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Send money to yourself


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#1 Tomas

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 11:51 AM

I am coming to the Philippines for a long stay and in the past I have carried around some traveler's checks strictly for an emergency. I would only use them if something bad happens, like a robbery where I lose everything or if international communications go out making ATM transactions difficult for a period of time. But based on what I have read, traveler's checks do not seem that useful for this (am I mistaken?).

Once I settle down in a particular location, I plan to open a local bank account. But that may be several months down the road.

Is there any way to send money to yourself in an emergency? For instance, I have a credit card or 2 not physically in my possession when I travel, and I could use it on a web site to send money to Western Union or something like that and then pick the cash up, maybe even without Identification, just a code. But I heard of all kinds of security issues with something like this. I suppose I could create a funded account at one of the send money places, and then empty it out after I got a local bank account.

I also have a USA Paypal account but I read on this board that even funding with Paypal has been largely eliminated for the send cash services.

I have reliable USA relatives who would trust me with their lives and so they would send me money via Western Union, no problem, while I waited for ATM/Credit card replacements to be sent from the States. But I hate to count on that. If anyone has any suggestions, I am open to them. I certainly am not expecting anything to happen, just preparing for the remote possibility.



#2 A_Simple_Man

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 11:59 AM

You just want an emergency plan right? Go into your bank and talk to your bank manager before you go. Tell him/her you want to set up a code word that you can email to them in the event of emergency, then they can wire money to you wherever you are.

There are other options but I found that to be the simplest, at least it was with my bank manager.

#3 Lee From Cebu

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:02 PM

Thats what I did my manager said if any thing gos wrong I would have a new card in 2 to 3 days just call her .

#4 Tomas

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:06 PM

You just want an emergency plan right? Go into your bank and talk to your bank manager before you go. Tell him/her you want to set up a code word that you can email to them in the event of emergency, then they can wire money to you wherever you are.

There are other options but I found that to be the simplest, at least it was with my bank manager.

Dave, this is an excellent suggestion. I have a number of bank accounts (primarily to have multiple ATM cards) but unfortunately they are all virutal, not brick and mortar. I do have one brick and mortar account still but I moved away from there a long time ago. I am not even in the USA right now, but I will soon be there for 6 weeks, and thus wanted to use that opportunity to set anything up in person that would help in the emergency I described or that might require snail mail.

#5 USMC-Retired

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:15 PM

You can send money to yourself. It is hard as most do not allow it. I write down my credit card numbers and code on the back. Then I send money either adding my middle name or removing depending on what is on the credit card. I make sure they are different. Thus it gets through the online check. I only do it from online not in the place. I have done this once since I was here when I was robbed. Right before I canceled the credit cards.

#6 Tomas

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:35 PM

You can send money to yourself. It is hard as most do not allow it. I write down my credit card numbers and code on the back. Then I send money either adding my middle name or removing depending on what is on the credit card. I make sure they are different. Thus it gets through the online check. I only do it from online not in the place. I have done this once since I was here when I was robbed. Right before I canceled the credit cards.

Good suggestion Norseman, thanks. Which service did you successfully use for this?

I actually have a mail forwarding service in the USA, and that is the address my banks have, banks will usually only send replacement cards to your address of record. I was thinking it might be a problem if I had to cancel the visa card used by that mail service, they might refuse to FedEx my mail to me in the Philippines without payment. A catch 22 since I could not activate the new visa card needed to fund the Fedex package with the ATM/Visa cards to be sent to me.

#7 USMC-Retired

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:41 PM

I used western union. If I did it alot I am sure they would catch on but I only did it once.

#8 Mailman

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:58 PM

Back when I first arrived in country, I had asked Western Union about sending myself money. They said their policy didn't let a person send money to themselves. So I just used my wife's name. :)
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#9 Jim Sibbick

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 01:08 PM

I think you are worrying about nothing.

When I was living in the Philippines permanently, I carried an aud $50 note in case of emergencies. I never used it.

Two cards on the same account is all that is needed.

Make sure you keep them separate.

From there, plan your withdrawals.

Don't wait until you have actually run out of money to go and get more.

Yes, ATM's are not always working but here are some things to minimise problems.
- Know which machines your cards work with
- Make sure your bank knows you are in the Philippines so your cards aren't blocked
- Don't try and access cash on Sunday's as most machines have run out by then
- Avoid the middle and end of the month as these are Filipino pay days
- Use banks with ATM's inside, with guards on the door 24/7, such as HSBC (P40,000 at a time) on C. Rosales Avenue opposite Ayala mall or Citibank (P15,000 at a time) on Mindanao Avenue, next to Ayala Mall.

As for sending money to yourself, I have never tried it but I have always had some ideas on the matter.

Until xoom stopped accepting paypal and Australian credit cards, I used to use xoom online. I could access it anywhere, including the Philippines, to send money to my friends or relatives. If they wouldn't allow me to send to myself, I could send it to my girlfriend instead.

I am now in the procees of setting up online access with MMBB service in Australia. I will be able to access my account in the Philippines. They only charge the equivalent of usd $15 to hand deliver money to some one in Cebu City. Again, I would just send it to my girlfriend if they would not allow me to send to myself.


Regards: Jim Sibbick

#10 Tomas

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

Jim, thanks for all the good advice. Yes, I always try to keep my cards separate but that is difficult when I am moving to a new location or when I am in my hotel room. On a two week trip I wouldn't bother, but I will be there for months.

When I was in the country of Colombia last year, the Star System went out, and many expats could not access money via ATM for over a week (in fact, even the banks did not know what was wrong for a couple of days). Although cash advances on visa worked at a bank -- I met someone later who was desperate for cash and was able to do this. Although I didn't have a problem, ever since that time, I have always made sure to have plenty of cash, and I have an ATM card on Cirrus network, also. This is doubly important in the Phils with the weak financial infrastructure.

It sounds like my best bet so far, if all my cards were stolen, would be to use a card that I have left in the USA, and try to send a friend (or myself) money using Western Union via their internet site. I am not sure if I have to pre-configure anything to do this . . . but I can investigate.

Also, I notice that my Paypal account has a Send money internationally option, but I am not yet sure how it works.

I have a friend who has spent years on the road and he actually has a secret pocket sewn into his pants where he keeps a backup card in case of robbery of everything while moving between places.

I plan to buy one of those PacSafe Travel Safes for use in a hotel room without a safe to store a backup card, in addition to a few other valuables:
http://www.corporate...l_safe_100.html




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