Discussion in 'Banking - Investing - Finances' started by Hippiebrian, Feb 23, 2021.
Thanks. I will look into USAA as well as Schwab.
I have Schwab and USAA and recommend. Though my USAA is my 3rd backup option. Capital One is my secondary banking choice and where I keep some of my emergency funds. I set up the CO account while overseas but while having a US address.
I also recommend a few credit cards with high credit limits (and rewards/cash back perks).
I do not have a local bank account and have not ran into any situation where it would have been beneficial. For any large purchase (anything over one maximum ATM withdrawal) the seller WILL accept a wire transfer from a US bank or they WILL accept credit cards or I just won't do business with them. You would have to be crazy to carry large sums of cash in this country, especially when going to a deal at a known time and location. Maybe there are situations that require a local bank account but I haven't ran into one in the last 10+ years.
You also have to remember that you should never have more than P500k (~10kUSD) in a local bank as this is the maximum that is insured by the PDIC. This is the issue with the retirement visas in this country. People on that visa have been screwed over by local banks going t*ts up in the past. Their money was gone and they had to replace it or lose their visa.
In my experience, it would be much more difficult if we did NOT have a Philippine bank peso debit and peso credit card. Many of our vendors actually prefer having us transfer from our peso account to their peso account on the bank website, unheard of in the US. So much easier than trying to deal with US. When the POS used to try to verify a US card, a third of the time, it got rejected.
Also, whenever i've checked, transferring assets in dollars here on a regular schedule, then at some other time exchanging from a dollar account to a peso account for purchases whenever the bank rate is beneficial has always been more profitable than using a dollar credit card or dollar debit card, considering exchange rate and fees both. I'm sure that people have found good transfer apps, but i'd certainly check ALL the fees and exchange rates to compare before settling on one.
Although we use peso credit cards here we also have a dollar credit card with a LOW LIMIT, for use on internet and amazon-like sites. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to convince a bank csr that you want a LOWER limit and don't automatically keep raising it ??? <grin>
I'm also not worried about the failure of the top five banks in the PH, risk - benefit. The risk of a large bank failing is significantly less compared to the benefit of local availability. But then i wouldn't move all assets here.
I have both US Bank and USAA. I have Charles Schwab for my IRA and could open an account there if needed, but I don't right now see the need for it.
Many major places in the Philippines, even in Dumaguete, take credit cards. I have 3 or 4 cards with higher limits that do not have any foreign transaction fees on them. I have in the past, and will continue, to use these and pay them off through my US based banks. Transferwise, which is being renamed just Wise, has better rates than straight bank transfers do. I use it to fund our peso account at BDO for those places that don't accept credit cards.
This way I don't have to change any direct deposit info, and opens up options just in case since I am established with the banks.
Everyone has their own preferred way, this just seems like so far it has saved the most money. The only issue when I do retire there in 7 years is mailing address, i will probably use one of my kids, although I rarely get anything in snail mail anyhow, it will be good to have a "permanent" resident.
I wish I was only 3 years away, I have a minimum of 6 but probably close to 7 before I am able to retire. Unless I hit the lotto.