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SkyMan

No Min Balance USD Pension account at BPI

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SkyMan

So, the lockdown has caused me to pay a lot more attention to how I get pesos here.  Previously, I would deposit a check from my US bank to my RCBC USD account, wait a month to withdraw it and go to an exchange.  Then RCBC added a fee for a check deposit over $5k but no problem for depositing 2 checks for $4900.  WTFO?  So then create more work for themselves.  Ok.  so last time I went in there to deposit there was a fee for any foreign check.   That, and having to wait a month made it too much of a PITA and I started just relying on the HSBC ATM.  Fine.  

Well the lockdown was long enough that my pesos started getting thin.  My wallet was getting thin and my BPI peso account which I use to pay some bills was getting low too.  I couldn't get to HSBC, of course, nor could I get to RCBC in Mandaue and even if I could get there, I couldn't wait the month for the check to clear.  Started trying the transfer services which have decent rates for first time users.  For the most convenience, I tried to send to my BPI peso account.  Both Remitly and World Remit canceled the transfer and locked the account with no explanation.  Apparently you're not allowed to send yourself money overseas but they don't tell you that.  Transferwise canceled the transfer but didn't lock the account.  I found on BPI's website somewhere that there was a limit on remittances of p50K so I tried $950 with TW and it worked.  I also took p20K from a BPI ATM but I'm not sure if USAA is still covering ATM fees so I may be out the p250 for that.  And last Monday I was able to get to Ayala and got money at HSBC.  So I'm fine now but I want to be ready for next time.  

Last year I'd looked into opening a dollar account at BPI but didn't do it because they wanted a $500 min bal.  I was ok, then, with the RCBC dollar account with $100 min.  I then heard that BPI has a dollar account for pensions with no minimum.  They needed some proof of pension and when I tried to open it using my monthly statement, that wasn't good enough.  They kept telling me to get some letter from SS at the embassy and there was no convincing them that the SSA doesn't have anything to do with the VA.  So, I got a copy of my VA benefit letter from the VA and yesterday I was able to open a USD pension passbook account.  And even though it's a passbook account, I can transfer USD-PHP online.  So if you have a pension there is this option.  I don't have to send the entire amount, just set an allotment for what I want to come here.  For those that may already have a BPI USD account and you have a pension, you can take proof of this in and convert the account so you don't have the min balance anymore if you're interested.

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Dafey

Do they require a 13A visa or can a BB or Tourist visa avail?

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SkyMan
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Dafey said:

Do they require a 13A visa or can a BB or Tourist visa avail?

He asked me for my ACR-I card as one of my IDs.  I don't know if that was required.

He also said that there was no fee for depositing a USD check but, of course, they aren't taking foreign checks yet. 

Also, BPI does have other currency accounts but I don't kow if they have other currency pension accounts.

Edited by SkyMan
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HeyMike

Does anyone know if I can send money to my brother-in-law in Cebu using Remitly if I am in Cebu also? Or would this be like sending money to myself because I am in Cebu as well. The account is a US bank account sending to Palawan for pick-up. I would hate to have my Remitly account locked.

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SkyMan
17 minutes ago, HeyMike said:

Does anyone know if I can send money to my brother-in-law in Cebu using Remitly if I am in Cebu also? Or would this be like sending money to myself because I am in Cebu as well. The account is a US bank account sending to Palawan for pick-up. I would hate to have my Remitly account locked.

I think you'd be ok there but they don't really post what the rules are.

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HeyMike
12 minutes ago, SkyMan said:

I think you'd be ok there but they don't really post what the rules are.

Too true. I have been trying to find out for quite a while. If I ever get back to Cebu (hopefully in August), I will try and see if it works without getting the account locked.

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SkyMan
2 hours ago, HeyMike said:

Too true. I have been trying to find out for quite a while. If I ever get back to Cebu (hopefully in August), I will try and see if it works without getting the account locked.

If you aren't in Cebu now you can try it with a small amount and then once you've established that you should be fine.

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SkyMan

So, the BPI dollar account just got better.  Today I scanned in the form to send to VA to get my disability check sent straight to the BPI account.  I think that will work no problem.  I also wanted to set up a small allotment from my Military Retirement pay and was looking up the info on how to do that for an overseas account which can be down but I noticed on the paperwork from BPI that they have an account with BNY Mellon and I can just use that Routing Number with my BPI account number and it should show up without fees.  Yehay!!  So I did a small ACH transfer from NFCU to check it out and see how fast it is.  That makes life a whole lot easier.

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HeyMike
10 minutes ago, SkyMan said:

If you aren't in Cebu now you can try it with a small amount and then once you've established that you should be fine.

Thanks. I have been sending money to my brother-in-law in Cebu for months from the States using Remitly. I was concerned if there may be a problem sending money to him while I am in Cebu. Remitly will know I am sending money to Cebu while I am in Cebu. I have never used Remitly while I was in Cebu. I was thinking there may be some tax law (or something) prohibiting sending the money to Cebu while the sender is in Cebu. I think it will be okay, though.

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SkyMan
11 minutes ago, HeyMike said:

Thanks. I have been sending money to my brother-in-law in Cebu for months from the States using Remitly. I was concerned if there may be a problem sending money to him while I am in Cebu. Remitly will know I am sending money to Cebu while I am in Cebu. I have never used Remitly while I was in Cebu. I was thinking there may be some tax law (or something) prohibiting sending the money to Cebu while the sender is in Cebu. I think it will be okay, though.

To be safe, use a VPN.

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Busted Dick

This is interesting. I see that BPI now have accounts in other currencies such as UK pound; I have looked before and I am sure they did not. According to the website they require a minimum deposit of 500 (dollars or pounds) , depending on which currency your account is set up in but if they are offering a deposit free account that's even better! Which branch of BPI are you using? 

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SkyMan
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Busted Dick said:

Which branch of BPI are you using? 

That's what's great about BPI. There's very little that matters as far as which branch you opened the account at. Unlike Metrobunk where going into a different branch makes you a leper pariah. I use the branch in Lacion but opened the account at PMall before the Lacion branch opened.  When it did I went in and asked to move my account there and they said I could but there's no reason to. I took her word for it and haven't had a problem.  To get the no min balance you have to have proof of a pension and like I said, I don't know if they do that for other than USD.

Edited by SkyMan
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