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I opened a peso account the first week I was here at BPI in MEZ 2 Pueblo Verde, Basak, Lapu-Lapu. All that was required was 2 ID's and a 1 x 1 photo. I walked around the corner to a little shop who took my pic and gave me (3) 1 x 1 copies for I think it was maybe Php30. Went back into the bank and gave one photo, my passport, and driver's license from the US. Left 10 minutes later with ATM card in hand.

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I opened a peso account the first week I was here at BPI in MEZ 2 Pueblo Verde, Basak, Lapu-Lapu. All that was required was 2 ID's and a 1 x 1 photo. I walked around the corner to a little shop who took my pic and gave me (3) 1 x 1 copies for I think it was maybe Php30. Went back into the bank and gave one photo, my passport, and driver's license from the US. Left 10 minutes later with ATM card in hand.

 

 

Thanks everyone for their two centavos worth.I will take all advice on board.

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mattwilkie

Also be aware you can open a peso account with an international bank such as HSBC in your home country ahead of arrival just ask with a bank that has branches in the Philippines.

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I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that HSBC requires you to have a minimum of $100,000 U.S. dollars in deposits or assets somehow related to the bank in order to just quickly transfer funds from an out-of-country bank (such as in the U.S.A.) to an HSBC branch in the Philippines. If any of you do have an HSBC account in more than one country, how did you get around this requirement? I would really appreciate anyone who could give me some pointers here. (We already have several open accounts in Cebu, but I would really like to possibly look at HSBC if the deposit amount is more flexible.)

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I can't recall right off. But, back in 2003 or 2004, I was going to open a USD account at the old HSBC branch when it was on Llorente Street, or on the corner anyway. As I recall, they wanted something like $2,000 USD or maybe it was a $2,500 USD minimum, to maintain a USD account.

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Unless you are a patient guy, I wouldn't recommending just depositing any money to your dollar account...it take practically a month before the funds become available.

 

That seems very slow and I could hardly see the point of opening an account if I have to wait a month each time for the funds to clear.

 

I have only just got a credit card and have not really used it yet but I was planning to once I get there along with my debit and ATM cards from Australia. I know the banks charged me $5 I think for each ATM transaction so I would only use it when needed to withdrawl cash. Iwas also able to go into the bank and get money out directly after filling in some forms as often the machines never worked.

 

What is wrong with using my credit card to pay for things and using cash or ATM card other times? I just don't like the sound of waiting a month to access my money.

Edited by barty
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That seems very slow and I could hardly see the point of opening an account if I have to wait a month each time for the funds to clear.

 

I have only just got a credit card and have not really used it yet but I was planning to once I get there along with my debit and ATM cards from Australia. I know the banks charged me $5 I think for each ATM transaction so I would only use it when needed to withdrawl cash. Iwas also able to go into the bank and get money out directly after filling in some forms as often the machines never worked.

 

What is wrong with using my credit card to pay for things and using cash or ATM card other times? I just don't like the sound of waiting a month to access my money.

 

As an Aussie, your bank fees are going to be excessive here, whenever you use an ATM. I don't know what you will be charged for using the card as a Debit card. But, you certainly can use it for both, I'm sure. I'm an American, but I have an Australian bank account with Bendigo Bank, and an attached PayPal account based there as well.

 

If you open a USD account and stay ahead of the game, the total cost (plus waiting time) for you to make a deposit here, is only the cost of writing a check. Just get ahead by making an initial deposit. Then, write a check each month, or two months, for an amount equal or more than what you will need for the same time period. That way, you will always have funds going into your account. Many guys who live here do the same thing.

 

If, by some chance you are on disability from the US, others tell me that you can have that check deposited directly into a USD account here as well. I wouldn't go quite that far myself, if it were me. But, I see nothing wrong with writing a check every couple of months, or so.

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mattwilkie

the cheapest way ive found of transfering money into the Philippines is via Remittance companies. I use my online banking in the UK to transfer money electronically into the remittance account then they will transfer it to an account in the Philippines. It can take up to 2 weeks but the rates and cost are pretty low. I sent over P500k last year without any problems. Might be the cheapest way of doing it and also if the cash "isnt" urgent you can time it with exchange rates. E.g. the

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David_LivinginTalisay

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that HSBC requires you to have a minimum of $100,000 U.S. dollars in deposits or assets somehow related to the bank in order to just quickly transfer funds from an out-of-country bank (such as in the U.S.A.) to an HSBC branch in the Philippines. If any of you do have an HSBC account in more than one country, how did you get around this requirement? I would really appreciate anyone who could give me some pointers here. (We already have several open accounts in Cebu, but I would really like to possibly look at HSBC if the deposit amount is more flexible.)

 

Hey Joe,

 

HSBC have PowerVantage (

Which here in the Philippines requires a maintaining Balance of Php100,000.00 (across all accounts in any currency) and a charge of Php1,250.00pm, if you drop below this.

 

The disadvantage to PowerVantage, is when transferring funds from say a UK HSBC PowerVantage GBP A/C to an HSBC Philippines GBP A/C, there is GBP10,000.00 /day limit and a charge of GBP17 and a local decuction of GBP1.2?

 

HSBC also have 'Premier' Account (which here in the Philippines requires a maintaining Balance of Php4M - across all accounts/investments in any currency).

If you can't maintain such Balance there will be charges and a strong possibility that you will be downgraded to PowerVantage, as this is what happened to me, when they increased the 'Premier', requirement from Php3M to Php4M.

 

The BIG advantage of HSBC Premier, is you have such Premier 'status' worldwide. ie any Accounts elsewhere (HKG, UK, USA etc), will also become 'Prmeier' accounts and you can log in and transfer funds between them, with no transfer charges. I also think the limit of GBP10,000.00 per day does not apply either?

David Whittall

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Ivantheterrible

What about opening an account with HSBC or Citibank in the Philippines, do they still require all the same documentation as other banks?

 

Most banks require two forms of ID, I'm just wondering is my U.S issued SSN at all valid as one form, or not?

 

Do they need to both be forms of picture ID?

 

How easy is it to bypass the ACR card requirement? And what banks/branches are best for it?

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RogerDuMond

What about opening an account with HSBC or Citibank in the Philippines, do they still require all the same documentation as other banks?

 

Most banks require two forms of ID, I'm just wondering is my U.S issued SSN at all valid as one form, or not?

 

Do they need to both be forms of picture ID?

 

How easy is it to bypass the ACR card requirement? And what banks/branches are best for it?

Not an answer to your question, but if you do need two, don't you have a drivers license and a passport?

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Ivantheterrible

What about opening an account with HSBC or Citibank in the Philippines, do they still require all the same documentation as other banks?

 

Most banks require two forms of ID, I'm just wondering is my U.S issued SSN at all valid as one form, or not?

 

Do they need to both be forms of picture ID?

 

How easy is it to bypass the ACR card requirement? And what banks/branches are best for it?

Not an answer to your question, but if you do need two, don't you have a drivers license and a passport?

 

No, see that's my problem, I don't have a drivers license. So I need to figure out some other form of ID to supplement my passport?

 

Anybody have any ideas/suggestions?

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lazydays

Now that you have to get an ACRI card when you do your 59 day extension,you could use that,its an official Philippine ID card.

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Ivantheterrible

I contacted HSBC and they said that they would accept my U.S SSN as a form of ID.

 

Would people expect that other banks would accept a SSN as a form of ID? Citibank? BPI? BDO?

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NOSOCALPINOY

Try Bank of the Philippines (BPI). I know of a retired Navy, single guy that just arrived in the Philippines a few months ago. BDO denied him in opening an account, but he had better luck with BPI with opening a dollar and peso account including ATM and internet access. All you need is your passport and two forms of I.D., but bring anything else that you might think you'll need. Good luck!

Direct deposit of U.S. based government pensions weather they be Military, V.A. or Social Security pensions is another thing which most banks only allow the use of passbook accounts where no ATM or internet access is allowed, and the accounts is only in your name where your wife or anybody has no access to your account. That was my personal experience with BPI 5 years ago and still stands today! So what I did was, I redirected all of my government pension back to my U.S. bank account and just deposit each month my U.S. personal check into my dollar account here in the Philippines which takes exactly 25 days to clear! Then after my check has cleared and posted, I just go to my bank's ATM to withdraw my money or I go inside to the teller counter to withdraw any amount I need weather it's in pesos or dollars! And I can go on-line to transfer from one account to another or convert my dollars and or pay your bills on-line that local merchants are listed. I'm still with BPI for the past 12 years and haven't had any problems with their banking system since my direct deposit dilemma. Anyway, it's best that you keep all of your direct deposit government pensions in a U.S. bank for security reasons!

Hope this tid bit of information helps!

Edited by NOSOCALPINOY
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