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TheDuke

Safeguarding money while in Cebu City

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TheDuke

My wife and I will be visiting in November and I want some advice on how to safeguard money while we are there. The last time we visited I carried the cash with me in a money belt but it was a hassle. This time I don't want to carry cash with me everywhere I go since there is the possibility of getting robbed or losing it. At the same time I don't want to leave it at the house we will be staying at in Lahug. Is there any way to secure it in a safe place so I can go about my business and retrieve what I want when I need it. Maybe a safety deposit box? We opened a bank account at Banko Filipino the last time we were in Cebu City so I could always deposit most of it and withdraw what I need, but I am worried that maybe there will be some problems withdrawing it. Also if I withdraw the remainder when we leave can it be in dollars so I can bring it back to the states or would it only be in pesos? I could also leave most of it in my account at home and withdraw it but that worries me since if there are problems I will be in a foreign country with no money. That happened to my sister-in-law the last time she was in Cebu City. She had problems withdrawing money at HSBC and had to borrow money from a relative just to survive. I sure don't want that to happen to me, so I would prefer to bring the cash with me. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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the.lone.gunman

I have 2 bank atm cards. One is on the Plus network and one is on the Cirrus network and I have 2 credit cards, a Master Card and a Visa. I notify all of them that I will be in the PI before I leave home. I have never had a problem with BPI bank machines. Use the ATM machines that are in a bank, not the free standing ones. If you have a problem you can go into the bank but like I said, no problems with BPI for me. I withdraw 10k pesos at a time, I put some in my wallet, some in my pockets, some in my shoe, my gf holds some, and I leave some in the safe at the hotel. Works for me, your mileage may vary. I carry one atm card and credit card and I stash the other two just in case.

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Headshot

If this is just a short trip, just bring some money (in new $100 bills) and you can also likely use your US debit card to withdraw money from ATMs here if you really need to. If you are worried about keeping the cash safe, get a small lockbox from Ace Hardware in SM Mall. They're fairly cheap and can be secured so the box doesn't walk away while you are gone. I agree on notifying your banks and credit card companies that you will be in the Philippines, or you will likely have a hold placed on your accounts the first time you try to use them here.

 

If you are coming for a longer period, set down with somebody in your US bank or credit union (my choice) and work out a system for requesting wire transfers by email. I email my credit union for a certain amount to be transfered to my BPI account and they wire the money to one of my accounts at BPI (peso or dollar) at my discretion. Three to five working days later, BPI will make the money available in my account (Philippine banks are NOT fast on any procedure and international wire deposits are no different). I use code words in my emails, so my credit union knows it is me who is requesting money.

Edited by Headshot

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Terry

Wow, that's a lot to do and remember. I just opened a BPI account, use Xoom to add money then use the BPI atm card. When in Cebu I use BPI, when in the US I use my US bank. Only carry one card at a time.

 

T

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SkyMan

Tall order there really.

 

You want to bring a lot of cash because you don't trust your ATM card to work.

but you don't want to carry around the cash and don't want to leave it home.

You want to leave it in a safe place but not a bank.

 

I'm stumped... :scratch_head:

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Baldy

Tall order there really.

 

You want to bring a lot of cash because you don't trust your ATM card to work.

but you don't want to carry around the cash and don't want to leave it home.

You want to leave it in a safe place but not a bank.

 

I'm stumped... :scratch_head:

 

First time I hear this too...

 

Usually a Visa card with a bank account is safe enough.

 

OR, u could carry some thousands USD in the same pocket as u'r desert eagle :snap: That sounds safe to me...

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TheDuke

Tall order there really.

 

You want to bring a lot of cash because you don't trust your ATM card to work.

but you don't want to carry around the cash and don't want to leave it home.

You want to leave it in a safe place but not a bank.

 

I'm stumped... scratch_head.gif

 

 

Yea my post is a little circular isn't it. I guess I shouild have asked where is the best place to store cash while I am in Cebu City. I prefer bringing cash and I just want to secure it while I am out and about.

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Baldy

Tall order there really.

 

You want to bring a lot of cash because you don't trust your ATM card to work.

but you don't want to carry around the cash and don't want to leave it home.

You want to leave it in a safe place but not a bank.

 

I'm stumped... scratch_head.gif

 

 

Yea my post is a little circular isn't it. I guess I shouild have asked where is the best place to store cash while I am in Cebu City. I prefer bringing cash and I just want to secure it while I am out and about.

 

The bank. They have deposit boxes to rent.

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Headshot

Yea my post is a little circular isn't it. I guess I shouild have asked where is the best place to store cash while I am in Cebu City. I prefer bringing cash and I just want to secure it while I am out and about.

If you will be staying in a hotel, most good ones have safe deposit boxes (either in the rooms or at the front desk). If you will be staying at somebody's home and they wouldn't mind your securing a small safe deposit box, then get a cheap one at Ace Hardware at SM Mall.

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ayala

I never had any problems with using a mastercard or visa debitcard or credit card(account in USA) on withdrawals in any bank in the philippines.Have more then one,keep your stateside accounts,and always leave one card in a different location then the one you are regularly using,just in case of loss,pick posketed or whatever.

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Lee From Cebu

Heres a few ideas I have used in the past

this is my favorite

make your own

 

 

Can safes are good

there available in every flavor and wd -40 etc

 

I always try to leave a small amount of cash in a easy spot to find like a old wallet with useless cards and such.

Hopefully they will find it and think they got it all and leave in a hurry .

 

Its also a good idea for muggings throw the wallet away from you when they go for it make your escape

 

Most important don,t let anyone know your traveling with cash . False stops at the atm is a good way to do this (if you have someone with you lots)

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Lee From Cebu

Oh and of course a money belt under your clothes

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Paul
If you will be staying in a hotel, most good ones have safe deposit boxes (either in the rooms or at the front desk). If you will be staying at somebody's home and they wouldn't mind your securing a small safe deposit box, then get a cheap one at Ace Hardware at SM Mall.

 

 

gallery_1_474_43770.jpg

 

Duke, I have been livin' here for a pretty long time. I have had few, if not any, issues with ATM cards not working here. Of course, the banks did began charging Php 150, on average, for international withdrawals from their respective ATMs.

Edited by Admin

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TheDuke

I guess I am old school, but I would just feel better if I had the cash with me. Of course I will have a credit and debit card with me as back up, but to me nothing beats cash in hand. I just want to secure it in a safe place while we are running around town. We will be staying at a private residence in Lahug but I don't feel comfortable leaving it there since it is a rental. I've read about the $800.00 missing from the Marriott hotel on this forum and my worst nightmare would be to store my cash some place and have it stolen while we are gone.

 

I used a money belt last time and it worked but I never felt comfortable walking around Cebu with more than a thousand dollars wrapped around my waist. It was even more of a hassle when I went swimming. Since I already have a bank account at Banko Filipino I will check with them to see if I can just rent a safety deposit box. I was also thinking about depositing the money and just withdrawing what I need but I am sure the bank will only give out pesos. That's not a big deal unless I still have some money in the account when we leave and I want to withdraw it in US dollars. I'm sure they won't do that. I just wanted to see where else I could store my money while I was there. I really appreciate the feeback. It has been helpful.

Edited by TheDuke

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Paul

Well, I don't know if your plan is to return to the Philippines or not, after this trip. But, in my personal opinion, since safety is your priority, I would do this:

 

1. Open a USD Savings Account.

2. Open a PHP Savings Account.

3. Deposit whatever cash you will have with you, into that USD Savings Account.

4. Contact your bank whenever you want to convert funds and transfer them into your Peso Account. (Most banks will do this with a phone call.)

5. Have an ATM card on that bank that you can use while you are out.

 

Planters Bank and RCBC both have a $100 USD minimum balance to open USD Savings Accounts.

 

Anyway, that is my best advice for you, considering everything I have read thus far.

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