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Freedvr72

Options other than the dreaded ATM withdrawal for access to my monthly income??

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Freedvr72

I have a "case manager" in America that I have a direct line to, he is now extremely busy, however I can leave him a message and he will get back to me in a few weeks, it takes longer but that information would be completely accurate. There are so many types of SSA pensions,  government officials,  disabled,  and they have 2 or 3 different ones, retirement and so on, and each one has its own rules, restrictions, limitations and ways to get money. It depends on what you are receiving for. I believe they even administer some type of disabled welfare for U.S.residents only,  so there is not one set of rules, or ways. It is case by case depending on what you are receiving. Last year over half of staff was cut back, leaving alot of people waiting 3 hours on hold to get a call center operator that can only verify you, and explain why they don't have the authority to make any changes, only your office. I'm sure I'll get this worked out. My case manager knows me, and once he has time will surely be able to give me all available options. It's just a patience game. 

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Freedvr72
6 minutes ago, Headshot said:

What you need to talk with SSA in Manila about is how you get your funds. The way you get yours through a Mastercard is only one option of several. It seems like you somehow chose this option when starting the benefits, or else you didn't make a choice at all and they assigned it to you. It CAN be changed to direct deposit into any financial institution (bank or credit union). You need to talk with a representative at SSA in Manila to find out what your options are because the option you have certainly has to be the worst. Do you still have an account at any US bank or credit union?

Yes, the more thought given leads me to this conclusion. Thsnk you. Your right, I can't risk changing paymentmethod online again, but can certainly do with a case manager. They can also tell me all my options. Yes, I mentioned I have my bank in Hawaii that I can transfer funds to or switch over to direct deposit there. I like the federal card because my private bank was already compromised once here by an ATM and had to change account number and get new card. The federal card seems to be much more secure, I've never had issues with it anywhere in world other than fees. My bank in Hawaii I can transfer my funds to for free once a month if I choose to. So I would use that as option to open account here if I could. It just leads to 2 transfers a month, but if I changed my payment method to private bank i could just open metrobank account like poster suggested. The options are there, just going to take a little more maneuvering,  and making sure it's the smart choice.  I thsnk everyone here for great ideas and Information. I can see I have otions now to get into a local bank, it will be a differentroad but same destination. 

Edited by Freedvr72

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Dafey
13 hours ago, SkyMan said:

Is there a limit on the refunds?  USAA limits to $15 and one of those p750 fees would about use that up.

Surely some money transfer is cheaper than that.

No limit with Schwab. Near the end of each month the deposit/refund any fees you've been charged. 

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Enuff
Ok, afyer verification of today's exchange rate. Bank giving 53.95 to 1, at only 750 dollars thats 40, 462 pesos
Moneygram rate today is 52.72 to 1, at 750 dollars that is 39,540 pesos. 
So...at just 750, you lose over 1k pesos not including the fee for using. That's was a quick check, plus I'm not sure how taxes play a role when using this method to wire thousands of dollars at a time.
Yes, there are costs associated with transferring money.

Only 2 options: go back to USA and open Schwab account and use ATMs or open an account with Philippine bank and write checks, wait 30 days to clear, withdraw dollars and exchange for pesos.

Sent from my CPH1819 using Tapatalk

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SkyMan

I can't imagine it's that hard to open a US bank account from here if you have a SS#.  I opened a US HSBC account online and transferred $5 to it and they sent me an ATM card.  I think Schwab requires a US address but I'm sure others would work.

24 minutes ago, Dafey said:

No limit with Schwab. Near the end of each month the deposit/refund any fees you've been charged. 

Well, I guess the p750 is really p250 local, the MC fee, and the exchange hit.  Schwab would only refund the p250 local but the don't charge a fee themselves.  I think their exchange is decent.  I thought he was saying the bank in Moalboal was charging p750.

1 hour ago, Freedvr72 said:

owever my government card allows for a transfer into a do Eric bank, takes 3 buisness days,

Is a 3 day wait that big a deal?  I would worry you are living on the edge of your finances if you can't wait 3 days.  A lot of people avoid charges by depositing a check in a dollar account, waiting a month for it to clear, and then withdrawing the dollars to take to an exchange while at the same time depositing another check for the next month.

Edited by SkyMan
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Freedvr72
3 hours ago, SkyMan said:

I can't imagine it's that hard to open a US bank account from here if you have a SS#.  I opened a US HSBC account online and transferred $5 to it and they sent me an ATM card.  I think Schwab requires a US address but I'm sure others would work.

Well, I guess the p750 is really p250 local, the MC fee, and the exchange hit.  Schwab would only refund the p250 local but the don't charge a fee themselves.  I think their exchange is decent.  I thought he was saying the bank in Moalboal was charging p750.

Is a 3 day wait that big a deal?  I would worry you are living on the edge of your finances if you can't wait 3 days.  A lot of people avoid charges by depositing a check in a dollar account, waiting a month for it to clear, and then withdrawing the dollars to take to an exchange while at the same time depositing another check for the next month.

Hahaha, don't worry about me. I'm doing just fine. 3 days isn't a big deal, just another in long list on pain in butts,  I usually transfer funds each month anyeay, so except for maybe 2 or 3 months, in the 15 months I've lived here have always ""waited 3 days" it was getting complicated if I had to wait another 3 more if I transferred again to a local bank, but that topic had been explained and we moved on.

The current exchange rate, (I just did a mock moneygram transfer) is about 2.5k pesos less than the banks, the fee is standard at 7.99, or 400 pesos, the fee is cheap, they get you on their bad "money changer type" exchange rate. All in all its about the same. Bit if I can afford to throw away 4k plus a month to ATMs,  I'm not in dire straights, no need to get sand in your vajayjay, lol...i appreciate all the great advice on hete and have a good plan in place now. This wasn't a time sensitive matter,  obviously...ive been putting this off for over a year paying tourist fees for my pension. I figured there were alot of better options, and thanks to people on here,  some great ones were pointed out. I'd like to be able to save more than I do, but my living expenses aren't even half of my pension, but that's no excuse for soending money needlessly,  saving is key, it's how I ran a vacation rental buisness at 30, am 45 and been retired 5 years...im not too shabby with money, however admittedly no fimancial.whiz, or market genius, and been lazy getting on top.of these "tourist ATM fees" monogram is a good way but losing thousands to highway robbery exchange rate is better, but not much than giving it to a machine. I can change my payment method to check, ise government check to open account with a Philippine bank that has U.S. branches, then change payment method over to direct deposit into said bank after a few months....i checked the best option after getting some great advice on here. Money gram is great,  if you don't mind losing a few thousand pesos in the exchange rate, it is cheaper than ATMS. Thankyou guys for taking time to offer your thoughts and experiences!! 

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Freedvr72

It gets complicatedwhen your pension comes on a government only bank card with limited uses without alot of fees. They discourage transferring into a foreign bank by charging fees, I just need to change my payment method. The government really pushed this payment method on me, and made sense in the states, alot of perks,  but overseas alot of fees. Life is adaptation. It's not WHAT is happening , but how you choose to view it

 Most of life is perception. Most stories can be told happy,  upbeat, or dramatic tragedy , lol...its how you see things. If 3 days made me or broke me, I don't think. I would have flown to other side of planet after selling my airbnb rental property in Hawaii...i would go back to work, I'm still young. 

I was embarrassed to admit it was pure laziness spending ATM fees,  with BI,  adjusting to a new culture,  a new relationship,  pending marriage, many other things as well, I put that low on priority BECAUSE I am not hurting do financially,  but it's bad buisness...just not good judgement to spend 750 pesos per 10k pesos, unless your just on a vacation....so doing this for a year is not a point of pride, I figurered I would get ribbed a bit for being so sloppy with money management,  but you guys are great, and seems like you have all found a system that works for your own needs, it's about time I do as well!! Many thanks!! Mod is welcome to close thread unless you guys would like to continue this discussion if anyone else cam benefit,  I did and am thankful. 

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PhilsFan

Looks like you have several options. If you have a US address and a Magic Jack internet phone you can set up just about anything. I use the previously mentioned Charles Schwab account. You MUST have a US address and phone # to set that up and the card MUST be sent to that address..they will also send checks whether you want them or not. It's going to be hard to get that ATM card if you don't have someone in the US that can send you that card. 

World Remit is a UK outfit that works well, too. The exchange rate with WR is getting worse, imo.  I have WR set up to INSTANTLY send from my US bank directly to my fiance's BDO bank account. $4 fee, send up to $5k I think.

These are much better options than Western Union, but not nearly as good as the Schwab (no fee) and Schwab has much better exchange rates. Be aware of your surroundings if you need to pull large amounts out of an atm..multiple trips might be safer since there is no fee.

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Freedvr72
On 9/12/2018 at 8:07 AM, Enuff said:

Not to mention that getting to know your M Lhullier girls is an added benefit.

Plus I can pay my electric bill there too.

Sent from my CPH1819 using Tapatalk
 

Hey, just wanted to give you a big thumbs up. The "easiest" way is world remit to M Lhullier. I've sent using moneygram to that place, but the currency rate from money gram is ridiculous. At actual exchange rate of say 54 to 1, moneygram will give you 52.2 to 1. Also they don't have a exact location option, or a "sending to youtself" option. Withworld remit I can send it to the place they already know me, I can send it to myself, AND while I didn't see their exchange rate. I did put in my pension amount,  and I would only lose a total of 1,200 pesos, that's fee plus lower exchange rate. 1.2k pesos to get my entire monthly pension instead of 4k plus from ATM machines or 2.7k pesos with moneygram or westernunuion...the ease of use, the fact that place is only 2 kilometers away,  makes it the best option with little effort. Thank you. I know there are other ways, but there are still small transfer fees, waiting times, opening new accounts. This is 5 minutes, and money is available to pickup immediately. I had never heard of "world remit" so at first I thought it might be a actual account I need to open. So the cheapest AND easiest way for ME, goes to your advice, I was skeptical about it,  charging similar to moneygram, however their exchangerate must not be toofar off from banks to only cost about 1k pesos. Looking forward to a 3.5k peso a month raise now going this route, that's an electric bill, depending on my A/C usage!! Hahaha. 

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SkyMan
1 hour ago, Freedvr72 said:

Hey, just wanted to give you a big thumbs up. The "easiest" way is world remit to M Lhullier. I've sent using moneygram to that place, but the currency rate from money gram is ridiculous. At actual exchange rate of say 54 to 1, moneygram will give you 52.2 to 1. Also they don't have a exact location option, or a "sending to youtself" option. Withworld remit I can send it to the place they already know me, I can send it to myself, AND while I didn't see their exchange rate. I did put in my pension amount,  and I would only lose a total of 1,200 pesos, that's fee plus lower exchange rate. 1.2k pesos to get my entire monthly pension instead of 4k plus from ATM machines or 2.7k pesos with moneygram or westernunuion...the ease of use, the fact that place is only 2 kilometers away,  makes it the best option with little effort. Thank you. I know there are other ways, but there are still small transfer fees, waiting times, opening new accounts. This is 5 minutes, and money is available to pickup immediately. I had never heard of "world remit" so at first I thought it might be a actual account I need to open. So the cheapest AND easiest way for ME, goes to your advice, I was skeptical about it,  charging similar to moneygram, however their exchangerate must not be toofar off from banks to only cost about 1k pesos. Looking forward to a 3.5k peso a month raise now going this route, that's an electric bill, depending on my A/C usage!! Hahaha. 

Can you send $$ via WR and do the exchange yourself?

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Freedvr72

They automatically convert the dollar amount you send into pesos. So its easy

 You do it online, it says the fee

..which is $3, then tells you how many pesos you will be getting after you put in dollar amount. OR IF YOU NEED A SPECIFIC PESO AMOUNT, you put in say 50k pesos, and it tells you what dollar amount will be taken from card.

Given, this is for cash pickup. They also do to banks here, and other methods, but I am only doing cash pick up. Money gram and western union makes it's billions NOT off the fee but off their currency rate, this is a relatively new company but has grown large, but trying to be more fair with staying around 1% of the middle market echange rate,  where as MG and WU, are well past 5%, so if it's 54 to 1, they will only give 52 to 1...but this company stays about 53 to 1..for example. They also are limited to online only,  where as the big moneygram and WU have offices. But i send the money online anyway, i just pickup locally,  and you can choose from any number of places in your area or province. 

3 hours ago, SkyMan said:

Can you send $$ via WR and do the exchange yourself?

They automatically convert the dollar amount you send into pesos. So its easy

 You do it online, it says the fee

..which is $3, then tells you how many pesos you will be getting after you put in dollar amount. OR IF YOU NEED A SPECIFIC PESO AMOUNT, you put in say 50k pesos, and it tells you what dollar amount will be taken from card.

Given, this is for cash pickup. They also do to banks here, and other methods, but I am only doing cash pick up. Money gram and western union makes it's billions NOT off the fee but off their currency rate, this is a relatively new company but has grown large, but trying to be more fair with staying around 1% of the middle market echange rate,  where as MG and WU, are well past 5%, so if it's 54 to 1, they will only give 52 to 1...but this company stays about 53 to 1..for example. They also are limited to online only,  where as the big moneygram and WU have offices. But i send the money online anyway, i just pickup locally, and you can choose from any number of places in your area or province 

Edited by Freedvr72

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Freedvr72

Reading about this "startup" that has been bought up by larger corporations to expand its competitive advantage, I read it was started by an African studying in London who was sending money home to Uganda and wasn't happy with the fees and ease of use. So he worked to create a more straight forward approach with smaller fees for people not always needing to send large amounts, but also smaller amounts more frequently, so this company competes not so much by lowering fees, but the offering a better exchange rate as well, much closer to the actual exchange rate.

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max111
On 9/12/2018 at 11:29 AM, PhilsFan said:

Looks like you have several options. If you have a US address and a Magic Jack internet phone you can set up just about anything. I use the previously mentioned Charles Schwab account. You MUST have a US address and phone # to set that up and the card MUST be sent to that address..they will also send checks whether you want them or not. It's going to be hard to get that ATM card if you don't have someone in the US that can send you that card. 

World Remit is a UK outfit that works well, too. The exchange rate with WR is getting worse, imo.  I have WR set up to INSTANTLY send from my US bank directly to my fiance's BDO bank account. $4 fee, send up to $5k I think.

These are much better options than Western Union, but not nearly as good as the Schwab (no fee) and Schwab has much better exchange rates. Be aware of your surroundings if you need to pull large amounts out of an atm..multiple trips might be safer since there is no fee.

I can't but wonder "How does Schwab benefit from this".... 

You need to pay for some other services within Schwab?

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PhilsFan
12 minutes ago, max111 said:

I can't but wonder "How does Schwab benefit from this".... 

You need to pay for some other services within Schwab?

No other charges. And they pay a little interest on your checking account balance, too. 

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SkyMan
1 hour ago, Freedvr72 said:

They automatically convert the dollar amount you send into pesos. So its easy

But can you opt for a $$ transfer, pick up the $$ and get a better rate at a regular exchange?  Or hold the $$ for a time and maybe get an even better rate?

55 minutes ago, max111 said:

I can't but wonder "How does Schwab benefit from this".... 

The more accounts they have the more money they have and so the more they can lend out with interest.

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