What’s the best way to send money to the Philippines?
To help you narrow down the best, we’ve dug through the details of many leading money transfer companies. Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to the Philippines. ACH transfers through banks, account-to-account transfers through PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and long turnaround times.
Digital money transfer specialists – Companies like Wise, OFX and XE are great ways to send money to the Philippines. These companies specialize in foreign currency transfers and are some of the best ways to turn your dollars into pesos.
Cash transfers – Look to WorldRemit, MoneyGram or Western Union to have cash delivered to the Philippines. WorldRemit will probably be cheaper than Western Union and MoneyGram, but compare a variety of services to find the best way to send money to the Philippines.
Bank transfers – Banks are almost always the most expensive way to send money, as they tend to offer weak exchange rates, charge high fees and have slow turnaround times for your transfer.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $2,000 to the Philippines
Let’s say you need to send $2,000 to family in the Philippines. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of October 2, 2020.
Digital money transfer service
$50 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 CAD = 36.09 PHP
1 CAD = 35.98 PHP
1 CAD = 35.45 PHP
Fastest and least expensive
Better than the bank
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with PHP 1,280 more than the bank offers.
How to send money to the Philippines
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for a free account. Create an account using your contact information and preferred payment method after you pick a provider.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Philippine bank account details.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to the Philippines. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
How to get the most out of your money transfer
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to the Philippines to meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The CAD-PHP relationship fluctuates, so the rates you see today may be different tomorrow. Locking in an exchange rate when possible may save you money in the future if the rates shift quickly.
Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the number of Philippine pesos you’re sending.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to the Philippines from Canada.
Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favorable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to the Philippines, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Philippine bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer to the Philippines
When it’s more important to get your money to the Philippines quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to the Philippines without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Sending to mobile wallets in the Philippines
Many popular money transfer providers, including WorldRemit and Wise, allow you to send money directly to a mobile wallet in the Philippines. Mobile wallets, also known as e-wallets, are a convenient receiving option because the recipient can store and spend money directly from their phone. Some of the most popular mobile wallet options in the Philippines include:
GCash – GCash allows you to make both local and international purchases online, pay bills, send and receive money from other GCash users and more.
PayMaya – PayMaya gives you access to a virtual Mastercard that can be used for online shopping, and you are able to deposit money into your PayMaya wallet without going through any verification processes. Additionally, PayMaya can be used to pay bills and transfer money to and from other PayMaya users.
Coins.ph – Coins.ph combines control of the Philippine peso with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, XRP and Ethereum, and gives you a full range of bank-like services without needing to have an official bank account.
When you’re looking for a convenient way to send money to the Philippines, having the funds delivered to a mobile wallet is one of the more straightforward options. Just be sure to always double-check the associated fees, exchange rates and processing times for each mobile wallet before signing up and using it.
Philippines’ exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. The Philippine peso often fluctuates when compared to the Canadian dollar, so expect exchange rates today to be different than those you’ll see tomorrow. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
No. Venmo, Cash App, Zelle and similar services are all restricted mostly to the US. They do not work between the Philippines and Canada. You’ll need to use a dedicated money transfer service, a bank transfer, a PayPal transfer or something similar to send money to the Philippines. Use our comparison table to see what your transfer to the Philippines could cost.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in the Philippines
To send money to the Philippines from Canada, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in the Philippines may be different by company.
Documents to send money from Canada
To send money from Canada to the Philippines, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SIN.
Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal cheques.
Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Philippine bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.
Documents to receive money in the Philippines
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID. A Philippine passport or any other government-issued ID that has your photo in addition to your address can typically be used to pick up money in the Philippines.
Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
remittance tax guidelines for the Philippines to learn more about when you may need to file with the IRS.
Sending your hard-earned money to the Philippines shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
Read Finder’s BoC Interest Rate Forecast Report for forecasts from some of Canada’s brightest minds in economics and property as well as their thoughts on how recent rate hikes could affect Canada’s property market.
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