce, my Mrs had some ID registered in the Phils so she used that. No problems.
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  16. Bootsonground
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    Bootsonground Well-Known Member

    I Use them for charity collection boxes or annoying beggars..
  17. graham59
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    graham59 Well-Known Member

    A combination of all the above methods I find is useful... not just a single one.

    Set up your Worldremit or WU account before you go there. For a local bank account you will normally need to be able to show them at least an ACR card. Don't carry lots of cash around with you. It's just not necessary, and the loss of it will be worse than fretting over a couple of quid in ATM fees.
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