11 Best Dollar Accounts in the Philippines

Last Updated – Sep 21, 2022 @ 8:06 am

Top 10 Money-Making Apps in the Phi...
Top 10 Money-Making Apps in the Philippines

There are tons of reasons why you may want to open a dollar bank account. Perhaps you regularly receive remittances from your loved ones abroad, you constantly travel to different countries, you love shopping in the US, or you deal with international clients and suppliers.

If any of these apply to you, opening a dollar account is the best thing to do. If not, you may have to deal with exorbitant fees and exchange rates that will make you lose money. 

But with the sheer amount of dollar accounts you can open in the Philippines, making the right choice can easily get overwhelming.

Looking for a dollar account but you’re not sure which one to open? Don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll compile the best dollar accounts in the Philippines for you.

What is a Dollar Account? 

Also called a domiciliary account, a dollar account is a type of current account that allows people to hold foreign currencies that are not only limited to dollars, but also euros, pounds, and other foreign currencies.

The main goal of this account is to help you do foreign transactions more easily. You can also take advantage of this account to receive or transfer money to other countries.

Unlike other bank accounts, most people don’t use their dollar accounts to store money and earn interest, but to do transactions. 


Benefits of having a dollar account

Here are the major benefits of opening a dollar account in the Philippines.

Major savings

Everyone wants to save money and avoid high fees. Having a dollar account will enable you to buy and sell foreign currencies straight away, or use your foreign currency without having to convert it to another one.

This way, you can save on transaction costs. 

Have foreign currencies ready

Whether you love shopping or traveling, having a dollar account will enable you to have funds ready.

This way, you don’t have to worry about changing foreign exchange rates, especially during times when the exchange rate is low.

Improved convenience

Because there’s no need for you to trade, you can skip a step when it comes to using any foreign currency.

Whether you want to use it right away or not, your money will just be there earning interest for you.

It adds to your financial security

Foreign currencies such as the US Dollar can diversify your portfolio. Should the value of the Philippine peso rise or fall, you can shield your money from loss.

Decent interest rates

Just like traditional savings accounts, dollar accounts also come with interest, although you may need to maintain a specific amount of money in the bank for it to grow interest.

Considering this, you can watch your money grow without doing anything.

Keep in mind that most dollar accounts have tiered interest rates, and it’s normal for these accounts to have a lower interest rate compared to peso accounts. 

Safety

Dollar deposits in the Philippines are insured by the PDIC per depositor. You can be confident that you won’t lose up to Php500,000 equivalent of your foreign currency.


Do I need a dollar account?

Not everyone needs a dollar account. However, businesses that constantly transact in foreign currencies need to open one, especially those that deal in exporting, importing, and the like.

Meanwhile, individuals need a dollar account if they receive remittances often from foreign countries, or if they regularly deal with foreign clients.

It’s also a great idea to open a dollar account if you love to travel or shop abroad. This way, you can have foreign currencies ready for you to spend.

Related Guide: Best Savings Accounts in the Philippines


Is a dollar account a good investment?

This depends on your circumstance. Generally, having a dollar account is great if you want to diversify your portfolio, especially if you are using it to hold US Dollar, which is a currency that can be readily used all over the globe.

However, make sure to prioritize your peso holdings first before you open a dollar bank account. As with other investments, assess your risk tolerance first.

For example, if the value of the peso appreciates, would you be able to handle that loss? 

Recommended: Best Investments in the Philippines


How much do you need to open a dollar account?

Unlike most peso accounts that do not have a minimum initial deposit, dollar accounts are more stringent.

Most banks require a minimum initial deposit of $200 to $500. To earn interest, you must also maintain an average daily balance of $500 to $1,000. More of this will be discussed later.


Top Banks That Offer Dollar Accounts in the Philippines 

Here are our top choices for the best dollar accounts you can open in the Philippines.

1. Landbank

Interest rate: 0.025% per annum for individual and institutional 

Required average daily balance:

  • $100 for individual
  • $1,000 for institutional

Minimum Initial deposit:

  • $100 for individual
  • $1,000 for institutional

Required average daily balance to earn interest:

  • $500 for individual
  • $1,000 for institutional

Currencies allowed: JPY, EUR, GBP, HKD, USD

This government-owned bank offers one of the best dollar accounts in the country and is an amazing option, especially for people who live in rural areas. This bank account also comes with a passbook for your withdrawal and deposit transactions. 

LandBank not only offers dollar accounts for individuals at least 7 years old, but also for institutions like Government line agencies, government-owned, and controlled corporations, and local government units (LGUs), as well as private corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, associations, and other duly registered organizations.

Requirements (for Filipino citizens): 

Requirements (for foreigners):

  • Passport
  • ACR/ Diplomatic ID issued by DFA
  • Certificate of Employment for those whose working permit is under process

Single proprietorship: 

Partnership:

  • Articles of partnership
  • Certificate of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission 
  • Notarized agreement or resolution designating the extent of the authority of each partner in dealing with the depository Bank

Corporation: 

How to open a Landbank dollar account: 

  1. Visit a LandBank branch near you and ask for an account opening form.
  2. Present all your documents. 
  3. Wait for your passbook. 

2. BPI

Interest rate: 0.050% per annum

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $500

Required average daily balance to earn interest: $500

Currencies allowed: AUD, CNY, HKD, CAD, EUR, JPY, CHF, GBP

Founded in 1851, this bank is one of the oldest in Southeast Asia. It has a network of over a thousand branches, including in Hong Kong and Europe.

Their dollar account offers maximum convenience for individuals, especially those who want to open an account online. Account holders can request a Passbook.

Requirements (Filipinos):

  • 1 valid photo-bearing ID
  • Proof of billing

Requirments (Foreigners):

  • PhilID for resident aliens
  • Passport
  • ACR

How to open a BPI dollar account:

  1. Visit a BPI branch near you.
  2. Submit the needed documents.
  3. Wait for your passbook to be issued.
  4. Enroll your account online to make mobile banking easier. 

3. DBP

Interest rate: not available online

Required average daily balance:

  • $500 for individuals
  • $1,000 for corporate

Minimum Initial deposit:

  • $100 for individual
  • $1,000 for corporate

Required average daily balance to earn interest:

  • $500 for individual
  • $1,000 for corporate

Currencies allowed: USD, JPY, EUR, GBP, AUD

This is the second largest state-owned bank in the country and specializes in logistics, social services, SMEs, environment, and infrastructure and logistics.

DBP’s dollar account has a low initial deposit compared to other banks, although their minimum daily balance requirements and ADB to earn interest is just the same as other prominent dollar accounts in the country.

Requirements: 

  • At least 1 valid photo-bearing ID
  • Completed account opening form

How to open a DBP dollar account: 

  1. Visit a branch near you and ask for an account opening form.
  2. Fill out the form and present your documents.
  3. Wait for your ATM/passbook to be issued.

4. Metrobank

Interest rate: 0% for USD, up to 0.250% for other currencies (more details here

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $500

Required average daily balance to earn interest: $500

Currencies allowed: USD, JPY, EUR, CHF, CAD, AUD, CNY, SGD, HKD

Founded in 1962, MetroBank is one of the most popular financial institutions in the Philippines, with close to 1,000 branches. In 1965, they became the first bank in the Philippines that opened in the US with an office in Guam.

Their passbook-based dollar savings account doesn’t have any encashment limits, and account holders have the option to withdraw in Philippine Pesos or US dollars.

It’s also easy to enroll your dollar account online so you can benefit from 24/7 services. Keep in mind that this dollar account doesn’t have any interest for USD, EUR, CHF, and JPY. However, interest is available for all other foreign currencies.

Requirements:

  • At least 1 valid photo-bearing ID

How to open a Metrobank dollar account:

Sign up online or visit a Metrobank branch near you.


5. PNB

Interest rate: 0.025%

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $500

Required average daily balance to earn interest: $500

Currencies allowed: USD (PNB also has third currency savings accounts in selected branches if you want to hold AUD, CAD, CHF, HKD, and SGD)

PNB is one of the largest and most reliable private banks in the Philippines. Their dollar account comes with a passbook which is great for people who want to easily monitor their account. 

Requirements: 

  • At least 1 valid photo-bearing ID
  • Fully accomplished forms (provide SSS/GSIS number, TIN if applicable)

How to open a PNB dollar account: 

  1. Download and fill out the account opening form online.
  2. Visit a branch near you and present your requirements.
  3. Wait for your passbook to be issued.
  4. Enroll in PNB digital banking.

6. Citibank

Interest rate: 0.10%

Required average daily balance: None/based on client’s Total Relationship Balance

Minimum Initial deposit: n/a

Required average daily balance to earn interest: $1,000

Currencies allowed: USD (Citibank also has Foreign Currency Savings Accounts for EUR, AUD, GBP, JPY, SGD, and HKD) 

Citibank offers a dollar account that allows holders to safely store their money while earning decent interest.

With this account, you can withdraw in over 13,000 ATMs around the world, and conveniently check your balance, transfer funds, and monitor your account online. You can also enjoy 2 free withdrawals per month.

Exceeding withdrawals will be charged $0.50 for non-over-the-counter withdrawals, and $1 for over-the-counter withdrawals. 

Requirements:

  • At least one valid photo-bearing ID
  • Accomplish account opening form

*please check with the Citibank branch near you

How to open a Citibank dollar account: 

  1. Apply here or visit a Citibank branch near you.
  2. Fill out the account opening form.
  3. Enroll your dollar account in Citibank online.

7. Maybank

Interest rate: Not available online 

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $200

Required average daily balance to earn interest: $500

Currencies allowed: USD

If you’re looking for a US Dollar Account with a low initial deposit, this is one of the best choices. This account already comes with a passbook and is available for individual and commercial clients.

This account is also suitable for commercial clients.

Requirements (Filipinos):

  • At least 1 photo-bearing ID
  • Proof of latest billing for walk-in customers

Requirements (Foreigners):

  • Passport
  • ARC

How to open a Maybank dollar account: 

  1. Fill out this form.
  2. Submit the requirements to a Maybank branch near you. 

8. HSBC

Interest rate: Varies depending on currency/balance

Required average daily balance: None 

Minimum Initial deposit: Varies depending on the currency

Required average daily balance to earn interest: Varies depending on the currency (check here)

Currencies allowed: AUD, CAD, HKD, JPY, NZD, GBP, CHF, RMB, CNY, USD, etc

With the HSBC Foreign Currency Account, you can secure your savings in 11 various currencies. This account also comes with a contactless debit card, as well as perks such as no minimum maintaining balance. You can also transact even beyond banking hours, including on weekends. 

Requirements:

  • Please check in the HSBC branch near you

How to apply for an HSBC dollar account:

  1. Visit any of the branches here.  
  2. Call (02) 8858 0000

9. China Bank

Interest rate: 0% to 0.050% 

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $500

Required average daily balance to earn interest: $1,000

Currencies allowed: USD, EUR, CNY, JPY

This dollar account is amazing for individuals and businesses who want to grow any kind of currency. Despite the high required ADB to earn interest, you can earn much for US Dollar, Chinese Yuan, and Euro in this account.

Requirements (Filipinos):

  • 2 1×1 ID photos
  • At least one valid ID

Requirements (Foreigners):

  • Passport
  • ACR
  • Contract of Employment (if applicable)

Businesses and Sole Proprietorship:

  • Certificate of Registration with DTI
  • Application for Registration with DTI
  • Special power of Attorney (if applicable)
  • Certificate of Tax Exemption

For Partnership Accounts

  • SEC Certificate of Registration
  • Articles of Co-Partnership
  • Partnership Resolution or Agreement duly notarized
  • Certificate of Tax Exemption / Preferential Tax Treatment (if exempt from withholding tax)

For Domestic Corporate Accounts

  • SEC Certificate of Filing Articles of Incorporation
  • SEC Certificate of Filing Articles of By-Laws
  • Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws
  • Board Resolution duly certified by the Corporate Secretary

How to apply for a China Bank dollar account: 

Visit any branch and fill out the application form. 


10. Security Bank

Interest rate: 0%

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $500

Required average daily balance to earn interest: None

Currencies allowed: USD (Security Bank has dedicated accounts for CNY, HKD, SGD, AUD, CAD, JPY, and GBP

If you don’t mind opening an account with no interest, this is something you should consider. Despite this, Security Bank offers a high exchange rate that is constantly updated on its website.

Opening an account is also very easy, and can be done entirely online. This account comes with a passbook so you can easily track your transactions. 

Requirements for Filipinos and resident aliens:

  • 1 primary ID or 2 Secondary valid IDs

Requirements for or non-resident aliens:

  • Passport
  • ACR

How to apply for a Security Bank dollar account:

  1. Click here and fill out the application form.
  2. Wait for the confirmation text message.
  3. Visit a branch near you and submit the needed documents.  

11. BDO

Interest rate: not available online

Required average daily balance: $500

Minimum Initial deposit: $200

Required monthly daily balance to earn interest: $500

Currencies allowed: USD, other currencies only available in selected BDO branches 

Managing your finances with the BDO US Dollar Savings Account is easy wherever you are. With this account, you can enjoy fixed interest rates, low remittance charges, and tons of options for overseas banking. 

Requirements:

  • 2 valid IDs
  • Selfie holding a valid ID
  • Photo of 3 signatures 

 How to open a BDO dollar account:

  1. Apply here
  2. Upload your valid IDs, and a picture of yourself holding an ID.
  3. Do a Zoom video call with a BDO representative for evaluation.
  4. Make your initial deposit. 

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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