Jump to content
JonnyBravo

Retiring to the Philippines. Do I switch banks?

Recommended Posts

Dafey

You'll get the ATM fees back in a lump sum at the end of the month. There are no international fees so you get the current exchange, you pay 250 pesos for the ATM and then you are reimbursed the 250,(plus any other 250s), at the end of the month.

Schwab is the easy and cheap since there are no fees.

If you are opening it for yourself you can do it online, (with a US address). If you are opening a joint account there is paperwork to send in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woolf
42 minutes ago, Dafey said:

If you are opening a joint account there is paperwork to send in.

Be aware that, if one the persons having a joint account dies, the the account will be locked 

and the living person can NOT withdraw any funds 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dafey
25 minutes ago, Woolf said:

Be aware that, if one the persons having a joint account dies, the the account will be locked 

and the living person can NOT withdraw any funds 

I did not know that! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davaoeno

For the widow of a joint account with HSBC here in Davao  it took 2 years to get her money after her husband died .

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jawny
On 2/22/2019 at 10:43 AM, JonnyBravo said:

Greetings,

I'm about two years out from retiring from the USAF. I'm looking to retire permanently in Cebu and visiting the US on occasion, among traveling to other countries. I'm looking for advice as far as do I direct deposit my retirement checks into a Philippine bank such as BPI or do I keep my current bank and transfer over. I currently bank with USAA. Is there any hidden fee's I should know? Other notes - I normally use a credit card to make all my purchases. I completely try to limit my use of debit cards anywhere because of thieves getting ahold of it, at least with my credit card they won't have direct access to my bank accounts. I know from visiting Cebu and across the Philippines, most transactions are done with cash but it's whatever. I'm looking for some constructive feedback and I'll answer any questions that are relevant. Thanks in advance! 

If you stay with your USA bank, you can have the annuity sent to that bank.  As well, USA banks will allow annuities to be deposited into a joint account.  A joint account in the USA does not typically have restrictions with regard to survivorship.  That is, upon death, the bank is notified, but the joint owner still has access to the funds.  

In the Philippines, the annuity account is typically in the name of the retiree. That is, no joint accounts allowed for annuities.  

I have a joint Philippine peso account, but I only have that as a basis for my credit card with the bank.  I typically keep twice the amount of the credit limit in the account.  I also use an ATM account, but that is just for the times when I might need cash from an ATM while traveling.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headshot
4 hours ago, Dafey said:

I did not know that! 

That is true in both the US and the Philippines. For that reason, it is a good idea to have an account in your wife's name only and a way to transfer funds between accounts before the bank knows anybody has died. If it is obvious that somebody is about to die (as in there is some warning), then the money should be transferred prior to the person's death into the other spouse's individual account. In the US, the inheritance thing is pretty simple, but it could still be a sticking point if your wife doesn't have access to your US accounts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paddy

As a general rule, keep a bank account in any country in which  you expect to receive money (pensions etc). You might lose any indexing if you have a pension deposited in a different country and you’re likely to be dinged at least some amount for the foreign deposit. It’s also very useful if you plan to travel back to the auld country from time to time  

Of course, it all depends on the rules in the various countries, various banks and such. 

Unlike the OP, I am both British and Canadian and I have never regretted retaining my UK account. Nor since I have come to the Philippines have I regretted keeping my Canadian account(s). My sister, who closed her UK account when she moved to Canada, wished she hadn’t when the time came to receive her UK OAP. 

The problems come with what the banks allow with their online banking systems. My UK bank allows remote wires (thank heavens!). My Canadian one doesn’t. I have a couple of workarounds for that involving Visa Direct or a remittance company for lowish value transfers and a joint US$ account with my sister for larger transfers. Theoretically, I can also use the ATM cards from the UK and Canadian accounts - but that doesn’t always work!

BTW - do try to avoid wires exceeding US$10k. As mentioned, this is the magic amount at which Banko Sentral gets involved. However, if you have a legitimate purpose, and know your (Philippines) bank manager even >US$10k is not a problem. 

My local bank is Chinabank. Not one of the bigger/best in the Philippines perhaps but...

1. their online banking system is adequate

2.  The ATM card works even if it did take a month to get (getting the account took just a few minutes - and yes you are likely to need an ACR card or a PRA card and a multi page statement of your history!!)

3. And most important - I know the branch manager!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woolf
12 hours ago, Paddy said:

BTW - do try to avoid wires exceeding US$10k. As mentioned, this is the magic amount at which Banko Sentral gets involved. However, if you have a legitimate purpose, and know your (Philippines) bank manager even >US$10k is not a problem. 

I have swift transferred 1.5 mil PHP to my account at a BDO branch in Cebu City, no problems

did not know anybody at that branch, all done online from my laptop while in Cebu

was never asked anything about it

btw it was down payment on a house, other payments was done direct to constructors account also via swift

again no one ever asked me anything

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davaoeno

I SWIFT more than that in usd to my BDO usd account .  No problems, no holds, no questions.   After about a week someone from BDO head office called and asked me the purpose of the deposit. I said it was for investment.  And that was the end of that conversation.

I have since then SWIFT substantial amount of money both into and out of the Philippines [ always in usd] and never once had a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JonnyBravo

This is some great info. I would have never guessed banks (including in the US) would lock a joint account if someone dies. It sounds like everyone is happy with their Philippine bank but I hate lines and waiting so BPI sounds like my cup of tea. Another thing I find weird about the banking system is that you need to go to your specific branch for atm. Sounds like bpi at least allows that throughout the country. For a credit card I’m thinking about getting an international card like chase sapphire reserve. No transaction fees anywhere. Plus if you’re a traveler it has some great benefits. But anyways thanks again for the tips/advice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davaoeno
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JonnyBravo said:

This is some great info. I would have never guessed banks (including in the US) would lock a joint account if someone dies.

sometimes it benefits the members when people are allowed to post slightly off topic ! 

2 hours ago, JonnyBravo said:

Another thing I find weird about the banking system is that you need to go to your specific branch for atm. Sounds like bpi at least allows that throughout the country

I believe you are jumping to the wrong conclusion . You can use any of a bank's ATMs in the country . However anything done inside the bank  which is branch to branch will incur a charge for most banks - but not BPI   [ ie  withdrawals and possibly deposits [?] ]

Edited by Davaoeno
clarity
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
to_dave007
On 2/28/2019 at 12:12 PM, Davaoeno said:

For the widow of a joint account with HSBC here in Davao  it took 2 years to get her money after her husband died .

Hmm.. that affects the wife and I..  Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jawny
2 hours ago, JonnyBravo said:

I would have never guessed banks (including in the US) would lock a joint account if someone dies. 

It would be wise to check with your current bank about this.  I know my joint USA bank account (checking) does not prevent myself or wife to have access upon the death of one.  I’ve never heard of a USA bank preventing access, and it makes sense.  The estate laws are different in some ways than here.  The reason the BsP requires banks to freeze accounts is the need to get a clearance from the BIR that estate taxes are paid as required.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SkyMan
On 2/25/2019 at 3:22 AM, Kabisay-an gid said:

With BDO and Metrobank, you have to make transactions at your 'home branch' (the branch where you opened your account) - unless of course you like having to pay a transaction fee.

Metrobank can also treat you like a leper at another branch.  I needed to make a deposit at another branch and was given a separate number.  Anyone that came in with an account at that branch had priority over those of us from other branches. Another time I was near Ayala and my ATM card wasn't working so I went in to make a withdrawal but they wouldn't do it. But somehow I was able to buy a manager's check for p50 that they would cash. Of course this was delayed while they called my branch to find out if my account had a high enough balance.  Metrobank is branch banking done very wrong.  Each is essentially a separate bank with the same signage. 

When BPI opened a branch in Lacion I went in to move my account there instead of the PMall branch and they said I could but there was no need as they're all the same. I was overjoyed.  I also like that BPI has cash deposit ATMs so no need to use a teller for a simple deposit. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SkyMan
2 hours ago, JonnyBravo said:

Another thing I find weird about the banking system is that you need to go to your specific branch for atm. Sounds like bpi at least allows that throughout the country.

As far as I know that's not true for any of the banks. It's when you need a teller that causes problems with Metrobank and others. And you may be able to use other Philippine bank's ATMs for a small fee unlike using an Int'l ATM card where the fee may be p200-300 which is quite a bit when you may be limited to a p10k withdrawal.  I was somewhere the BPI ATM wasn't working so I withdrew some funds through a Metrobank ATM and the charge was 10 or 20 pesos. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..