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ATM FEES

Discussion in 'Banking - Investing - Finances' started by grandpainak, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. grandpainak

    grandpainak DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    Just went up at BPI & METRO. Two days ago I went to those ATMs in front of Max's and discovered that the ATM fee was now 250 pesos. I went to China and Robinsons and it was still 200 to make a withdraw. I'm looking for a cheeper way to get my retirement from the US to here.
     
  2. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Open a local bank account and wire transfer it from the US to that account?
     
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  3. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I assume you are using an ATM to withdraw funds held in your USA bank account (or possibly, but unlikely, from a different Philippines bank). The solution could be to get your money remitted from the USA to a Philippines bank (we have found BDO and BPI to be fine but have not used others yet) and then withdraw from that bank, using only that bank's ATM. We can withdraw (for example) up to P50,000 per day from my wife's BDO using a BDO ATM with ZERO FEES. If you want more than that per day then you can make withdrawals over-the-counter* (or open another bank account with a different bank). * Or 'under-the-counter' if the cashier is a pretty one!

    So, if I am on the right track so far, the next question is how to get your money from your USA bank to your Philippines bank. One way is a direct wire transfer from bank to bank (as Mr Wyre suggested) but I know of a Filipino friend in the UK who was doing that (UK bank to Filipino bank) and receiving an appalling currency exchange rate. So we use remittance companies (this has recently been written about on another thread here) and use them as a middleman. Find the best one in the USA (comparing fees and exchange rate combined) and use it to feed your Philippines bank account. We watch the rates and when it is low (P66 or less per £ currently) then we do not remit anything; when it is high (P66.4 or above ..... this is relative, as the GBP had a hammering post the Brexit vote and no rate is 'good' at present) then we remit. Remittance companies have very tough regulations imposed on them by governments who are insolvent and trying to make it very hard to get OUR money out of the country, so we just use three or four different companies; we learned through trial and error our limits with each one.

    I hope this answers your question and, if not, maybe someone else will find it useful. Always remember that every financial institution handing our money has 'sticky hands' and, whatever they do for us, some of our money remains stuck to their fingers (in poor exchange rates and fees in the case of money transfers between countries) and it is our absolute responsibility to leave as little as possible sticking to their hands and as much as possible coming to us. Another suitable analogy of this is a cement mixer and the mortar which remains inside after the bulk of the mortar has been tipped out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  4. Plainspoken

    Plainspoken DI Forum Adept

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    Check out the conditions, which are not that strict for amounts deposited, and Schwab will reimburse all your ATM fees. Any bank, any time, anywhere, automatically back into your account. That is assuming you want to leave your money in the US.
     
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  5. okiebound

    okiebound DI Forum Adept Showcase Reviewer ✤Forum Sponsor✤

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    We used to write ourselves a check drawn from our US acct and deposit it to our BPI dollar acct. You have to start the process, it takes about a month, but if you do it every month it works out. I would then just go in and convert to PHP when I needed to and deposit that into our PHP acct.
     
  6. Dutchie

    Dutchie DI Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    When using local ATM's with a card issued by some foreign bank, you get screwed twice or even three times.
    The "ATM fee" is just the first of your problems, but it is a high fee already. PhP 250 for a withdrawel of 10,000 means a 2.5% fee right there.
    The next is the exchange rate that is used to charge your bank account back in your country of origin. To give an example, in all likelihood, if the actual exchange rate for USD/PhP is at 51, like it is now, then your bank will charge you using not that 51 rate of exchange but only 49.5 or something (check your last Dumaguete ATM transaction in your U.S. bank account to be sure how much of a fool your bank thinks you are) If they indeed do charge you 1 US$ for every 49.5 PhP then that is another 3% fee.
    And lastly, if your U.S. bank does the same as mine then they charge you a flat fee for the foreign transaction on top of the bad exchange rate.

    So that are three reasons to look at a better way to get your money here.
    As Wrye suggested, all good solutions start with opening a peso ATM account at a Filippino bank (and apply for an ATM card).
    In my experience, the requirements are not an obstacle to do so. Passport, couple of pictures, some signatures, minimum deposit/balance of 2,500 and that should do it.
    Next, if you haven't already done so, sign up for electronic banking with your US bank, so you can make bank transfers without sending paperwork overseas.
    Then you have a choice, you could
    a) do a (US)bank to (Duma)bank transfer, but chances are they will charge a hefty fee for making an international wire transfer, plus they'll charge you that same awful exchange rate.
    b) find a (much) cheaper way of transfering your money into your peso account. Several options have been mentioned in recent threads, there are many.

    After all that, you can end up paying no more than a 1% fee (option b) and get the actual midmarket exchange rate (the 51) to get your money here, and start using your Pinoy ATM card without fees.

    You can send me a private message if you require personal assistance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  7. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I found in all the banks I asked that they want an ACR for foreigners opening a bank account.
     
  8. Dutchie

    Dutchie DI Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    You're right, I forgot to mention that one.
     
  9. Princeton

    Princeton DI Member

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  10. Princeton

    Princeton DI Member

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    cheapest option i found is to open a peso act and an act in your home currency...write myself a check for deposit in my currency..only charge i pay is a $20 flat rate no matter size of check...for example..10k .2%...takes a while to clear and hit your act in the Phils but i think the cheapest way to get your foreign currency to the Phils...then shop for best exchange rate and deposit to local act once exchanged
     
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