What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to the Philippines?

Time Doctor - What's the Cheapest Way to Send Money to the Philippines

So you want to send money to the Philippines, what’s the best option to choose? Some of the most well known options have very high fees. For example the fees to send money using PayPal can be as high as 8%!a

At Time Doctor we have a lot of customers that use our software for tracking time for their workers that are working in the Philippines. We have over 2,500 people working in the Philippines (mostly working from home) using our software. They need a way to get paid and so we created this article to help our customers find the lowest cost to transfer money.

What are hidden currency conversion fees?

Well it’s actually quite simple. There is a REAL currency exchange rate, which is the rate at which banks exchange money. Then there is the rate that you get when you transfer money. The difference is a fee that you are charged for the transfer. However, they won’t tell you about this fee. It’s hidden!

In the tables below we’ve created clarity about the hidden fees by doing our own calculations.

Hidden Fees can be VERY high

Want to exchange $1000 from Australia to the Philippines at the airport in Sydney, Australia? Whoops! You just paid Travelex $128 for the transfer (and they didn’t tell you about this “fee”).

Sending money via PayPal? You will be charged a hidden fee of 2.5%-4% depending on which method you use.

What transfer methods do we use at Time Doctor?

We have a remote team with people in 19 different countries around the world. The two transfer methods we use the most are:

  • TransferWise – is a new kind of financial company that you can use to transfer money internationally at a very low cost. Their system is based on local bank account transfers, which makes transfers abroad cheaper than what banks or other providers charge. They charge a small upfront fee between 0.5% and 2% for transactions, depending on the route.
  • Payoneer – very convenient for sending and receiving. They are also one of the few methods that works to receive money in almost every country and the receiver can get their money on a debit card and withdraw from an ATM. They also have an option for direct transfer to the receiver’s bank account. They also have a $50 bonus if you receive more than $100 through this method.

Here are some of the lower cost options you can choose from.

Table 1 – Sending $1000 from the US to the Philippines
Transfer MethodStated fees to send $1000 USD Hidden currency conversion costTotal costTime for the transfer to arrive
TransferWise$10$0$101-2 days
Abra*$0$10$103-5 days
Sharemoney$3$11$14Minutes
LBC Home (slow)$5$13$183-5 days
PNB Web Remit (slow)$4$15$193-5 days
Wells Fargo$5$16$213-5 days
PNB Web Remit (fast)$9.5$15$24.5Minutes
XE Trade$0$26$263-5 days
Remitly (slow)$0$26$263-5 days
Xpress Money$11$16$273-5 days
MoneyGram (slow)$0$28$283-5 days
Western Union (slow)$0$28$285-7 days
Lucky Money (slow)$3$26$293-5 days
Transfast (slow)$5$24$293-5 days
WorldRemit$14$15$293-5 days
Remitly (fast)$4$26$30Minutes
Payoneer$3$28$313-5 days
Xoom (slow)$5$29$343-5 days
Western Union (fast)$8$28$36Minutes
MoneyGram (fast)$8$28$36Minutes
Ko-Kard$8$29$373-5 days
Xoom (fast)$8$29$37Minutes
Wire transfer$25 – 40$10 – 20$35 – 603-5 days
PayPal$0 – 40$25 – 40$30 – 803-5 days
Transfast (fast)$30$24$54Minutes
Lucky Money (fast)$36$26$62Minutes
LBC Home (fast)$50$13$63Minutes
Skrill$14$50$643-5 days

Some notes for this and all the other tables:

  • Stated fees for PayPal will depend on what method you use. If you are sending money to a friend or family member, there is no fee (only the hidden currency conversion fee). If you send as a business the fee is 4%. If you use mass pay the fee is 2%. For all of these options there is a hidden currency conversion fee which is somewhere between 2.5% and 3.5%. For sending from the US. If you send using MassPay the hidden currency conversion fee is 2.5% but if you send using another method it’s 3.5%.
  • WorldRemit is offering their services only from the following states in the US:
    Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • The fees for wire transfers are estimates and vary from bank to bank. Depending on how you send the money, the exchange rate fee will be paid by your sending bank or the receiving bank. Most Philippine banks are reasonable when exchanging from USD to pesos and only charge a 1% hidden fee. However the fee will be higher for other currencies.
  • Small World FS fees may increase on subsequent transfers. We were not able to get clear information if their transfer rates would stay the same for future transfers.
  • Wells Fargo is one of the economical options to send money to the Philippines. They have a comparatively high exchange rate and fee than most of the other banks like; Bank of America, HSBC, etc.
  • All of the hidden currency conversion costs are based on our calculations and may vary. My experience when checking these costs is that most companies calculate a fixed percentage that they add to the cost and that this percentage does not vary much. However it’s possible for it to vary greatly so you might want to check it yourself from time to time.
  • The lowest cost option for Payoneer would be to use their transfer to bank option. If you transfer the money to Payoneer via credit card the costs will be higher. Also Payoneer generally does not accept businesses that have less than 10 employees. So to get business access to Payoneer you need to have a larger business with many employees. Or alternatively you can try and send money directly via their website using a credit card; but in this case the costs will be higher and they limit the sending amounts.
  • Xoom has been reported to cancel any payments that are for the purpose of sending to employees.
  • Adding funds for Abra is free if you do it by bank. It costs 1.5-2% if you add cash via teller.
Table 2 – Sending £1000 from the UK to the Philippines
Transfer MethodStated fees to send £1000 GBPHidden currency conversion costTotal costTime for the transfer to arrive
TransferWise£10£0£101-2 days
Azimo£3£9£123-5 days
MoneyGram£0£13£133-5 days
Western Union£5£9£143-5 days
Xpress Money£10£5£153-5 days
OrbitRemit£5£11£163-5 days
Exchange4free£0£20£203-5 days
WorldRemit£7£17£243-5 days
Ko-Kard£5£22£273-5 days
XE Trade£0£28£283-5 days
PayPal£0-40£25-40£45-803-5 days
Wire transfer£15 – 25£10 – 30£25 – 553-5 days
Travelex£0£79£793-5 days
Table 3 – Sending $1000 from Canada to the Philippines
Transfer MethodStated fees to send $1000 CADHidden currency conversion costTotal costTime for the transfer to arrive
TransferWise$12$0$121-2 days
Xpress Money$8$7$153-5 days
MoneyGram$15$1$16Minutes
Qicsend$4$14$183-5 days
WorldRemit*$14$11$253-5 days
Exchange4free$0$26$263-5 days
Western Union$20$8$283-5 days
Ko-Kard$10$20$303-5 days
XE Trade$0$31$313-5 days
Transfast (fast)$30$4$34Minutes
PayPal$0-40$25-40$45-803-5 days
Wire transfer$25-40$20-30$45-753-5 days
Skrill$14$50$643-5 days
Travelex$0$130$1303-5 days
Table 4 – Sending €1000 from Western Europe (Euro currency countries such as Germany, France, Italy) to the Philippines
Transfer MethodStated fees to send €1000 EURHidden currency conversion costTotal costTime for the transfer to arrive
TransferWise€10€0€101-2 days
Western Union€5€11€163-5 days
MoneyGram€4€12€163-5 days
Azimo€3€22€253-5 days
Exchange4free€0€25€253-5 days
Ko-Kard€7€19€263-5 days
XE Trade€0€28€283-5 days
WorldRemit€13€21€343-5 days
Wire transfer€20-35€20-40€40-753-5 days
Xpress Money€28€14€423-5 days
PayPal€0-40€25-40€45-803-5 days
Skrill€13€50€533-5 days
Travelex€0€182€1823-5 days
Table 5 – Sending $1000 from Australia to the Philippines
Transfer MethodStated fees to send $1000 AUDHidden currency conversion costTotal costTime for the transfer to arrive
TransferWise$10$0$101-2 days
Pinoy First$7$3$103-5 days
Phil Express$8$3$113-5 days
iRemit$7$7$141-2 days
MoneyGram$7$12$19Minutes
OrbitRemit$8$12$203-5 days
BM Express$12$10$223-5 days
Exchange4free$0$24$243-5 days
XE Trade$0$28$283-5 days
Ko-Kard$10$21$313-5 days
Mhits$30$1$313-5 days
Xpress Money$10$22$323-5 days
WorldRemit$14$19$333-5 days
Fast Remit$10$35$453-5 days
PayPal$0-40$25-40$45-803-5 days
Western Union$28$21$493-5 days
Wire transfer$25-35$30-60$55-953-5 days
Skrill$14$50$643-5 days
Travelex$0$128$128Minutes

What if you want to send a fixed amount in pesos?

Sometimes you might want to fix the amount that you are sending in pesos. This means for example sending an exact amount of 20,000 pesos. The reason you might want to do this is if you are hiring someone in the Philippines you will get a more reasonable local rate if you pay in pesos. When you start to pay in dollars you might find that your worker will ask for more money just because they are seeing the dollar sign! When sending in pesos, local people tend to think about it more in local salaries.

This is more difficult to do and most services will not allow it. Here are some options that will allow this:

What if you are sending to multiple people?

If you’re sending to multiple people some of these options are difficult to use or might not even apply at all. The problem is the time and effort that it takes to navigate the website and send each individual amount. Here are some options that are easier for sending multiple payments:

  • PayPal – it’s expensive but if you use the MassPay option you can send easily to hundred people just by uploading a spreadsheet. The cost for MassPay is 2% plus a hidden fee of 2.5%, so the total cost is 4.5%. There is also an integration with PayPal and Time Doctor.
  • Payoneer – these guys have an easy to use API where you can send to multiple people. We are also developing an integration with Payoneer and Time Doctor.
  • TransferWise – paying multiple people with TransferWise is easy with their batch payments tool. You simply upload a spreadsheet with payment details and you can pay hundreds of people all around the world in minutes. TimeDoctor have integrated with TransferWise and we have an article all about TransferWise here.

Let us know your comments about any of these transfer methods below!

Other articles that might interest you:

5 Ways to Send Money to Offshore Workers That Are Cheaper than PayPal
What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to India?
What is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Indonesia?
Compare Hidden Exchange Fees When Sending Money to Bangladesh

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Leave a reply

  • Aditya

    I am from Delhi India and want to send 125 usd to Silay city phillippines in cash to my friend.Please advice me the process and charges with your agents at New Delhi.ThanksAditya
    UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes
  • Sigrid Axalan

    Xoom. My mom sends me money through Xoom and i get it right away and cheaper for her bec any amount will be the service charge fee. 1 thing i dont like about paypal is for me to get my money right away is to wothdraw it to my Visa Card and cost 250 pesos deduction from my money or if i dont want to be deducted i will withdraw it to my ordinary card but will get it in 3-5 dAys
    UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes
  • Michael Conde

    Hello,I am sorry but I cannot agree with the article, it is quite misleading. PayPal is almost 20 years old, and it is not hiding anything. One must know the rules in any transactions. Charges apply to any kind of business, even the free ones.PayPal has an established reputation. There are many other worldwide online payments system to choose from and each has their own rule and price.Change the part of the article that says hidden fees, it is not hidden. Also, clarify the charges for it is not clear. Separate the Personal and Business account. Then a clear comparison can be seen.Brgds, Michael
    UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes
  • John Mercado www.boostmediagroup.com

    xoom. never failed me and goes directly to my account.
    UpVote Reply 3 Upvotes
  • Julius Gilbert Cabalsa julius.fordandassociates.co

    Still using PayPal ($1 fee) then transfer it to my BPI ($3 fee), but I also have Payoneer.
    UpVote Reply 5 Upvotes
  • Tim Zickafoos

    I find some of this information 'misleading' at best. Western Union offers 2 services:1. just $5.00 to send USD of 400, 800 or 1000, to Philippines, with Zero hidden charges, and the pick up of cash is again without fee.2. the same goes with 2 others... I wonder if this is a 'sales site' for other services that charge MORE to transfer money?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jackie Lyn Belicano

    Payoneer
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Usrie Ramos

    Western union, Moneygram, MLhuillier & Cebuana Lhuillier.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Patricia tempo.eu.com

    Hi guys! Check out TEMPO Money Transfer online for sending money to the Philippines: https://tempo.eu.com/en/send-money/philippinesCash pickup within 30 minutes in any Cebuana, Mlhullier, LBC and Metrobank nationwide Bank transfer within 2-5 days to any local Philippine bankWe offer one of the best rates in the market. For example here are the exchange rates last July 24, 2017 for sending money with delivery method: cash pickupTEMPO: 1 euro = 59.01
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jorge Prestes www.mhits.com.au

    Hi there, I am marketing team member of mHITs Remit and I just would like to clarify some information about this post and how you collect it so we can help keep it accurate. First of all, our transfer is instant, so it will take seconds (SMS speed) to arrive to the Philippines and NOT 3-5 days as the post says. We are probably the fastest company in Australia to send money to the Philippines. Also I would like to mention that we have a flat fee of $5 to any value up to $500. So if you need to send $1000 to the Philippines you will be paying around $10 fee and NOT $30. If you want to know our great rate today to send money to Philippines please visit http://mhits.com.au/send-money/philippines. You also get $5 bonus to your first transfer :).Thank you for the space, I hope it had helped customer to understand our service features more clear.Kind Regards, mHITs marketing team
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jona cipriano

    its have moneygram/.mlhuilier,cebuana
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • kel

    Good read Rob. Thank you. I was wondering if considering Bitcoins as mode of payment. It is very easy to open a wallet account and there is also API integration. This also take just minutes and direct to whoever the payment is intended for. Just a thought. :D
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • David

    little note to you moneygram now saying that you need a ID to send money
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jay

    Whatever you do, don't use SENDVALU - it take forever and costs just us much as other instant providers like Western Union. It takes 10 minutes to pay them, then stuck at "Processing by local partner" for two full days. If you happen to send the money after hours - it wont get there until the THIRD day. Terrible considering the huge hidden cost the inflict with a high exchange rate gap.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Rimjhim Jain

    Before sending money to Philippines , one should compare and choose option which is offering best rate on the day of transaction. I found https://exchangerateiq.com as a good platform to checkout all money transfer services and find out who is offering the best exchange rate.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ronald Allan Ordonez

    Moneygram or Xoom.but If I get to work for time doctor I would want it thru the bank.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • sunny joshi

    great post you have helped many people with this post.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Shamir

    Hi all, does anybody have any idea which services from the U.S. to Philippines use bitcoin and blockchain? Thanks so much!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • ma.pearl l.pontanoza doctor%20time

    I want western union because i know my money is secured at this money transfer at easy to claim
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Juvie

    I prefer xxom and western union, we need to have our pay in fastest time though than paypal we need to wait business days and not only the sender will be charge also the receiver they highly expensive than other money remittance.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jubail V. Ausejo

    As far as I know its either western union or xoom its because its fastest way to send money here in the Philippines.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • August A. Cabida augustcabida@yahoo.com

    For me it is Western Union always has the best and the greatest ways of sending money to the philippines from the states, for me it wasnt about how much will be the charges. As far as i know sending money by western union charges less mount to person who sends money whether from the philippines to other country or from the states to the philippines, western union is great not only less charge, it also delivered the money that people send fast and safe, making sure that the money that a person send will reach exactly to the person to whom it was send by the sender... Again, it wasnt about the charges,it doesnt talks about how much, rather it talks about good services to people, fast and safe in all time...
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • jojit mombay

    howdy. remitly and zoom i think are best in terms of cheapest and fastest way to send money in the philippines.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ric O. Calayan none

    how about sending US $ dollars to the States? to California? From the Philippines to the USA ?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Justn Mark Brigole

    For me Moneygram is good to me, because of the fastest way of sending money. but I didnt experience yet in Moneygram for recieving money but base on the article above its to good to see that Moneygram is good in sending Money in the Philippines, but I recieving my money in Paypal.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jonas

    It Would much better if we/you used Western Union .. The money sends fast . Lets just say it cost 36$ for fee. then What if the person needs the money now cause she/he have a son got accident and needs the money ASAP .. How about that?? Just think ..
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Michael

    Hey Rob I think Payoneer and Pay Maya is the best and low cost if you want to transfer money here in the philippines.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • sabhel

    For me Western Union and Money Gram is the fastest way to send Money to Philippines. It just takes 10 minutes to get the money.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • manuel luis “manny” Francisco

    Thank you for asking me this actually I personally had experience in having to send money before when I work outside the country and most of the time the company I worked at was using wire transfers to certain banks and other would use western Union and Money gram.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • VINAY YADAV

    Thank you so much for sharing this great article. The information of best Money Converter that you given is good. I would recommended to add CurrencyKart.com money converter, the services of CurrencyKart.com is very best which i feel during our Singapore trip.Thank you team currency karthttps://currencykart.com/
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Kristianne Briones

    I received money from abroad through Wire Transfer, Western Union, and Paypal. With some of my companies, they make me open an account from a platform they choose. I plan to open payoneer next.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Kristianne Briones

    Wire Transfer, Western Union, Paypal have been my go-to send/receive money ways. I plan to open a Payoneer account. At times, the company (i work for) decides what money transfer to use then they will instruct me to open an account and make it as my payroll
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Elnie Gabato

    I been using western union every time, I have transaction from international. You can receive your money less than an hour. The payment is very competitive and safety transaction just make sure you have the exact details and PIN number for security purpose.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Teetay

    I have been in the Middle East for 20+ years - in Saudi I was using Enjaz until 2008 and it was reasonably fast. In UAE I used Al Ansari and Al Ghurair Exchanges. 2 hours and my remittance is in my bank account in Manila. I pay 20 UAE Dirhams as transfer fee and the exchange rate is good.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • jennifer

    Thank you so much for sharing such an extensive list of money transfer companies. I would like to add one more money transfer company which is Remit2India [ https://www.remit2india.com/sendmoneytoindia/homepage.jsp ] this site transfers money from 23 countries and in 9 currencies.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Delanzy

    John had an interesting list of money transfer operators on top of which very interesting solutions like Wordlremit, small world should be added. The best way to always reach the best solution matching your requirements is to use a trustfull money transfer comparator like Moneytis.com Fell free to try it out by yoursleves for tranfsers from US to Philippines: https://moneytis.com/txs/create?countryFrom=US&countryTo=PH&amountToDebit=300
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • With Keza acquisition, Philippine Bitcoin startup SCI will offer investment services via cryptocurrency techseen.com/2016/08/29/keza-acquisition-philippine-bitcoin-sci/

    […] average remittance fee of 5.76 percent. In addition, a study by productivity firm TimeDoctor cites remittance delays of three to five days as among the big concerns that recipients face, not to mention the hidden forex costs. In contrast, […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • With Keza acquisition, Philippine startup SCI lets The dealusers invest in stocks using Bitcoin - Tech Wire Asia techwireasia.com/2016/08/philippines-keza-startup-sci-bitcoin/

    […] an average of 5.76 percent fee for sending $200 across different remittance services. A study published by TimeDoctor found rates ranging from 0.6 percent to 6.4 percent, although it stressed that hidden exchange […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Cheapest Way to Send Money to Nigeria from US, UK, Canada, Western Europe and Australia https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2015/12/01/cheapest-way-send-money-nigeria-us-uk-canada-western-europe-australia

    […] planning to send money to countries like Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Macedonia, Poland, Philippines, Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Bolivia, Serbia, Pakistan and Colombia, […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • John

    I use Transferwise weekly for sending money to the Philippines they are excellent there is nothing else to compare for international money transfers. $5,000 cap for B2B remits.PayPal is a joke. Xoom is a joke. Ria is a joke.I've burned a lot of bridges in this industry but these companies will take all your personal information and then ask for more, and then decline service for some absurd technicality.I use PayPal only to receive funds never to send out internationally as that will freeze the account. Xoom & Ria don't want to offer service for B2B transactions. I used to use RemitHome and they had good service but they just can't compete with Transferwise on price.The only other comparable priced service is Wells Fargo direct transfers but they have low monthly limits of around $12,000.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Sam Hoagland

    Transferwise is the best!! Uses the market rate and very very low fees. I used their app to send my AUD to USD and the rate was always great. You can even set a minimum limit. I used to use Paypal as they have low fees as well (2%), but I noticed the exchange rate was a few percentages lower than the normal rate.To get your first transfer fee-free use: https://transferwise.com/u/6069b :)
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Bhart Paryani

    The best way to transfer money from USA to Philippines is via www.remitly.com. My client pays me via remitly and it will only cost him $4. And I can get my money within 5 minutes.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • LeodeCasp rduterte.com/mainsite/

      Great!
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • christianones

      I use Remitly to send my wife money weekly from the USA and she can pick it up in Philippine pesos within minutes. And the cost is just $3.99 and no cost to send it to a bank account, but this takes 3 to 5 days. I don't understand why it takes this long. Remitly does make a little bit on each dollar exchanged.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ting Fang Shen

    To transfer money overseas and not pay loanshark fees, there's transferwise.Transferwise is a revolutionary way to transfer money across countries with non-blood sucking bank fees. It's funded by the co-founder of Paypal and even Sir Richard Branson.Here's the link: https://transferwise.com/u/cfb...BTW, for full disclosure, the link above will give me invite you collect points Which When 3, They give you 50 pounds as a gift =)Personally I've Transferred over 10,000 Euros in total each time 300-500 and I never had any problems and the staff are very responsive when i email them.I have been using transferwise to pay for my conference fee where theyhave a US account and I was paying in euros for the fees (around US $ 500). There's no percentage commission but a small fee of 3-5 euros per transfer. That saved me quite a lot WHEN NOT using credit cards did charge me 3% + 5 Euro admin fee...
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Transferring Large Amounts of Money (How To Avoid Hidden Fees) https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2015/11/24/transferring-large-amounts-of-money-around-the-world-how-to-avoid-massive-hidden-fees

    […] Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ericka Villarin

    Hi Rob, Western Union or Money Gram would be better since we can get our salary faster and will not wait for 21 days. Paypal takes time and we are working hard so we can get paid and pay our bills but paypal is giving us headache.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Reluctant_Poster

      The problem with WU is that they have the worst IT department of any financial-transactions company I have ever seen. If something goes wrong, as it often does, they are clueless most of the time and their agents have no way of accessing the cause.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ellen Grace Cabillo

    Bank to Bank transfer, Western Union and LBC Courier
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Harry Santos Rebit.ph

    Hope you could include a review of http://rebit.ph -- it's able to utilize technology allowing fast and zero transaction fees for sending money to the Philippines.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Genevieve Daylusan

    Hi Rob,Good day! I prefer to send money through bank to bank.Regards
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Banks, Pawnshops or Courier Agencies? | The Curious Miss www.thecuriousmiss.com/2016/03/04/banks-pawnshops-or-courier-agencies/

    […] The Cheapest Way to send Money to the Philippines […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Kristian Lloyd

    WESTERN UNION IS THE COMMON WAY as I get paid using that payment, but MONEYGRAM can be but trust me, their customer service sucks. on the other hand, PAYPAL IS THE WORST! #ever
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Kristian Lloyd

    I will never use Paypal services again. I just started getting in this business of mine from where you need a mode of payment. It happened to be paypal. They have this horrifying policy that you need to wait for 21 days to get the money. I am working because I have urgent payments that I need to. It's annoying the blood-earned money you get will be stuck on hold in a company. I don't even know why they do that but obviously they're doing it for their own good. SUCH A SELFISH COMPANY!
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • What are the Best Options to Send Money to Hungary? - Time Doctor - Time Management Software https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2016/02/25/send-money-hungary

    […] money to other countries. If you want to check out the rest of the post, here are the links: Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Macedonia, Poland, Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, […]
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  • What's the Cheapest Method to Send Money to Thailand? - Time Doctor - Time Management Software https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2016/02/10/whats-cheapest-method-send-money-thailand

    […] money to other countries. If you want to check out the rest of the post, here are the links: Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Macedonia, Poland, Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, […]
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Vanj

    I usually use Paypal or Western Union.
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Crisanto

    Salamat. Filipinos I use paypal or xoom for transfer. And now xoom is merged and owned by paypal. Try my referral: http://refer.xoom.com/v2/share/6245038660788095519 (( Xoom gives $20 gift card for transfer of at least $405 value, through this referral )). I am not promoting company or work for them, but it is nice to get $20 for transferring money :)
    UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes
  • What's the Cheapest Method to Send Money to Turkey - Time Doctor - Time Management Software https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2016/01/26/whats-cheapest-method-send-money-turkey

    […] and this article is about Chile. If you want to check out the other posts, here are the links: Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Macedonia, Poland, Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Joshua

    Nice Article! Salamat Thanks. For my Filipino friends I will suggest that I used paypal and transferwise. If you don't have option for paypal or venemo or other such apps try my referral: transferwise.com/u/fc49f4 you will get a fee free discount on transfer. I am not promoting company or work for them, but is a good offer to try. Try it .
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Yen Kane

    I guess moneygram is the best money transfers to send money here in the philippines. Cheers!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ice

    Nice article!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • What's the Cheapest Method to Send Money to Chile - Time Doctor - Time Management Software https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2016/01/13/whats-the-cheapest-method-to-send-money-to-chile

    […] and this article is about Chile. If you want to check out the other posts, here are the links: Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Macedonia, Poland, Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • How to Exchange Money in Canadian Dollars and not get ripped off with massive hidden fees - Time Doctor - Time Management Software https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2015/12/28/how-to-exchange-money-in-canadian-dollars-and-not-get-ripped-off-with-massive-hidden-fees

    […] services usually charge you. So far, I’ve written guides on how to send money cheaply to the Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Macedonia, Poland, Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Cheapest Way to Send Money to Philippines - Send Money to Philippines 2sendmoneytophilippines.com/cheapest-way-to-send-money-to-philippines/cheapest-way-to-send-money-to-philippines/

    […] TimeDoctor created an excellent article breaking this down. In summary, based on country of origin and per 1,000 of the appropriate currency (US$ for US, £ for UK, etc.): […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Dee

    All the money transferred are reliable, but nothing beats Money Gram. It might be a little expensive for some but its the most efficient way specially if you're recipient here in the Philippines needs the money right away.... I would also want to commend the wire transfer because its soo secured, bank will even help you in case problem arise during the process.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Josan

    Great article! This is really helpful. And yes, PayPal is very expensive. What I really don't like about PayPal is their exchange rate. We really lose a lot there. So when I was freelancing, bank transfer to my bank account works best than being paid via PayPal. Upwork just charges $1 and then UnionBank EON charges Php 50 (around $1.07) if I withdraw less than $150 and no charge if above. For my personal clients, outside freelancing websites, I usually use PayPal because they say that it's the most convenient way for them. I might try the other ones here and let my client know.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jalil

    I have opened an account here in saudi arabia, my bank is Philippine National Bank. I saw in my bank's website that there is a way for me to send money from my savings to my family in the Philippines through XOOM. I find it was the easiest and fastest money transfer. yet i do have a problem with XOOM regarding the payment. according to them fund transaction was rejected by my bank. is there any way to resolve this issue? I think that Routing Number is the issue due to i mailed my bank on what is their Routing number then they gave me 3 routing numbers 1 is new york 2nd is los angeles and 3rd the BIC. so the time that i filled the table during the transaction, a put the BIC. can anybody help me? my account has been hold as of now, is there any way to resolve this issue?thank you.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Best Ways to Send Money to the Philippines blog.payrollhero.com/2015/10/21/best-ways-to-send-money-to-the-philippines/

    […] crew behind Time Doctor created well laid-out tables comparing hidden fees, currency conversion costs, and the average processing time if you’re […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ethan

    When sending money from Hong Kong to Philippines, my cheapest experience was money changers like Czarina or Frankies Remittance specially when you send big amount.I tried sending money to my BPI account last month here in HK and I haggled for them to increase the exchange rate and make the remittance charge free, and to my surprise they did. I jumped to the other money changer and they also did the same. The running exchange rate that day was somewhere around 6.03 and the rate that I got was 6.0277. I don't think anyone can beat that. No wonder a very long line of domestic helpers line up during pay day there. Only hassle is that you have to go to there personally no online or phone call transaction.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Help You Move mmjobs.mini-dev.com/2015/10/09/sending-money-to-the-philippines-cheapest-is-not-always-the-smartest/

    […] mean a good choice. Banks usually charge more, but they are trustworthy. You can check out this blog from Time Doctor for a better look at the costs of sending money to the Philippines from different […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Nabil

    Such a very good information. Thanks for posting this blog article.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • John Rivera

    1. Paypal - expensive 2 Bitcoin :D
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • How to Hire a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines for $2.50 to $5.50 Per Hour - Staff.com Blog | Staff.com Blog www.staff.com/blog/how-to-hire-a-virtual-assistant-from-the-philippines-for-2-50-to-5-50-per-hour/

    […] is an in-depth piece on TimeDoctor’s blog that outlines all of the inexpensive ways of transferring money to the Southeast Asian country. The […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • How to Exchange Money in Australian Dollars https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2015/09/01/how-to-exchange-money-in-australian-dollars-and-not-get-ripped-off-with-massive-hidden-fees

    […] We actually have an article specifically on sending money to the Philippines here. […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Alexei

    I use transferwise. I'll shamelessly leave my reference link just in case https://transferwise.com/u/975199 But self promotion aside it is indeed a good service
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Russell Elloso

    The fastest and the cheapest way of sending money to the Philippines is through Bitcoin.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Monaling

      Bitcoin conversion rate is too volatile. For now, I don't think this is good for the recipient.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Marilou Alaba

    Hi Rob,Thanks for the info. Surely many Filipinos freelancer will find it very helpful. !
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Aura

    Hi Rob, I was surprised to receive an email from you. I checked if it's legit & it is.I know of a non-bank player called I-Remit. It is known for having revolutionized the remittance industry by employing the latest in IT technology and utilizing the Internet platform making it possible to cut down the usual remittance period to only seconds. The nationwide coverage of I-Remit's iDelivery (Door-to-Door) remittance mode reaches more beneficiaries than other remittance companies with an area spanning 17 regions, 80 provinces and 138 cities and municipalities in the country.The iNotify (Remittance Pick-up) is an alternative service mode where beneficiaries in the Philippines can claim remittances from any of I-Remit's more than 10,900 designated pick-up centers nationwide within 24 hours after receipt of the remittance from the its foreign offices. I-Remit also opened new remittance corridors by introducing iNotify Foreign, a method of remittance from one country to another. Both Filipinos and non-Filipinos abroad can remit money from their country of origin to selected countries where the designated beneficiaries can pick-up the proceeds from an I-Remit office.In 2004, it was cited by the Asian Development Bank as a significant non-bank player in the remittance industry and its I-Remit Visa Card was regarded as an innovation. It is the fastest remittance service mode that features real-time crediting of remittances from abroad. It enables both senders and beneficiaries to easily withdraw cash from more than 14,000 BancNet, Megalink and Expressnet ATMs in the Philippines. It also provides global access to over 2,000,000 Visa ATMs in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.For more info visit http://www.myiremit.comLet me know if this helps. Cheers!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Grace theultimatevaresource.wordpress.com

    Hi Rob,Thank you for this article! I received notification in my email about this. Great help to all freelancers who are considering which method is the best.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • M

    Do paypal or skrill charge wire transfer fees or do you only have to pay the _% for every transaction? I'm a freelancer on elance and their wire transfer fees are $25. I was wondering if I could withdraw my earnings more cheaply using paypal/skrill.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Admin

      Yes, you have to pay the fees every time your make a transaction.<em>I was wondering if I could withdraw my earnings more cheaply using paypal/skrill.</em> -If from the U.S., Ria and TransferWise are the cheapest option. (see Table 1).Hope that helps. :)
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  • Jo-Ann Zapanta

    Hi Rob,I have been a freelancer in oDesk (now Upwork) for more than five years and I have been withdrawing funds from my oDesk wallet directly to my local bank account. It is called Local Funds Transfer and oDesk charges $0.99 per withdrawal (regardless of amount). My local bank may charge a certain fee for receiving the money, but it only ranges from $3 to $5. For me, this is the cheapest method.As per oDesk's support page, "Local Funds Transfer (LFT) is the most direct and least expensive payment method for freelancers with bank accounts in participating countries. When you select to get paid by LFT, you directly deposit your earnings into your local bank account, in your local currency, for a low, flat fee." This is a direct bank (oDesk's partner bank) to bank (my local bank) transfer.If you add the oDesk fees (10% for all earnings) and Paypal withdrawal fees, it's almost the same. But the exchange rate in Paypal is very low, compared to the exchange rates in the bank.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Geryl

    You need to update your chart as Xoom $4.99 (USA to P.I. ) is exceptionally fast. I have sent thousand of dollars to many places in the P.I. (Lots of relatives) during the past two years and the money is ready for pick up in pesos within 5 minutes from when I click Send. Yes, it is more expensive than some of the other remittance companies but I like their fast service and great status notification. I tell them to pickup the remittance at M Lhuillier because they are everywhere. The $4.99 fee is using my bank account. I don't use credit card or debit card with Xoom.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • 38 Legit Filipino Work from Home Job Sites That Will Not Scam You biz30.timedoctor.com/38-legit-filipino-work-from-home-job-sites-that-will-not-scam-you/

    […] wondering how your employers will be able to send you your pay, here is a blog where you can see a list of the many ways to send money to the Philippines, including details on transaction fees and […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Wilson

    Not only that it's cheaper to send money not converted. Do a wire transfer obviously if you are sending a lot of money, to a local account to the country you are sending. The rate in the country is higher than from where you are sending. For example, sending money from USA to Philippines is 39.26, but if I send it to a bank in USD the rate is 44.25. It can easily cost you hundreds of dollars just on the exchange rate. I sent 4,000 USD and it could have cost me about $500 in the exchange rate. It's cheaper to spend the $30 sending a wired transfer in dollars than letting your bank convert it. The recieving bank will have the best rate. Don't be scam by the bank exchange rates
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi Wilson,What you are saying is that the receiving bank in the Philippines has a better rate for USD to pesos than the sending bank in the US.Yes I absolutely agree with this. Most receiving banks in the Philippines I have used charge around 1% which is actually not too bad.The problem with sending a wire however is that usually there is an additional fee for sending the wire and receiving the wire. These fees are usually around $30-40 in total (sending plus receiving fees). So this is probably ok if you are sending several thousand dollars but it's horrible if you're only sending $500 or less. So in the case of smaller amounts of money wire transfers are not a good idea.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • The Definitive Guide on How to Hire an Offshore Development Team - Biz 3.0 biz30.timedoctor.com/the-definitive-guide-on-how-to-hire-an-offshore-development-team/

    […] location around the world. We’ve developed a series of articles on how to transfer money to the Philippines, India, Indonesia, etc …, (Check out the rest of the articles […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • The Complete Guide to Hiring a Customer Support Person in the Philippines - Biz 3.0 biz30.timedoctor.com/the-complete-guide-to-hiring-a-customer-support-person-in-the-philippines/

    […] We created a whole article comparing the different methods to pay someone in the Philippines, you can see it here. […]
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Joe Magnotti empireflippers.com

    Interesting that you left RemitHome.com off this list. Great support and fast transfer. Fairly good rates plus a reward system.However, I recently switched to Remitly (slow) as the $0 transfer was enticing. Based on comparing exchange rates they're not as good as Ria though. How do you think Ria can maintain this great rate?The other thing missing from your evaluation is maximum allowable to send per day and per month. Many systems listed here limit you severely, even after providing in depth identity information. If you have a lot of agents to pay this misght be a non-starter. Some also don't allow business transfers (i.e. Xoom). Many have issues with traveling entrepreneurs who might log in from different countries or IP addresses.In closing, I had high hopes for Transferwise when they opened and added the Philippines. The support has been atrocious though. I can't get verified and no one can help me. A customer sent us $3k from Spain to our bank account in the USA -- it's been almost 3 weeks and the money never arrived. Transferwise claims the money was sent, but my bank (Citibank) has no record of it. We even connected the Federal Reserve and issued a trace. Nothing. Use with care!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi Joe, Will look at adding remithome.comMost systems do not have a maximum spend per day but yes for sure we should mention that if they do. Xoom has this issue for sure.I'm disappointed about your experience with Transferwise. I have used them without any problem. I expect it's because they are growing rapidly. They are a genuine business so I suggest to continue to follow up with them. If you do have a resolution or if you do NOT have a resolution can you add your comments here? That would be helpful for me and for others as we want to make sure that we are giving the right feedback on what methods work.
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  • Donald

    Thank you for this information. Your tables are very clear and concise. Transferwise is a great option and they have lowest fees I have come across. Another option for UK and Europe that I had experience with is Paysera. They have flat rate for international transfers, so it is great for transferring larger sums. However they require opening a registered account, which can take some time to get verified.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Gary Marlatt

    I use xoom to transfer my USD to my metrobank Xoom charge for 1000.00 is 7.99 then metro charges 20 centavos to change to pesos per the latest online exchange rate
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • T. Ber

    Thanks for all of the great information that you have given on your web site. I thought that I would add my recent attempt to minimize my regular money transfers to family in the Philippines, by using PayPal. I am not promoting PayPal because I just started using it, and have read that some people said they were burned by their customer service, so time will tell if I continue to use them• Transferred from my US bank account through PayPal to our Pilipino-citizen daughter’s PayPal account: $113.00 USD. • PayPal’s fee was only $0.57 USD, (Her PayPal account showed $113.00 USDs) • Daughter’s Philippine bank exchange rate was 43.50PHP per 1 USD (oanda.com showed around 44.6/per USD) • Total cost to transfer funds, and to exchange from Philippine pesos to US dollars = $3.10 USD (Approx.) NOTE: it takes about 2-3 days for the transfer of PayPal account into Philippine Bank, (though if you use their Master card tied to your Papal account, the funds can be used immediately).
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Thanks for your comments. In this case because you were sending money to a friend or relative the total fees were not too high at around 3% (0.5% fee plus 2.5% hidden currency exchange fee). It's still one of the more expensive methods on the list, but I think for a smaller amount such as $100 it's probably not too bad actually, and PayPal is very easy to use which could be a big reason to use it as well.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Francis Daryl Gallofin

    Hey Rob, I think the best way to send money from abroad to here in the Philippines is to do it via bank, it doesn't take minutes but Philippine National Bank (PNB) is the trusted bank most of the Filipinos go to. Thanks for the article. Lots of opportunities here.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Ok but the person in the US for example can't easily get a bank account with PNB, so they would have to do a wire? A wire transfer can be very expensive, for example if you transfer only $500, the wire transfer can cost as much as $45 or 9% total cost. The cheapest methods on the list will cost only $5.If both people have bank accounts in the Philippines then yes this is going to be the best and cheapest method.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Steve

    I've been sending money in USD which helps avoid the hidden currency conversion fees.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • M

      I think the recipient would need a USD bank account to receive money in USD, not PhP
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      That's great but the people receiving the USD will likely still need to convert it at some point. If you send in USD, how do they actually physically receive the USD? And then how do they convert it?So you can only avoid the fees if the person wants USD and can use the USD. In the Philippines the vast majority will need to convert it to pesos.What method are you using to send USD?
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • James Stinson www.outbounders.com

    Well done on this article buddy, lots of research went into this.Would you say that when your transaction amounts are under $10 k a month or so you have presented great options.. and when it gets over a certain amount its time to look at setting up an entity that receives the funds in one big wire and then distributes locally?Or which option would you recommend is best for systematically mass payments to many staff members from the US? (Not just a single $1,000 payment, but many smaller transactions)Cheers James
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      The problem with setting up an entity is that it's really difficult and that if you have a local business in the Philippines you have to comply with all Philippines laws and you have to do your tax returns over there and is a major hassle.So if you have an office in the Philippines the whole situation is different. With the office you need to have a Philippines company, Philippine bank account and you need to comply with all laws in the Philippines and pay taxes in the Philippines. Even if you're in a tax free zone, you still pay payroll taxes for staff and you still have to prepare the tax return. If you have an office and a Philippine bank account the whole situation is different.If you don't have a company in the Philippines you can in theory set up a bank account in the Philippines for your US company, and I know one person who managed to do this WITHOUT having an office or Philippine corporation. So this is an option (but a little difficult perhaps, the bank they used was BDO, most banks in the PHilippines actually say that it's not possible).Even if you have a bank account in the Philippines you still need to wire the money from the US to the Philippines and the banks in the Philippines charge around 1% (hidden) currency exchange fee to do this. This fee is actually not too bad, so it's not a bad option. But when you consider that options like <a href="https://transferwise.com/u/c43c6" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Transferwise</a> (that's a referral link) charge only 1% anyway without all the hassle of setting up a bank account, then why bother to set up the bank account? I mentioned in a previous comment however that Transferwise is not a perfect solution because it doesn't allow you to send a fixed amount in pesos.So there are no perfect solutions here as far as I can see. You just have to weigh it all up and decide what is best for your individual situation.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Mari

    Our fastest and cheapest option that we are using now to pay for our staff in PH is Wells Fargo Expressend. Costs $5 and cash is available for distribution in about 30mins. We have 1 main BPI account that has 5 to 10 of 3rd party accounts enrolled (staffs' BPI accounts). We send the remittance to that account and then we distribute via funds transfer which doesn't cost a peso. To set it up, one must sign an agreement over the counter in Wells Fargo and make the first transfer there. The agreement is then activated online and the succeeding transfers can be done from the WF online account. It has a monthly limit of about $12k per month.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Thanks that is great information. Wells Fargo is listed in the article, it is one of the lower cost options. If you send to one BPI and then on to multiple other BPI it will be even cheaper (but the hidden currency exchange fee will be the same as it's a percentage it's just that you distribute the $5 fee over several accounts).
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Grace

    Rob, this a very informative article! You just don't know how many people are looking for the best remittance service. I was once got crazy looking for the best options on how my client can pay me and it was tedious. No one ever gave unbiased opinion. But what you have here is clear and includes all important details for comparison. Well done!Anyways, we once used Ko-Kard. It went well for months then after it takes more than 15 days to be available. You won't know when your money is coming. Emailed their CS so many times sometimes they will email back that they are doing following up on our remittance but most of the time they just reply back after several emails sent to them. Cannot call also because needed a long distance call that is costly.We've moved on and used Remitly now. So far, so good. Money is available right away if Express. Then if Basic, charge is zero which comes 2 - 3 days, not bad at all. :)
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • MikeO

    Great article and certainly a topical subject. In the Staff Leasing field many transfers involve Hong Kong which adds another dimension. PayPal is more about convenience than safety or fees. For Filipino businesses (say a notch above freelancers) their issues are about having an easy way for their westerner clients to pay. Looks like a gap in the market to me. Sizeable margins in what should be an automated process. MikeO
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi Mike, Thanks for your input. There is certainly a huge market but it's also very competitive. It's not a business that I would want to be in personally.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Grace

    Hello Rob, Thanks for the interesting hidden charges facts. In your own point of view, what's the cheapest way to use ?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      <a href="https://transferwise.com/u/c43c6" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Transferwise</a> (that's our referral link) is probably my favorite and I use it for several countries. It's one of the lowest cost options for the Philippines and you save over 60% compared with PayPal for example. However the one problem with it is that it doesn't allow me to send a fixed amount of pesos to each person. If it was able to send a fixed amount in pesos we would use it for the Philippines.Otherwise, hidden currency exchange fees with the banks are not too bad for Philippine banks when it comes to exchanging USD to Pesos. So if you're able to send to a Philippine bank account and then distribute that to several people, it's a good option. BUT if you're transferring from other currencies such as Australian dollars to pesos then you lose a LOT of money. So I wouldn't ever use wire transfers from Australia for example. So it is complicated and depends on your situation.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Louis

    Great article, Rob. My best option is for the foreign employer to open an account here in the Philippines where that bank has aforeign branch in the employer's country. Direct deposit to his foreign bank then withdrawal here in the Philipines.I transferred some monies from the Philippines to my cousins in the US and Australia. Money transfers cost me $14-$16 at my end with additional fees at their end. Two of my cousins have BPI peso accounts here where I deposited their monies at no cost to me--just don't know how much was charged to them when they received it in dollars.Remittances have become a big business here in the Philippines. It may be cheaper dealing directly with the banks where FX conversion is the only variable.
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  • Erlinda

    This article is very helpful Rob! I am working on a certain company and have our salary paid through paypal and through sending out invoices to them. Sending an invoice to the client will already cost us a 4% cut off from our total salary and by sending our funds from paypal to our bank accounts will as well cost us a little bit more.These terms really is painful for us but we got no choice because this is how our client want it. :(
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Some people check the "family and friends" option when sending money to save the 4%, BUT they still have the currency conversion fee which is at least 2.5% and I think 3.5% from some countries. Also choosing the family and friends option is not legitimate, and maybe it could cause problems for the person sending the money if they try and claim it as a tax deduction?
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jun

    Looking into the convenience side, so far I am still happy with Paypal. I just need to consider which bank charges cheaper than the rest.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Yes PayPal is very convenient so that's it's strength, and you have to see if it's worth it for you to go with someone cheaper that might not be quite as convenient.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Benjamin

    How about Paypal to Eon(Unionbank Philippines)?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Alyzza Acabal

    Hey Rob, I'm a freelancer from the Philippines, and I'd just like to thank you for pointing this out. It's actually one of the most controversial issues in freelancing.Most Filipinos do use Paypal but not because it's convenient, but mostly because it's "required". Other services that we were able to use were Western Union and Xoom.Hope many employers would get to read this article so that they could consider other modes of payment. Not only do most of them charge Paypal fees to our salaries, but money gets withdrawn after 3-7 days processing. Most of us opt to exchange our Paypal fees with cash for a 5% fee. Other freelancers, who have the luxury of time, have taken action of this business opportunity.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Thanks for your comment. Well I hope that this article is helpful, you can send it to an employer to help them to consider another payment method.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Arlyne

    for me still bank wire transfer the charges are fix regardless of the amount you will transfer/pay and you can transfer anytime anywhere.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Ok but usually for a bank wire the person sending the money must pay at least $20, then you also pay for the currency conversion (which is hidden, they don't tell you about this fee). So if you use wire transfer it's good for larger amounts of money (if you send $10,000 for example) but if you send a smaller amount it will be very expensive to use a wire transfer.ALSO the hidden currency fees are VERY HIGH when sending money from Australia or Canada to the Philippines, so wire transfer is a REALLY BAD option for these countries.So no I don't think that wire transfer is the best method usually. It's OK when sending larger amounts from the US to the Philippines. It's not good from other countries and it's not good for smaller amounts (under $1000)
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Yakov Kofner

    Hi Rob,Thank you for following up, sure, please link us up.As far as FX markup, it varies by corridor. USA-to-China is very stable, USA-to-Philippines is more volatile, India and Mexico - huge relative swings.See example - for Philippines: http://imgur.com/Nvu3nD0Best, Yakov
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Yakov Kofner

      Several factors could lead to large swings in FX markups +-1% - holiday demand: e.g., Indians in USA tend to send much more money home during end of a calendar year and in the beginning of Holi - change in Western Union's markup strategy: other players are carefully watching its exchange rates and try to align with those. Hence, if Western Union hedging requires them to offload or onload particular currency, it could change the whole corridor dynamics - new/existing players is trying to quickly gain market share: when TransferWise entered USA-PHP corridor earlier in 2015, Ria cut its FX markup to zero for couple weeks before returning to its typical 0.2-0.4 rangeYou are right about daily dynamics in FX markup - most of providers have fixed daily rate even if market fluctuates widely. Some don't even update the rates over the weekend. Suprisingly for many, even large companies, FX markup setting remains a largely manual process.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Also if you're interested in creating a whole blog post for us with interesting graphs like that (but not quite as technical) please email me directly and we could maybe post something on our blog referring to you guys as well.
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    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Looking at these graphs mostly the "take" for each transfer method seems to be fairly stable, there is some variation above and below the average rate, but I am guessing this is more due to the daily fluctuations in the rate.A lot of currencies vary up to 1% or more in a single day and so it's possible that the transfer organization is not constantly aware of the exact inter-bank rate or is basing their mark-up on the last rate at which they transferred money.
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  • Yakov Kofner

    Hi Rob,For USA to Philippines looks directionally correct, just couple nuances - might be helpful to add PNB, they are quite competitive: https://pnbwebremit.com/ - challenge with showing accurate FX markup is that it swings so much; same provider could have 0% FX markup one day and then 1% few days later. We actually built an analytics engine trying to predict FX markup for the next transfer at https://www.SaveOnSend.com/ - how do you calculate numbers in the "Hidden currency conversion cost" column?
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    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi Yakov, I'm not sure I agree with you that the markup changes a lot. My experience is that it is often a fixed percentage. PayPal actually tell you the fixed percentage that they add in their fees page. I think it is possible that it would vary for some transfer providers, but normally they just say "We want to make 2.5%" for example and so they add 2.5%.We calculate the FX markup by comparing the interbank rates of the day with the rates of the money transfer provider.I will add pnbwebremit, thanks for the suggestion.I'm happy to link to your site <a href="http://saveonsend.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">saveonsend.com</a> as I think we need more people to share this type of information.
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  • James

    I found the quickest and cheapest way is to use a remitance service from someone like PNB - I think that their rates are impossible to beat, and it only takes an hour or two to other PNB accounts. If you have multiple accounts, it's best to send everything to an account you control and then send the money on from there to the different accounts.
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    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi James, thanks for that info. Yes this should be low cost, I think most Philippine banks charge only 1% for currency transfer so it will cost around $10 plus a little for the wire transfer, if you have 10 staff then this method can cost as little as $13 per transfer which is one of the cheapest option on the tables in the article.I think the problem with this method is a few things: 1. It doesn't work unless you have multiple staff. If you have only one staff you will still need to transfer from your US account to the Philippines PNB account and the wire transfer fee will be high for one staff to do this transfer. 2. You have to go to the Philippines to set up the PNB account. 3. It's difficult to set up the account in a business name, so you might have to create a PNB account in your own personal name which is not good for the tax authorities in the US for example.But yes I think this could be the best option especially if you have multiple staff.
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  • Mark

    I'm doing my business as an agency with oDesk since 2010 and I have 15 people in my team and all of them have on going projects. I have been using PayPal to transfer money to my BPI Family bank account. Transfer takes only overnight unless there is a bank or public holiday. oDesk charges $1 per transfer, no charges from PayPal since I am transferring more than their minimum per week and my bank charges me 250php ($5.70 estimate) as service fee per transfer. So far I am happy because of my experience with the transfer, it's fast and have not had any problems yet or since.. :)
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    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi Mark, If you're happy with using PayPal that's great. PayPal are certainly very convenient even if they are not the lowest cost option.This article is looking at the complete cost for all parties. So even if it's the recipient that pays the hidden exchange fee it's still getting charged and the cost is incurred for the transfer.If you're using oDesk of course there is an additional 10% charge as well (plus the $1). So the total charges are approximately: 10% from odesk $1 per transfer and 2.5%-4% hidden currency exchange fee from PayPal (I'm not sure if it's 2.5% or 4% in this case as their currency exchange fees are complicated). $5.70 from your bank service fee.I think it's received overnight because the money is already in the oDesk PayPal account so there are no delays in first uploading the money to the account then sending it.
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  • Harold

    Also the other thing is the MoneyGram. There was an advertisement here in the Philippines about MoneyGram "Pera Padala" meaning money remittances.
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  • Harold

    Hi Rob, nice article by the way. A lot of Filipinos "Pinoy" uses PayPal. Maybe they used this because it is reliable and user friendly. We also used it when were still making our thesis, an online payment that supports PayPal.
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  • ray

    It's best to use Payoneer. They only charge $3 as processing fee for their Bank Transfer Service.
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    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Hi Ray, Thanks for your comments. I will add Payoneer to the US table. However they do have additional currency conversion fees, it's not just $3 for the bank transfer. The total cost is approximately $28 USD including the currency conversion. If you transfer money to Payoneer using your credit card, the cost will be higher.Also Payoneer generally does not accept businesses that have less than 10 employees. So to get business access to Payoneer you need to have a larger business with many employees, or alternatively you can try and send money directly via their website using a credit card, but in this case the costs will be higher and they limit the sending amounts.
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  • Tyler

    Great article! Very valuable insight, thanks Rob!
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  • Alexander

    Thanks Rob. We know tons of people who need this info!
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