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Cebuandrew

Is there a better way than Xoom?

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sugbu777

Remittances to the Philippines have become quite a chore in the last six months. I had several times where people I send money to regurlarly (including my wife) could not pick up, WU stating that I had sent too many times. Now it has changed that it is not the person that is sending that is flagged, but the person picking up. WU stated that is because of  InternationalTrafficking in Persons and that it is now  Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas tracking all remittances by ANY means (BDO remit, XOOM... anything). Anyone else had similar problems?

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Cipro

RemitHome.com is vastly better than Xoom and a lot less assholish. There may be better options, but remithome is my goto. 

 

 

EDIT: RemitHome has an option to send the USD or to convert - up to you. 

Edited by Cipro

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Mari M

I have been using Remitly to send money monthly to my family when I was living in the US and I have not had any problem with their service. They have really helpful customer service support too. If you want to receive funds in pesos the basic service (3-5 business days) is free and for funds receive in minutes it's also cheap. Funds receive in $ whether directly deposited to your bank acct here in PI or you pick it up in cash ($)starts from $10.99. I just transferred $2,999 (daily limit) yesterday and only paid $15.99. It would only be $12.99 if I use the basic service.

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Mari M

I have also used Western Union, LBC money padala, Transfast and Xoom but Remitly has the best service, higher rate and low fee. No that I am in the Philippines I think it's best for me to receive funds in $ and find a place that has high exchange. So far I found this money changer near Tamiya in Lapu2x that higher than the others I've been to.

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mistaeric

It's great, only if no extra service fees are involved, but some banks refunds those other extra service fees,

if one has a lot of money deposited into their accounts. Even credit card companies charges a daily interest

charge on one's unpaid balances. 

There are seldom free ATMs anymore, unless it's with your bank. Use other bank ATMs other then your own,

there are always service fees involved. 

Charles Schwab Bank reimburses all fee from ATM use.

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Paul

If in the US, you can send via MoneyGram, up to $500 USD, for (I believe) $10.00. I believe, if you go through the Western Union website, it may be cheaper than MG.

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NOSOCALPINOY

My brother-in-law here in N. Calif has a Wells Fargo account so I browsed the Wells Fargo website on foreign remittances and they have this estimator to show what it would cost for a bank to bank remittance. Below is just one example and doesn't look too bad at all, but don't know if there are any catches, because I haven't read most of what's on the website..

I'm with a different U.S. bank and it costs $45 for a U.S. bank to an overseas bank money wire transfer! That's why I only write out U.S. personal checks for deposit into our local RP USD Saving account and wait 25 days for our checks to clear, which works well for us without any issues for over 14 yrs now!  

 

https://www.wellsfargo.com/international-remittances/cost-estimator/

Current ExpressSend Remittance Cost Estimator

Foreign exchange rate1 USD = 44.0154 PHP

Delivery Amount                   88,030.80 PHP

Amount                                $2,000.00

Transfer fee                                 $5.00

Total amount                       $2,005.00

 

https://www.wellsfargo.com/international-remittances/

 

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State Trooper

The problem I find is that the remittance comapines check your ip address and if you intiiate a transaction from the PHL and you have a US bank account they will shut you down. So I have to give my banking info to a family member who creates a remittance acct in my name so they have access to my bank acct and then handles the transaction from a US based ip address. Ive been with xoom for a few years and have not had problems but Ive recently had a Remitly acct set up as a backup.

 

PNB offers a Global Filipino Card and you load it like an ATM card from your US bank acct and then you use the card at any PNB ATM. Exchange rate is competitve and the fee is $3.98. I have not tried it yet but I understand it can be loaded online. Nice thing about this is it doesnt require a bank acct with PNB or any minimum balance.

 

I used BPI remittance until a few years ago when they stopped allowing mail-in cashiers checks for deposit into my BPI acct here. Now with BPI someone has to personally go into a BPI bank in the US and make the deposit and there are no branches where my family lives so BPI lost my business over that.

 

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Cipro

The problem I find is that the remittance comapines check your ip address and if you intiiate a transaction from the PHL and you have a US bank account they will shut you down. 

 

Look at the VPN thread for a solution to that. You can even get a VPN enabled router very cheaply and double NAT it behind your "real" router and have a VPN'd WiFi if you like. 

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Mari M

The problem I find is that the remittance comapines check your ip address and if you intiiate a transaction from the PHL and you have a US bank account they will shut you down. So I have to give my banking info to a family member who creates a remittance acct in my name so they have access to my bank acct and then handles the transaction from a US based ip address. Ive been with xoom for a few years and have not had problems but Ive recently had a Remitly acct set up as a backup.

Remitly didn't have a problem with me being in the Philippines sending money to myself using my US bank account. I did inform them before doing the transaction that I am going to be staying here for a while. I was asked how long so they can put a note that I will be doing this kind of transaction.

I also did the same with Xoom while in a visit here many years ago.

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dnl_grout

Below is just one example and doesn't look too bad at all, but don't know if there are any catches, because I haven't read most of what's on the website.. I'm with a different U.S. bank and it costs $45 for a U.S. bank to an overseas bank money wire transfer! That's why I only write out U.S. personal checks for deposit into our local RP USD Saving account and wait 25 days for our checks to clear, which works well for us without any issues for over 14 yrs now!     https://www.wellsfar...cost-estimator/ Current ExpressSend Remittance Cost Estimator Foreign exchange rate1 USD = 44.0154 PHP Delivery Amount                   88,030.80 PHP Amount                                $2,000.00 Transfer fee                                 $5.00 Total amount                       $2,005.00  

 

 

I have one of those Wells Remittance Accounts as back up if needed. They allow me to be the pickup person on the account in the Philippines but you have to deal with the inside of the bank. 

 

Could work out just fine long term, twelve transfers per year X $5.00= $60.00 per year. Just add the amount you want to the Remittance account

via your online banking with Wells...done.

 

Can you have and use a Remittance account with out an account with Wells?  I don't think so it would be way to good of a deal.

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Kodiak570

What about this? It seems intriguing, but I would have to look more into it:
 

 

 

 

54072-mango-box.jpg

 

Pros
Mango offers handy features such as text alerts, a smartphone app and the ability to load your card using PayPal.

Cons
If you load less than $500 on to your card during a month, you will incur a $5.00 monthly fee.

The Verdict:

 9.5/10

The savings account feature and PayPal compatibility make the Mango prepaid debit a nearly perfect way pay with plastic without affecting your credit.

 

 

Mango comes in as our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner in our prepaid debit card lineup. With this card, you can load money in various ways, including through PayPal. There is also a savings account, into which you can transfer money directly from your debit card. This feature can help you save money when you have a little extra to create a nest egg for a rainy day. Mango also offers several of its services without charging a fee.

 

 

You can perform many tasks absolutely free with Mango prepaid debit cards; we will list these first before hitting you with what Mango calls its Simple fees:

  • No sign-up or activation fee

  • No purchase fee

  • No card-to-card transfer fee

  • No direct deposit fee

  • No customer service fees

  • No bank transfer fees (your bank may charge a fee for this service)

  • No wireless alert fees (your wireless provider may charge a fee for this service)

 

 

This prepaid debit card does charge fees, just as every other prepaid credit or debit card does. Customers who do not load at least $500 per calendar month to the card will be charged $5 for each month they fail to do so. Note that if you load money onto your card by transferring money from one Mango card to another Mango card, these funds do not count toward your $500 monthly minimum. You can use an ATM to withdrawal cash, and this prepaid card company will charge you $2 each time you withdrawal money from an ATM, which is in addition to any fees that the ATM's owner may charge you.

 

 

Checking your account balance regularly will help you keep track of your money efficiently. You can check your balance by calling Mango's automated phone system, by talking to an actual representative or at an ATM. For each of these methods, Mango will charge you 50 cents. To avoid this fee, check your balance through your online account or use the YAP mobile feature to have the information sent to you in a text message.

 

 

You are able to use your prepaid debit card internationally, but if you use the debit card outside of the U.S., you will be charged two percent of the total purchase price for all transactions. Furthermore, if you use a foreign ATM, Mango will charge you the regular $2 fee plus two percent of the total withdrawal amount.

 

 

If you choose to close your prepaid debit card account with Mango, the company will charge you $10. If you have remaining funds on your card, you will receive a check for the remaining amount.

 

 

Flexibility

9.4/10

This prepaid debit card works on so many levels. Whether you're a business professional or a stay-at-home mom, Mango provides a card that you can use anywhere that MasterCard debit cards are accepted. There are two flexibility features that really stand out: the virtual card and the mobile capabilities.

Virtual card –You can make purchases online without having to give out your Mango card number. The virtual card has a secure account number, security code and expiration date. You can also use your virtual card to put cash on your Mango Card, for a $10 fee.

Mobile – You can check your balance, send money, track expenses and manage your prepaid debit card anywhere with the iPhone app. While we do love the iPhone app, we wish there was also an Android app available.


 


 

Features

10/10

 

 

Many people who turn to prepaid credit or debit cards are facing financial woes, including debt and poor credit history. Sometimes a prepaid card is the only option because you don't need a credit check, you aren't charged interest for using the card and you can only spend what you load onto the card, so you'll never exceed your limit or overdraw your account.

 

 

A prepaid debit card can be the perfect option to help you get back on track. This is why the Mango Grove is one of our favorite features that anyone, even those who are not holders of a Mango debit card, can access. The Mango Grove is Mango's company blog, but it is so much more than a typical blog. Here, you can access thousands of articles about how you can better manage your money. Yes, that may sound like a snooze fest, but these articles are actually enjoyable to read. There are even short, entertaining videos that you can watch. We haven't seen anything like Mango Grove offered by any other prepaid credit or debit card, and we are more than impressed by this feature.

 

 

Other notable features include the savings account. No other prepaid card offers customers this feature, and it only costs $1 to open this additional account. Mango can provide 6% APY on up to $5,000 for active cardholders who are enrolled in the direct deposit feature. Anything in excess of $5,000 will yield only .010% interest. If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, you will still receive 2% APY on balances up to $5,000. Note in the fine print that Mango does attest that these rates can change at any time.

 

 

If you have extra funds on your prepaid card, you can transfer that money to your savings up to six times per month. You cannot transfer money from your Mango savings account to your card, however.

 

 

One of the features we found especially handy is the smartphone app and the optional text alerts. The smartphone app is free to download; however, be aware they do charge you 50 cents each time you transfer funds using the app. You might also appreciate the optional text alerts. You can choose to receive a text message any time your card is swiped. This is a great way to monitor usage of the card, and it will also keep you spending within your means.

 

 

Funding Options

9.4/10

 

 

Because you will be using the prepaid card primarily for making purchases, it is imperative that you have sufficient funds available. The Mango prepaid debit card has several simple ways for you to load money onto your card, including:

Direct deposit – Your employer can deposit your paycheck directly into your Mango account. Mango does not charge a fee for direct deposit.

PayPal – This is our absolute favorite money-loading option. Mango is one of the few companies that even give you this option. You can transfer funds to your Mango card directly from your PayPal account online or with the smartphone app. Mango doesn't charge a fee for a PayPal transfer.

Bank transfer – In order to transfer money from your bank account to your prepaid card account, the name on both accounts must be the same. Mango does not charge a fee for a bank transfer.

Cash – In this case, cash means a Green Dot MoneyPak. You can purchase this card from thousands of locations. You will load money to your MoneyPak card and then add that money to your prepaid card. Retailers can charge up to $4.95 for a MoneyPak card. This is our least favorite way to load money.


 


 

Help & Support

9.4/10

 

 

The customer service center, like everything else about this card, is impressive. The FAQs section is extensive and well organized, so you can find exactly what you need quickly. If you do not find your question among those listed, you can type a keyword or phrase into the search bar.

You can send your questions, concerns or suggestions via email or call customer service. Email and phone support are available Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.

 

 

Mango Summary:

9.5/10

 

 

We are really impressed with Mango and its prepaid debit card. Any prepaid card comes with a set of fees, but not many companies are as straightforward about them as Mango is. And the ability to transfer funds directly from your PayPal account to your prepaid debit card is a stroke of genius. Compared to other prepaid debit card offerings, Mango has one of the best.

 

 

LINK

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State Trooper

American friend of mine living in Butuan tried using the Western Union prepaid debit card. He had his deposits credited to the account but had trouble remiting the money. Those debit cards expect you to use them as point of purchase and not for remitting to yourself or to anyone else. He had to make phone calls to Western Union every month to free up his money and they charged him 3 times for new cards in three months

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rtc926

Best is XOOM. Don't send the money in PHP, send it in USD to a USD account here. My Girlfriend opened a USD account at BPI, I send the USD pick it up in hours, and exchange it at a currency booth.

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Bill H

The problem with prepaid debit cards is the hidden fees.  When you withdraw funds from an ATM in the PH most  machines charge you 250p if not more.  When you make a physical purchase most cards tack on a 1% foreign service charge, and cards that don't often times have very bad exchange rates.  I continue to believe depositing a personal check drawn on your home bank, deposited into you PH bank is the best way to move funds to the PH.

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