Behold your ultimate guide for securing the best exchange rate and sending money to the Philippines! International money transfers are not as complicated as they seem, and neither is finding a killer rate to turn those Aussie dollars into pesos. Before we begin, refer to the exchange rate calculator below for a picture of today’s best rates...
$500 monthly minimum for regular transfers
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An international money transfer (IMT) to the Philippines involves a customer choosing a foreign exchange provider that will convert their Australian dollars into Philippine peso, which are then deposited into a nominated Filipino bank account. Most of these services take no longer than a couple of business days to complete. If you find the right FX provider with a great exchange rate and low fees, the transfer costs should be minimal.
If IMT is so cost effective, you may be wondering why people don’t use it when they travel to the Philippines for a holiday. This is simply because only those who can nominate a bank account in the country to deposit the funds into are eligible.
People who send money to the Philippines using IMT will often include Filipino expats sending funds back home, those in the market to buy property and Australians preparing for a work stint there. Let’s look at two examples of how it could play out:
Recent Aussie graduate Eddie scored an engineering internship with a manufacturing company in the Philippines. He opened a bank account thanks to his work visa and started living there before the start date. Eddie’s parents sent him some money to help with the cost of living for a few weeks using a foreign exchange provider.
Danica is a Filipino expat who will buy a retirement property in her home country soon. She monitors exchange rates closely to lock one in when it’s just right, for a transfer at a later date. This transfer type is called a “forward contract” and is only offered by some FX providers.
If you want to send money to the Philippines, there are several ways you can go about it. Read on to learn how they differ in terms of fee structures, exchange rates and services...
Option 1: Banks.
Banks are pillars of the finance world you are most likely familiar with and trust, but should you use one to send money to the Philippines? Starting with the positives, you could say that banks put up with a lot of public scrutiny, resulting in high accountability and reliable services. On the downside, banks are known to apply higher margins on exchange rates compared to smaller, boutique foreign exchange providers. If you want the best PHP exchange rate, compare the rates of these guys detailed below too.
Option 2: FX specialists.
They may not have been around for as long, but boy can FX specialists give you a good deal when it comes to transferring money abroad! FX specialists have earned a reputation for applying some of the lowest margins on exchange rates around and will often argue they “beat the banks”. While this may be true, one potential stumbling block for you could be the fact that most of them operate solely online. That means no face-to-face contact or phone conversations either. If you’re transferring a great deal of money though, don’t underestimate the importance of bagging the best PHP exchange rate around!
Option 4: Alternative providers
Have you noticed some Post Offices have foreign exchange services too? While it may be convenient, watch out for the sting of high exchange rates and fees. Other options include Western Union or PayPal, which can be useful for sending small amounts to the Philippines rather than five or six figures.
Option 5: Peer-to-peer providers
These providers offer competitive PHP exchange rates because the process involves customers trading with a “peer” or “peers” via online marketplaces. With some platforms like CurrencyFair, users set the exchange rates, while others such as TransferWise apply the mid market rate. For these reasons, it’s highly likely the best exchange rate could be found with them. The good thing is, we compare them too. Scroll up near the top of the page and take a look at our exchange rate calculator!
Offer you the best exchange rate
It goes without saying that the best exchange rate will give you the highest Philippine peso return. Finding that out is easy, just look for the highest rate. No need to do the maths in your head, use the calculator on the top of this page for your potential PHP outcome.
Have minimal fees
A winning IMT provider will keep transfer fees to a minimum. Read the fine print to ensure you’re making the right choice, but generally speaking fees should only be a few dollars (unless you’re paying more for extra features).
Tip: Sometimes when banks receive foreign exchange funds, they take a chunk out of the grand total to pay for processing. This is outside of your IMT provider’s control. Best thing to do is check with the Filipino financial institution you’re sending the funds to first. Your solution could be to switch bank accounts or transfer more money than you initially planned.
Provide the service you need, suited to you
Customer service expectations vary from person to person, so weigh up your priorities. If you’d rather pay more for in-person or over the phone service compared to a web base transfer, choose a well-known bank or boutique FX provider with account managers on call.
Give you flexible options
Another factor to consider on your mission to find a winning IMT provider is the selection of transfer types. This would matter to you if more Australian dollars were at stake. Some FX specialists offer unique contracts like forward contracts, where you can secure a great rate when you see it for a transfer later on.
Worried your dollars won’t get there in time? Some international money transfers can be delivered faster to your nominated Filipino bank account for an additional cost.
1. Sign up
Registering for an account online with an IMT provider is super easy. Just make sure you have the following key personal information ready to type in if required…
If you’re reading this now, chances are you know a lot about sending money to the Philippines already! It’s easy to make a mistake though, so read up on the specific transfer options available to see if they apply first. At this stage you may like to call a customer service rep or account manager for a rundown on your options.
Once you’ve picked a suitable money transfer option, double check the beneficiary bank details. With most foreign exchange services, you have full responsibility over who you send your Australian dollars to. Don’t get a single digit wrong!
3. Kick off your transfer to the Philippines!
Now you’re ready, hit the “send” button or sign that transfer form and expect up to three working days for your dollars to arrive in the Philippines in peso form. Pat yourself on the back, because by finding the best PHP exchange rate, you’ve likely saved a pretty penny!