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Cash and ATMs in Philippines: Fees, limits, exchange & all you need for your travel

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The Philippines is a collection of more than 7,000 islands in Southeast Asia, each offering a unique experience. From the vibrant streets of Manila to the untouched beaches of Palawan and Boracay, and from the breathtaking rice terraces of Banaue to the mesmerising underwater world of Tubbataha Reef, there is something for everyone to explore. Getting around this beautiful tropical destination is much easier when you have a grasp of the local cash, how to use ATMs in Philippines, and the various payment methods available. Discover the financial insights that will help you navigate the Philippines’ stunning landscapes and lively culture effortlessly. With this guide, you can embark on a journey filled with unforgettable experiences and the renowned warmth of Filipino hospitality.

Do I need to have cash on hand in the Philippines, or can I rely solely on using my card?

Most places still prefer cash, but more and more businesses in cities are starting to accept card payments. Tourists use cash for smaller expenses and when shopping at local markets. It is estimated that around 70-80% of transactions are done in cash.

Just a heads up, you’ll need some cash on hand for:
Public buses
Just a quick note about small purchases.
Tips and gratuities
Local markets and bazaars.
Visit certain natural parks, museums, and historical sites
Shopping on the streets
Food from local restaurants, especially in areas that are less crowded with tourists.
Food vendors on the street
Hostels and budget hotels
Ticket machines in certain areas may not accept cards for local train fares.
Tuk-tuks and local taxis.
Many tour operators, particularly those that are local or smaller in scale

Use a card for:
Car rentals.
Trendy coffee shops in big cities
Spas in major cities
Hotels, flights, and tours online
Luxury accommodations
Tour operators with high prices
Pre-paid taxi booking services (like Grab) that are available for your use.
Shopping in malls and branded stores in bustling cities
Upscale dining options in bustling urban areas
Popular tourist attractions and theme parks in big cities

What types of currencies? Are US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds accepted in Philippines?

“The Philippines primarily accepts its local currency, the Philippine Peso (PHP). The available note denominations include PHP 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000.

There are several resorts, hotels, and local shops that provide price quotes in US Dollars. However, if you choose to pay in US Dollars instead of Pesos, the exchange rate for these payments may not be favourable. It’s best to pay in Peso to avoid losing a significant amount of money!”

How can I obtain the local currency in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, there are 4 primary methods for obtaining cash:

  • ATMs
  • Currency exchange
  • Gold shop money changing
  • Money transfer and local pick up

Do you know where I can find ATMs in Philippines?

Did you know that there are over 25,000 ATMs in the Philippines.- These are operated by a variety of commercial and specialised banks, including some foreign banks as well. In cities, you’ll find plenty of ATMs, and even in smaller towns, there are usually a few options available to withdraw money in the Philippines. However, if you’re planning to visit remote islands or far-off destinations, don’t anticipate easily locating them.

ATMs can be found in many places:
Popular airports
Market and town squares are great places to gather and socialise.
The bustling streets that attract tourists in every major town
Shopping malls
Food lanes
Branches of the bank
A few office buildings

Here are some places where finding ATMs might be a bit challenging:
Small airports on islands
Bus stops in the area
The villages’ interiors
Hidden away in small towns, away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets
Places of worship
Remote resorts and retreats

Where can I find currency exchanges in the Philippines?

– In the Philippines, pawnshops are quite popular for their currency exchange services. You could try checking with well-known pawnshop chains such as Cebuana Lhuillier or M Lhuillier.
– You can easily locate authorised currency exchange centres in popular tourist areas. These centres are usually branded as currency exchanges. If you’re looking to exchange currency, SM or Robinsons are great options. They are mall companies that provide exchange services.
– Banks are able to convert your currency to Dong, particularly if you have US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, or Singapore dollars. You can expect paying a commission ranging from 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
– Hotels and airports: It’s worth noting that airports and hotels, both big and small, often have currency exchange services available. However, the exchange rates leave much to be desired. Large hotels may have rates comparable to banks, while smaller hotels near the Old Quarter of Hanoi or beaches tend to have higher fees and lower rates.

Helpful tips:
– Avoid exchanging currency at airports – The rates are not very good.
– It’s best to avoid exchanging currency at the black market – There is a possibility of falling victim to a scam.
– Can you please bring some fresh notes? If your notes are damaged or dirty, you may receive lower rates or incur higher fees.

Are ATMs in the Philippines and currency exchanges 24×7?

Sure, ATMs are typically open 24/7. You’ll find that most of them are standalone ATMs, so you can access them at any time of the day or week without any problems.
Currency exchanges have limited operating hours. The usual operating hours are from 9 am to 7 pm, except for airports. Hey, just a heads up, if you’re looking to get cash in Philippines through currency exchange, it’s important to keep an eye on the timings.

If ATMs in Philippines can accept cards from other countries? And currency exchanges?

Sure, ATMs in the Philippines do accept foreign cards.
Authorised money changers also typically accept credit and debit cards. However, there are usually significant fees associated with this. It’s better to avoid it and swap for cash.

What types of cards are accepted in the Philippines?

Most ATMs in the Philippines accept a variety of payment cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, JCB, and UnionPay. Many ATMs not accept American Express or Diners cards.
You’ll find that Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted for swiping. It’s worth noting that your Amex might have limited acceptance at certain locations.
When it comes to exchanging currency, hard cash is the preferred option.
Read this: How to troubleshoot issues with using your card abroad at ATMs.

Do ATMs in the Philippines same as in US or UK?

Definitely. The ATMs in the Philippines are quite modern and have a similar look and functionality to those found in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. Don’t forget to take your card after!

Which banks have ATMs in the Philippines?

Here are some of the most popular ATMs in the Philippines:

Land Bank of the Philippines

There are some foreign banks as well:

Bank in China

What ATMs are called in the Philippines?

The term “ATM” is commonly used to refer to a machine with the bank’s name displayed on it.

Can you tell me about ATMs and PINs in the Philippines?

Most ATMs in the Philippines require a 4-digit PIN for transactions. Typically, longer PINs are not accepted.

Ensure to take cards with magnetic stripes as well as chip-and-pin cards.

Languages at ATMs and currency exchanges in the Philippines

By default, ATMs in the Philippines offer two language options: Filipino and English. You can select this option right from the beginning of the transaction.

Try out Google Translate’s camera feature to instantly translate the text on your phone to understand the ATM’s language! Just a quick note: These translations may not always be 100% correct, so it’s best to take your time and not rush through the transaction.

When you visit currency exchange places, you’ll be able to communicate in the 2 languages mentioned earlier to exchange your money in the Philippines.

Let’s talk about withdrawal limits and ATM fees in the Philippines.

ATMs usually have a withdrawal limit per transaction ranging from ₱ 10,000 to ₱ 20,000. There is a bank that allows up to ₱40,000.

ATM fees: In the Philippines, ATM fees can vary from ₱0 to ₱300, with the most common fee being ₱250.

Also read: ATM Fees abroad detailed

Discover free ATMs, currency exchanges, money transfer places with ATM Fee Saver

Find fee-free ATMs in the Philippines, along with currency exchange and money transfer services, using the ATM Fee Saver mobile and web app. The app provides information on the fees and withdrawal limits for foreign cardholders using ATMs in the Philippines. Use the app’s calculator to decide the exact fees for specific withdrawals in the Philippines. Once you’ve selected an ATM, the app’s navigation tool will guide you straight to your destination. The data covers 50 countries, including the Philippines.

Tips to help avoid high fees at currency exchanges and ATMs in the Philippines

  • Make sure to use ATMs that don’t charge any fees while you’re in the country.
  • Discover the convenience of the ATM Fee Saver app, your go-to tool for locating ATMs with no or minimal fees.
  • Choose Decline Conversion or Without Conversion when making ATM transactions.
  • Get fee-free cards from your home country.
  • Steer clear of exchange offices that charge fees when exchanging money in the Philippines – When they mention no fee, it usually indicates that they have factored their fee into the exchange rate. There’s always a cost associated with currency exchanges.
  • It’s best to steer clear of using credit and debit cards for direct transactions.
  • Avoid purchasing Peso in your home country – It’s not a widely accepted currency and the exchange rates are not favourable.
  • It’s not a good idea to bring back a large amount of Peso when you return home. The exchange rate for selling it will be unfavourable. Plus, it’s unlikely to be purchased by currency exchanges outside of the Philippines.

Also read: Withdrawing cash abroad? 9 best ways to save fees.

Is it safe to use currency exchanges and ATMs in the Philippines?

There are plenty of ATMs that have cameras and security guards. The crime rates near ATMs are relatively low. It seems like pickpocketing is quite prevalent.
Avoid safety issues with these tips:
Consider using ATMs found inside bank branches instead of standalone machines. Typically, these options offer enhanced security and are less vulnerable to skimming devices.
Keep an eye on your card transactions: Make it a habit to keep an eye on your card transactions using your bank’s mobile app or online banking platform. If you notice any transactions that you didn’t authorise, please report them right away.
Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. It’s important to exercise caution when using public Wi-Fi networks for online banking or card transactions. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enhance your security.
Make sure to always keep your card within your line of sight: Make sure to keep your card in view while you’re making transactions. It’s best to be cautious when giving your card to merchants who handle it out of your sight.
It’s always a good idea to have two cards with you when you’re travelling. Having a backup option is great because if one card encounters a problem, you’ll still have another one to rely on.
Make sure to use authorised and registered exchange places when you need to exchange currency.

Also read:
Here are 8 things to keep in mind when travelling abroad: ATM series
Here are 8 important things to keep in mind when travelling abroad: ATM series

Is it okay to bring cash with you when you travel to the Philippines?

When it comes to safety, it’s perfectly fine to carry a reasonable amount of cash in the Philippines. And also, required. Here are some tips to help you safely carry cash during your travels in the Philippines:
It’s a good idea to spread out your cash in different locations instead of keeping it all in one wallet or pocket.
– Consider using a safety belt or fanny pack to keep some of your cash secure.
– It’s probably best to refrain from flaunting a significant sum of money in public.
– It’s a good idea to be discreet when making payments and avoid displaying all of your cash at once.
– Consider keeping your wallet in your front pockets for enhanced security.
Just a friendly reminder to keep an eye on your belongings when you’re in busy areas such as party streets, trains, and buses.

Preguntas frecuentes relacionadas

Is it possible to withdraw cash in the Philippines without any fees?

Sure, you can withdraw cash in Philippines without any charges, but only from the ATM of one specific bank. Every other bank imposes ATM fees.

Can cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other countries be used in the Philippines?

Definitely! ATMs in the Philippines generally accept cards from various countries, including the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and others.

Are there any Bitcoin ATMs in the Philippines?

Oh, absolutely! You’ll find a handful of Bitcoin ATMs in the Philippines.

Are there any Bank of America ATMs in the Philippines?

Unfortunately, Bank of America ATMs are not available in the Philippines.

Are there any Citibank ATMs in the Philippines?

Absolutely! The Philippines has a good number of Citibank ATMs available.

Are there any Barclays Bank ATMs in the Philippines?

Unfortunately, there are no Barclays Bank ATMs available in the Philippines.

Are there any HSBC ATMs available in the Philippines?

Absolutely! The Philippines has a good number of HSBC ATMs available.

Are there any Standard Chartered ATMs available in the Philippines?

Unfortunately, Standard Chartered ATMs are not available in the Philippines.

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