Compare options to send money to the Philippines below
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
Banks vs international money transfer services
Most Canadian banks allow you to send money directly to the Philippines. As mentioned above, using your bank to send the international transfer will incur costly fees and you may have to settle for a poor exchange rate. You might be much better off looking to send funds with a dedicated money transfer provider.
Specialist money transfer companies offer fast and affordable overseas transfers, typically with competitive exchange rates and lower fees than those offered by banks. These companies offer faster turnaround times and can even have the money available to your recipient just minutes after you send it.
Case study: Arvin sends money to the Philippines
Arvin wants to send a gift of $1,000 to his cousin in the Philippines. He knows that sending the money from his bank in Canada will incur high fees. With this in mind, he decides to compare the exchange rate and fees of his bank with those offered by a specialist money transfer company. The results of his comparison can be seen in the table below.
Money transfer company
CAD 1 = PHP 37.30
CAD 1 = PHP 40.17
Less than 24 hours
Online or at a branch
Amount received for CAD1,000
If Arvin sends money using a specialist money transfer service, he will not only be able to send PHP2,870 more to his cousin, he will also pay CAD$13 less to send the funds overseas. Sending money via the dedicated service provider will save Arvin almost CAD$100 with the better exchange rate and the lower fee.
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to the Philippines?
Take the following factors into account when comparing the services offered by different money transfer companies:
Competitive exchange rates.You’ll want to look for a company that offers high exchange rates. Keep in mind that some companies will hide high fees with better exchange rates, so be sure to compare both the exchange rate and the fees.
Little to no transfer fee.Most companies will charge a fee for every transfer you make, either at a flat rate or as a percentage of your transfer amount. Other companies will waive any fees when you transfer more than a certain amount of money, which usually begins at the $10,000 mark.
Flexible transfer methods and options. Compare providers to determine if you can send the funds online, via phone or in a branch. Some services will also provide flexible options like regular scheduled transfers, forward contracts and market orders.
Quick turnaround time.Compare the average processing time offered by each company for money transfers to the Philippines. Companies may be able to send funds in a few minutes, a day or a few days. Keep in mind that the faster the transfer, the higher the fees may be.
Convenient pick-up methods.Some companies will allow cash pick-up within minutes, while others can send funds directly to your recipient’s bank account. Compare options that suit both you and your recipient.
Low minimum transfer amounts.Some companies have minimum transfer limits in place, which can be an issue if you only want to send a small amount of money. Other companies may have a maximum limit in place, which can also cause you problems if you’re looking to transfer a large sum of money.
Reliable customer service.Check to see if support by phone, email and live chat are offered by the service provider. Some companies may provide 24/7 help while others may only be available during weekdays.
How to send money to the Philippines from Canada
The Philippine Peso (PHP) is a commonly traded currency on the global marketplace, which means there are plenty of options to choose from when looking to send money to the Philippines from Canada. Your options include:
Bank transfers.Many Canadian banks will let you send funds to the Philippines, though you should keep an eye out for poor exchange rates and high fees.
Money transfer for cash pick-up.Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send cash to the Philippines within minutes. Your recipient can pick up the funds from a number of agent locations across the Philippines. Fees tend to be higher with these companies, but if you’re looking for quick transfers, you should consider these two services.
PayPal.Funds can be sent via PayPal if both you and your recipient have a PayPal account. Keep in mind that funds take a few days to reach your recipient’s bank account.
International money order.You can also obtain an international guaranteed cheque from your bank or the post office which can then be posted overseas. This is the slowest way to send a money transfer.
Emergency cash transfers in the Philippines
There are some situations where you or someone you know may need to transfer funds to the Philippines as quickly as possible. For example, you may be travelling in the Philippines and have your wallet or purse stolen. One of your relatives can send you cash via a money transfer service, which allows you to pick up the funds within minutes after they are sent.
It’s important that you exercise caution when sending an emergency cash transfer. Make sure you know the exact exchange rate that will apply to your transaction and read the fine print to understand if you’ll face any other fees.
Cash pick-up locations in the Philippines
WorldRemit, Western Union and MoneyGram offer multiple branch locations across the Philippines where you or your recipient can pick up funds. When you go to pick up funds, remember to take a valid photo ID and some details of the transaction with you. You’ll likely need to know the reference number, who sent the money and how much money was sent. In addition, it’s also a good idea to phone ahead and make any necessary arrangements if you’re picking up a large sum of cash. Ask your hotel to call you a trusted taxi driver and immediately return to the hotel to put the funds in a safe place. If you have been robbed, remember to report it to the police. Here are some of the WorldRemit, Western Union and MoneyGram locations in the Philippines:
WorldRemit allows you to make cash pick-ups at M Lhullier, Metrobank, Palawan Pawnshop, PSBank, LBC, BDO and Cebuana Lhullier branches.
Palawan 7 Quezon
New Public Market, Poblacion 5304
CLH Bago Bantay
132 D Ilocos Sur St cor Bukidnon St. Bago Bantay, Brgy. Ramon Magsaysay District 1
Open Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm, Sunday 7am to 6pm
CLH G. Tuazon
2019 G. Tuazon St. Cor. Honradez St. Ext., Brgy. 549 Zone 045, District IV, Sampaloc
Open Monday to Saturday 7am to 8pm, Sunday 7am to 6pm
G/F G. Raymundo Building, 314 EDSA
Aguirre Pawn Shop
General Luis Street 245
Quezon City, Metro Manila 1123
Open Monday to Saturday 8am to 5pm
Alyanna Pawn Shop
N Domingo Cor Dna Juana Rodriguez
Alyanna Mini Mart
Quezon, Metro Manila 1100
Open Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm
Aguirre Pawn Shop
Prime Block Podium Level
Manila, Metro Manila 1013
Open 9am to 6pm seven days
China Banking Corporation
J A Santos Ave Cor Batangas St No 2159
Manila, Metro Manila 1014
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
Bank of Commerce
Am Assoc Bld 28 Quezon Avenue
Quezon City, 0
Open 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Banco De Oro
Cedar Executive Building II 26 Timog Ave Cor Sct Tobias St
Quezon City, 0
Open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday
Bank of Commerce
609 SALES ST.
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm Saturday
Banco De Oro
No 116-120 C Palanca St Quiapo
Open 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday
Tips for picking up cash in the Philippines
The Canadian Government recommends that travellers to the Philippines exercise a high degree of caution, so keep this in mind especially when picking up cash. If possible, take a friend with you for extra precaution and make sure to keep your money out of sight. Avoid questionable or dangerous areas and head straight back to your hotel to deposit the funds in a safe place. Do not use public transportation with lots of cash on you, instead ask your hotel to call you a trusted taxi driver.
Before sending cash to the Philippines from Canada, compare your options and consider which type of service provider best suits your needs. Sending cash overseas has never been faster or more affordable and there are plenty of options available.
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.
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