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Dafey

Pesos account VS. Dollar account

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Lee

Nowadays the exchange rate is fairly close on BPI online but it is true that a person can get centavos extra at an outside money change and there is nothing to say that a person cannot have that outside money changer meet them in the bank should they wish to, we have done it many times over the years for large amounts, but when we exchange small amounts or we are out of the country and need to do an exchange, the online feature is great to have.

 

Also I carry an ATM from an account that we keep the minimum in, I go online and put in p10,000 to p20,000 depending on what I think we will need for the day before we head out and then if we should get cheated by one of those ATM skimmer, once I do the withdrawal, then there would be no money in the account for the skimmer person to steal and I then only refill it when we will need more money again, making it hard for someone who uses a skimmer to time when my card has money in it. I also had the bank lock the p3000 minimum so the skimmers would not even be able to get that amount. 

 

Also having more than one peso account allows a person a higher daily withdrawal limit should they have an emergency and need more cash, example, 4 peso accounts means 4 times the daily withdrawal amount and one of them can be a peso checking account to make life even easier. 

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AB2000

Thanks for the info guys. I guess I should add that I am mostly going to be in the US, going to the Philippines only every once in a while( every other year?), for the foreseeable future at least.

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Lee

Thanks for the info guys. I guess I should add that I am mostly going to be in the US, going to the Philippines only every once in a while( every other year?), for the foreseeable future at least.

You will need to keep the accounts active at least every 2 years or they will shut them down, one way would be to move money around online, we got a notice on our dollar account because I had not used it one year and all I did was exchange some money to pesos and that was considered activity.

 

If you will only be going once ever couple of years and not staying long then you would probably be better off with a Charles Schwab account in the US where you can use your US ATM card free while in the Philippines and as with a Philippine account, more accounts means access to greater amounts of money, IMHO no one should ever take a chance with only one type of access to money. 

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AB2000

I have the Schwab account already...I was looking for another option, and sending checks for deposit with no fee seems like a good way of building up some savings in the PI for trips, family etc.

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Paul

I have the Schwab account already...I was looking for another option, and sending checks for deposit with no fee seems like a good way of building up some savings in the PI for trips, family etc.

 

Definitely the way to go.

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rep1

With a dollar account, how can you withdraw peso or issue checks in peso? Is the conversion done automatically? But how can you know the rate when it happens?

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Lee

With a dollar account, how can you withdraw peso or issue checks in peso? Is the conversion done automatically? But how can you know the rate when it happens?

It depends on the bank, you can ask the bank to convert it at their rate, you would usually get cheated, have the street money changer come to the bank and withdraw dollars and have the money changer give you the pesos in the bank and then deposit them into your account, or if you have BPI then you can go online, see the exchange rate during business hours and do an exchange for that rate, if you are happy with it. For large amounts I have withdrawn dollars and had a money changer meet me at the bank, when dealing with Bank of Commerce, they had a money changer they often use meet us at the bank, once I confirmed the rate was around what I could get elsewhere. You can also withdraw the dollars and go to the money changer of your choice, I find it safer with large amounts to do it in the bank and then deposit most or all of the proceeds of the exchange into our peso account and then use our ATM card for daily living.

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rep1

what about manager's checks? since check is not concluded immediately, can the rate be fixed when it's issued?

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Lee

what about manager's checks? since check is not concluded immediately, can the rate be fixed when it's issued?

No, the check has to clear first before you can do an exchange, at least that has been my personal experience with a few different Philippine banks and even in the US, unless in the US the check is drawn on a branch of the same bank.

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rep1

so it'd depend on when the receiver of the check clears it?

 

 

it seems I need both of peso and usd accounts..... screw that I'm already in Taipei :(

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Headshot

it seems I need both of peso and usd accounts

 

That's how I do it. Having a US dollar account ensures fast money transfers. Having a Philippine peso account allows me to pay for large expenditures using managers checks, and it allows me to easily move money from dollars to pesos or visa versa. I use BPI.

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Lee

 

 

it seems I need both of peso and usd accounts..... screw that I'm already in Taipei

 

Not only dollar and peso but it also helps to have a peso checking account for large purchase and to pay yearly bills such as cable and condo monthly fees, that way you always have a receipt should anyone doubt it was paid. We also bought two of our condos using a check and we used dated checks to buy another unit on payments for 2 years no interest, worst mistake I made, I should have borrowed the money in the US and made payments on that, the exchange rate change cost me thousands of dollars on that foolish way of making a purchase but of course it could have gone for me instead of against me, had I been lucky. 

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Monsoon

I wouldn't go writing a check for $10,000 USD, at once anyway. Isn't that the magic number where they (READ: gov'ment folk) start looking at things a bit closer?

Usually only when it involves things like manager checks or other things easily converted to cash.

 

People deposit checks in the high/mid six figures all the time when selling property for example.

 

I have never been put under scrutiny for depositing significant checks in the Phils or the US.

 

I have been put through compliance exercises for ordering a bank check in amounts over $10k though. Well, every time.

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TheWhiteKnight

Oddly enough, by using printed checks that I was issued many yeas ago on my current primary account, I am able to use an APP on my phone and make electronic deposits from that account, to my Schwab account, to be able to draw my funds out each month. I just fill out a check made out to me, endorse it and take images of both sides. Then, "deposit" it via the APP, into the Schwab account. Go from there to May Bank, and withdraw the funds. (May Bank charges no foreign ATM fees.) If the ATM I used did charge ATM fees, Schwab would reimburse them each month, fortunately. 

 

I live on considerably less now than I have in ages. But, due to having these checks, and my current accounts as they are, this saves me a fair amount of money each month.

 

My primary bank, if I had to draw the funds from it via ATM, would cost me $2.00 initially, plus $1.00 on every $50 USD withdrawn. So, a single $500 USD withdraw would cost me $12.00 USD, plus more on the exchange - if I were in a country where the ATMs didn't dispense USD. That doesn't include the $4.00 or $5.00 foreign ATM fee that could be charged, on top of the other fees. 

 

 

I pretty live much completely on Schwab free ATM withdrawals and use a BPI atm(the best because they give you 20K each time). Use the ATM, go inside and depsit the PHP with the deposit machine. Pay all bills with BPI bill pay. Best rate, no fees with Schwab. I also have state farm and fidelity which are the same but I don't use them often. I used to use Citigold and local Citi ATM for the same no fees and best rate but Citibank Savings got bought by BDO and that was the end of that.

 

If you are an American expat or traveler and you don't have a Charles Schwab Checking Account/ATM you are throwing money away. You can open it completely online, nothing to sign, I even have them send me the ATM card to the PH for $15.

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TheWhiteKnight

Usually only when it involves things like manager checks or other things easily converted to cash.

 

People deposit checks in the high/mid six figures all the time when selling property for example.

 

I have never been put under scrutiny for depositing significant checks in the Phils or the US.

 

I have been put through compliance exercises for ordering a bank check in amounts over $10k though. Well, every time.

 

They do the reporting on all of those transactions, even if the amount adds up to more than 10K in a certain period vs all at once, they aren't fooled by splitting up the 10k in to smaller deposits or withdrawals but it's not something you would necessarily be told about. 

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