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Best way to make regular transfers from US bank to my Cebu peso bank


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I am living in cebu and have a savings account in pesos in Metrobank.   I will need regular transfers of money from my usa bank (chase and of course it is dollars)

into my Metrobank peso account for living expenses.   I am aware of bank fees on both ends - usa and philippines - but I am also aware that the exchange rate that is used can make a huge difference and lose me a lot of money if I make the wrong choice.   I am sure other americans have this scenario and i wonder what their advice would be.   I certainly can do the easiest which would be to make online wire transfer from Chase in Usa to Metrobank in Philippines, but i DON'T know if that is the most cost effective method.    Thanking any member who can share their experience.

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I've been doing cash deals here nearly everyday for well over twenty years. Nobody in the deep province wants to know about a check and has likely never even heard of one. If someone needs to offload

Buying something like a jeepney or a big generator in a private sale. Doing a quick prenda deal on some copra land. Financing seed and fertilizer for the next rice harvest. Buying a hundred cases of P

Stand by guys...gotta hit the ATM!

RogerDuMond

When I was ready to make the final move here ten years ago, we knew that this was going to be a problem. We set up an account at HSBC U.S. and HSBC Philippines at the same time. Money that is direct deposited into our account in the U S can be transferred to out HSBC dollar account here at no charge and HSBC's conversion rate is comparable to other banks here. There is also no charge for transferring pesos from our HSBC Ph account to our Metrobank account here.

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to_dave007
24 minutes ago, RogerDuMond said:

When I was ready to make the final move here ten years ago, we knew that this was going to be a problem. We set up an account at HSBC U.S. and HSBC Philippines at the same time. Money that is direct deposited into our account in the U S can be transferred to out HSBC dollar account here at no charge and HSBC's conversion rate is comparable to other banks here. There is also no charge for transferring pesos from our HSBC Ph account to our Metrobank account here.

I do exactly the same..  in Canadian $ ffrom Canadian HSBC account to cebu HSBC account.  It's a bit inconvenient having to go to Ayala to the only HSBC branch here, but I get around that my making good use of HSBC online capability to;

  1. Autotransfer monthly from CDN$ account (in canada) to CDN$ account (in cebu)
  2. Wait until exchange rate is suitable before requesting foreign exchange (from HSBC cebu CDN$ account to HSBC cebu peso account)
  3. Autotransfer monthly from peso account (at HSBC cebu) to peso acount (at UCPB Tuburan)..  I am in the province, and this is the ONLY local bank, just 1km from my home
  4. Take cash monthly across the counter at UCPB.  Never more than 5 minutes.
  5. Like Roger..  no fees..  and a conpetitive exchange rate.. 

Lastly..  when you set this up, don't think about whats convenient for you TODAY.  Think about what will be convenient for you in the future, when you may have less mobility, and less capability, then now.  I have several stories of people who didn't..  and eventually had significant issues getting living expenses into their hands.

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Others have posted here about using Schwab  international, whether tied to a brokerage account or not. I suspect those won't have high minimums.

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Dafey
1 hour ago, KMonde said:

I suspect those won't have high minimums.

$0.00 minimum

1 hour ago, Fresh said:

Except for HSBC Premier accounts with at least US$75k balance, those aren't going anywhere.

 

Wow! Wish I could afford a Premier Account! But I'd probably spend 80% of it on fast motorcycles, strong booze and sexy clothes for my wife anyway. The other 20% I'd probably waste!

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Go all in and spend all on a motorcycle. YOLO!! 😁

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Soupeod
9 hours ago, usadoc said:

I am living in cebu and have a savings account in pesos in Metrobank.   I will need regular transfers of money from my usa bank (chase and of course it is dollars)

into my Metrobank peso account for living expenses.   I am aware of bank fees on both ends - usa and philippines - but I am also aware that the exchange rate that is used can make a huge difference and lose me a lot of money if I make the wrong choice.   I am sure other americans have this scenario and i wonder what their advice would be.   I certainly can do the easiest which would be to make online wire transfer from Chase in Usa to Metrobank in Philippines, but i DON'T know if that is the most cost effective method.    Thanking any member who can share their experience.

I use Transfer(Wise), from my USA bank to my Phil bank. 
Current exchange rate or better! (This is where they get you)

Costs - Six dollars per $1,000 transferred

I use my Phil Atm card at any ATM in Cebu, Ormoc, all over the Philippines for a small charge. 8p or so.

If you want to withdrawal a large sum, you should use a Phil bank near you. 

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Jawny

I use Metrobank and have a dollar account. I do not use a transfer system, but rather use personal checks. It is simple,  secure and not costly.  I  have not done it in a while,  but I believe the latest fee for the check was $2.50. The significant drawback is the check takes four weeks to clear. The minimum balance for a dollar account is $500. Annuity accounts have a smaller minimum. 
 

I have a good relationship with the bank manager, so he routinely gives me the preferred customer exchange rate whenever I make a withdrawal and convert to pesos. 

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2 hours ago, Soupeod said:

I use Transfer(Wise), from my USA bank to my Phil bank. 
Current exchange rate or better! (This is where they get you)

Costs - Six dollars per $1,000 transferred

I use my Phil Atm card at any ATM in Cebu, Ormoc, all over the Philippines for a small charge. 8p or so.

If you want to withdrawal a large sum, you should use a Phil bank near you. 

I can vouch for transferwise (wise.com), been using them for many many years.

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smokey

I open bdo dollar and peso wire from us bank to dollar then dollar to peso they charge me .40 per dollar

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BossHog

I get wire transfers in USD from Bank of America to my PNB dollar account. It takes about one business day. BOA doesn't charge me for the outgoing transfer. PNB charges a $6 USD service fee for an incoming amount of 5-10,000 dollars. Once you have dollars in country it's up to you to shop around for the best rate. Not sure how practical it is to do it that way every month but it's a very inexpensive, relatively fast and secure way to transfer money.

For routine withdrawals I use a Schwab debit card tied to my account in the states. No fees and a great exchange rate but you're limited to around 40,000 pesos a day.

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Dafey
10 minutes ago, BossHog said:

For routine withdrawals I use a Schwab debit card tied to my account in the states. No fees and a great exchange rate but you're limited to around 40,000 pesos a day.

You can request up to 90,000 per day from Schwab. Lot's of fun drawing 90,000 at 10,000 per transaction while everyone behind you is wondering if there will be any pesos left when it's their turn!

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Curious... why the need to withdraw lots of cash? Aren't most bills there payable online, G-cash, credit card, bank-to-bank transfer? Or does this apply to those outside the big cities only? I used to withdraw lots of cash when I'd visit but never used most of it.

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