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Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

You'll pay fees for ingoing and outgoing wires.

Your local bank branch offers an easy way to send money overseas in person. But you’ll save on fees and exchange rates with a money transfer company. We’ve researched the wire transfer fees of some of the top banks in the Philippines to show how they compare against one another and against independent money transfer services.

What kind of fees could I expect?

The fees your bank charges depend on whether you’re sending or receiving the money, as well as whether the recipient or sender is overseas. Some banks charge more depending on how you initiate the wire transfer — for example, online or in person.

Generally it’s cheaper send money domestically because less financial systems are involved. International transfers involve banks and wire processing services for each country — and with it come fees.

Wire transfer fees by major Philippine banks

We’ve gathered the wire transfer fees charged by 4 major Philippine banks. Before switching to a new bank for its lower wire transfer fees, consider its overall suite of financial products. You may also be subject to foreign transaction, minimum balance and other fees — and some banks waive fees depending on your account status.

BankIncoming internationalOutgoing international
Banco de Oro (BDO)Peso account: PHP100 service charge plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

US dollar account: US$5

Peso account: Equivalent of US$10

Foreign currency account: USD$10

An additional charge of US$20 for On-Us charge transactions

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)Peso account: PHP150 plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

Foreign currency account: US$6.50

Peso account: PHP600 plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

Foreign currency account: USD$14

MetrobankPeso account: PHP100 plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

Foreign currency account: US$5

Peso account: PHP125 plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

Foreign currency account: USD$10

Land Bank of the PhilippinesPeso account: PHP50 plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

Foreign currency account: US$5

Peso account: Equivalent of US$15 plus PHP0.60 for every PHP200 for documentary stamps

Foreign currency account: USD$15

How can I compare these bank fees?

To make your decisions a bit easier, we’ve gathered wire transfer fees for several US banks below.

When assessing these fees, how much you’ll pay depends on where you’re sending money to and other elements like:

  • Incoming vs. outgoing. Incoming wire transfers tend to be cheaper than outgoing wire transfers. This is because the sender usually bears the brunt of the costs associated with the wire transfer.
  • Recurring vs. one-time fees. Some banks offer savings of a few pesos/dollars per transfer when you set up recurring wire transfers.
  • Initiation fees. Your bank could charge a fee for requesting the wire transfer in a branch or over the phone, instead of online.
  • Tracer fees. If your recipient hasn’t received your transfer as scheduled, you may need to trace it. This could incur more fees.
  • Exchange rates. An exchange rate shows how much one currency is worth in another currency. Nearly all banks skew the published exchange rate for a profit, and they aren’t always forthcoming about the margin they add. You may need to call your bank or initiate a transfer online to see the best exchange rate offered.

How can I beat the banks and reduce what I pay in fees?

Many providers give a break on fees if you send more money each time you use its service. Some smaller banks even give you a break on transfers to and from student accounts. This helps parents or guardians avoid being double charged if they’re funding both accounts.

Case study: Wiring US$1,000 to the US

You’ll pay more for an international wire transfer through your bank than you will using an international money transfer service, but you may find that the security and familiarity it offers is worth it. With a bank, you simply log into your existing online bank account to initiate the process, without handing your personal information over to a third party.

Take Jennifer, for example, who wants to send US$1,000 to her aunt in the US from her bank account in Philippine pesos. While she’s more comfortable with the idea of using her local bank, where she holds an account, she decides to compare its rates and fees against a popular online money transfer service.

Here’s a breakdown of what Jessica could pay to transfer US$1,000 to the US.

Local PH bankOnline money transfer service
Transfer feeUSD$10 (outgoing international fee)USD$5
Exchange rate1 USD = 51.05PHP1 USD = 50.87 PHP
Transfer methodOnline depositOnline deposit
Transfer speed1–2 days1–2 days
Total USD received979 USD982 USD

The biggest drawback here is the cost. Jessica’s bank not only charges an outrageously high transfer fee, but also offers a weaker exchange rate. By going with a money transfer service like WorldRemit, Jessica could save money in fees and charges.

Compare banks to these independent money transfer services

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Offer
Within minutes
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.

Bottom line

Banks offer a secure and familiar way to complete wire transfers with friends, family members and merchants. However, you can expect to pay high transfer fees on top of weaker exchange rates than you would get by using an online money transfer service.

Ultimately, you’ll need to compare your options to find the service that’s best for you.

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