How Can I Open A Bank Account In The Philippines?

I will be retiring in September and just wondering how and what I will need to establish a bank account in the Philippines that will give me a debit card so I can use the ATMS, with a safe bank in the PI. I am a member with USAA and they will not deal with banks in the Philippines so can you help me out?

Need a bank that can work is all. Do you know what forms I need and what id forms last time I tried did not have photo picture of electric bill to prove my address.

What bank in the USA works well with the PHILIPPINE bank?? Mine already said they will charge a flat rate to send money to another!! Expensive at $35 to send $2500USD! Wow there must be a better solution?

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    you might want to check out paypal. i have an american friend living there for over 3 years and i know thats what he uses, sorry i dont have any more details, but im curious to what other mongers are doing as well. good question!

  • Eric

    Call Philippine National Bank and they will mail you the forms to open an account and you can send them back with a money order or cashiers check for the initial deposit. They have a branch in L.A. the number is 213-401-1800. They have a Superteller savings account. It takes $200 to open, $60 goes to the service fee and the rest gets deposited in your account.
    They issue a ATM with this account, but it is only good in the Philippines. You don’t need an ACR immigration card, just a copy of your driver license and a copy of a current ATM card and a color passport size photo.
    You can transfer money online from your american account. You will have to pay whatever your bank charges for the wire transfer. It is usually around $10-$20. Or you can have your pension direct deposited to your account every month.
    It is easy to do and finalized in a few weeks.

  • Eric

    I forgot, they prefer money orders to open the account, no particular type, postal or whatever.

  • admin

    Another one bites the dust. Here is yet another comment from a SYK member that used the “New Question Box” instead of the appropriate Comment box.

    “once you have an account in P.I. just use for dollar to peso or dollar to dollar transfer. it’s way faster and cheaper. if you here in the U.S., you can also open a BPI account online, BPI remittance offices in the U.S. to remit funds to the new account.when you go to P.I. pick up the ATM card to the branch you have choosen.”

  • admin

    And another user posted this comment:

    you have to appear in person to open a savings/checking account in the philippines. you need to show them 2 forms of id ( passport,postal id,etc.) and 1×1 photo(very important)pls. do ask for international atm card so you can use it metrobank, bpi and bdo for their requirements and what not.

  • corjo

    For fast and secure transfers I would use P.N.B. I have been using them for over 20 years without problems.Their Internet based Rapid Remit service is excelent but not cheap.
    Remember what mama used to say You get what you pay for……..

  • admin

    This is not my comment…this is from someone else:

    most banks in the Phils (bdo,bpi,metrobank,citibank,union bank,pnb) have the option of direct deposit from US pension or SSS benefits directly deposit to US Dollar account in the Phil.(you have to open a $ account of course,$500 minimum deposit that earns interest)it comes with an international atm card as well.At BPI bank, if you open a $ account, you can do an Online Foreign Exchange from $ to peso so you dont have to go to a money exhanger at no charge. the rate is about the same or higher as oppose to going to block market.its much safer too especially if you have a lot of $ to convert.

  • jamunderwo

    thanks for the information I have been living in Korea and just brought lots of cash when I did my week or two vacation.I tried to open a bank account in SM Mall one time but did not have the right stuff. So all I will need is a color copy of my passport and a passport photo, was told i needed some so of bill like a electrical bill receipt. Just want to be sure I have all bases covered while I am still got a chance to take care of everything. please let me know if I need any thing else. Then go to BPI Bank thanks again for ur help the first San Miguel on me.

  • Eric

    Your welcome Jedi. I understand wanting both accounts, that is what i do. It’s a very simple process that alot of people over think and complicated.

  • doc33

    BPI and Wells Fargo have a working relationship. You can remit up to $3K for 5$ or $7 depending on if the remittance is from an account or is strictly a cash transaction.

    • admin

      I just talked to Wells Fargo 4 days ago. You need to physically be in the branch to do the transfer. For people on vacation it’s good, for people living in the Philippines, no good. If they had on online option to do it, it would be great.

  • POGI

    open an account (checking/savings) when u go to PI at no charge whether if its a peso or will only take about a week or less to get your international atm card. banks like BPI,BDO,Metrobank has a service where you can access your account via online,landline phone, and mobile for free. when u go back to U.S. you may also put money into your accounts via online remittance (so many of them). they even have the first time remittance for free.for me as soon as i arrived in PI, i deposit all my $ to my account right away…so many banks inside or around the airport. i dont like carrying large amount of cash with me all the time, if you get robbed or what not…that’s it. your MONEY is gone, plain and simple.

  • Shaggy47

    Just curious, but why can’t you open a B of A, or Citi account here, and use it over there? I know that I could use my Japanese B of A account in the States… Also, banks may have reciprocating privileges with ones in the States. It is worth looking into. Just because they don’t advertise it does not mean that they don’t have the agreements, and cross privileges in place…

  • ttriumph48

    A few years ago, while in a Manila mall, I used my (USA) B of A Atm card (to get some $) with no problems. Granted, I am sure there were lots of added charges for the privilege…can not remember how much $…


    I used my wellsfargo card to get money in the PI atm with no issue. It will automatically convert the funds to pesos, if I recall it was at a better rate than the published exchange rate at the banks in the Philippines. Just be careful with using you’re card directly to buy things like at restaurants mall ect as it could easily get skimmed.

  • erotica

    wow good 2 know there is union bank there.

  • edwin moure

    hi,I get social security and my chck goes right to the bank ,,,BPI is the bank

  • Robert F Hays

    Wells Fargo has agreements with both BPI and BDO. I can use my WF card at ATMs of both banks. Limit $US200 and costs total of $US10 a transaction. Another method: I established a foreign “ExpressSend®” service with WF listing myself as a “Beneficiary” (foreign receiving party). It costs $2 per transaction. Maximum $US3000 per transaction and $US12,500 per month. I go to WF online banking and send myself money. I just take my ID and the transaction “code” to the bank and pick it up.

    • Mike

      Thanks for that info. I’m going to look into that!