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I should be arriving in cebu in Nov. or Dec. and I have to figure out how to access my Canadian bank account without having a bank account in the Phils. My bank debit card has the PLUS logo on the back and my bank says there are many atms affiliated with the PLUS network in Cebu, such as Citibank, HSBC, and others. Most banks here have a fixed charge of 5 or 10 bucks to use their atm and that's it. What do the banks in Cebu charge?

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A_Simple_Man
I should be arriving in cebu in Nov. or Dec. and I have to figure out how to access my Canadian bank account without having a bank account in the Phils. My bank debit card has the PLUS logo on the back and my bank says there are many atms affiliated with the PLUS network in Cebu, such as Citibank, HSBC, and others. Most banks here have a fixed charge of 5 or 10 bucks to use their atm and that's it. What do the banks in Cebu charge?

Tell your bank that you will be in the Phillipines. I did not do that the first time I came. My ATM card was not usable in Cebu. The next time my card was not usable because the magnetic stripe had worn out but that is another story. Moral of the story is to be sure you have a back up plan.

 

Now the rest of the story. After returning to Canada to straighten all that out, I am now back in the Phils and my ATM card from Canada works in many of the machines here. I see they charge me $5 and give me about 3 or 4 % less on the exchange rate when I use it and I can only take out 10,000 Pesos per transaction

 

I found that cash in the form of NEW or nearly new 100 dollar bills is the best thing to bring. They give you less exchange for 20s and they don't accept 100s with any damage.

Edited by Dave_Hounddriver
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Tell your bank that you will be in the Phillipines. I did not do that the first time I came. My ATM card was not usable in Cebu. The next time my card was not usable because the magnetic stripe had worn out but that is another story. Moral of the story is to be sure you have a back up plan.

 

Now the rest of the story. After returning to Canada to straighten all that out, I am now back in the Phils and my ATM card from Canada works in many of the machines here. I see they charge me $5 and give me about 3 or 4 % less on the exchange rate when I use it and I can only take out 10,000 Pesos per transaction

 

I found that cash in the form of NEW or nearly new 100 dollar bills is the best thing to bring. They give you less exchange for 20s and they don't accept 100s with any damage.

 

If I'm having a good time I will probably stay Nov to June. That would would be lots of 100 dollar bills......

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For an extended stay I would (I did!) open an additional account at another bank. I have 2 atm cards for each. It could be a MAJOR pain in the ass to be on the other side of the Pacific from my money and not be able to access it.

 

CapitalOne absorbs some of the ATM fees (I think its $15 a month). I'm getting a slightly lower cost transaction from it than USAA, which also $15 of fees but has a 1% transaction fee. You don't have to qualify for USAA membership to open a bank account there, but you can't use any of their other services.

Edited by MrPlow42
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A_Simple_Man
If I'm having a good time I will probably stay Nov to June. That would would be lots of 100 dollar bills......

Yes, but to be reasonable, bring enough Hundred dollar bills to see you through for one month in case of emergencies. I have yet to find a problem that cannot be solved, provided you have a reasonable plan.

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Make sure that you're set up for online banking before you leave for the Philippines so you can check your balance and transfer money between accounts. You can buy 100 peso international long-distance calling cards in case you run into difficulties with your ATM card and have to call your bank. I told my banker that I was going to the Phils and they still put a hold on my debit card after I used it here the first time. I had to call their 800 number to confirm that I was the one using the card here (which was easily done via an automated system that they had), and needed the international calling card just to call out of the country even though I was calling a toll-free number.

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David Spicer
I should be arriving in cebu in Nov. or Dec. and I have to figure out how to access my Canadian bank account without having a bank account in the Phils. My bank debit card has the PLUS logo on the back and my bank says there are many atms affiliated with the PLUS network in Cebu, such as Citibank, HSBC, and others. Most banks here have a fixed charge of 5 or 10 bucks to use their atm and that's it. What do the banks in Cebu charge?

 

Although I'm sure the banks here charge a fee, it's small enough to not really be noticable. Your bank, as well as MC and Visa, are the likely candidates to charge a noticable fee. My credit union charges me no fee, but MC charges me a 1% fee on the transaction. I normally get 48-52 centavos less than what's being published on the Internet.

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Cipro

Is it possible to just open an account in LandBank or something and then do a direct transfer online? We are in the 21st century after all, I feel silly doing the equivalent of packing around bags of gold.

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David Spicer
Is it possible to just open an account in LandBank or something and then do a direct transfer online? We are in the 21st century after all, I feel silly doing the equivalent of packing around bags of gold.

 

You can try it, but many bank managers require an ACR-I Card to open an account. Policies vary from bank to bank, and even branch to branch, so it wouldn't hurt to try and it's likely you will find one if you look hard enough.

 

The 21st century comment I'm going to leave alone :)

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You can try it, but many bank managers require an ACR-I Card to open an account. Policies vary from bank to bank, and even branch to branch, so it wouldn't hurt to try and it's likely you will find one if you look hard enough.

 

The 21st century comment I'm going to leave alone :)

 

Philippine National Bank didn't ask to see one when I applied, though that was for a joint account with a Philippine national (my wife) who already had an account with them. They just required a photocopy of my passport and a couple of 1x1 ID photos plus a PHP5,000 deposit in the new joint (peso) account. This was at PNB's Banilad branch.

Edited by Jay
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I should be arriving in cebu in Nov. or Dec. and I have to figure out how to access my Canadian bank account without having a bank account in the Phils. My bank debit card has the PLUS logo on the back and my bank says there are many atms affiliated with the PLUS network in Cebu, such as Citibank, HSBC, and others. Most banks here have a fixed charge of 5 or 10 bucks to use their atm and that's it. What do the banks in Cebu charge?

 

Go to Union Bank opposite Ayala. They open you a savings account for free, no need for ACR or minimum deposit and they issue you an ATM card (Visa debit card) within 20 minutes.

Just bring your Passport and driving license.

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Cipro
Go to Union Bank opposite Ayala. They open you a savings account for free, no need for ACR or minimum deposit and they issue you an ATM card (Visa debit card) within 20 minutes.

Just bring your Passport and driving license.

 

 

Once this is done can I perform fund transfers easily from US to PI banks?

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You can try it, but many bank managers require an ACR-I Card to open an account. Policies vary from bank to bank, and even branch to branch, so it wouldn't hurt to try and it's likely you will find one if you look hard enough.

 

The 21st century comment I'm going to leave alone :)

 

 

I have had bank accounts on three diffferent Islands-Metro-PNB-Landbank and have never been asked for ACR.I never heard of any foreigner being asked for ACR anywhere.The first bank account I opened within a few days of entering the country-only requirements were-Passport and several passport size photos and Peso's.

Edited by ayala
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Just open a savings account at HSBC Canada. They offer a special program where you don't have to pay any ATM fees worldwide!

 

On top of that, set up a direct bank to bank transfer option within your online account menu and you can easily transfer money forth and back from your house bank account.

 

.

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Cipro

I just inquired with Landbank - I'll keep you all posted.

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