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The best way to send money to the Philippines can vary based on individual needs, but here are some top methods:
- Pomelo: Good for credit sharing with no transaction fees and real-time exchange rates, but has a maximum limit of $1,000 and no ATM withdrawals.
- Remitly: Offers low fees for small transfers and a wide network of providers, but fees are higher for larger transfers and exchange rates may fluctuate.
- Wise (formerly TransferWise): Known for low-cost international transfers and the ability to hold multiple currencies, but does have some fees and a 12% VAT on transactions in the Philippines.
- WorldRemit: Claims lower transfer fees and operates in over 130 countries, but additional fees may be imposed by credit card issuers.
- PayPal: Widely recognized and free for sending money to friends and family, but exchange fees may apply for different currencies.
- MoneyGram: Offers quick transfers and an extensive network, but fees can be high depending on destination and method.
- Xoom (powered by PayPal): Provides a user-friendly interface and convenient recipient options, but fees can vary and exchange rates may not always be favorable.
Choosing the right service will depend on factors such as fees, exchange rates, transfer speed, reliability, and customer service. It’s important to compare these factors based on how much you’re sending, how quickly the money needs to arrive, and the preferred receiving method of the recipient.
In December 2022, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported a milestone for the Philippines – a record high in personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos. The full-year total settled at an impressive US$36.1 billion, the highest to date.
This statistic does not only highlight the significance of remittances in the Philippines. It also proves how important access is to an efficient, secure, and accessible method for sending money to the country.
If you’re looking to send money to the Philippines, you have a few options. In this article, we will explore different methods to ensure that your hard-earned funds reach their intended destination without any complications.
Best Ways to Send Money to the Philippines
We’ve rounded up the best platforms you can use to send money to the Philippines. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
|Fees:||Free, except for the late fee|
With Pomelo, it’s easy to send money to your loved ones in the Philippines. Pomelo’s Family Plan is designed to keep things simple. You’re the primary cardholder, and you can invite up to three authorized users. Each user gets their own card, and it’s delivered to the Philippines in 10 days or less.
For a limited time, Pomelo offers a great exchange rate of $1 to Php60 for your first $500 spent in 45 days as a new customer.
This rate applies to transactions in PHP where Mastercard is accepted, and remember that rates might change.
Pomelo uses Mastercard’s real-time exchange rates for each transaction. This ensures that customers don’t need to worry about timing transfers for the best prices.
When customers use their Pomelo Cards at any location that accepts Visa or Mastercard, Pomelo earns a small percentage from the merchant, rather than the customers.
Pomelo operates as a type of charge card so customers must settle their balance in full every billing cycle. Pomelo does not charge any interest, which means no APR at all.
The maximum limit for Pomelo cards is $1,000, a deliberate measure to prevent customers from accumulating debt.
The only fee Pomelo has is a late fee, though they also offer auto-pay to ensure that customers are never late on their payments.
How to send money using Pomelo:
- To apply, individuals must be at least 18 years old and have a Social Security Number (SSN). Depending on your credit history, you may need to connect with your bank to place a security deposit.
- Add up to three authorized cardholders in the Philippines. They’ll need a smartphone and a valid ID (check the list of accepted IDs). Your account won’t be activated until at least one beneficiary completes their set-up.
- Cards will arrive in the Philippines in 10 days or less after you approve your beneficiary. You’ll receive a card as well. Your beneficiaries can use the cards in the Philippines, and you can pay off the balance monthly.
- No transaction fees
- Real-time exchange rates
- Easy to use
- No ATM withdrawals or ATM cash advances
- Limited to Pomelo users
- Restricted to a maximum limit of $1,000
- Type: Peer-to-peer platform
- Fees: Fees vary depending on the transfer amount, destination, and payment method.
- Less than $1000:
- Bank or debit card deposit: 1% scaling fee plus a $2.99 fixed fee
- Cash pickup: 1.5% scaling fee plus a $2.99 fixed fee
- $1000 or more:
- Bank or debit card deposit: 0.5% scaling fee plus a $2.99 fixed fee
- Cash pickup: 1.0% scaling fee plus a $2.99 fixed fee
- *Check here for complete pricing.
- Less than $1000:
This digital remittance service simplifies money transfers by making them faster, cost-effective, and transparent. As an entirely online platform without physical branches, Remitly maintains low operational costs, which it then shares with its users.
Remitly offers a favorable exchange rate of $1 to Php 57.24. New customers can take advantage of a special rate and enjoy zero fees on their first transfer, including mobile money transactions.
The platform also boasts an extensive network of over 23,000 providers, ensuring customers’ safety and convenience.
Money can be sent directly to trusted banks, cash pickup locations, mobile wallets, or even arranged for home delivery in the Philippines.
Options include BDO, BPI, Palawan Pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier, M.Lhuillier, SM branches, LBC, GCash, and more.
How to send money using Remitly:
- Sign up for an account using your email address on our website or via our app on the App Store or Google Play.
- Pick the currency, specify the amount you want to send, and choose your preferred delivery speed.
- Select the method for delivering your money.
- Provide the recipient’s name and required information.
- Enter your payment details, and then click “confirm transfer” to send the money.
- Low operational costs and fees for small transfers
- Special rates and zero fees for new customers on their first transfer
- Extensive network of over 23,000 providers
- Flexible delivery options, including cash pickup and home delivery
- Fees can be higher for larger transfers
- Limited to online platforms without physical branches
- Exchange rates can fluctuate and may not always be the most favorable
|Type:||Online Money Transfer|
|Fees:||Transferring money within the same currency between Wise Accounts is free of charge. However, when you send money to an account with a different currency, a minor conversion fee applies. The fees vary by currency, from 0.43%.|
ATM fees over 200 GBP per month per account: + 0.50 GBP per withdrawal, plus 1.75%
Account Funding transactions: Starts at 2%.
Receiving USD wire payments: $4.14 fixed fee
Receiving CAD SWIFT payments: CAD10 fixed fee
Formerly known as TransferWise, Wise is an online platform that allows users to transfer money internationally at a low cost and with competitive exchange rates. With Wise, you can hold over 50 currencies.
Starting on September 20, 2023, Wise implemented changes in how its services are provided in the Philippines.
Upon confirmation of an address change to the Philippines in a customer’s profile, Wise will cancel any active Wise Debit card(s) held by the customer due to regulatory restrictions.
Without address verification, customers can receive up to Php100,000 per month using ID document verification. If a customer wishes to receive up to Php400,000 per month, they must provide proof of address.
Use this calculator before sending money to see the fees involved.
Note: As of September 2023, for each transaction made on a Wise Account registered in the Philippines, fees are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate, which is currently 12%.
This includes actions like adding money to the Wise Account, sending money from Wise balances, converting money between balances, and receiving funds into the Wise Account, subject to applicable fees.
How to send money using Wise:
- Sign in to your Wise account.
- Pick whether you want to use an external account or the money in your Wise balance.
- Decide whether it’s an international transfer or within the same currency.
- Input the amount you want to send or the amount your recipient should receive.
- Provide the recipient’s bank information, or just enter their email.
- Double-check the transfer details and add a reference if needed.
- Choose how you’d like to pay, and Wise will show you the fees and expected arrival time.
- Once Wise receives your money, it will send you and your recipient confirmation, along with updates on the transfer’s progress.
- Transparency in fees
- Ability to hold over 50 currencies
- Real-time tracking of transfer progress
- Fees for receiving wire payments in certain currencies
- High transfer fees
- 12% VAT
|Type:||Online money transfer|
|Fees:||$1.99 to $3.99|
Credit card payments could result in a fee imposed by the credit card issuer, potentially impacting the received amount.
WorldRemit is a digital cross-border remittance company that offers international money transfer and remittance services across a vast network spanning more than 130 countries and accommodating over 70 currencies.
World Remit claims to be 41% less expensive than using most banks for sending $200. They also tend to be around 5% more cost-effective than Ria, Moneygram, and Xoom.
How to send money using WorldRemit:
- Sign up with your email on the app or website. Pick a strong password for security.
- Wait for WorldRemit to confirm your identity for added security.
- Select the destination country and method and input how much you want to send. WorldRemit will show you all the fees and exchange rates upfront.
- Have the receiver’s details ready. This can vary depending on how you’re sending the money.
- Pick how you want to pay for the transfer, either through a bank deposit or using a credit/debit card.
- Lower transfer fees
- Send money from 50 countries to more than 150 countries
- Great options for delivery
- Possible additional fees imposed by credit card issuers for credit card payments
- A limited number of supported overseas banks
|Fees:||Sending money using PayPal is free for both parties if you’re sending money to friends and family|
Exchange fees may apply if you’re sending money to a different currency. This fee is based on the current exchange rate plus a small markup fee
PayPal is a well-known and widely used peer-to-peer platform that allows users to send and receive money online.
With over 430 million active users, it’s one of the most popular digital payment platforms in the world.
How to send money using Paypal:
- Go to the “Send and Request” section.
- Enter the recipient’s information, which could be their name, PayPal username, email address, or mobile number, then click “Next.”
- Input the amount, select the currency, and optionally add a note. Afterward, click “Continue.”
- Select “for friends and family.”
- Select how you want to pay and click “Next.”
- Review all the provided information, and once you’re satisfied, click “Send Payment Now.”
- Widely used and recognized platform
- Free to send money to friends and family
- Easy and convenient to use, with a large user base
- Secure and reliable
- Exchange fees may apply for sending money to a different currency
- Not all countries and regions are supported
- Possible account limitations or freezes for security reasons
|Type:||Online money transfer|
|Fees:||$1.99 – $9.99 for debit card and express online bank transfers (depending on the receive method – direct to bank account, debit card deposit, mobile wallet, or cash pickup)|
Rates for sending via credit card and receiving via cash pickups vary depending on the amount being transferred.
MoneyGram offers versatile financial services, including online and in-person money transfers, money orders, and bill payments. Customers can send money domestically or internationally in nearly 50 currencies.
Its extensive network covers banks, cash pickups, and mobile wallets, providing senders and recipients with flexible options. Transfers are typically quick, usually taking minutes to a few hours.
Cost estimator available here.
How to send money using MoneyGram:
- Download the MoneyGram Money Transfer app for free from the App Store or Google Play.
- Use your MoneyGram profile or create a new one by entering your details for identity verification.
- Input who you’re sending money to and how much. You can choose to send to a bank account, mobile wallet (like GCash), a Visa debit card, or at a MoneyGram agent location.
- Pick how you want to pay: card, bank transfer, or in-person cash at a MoneyGram agent location through the mobile app.
- Review the details, make any necessary changes, and send money from your mobile device, from almost anywhere to nearly everywhere.
- Send or receive money in 200+ countries and territories
- 400,000 agents globally
- Send money online, in-app, or in person
- Fees can be high for certain destinations and payment methods
- Limited payment options compared to other online money transfer services
- May require additional identity verification for security reasons
|Type:||Online money transfer|
|Fees:||Exchange fees can be found here.|
Xoom, powered by PayPal, simplifies global money transfers to friends and family. With Xoom, you can send money to a recipient’s bank account, debit card, or mobile wallet.
Alternatively, you can opt for cash pickup or home delivery. This platform has 87 locations in the Philippines, providing convenient options for your recipients.
How to send money using Xoom:
- Use your PayPal info or create a Xoom account with your name and email.
- Input the amount, recipient, and their location in the Philippines. For cash pick-up, select a location, including Cebuana Lhuillier and M. Lhuillier. You may also send on banks or mobile wallets like BDO, BPI, GCash, or PNB, among many others. Additionally, you may send money for home delivery
- Pay with PayPal, a bank account, a credit card, or a debit card.
- Easy to use, with a user-friendly interface
- Convenient options for recipients, including cash pickup and home delivery
- Wide range of payment options, including credit card, debit card, and bank transfer
- Fees can vary
- Potential poor exchange rates
- May require additional identity verification for security reasons
- Not great for business transactions
Methods of Sending Money to the Philippines
Here are some popular methods for sending money to the Philippines.
|Duration:||2 to 5 business days|
|Fees:||Varies depending on your bank and the recipient’s bank, may include transfer and conversion fees|
This method is secure since it directly transfers funds from your bank account to the recipient’s bank account in the Philippines. Bank transfers are also efficient and reliable, especially when sending large amounts of money.
However, this method may have higher fees and longer processing times compared to other options. Recipients must also have a bank account.
- Secure and direct
- Suitable for large sums of money
- Widely available
- Longer processing times
- Can be expensive for international transfers
Money Transfer Agencies
|Duration:||minutes for cash pickups|
|Fees:||Fees vary, and include a combination of transfer fees and currency exchange margins|
Money transfer agencies like MoneyGram and Western Union have physical locations and online platforms that allow you to send money to the Philippines.
These services are fast, and you can find agent locations worldwide and across the Philippines (even in provinces), making it easy to send and receive money.
Some companies even offer same-day pick-up for urgent transactions. However, fees for these services can be high, and exchange rates may not be the best.
- Fast and accessible
- Tons of locations
- Cash pickup options
- Higher fees
- The exchange rate may not be as favorable
Online Bank Transfers
|Duration:||1 to 3 business days|
|Fees:||Variable, depending on your bank and the recipient’s bank, may include transfer and conversion fees|
Online bank transfers are quite similar to traditional bank transfers. The only difference is that you can do them through online banking platforms from the comfort of your own device.
This way of sending money to the Philippines is convenient and fast, with the added benefit of being able to track the transfer in real time.
Online bank transfers also have lower fees compared to traditional bank transfers.
- Potentially lower fees than in-person bank transfers
- o Can still incur fees
- May take time depending on the bank
|Fees:||Transaction fees and withdrawal fees may apply|
Mobile wallet apps such as Maya, GCash, and Coins PH allow you to send money directly to your recipient’s mobile wallet in the Philippines.
These apps are known for their speed and user-friendly interfaces so even those who are not tech-savvy can easily navigate them.
In addition, mobile wallets offer low transaction fees and favorable exchange rates compared to traditional banking methods.
Keep in mind that the recipient must have a mobile wallet account to receive the funds, and some services may require the sender and recipient to have the same mobile wallet app.
- Offers additional services like bill payments and online shopping
- Limited to users of the same app
- Fees for cash withdrawals
|Duration:||minutes to 3 business days|
|Fees:||Varies by platform and transaction type but usually includes exchange rate and transfer fees|
Peer-to-peer platforms like PayPal, Wise, Remitly, and Xoom are online services specifically designed for international money transfers.
These platforms are top choices for many Filipinos abroad thanks to their easy processes, competitive exchange rates, and user-friendly interfaces.
However, not all platforms are available in the Philippines, so it’s important to check availability before sending money.
Peer-to-peer platforms often have lower fees than traditional methods and offer a fast and convenient way to transfer funds.
You can also track transfers in real-time and may have the option to send money directly to a bank account or mobile wallet.
- Fast and convenient
- Competitive exchange rates
- User-friendly interface
- May charge fees for specific transaction types
- May not be available in all countries
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Transfer Method
To maximize convenience and minimize costs, there are several factors to consider when choosing a transfer method
1. Transfer fees
Many services offer low fees or even zero fees for sending money, while others may charge higher fees.
Be sure to compare fees for the amount you wish to send and the specific destination. It’s also recommended to take advantage of promotional offers that help you save money.
2. Exchange rates
While some transfer services may offer low fees, they may have poor exchange rates, resulting in less money received by the recipient.
Together with the transfer fees, don’t forget to consider the exchange rates to ensure that your intended recipient will receive the maximum amount of money possible.
3. Transfer speed
Different transfer methods offer varying transfer speeds. Some transfers may take only minutes, while others may take several days.
Assess the urgency of the transfer and choose a method that matches the desired speed. If not, the recipient may face delays in receiving the money. That said, many platforms offer expedited transfers for certain fees.
4. Reliability and security
Look for transfer services with a strong track record for securely handling financial transactions. Check for any customer reviews or feedback to ensure that the service has a good reputation for reliability.
Additionally, consider whether the transfer service offers any additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication or encryption.
Don’t skip to verify any identity confirmation requirements since this adds an extra layer of security and helps prevent fraud.
5. Customer service and support
Your chosen money transfer service should offer reliable and efficient customer service to help you resolve any issues or concerns that may arise, such as 24/7 customer support and multiple channels for contacting them.
You should be able to contact them via phone, email, or live chat. Additionally, consider the language support offered, especially if you or your recipient are not fluent in English.
Safety Tips for Sending Money
Here are additional safety tips to keep in mind when sending money through any transfer method.
1. Verify the recipient’s details
Before sending any money, verify the details of the recipient, such as their full name, contact information, and bank account or mobile wallet details.
This ensures that the money is sent to the intended recipient and reduces the risk of fraud. Double-check all the details before completing the transaction and make sure they match the recipient’s information.
2. Use secure internet connections
Did you know that using an unsecured internet connection when sending money can put your financial information at risk?
Use a secure internet connection when sending money to avoid potential hacks or breaches. You can ensure the security of your internet connection by using a virtual private network (VPN) or connecting to a secure Wi-Fi network.
If you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, be cautious and avoid entering any personal information that could be intercepted by hackers.
3. Being wary of scams and phishing attempts
Be wary of any unsolicited requests for money or transfers. Scammers often use fraudulent tactics to trick people into sending money to them.
Always verify the identity of the person requesting money and be cautious when sending money to unfamiliar recipients.
If a request seems suspicious or too good to be true, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not send any money.
4. Regularly updating mobile and online banking credentials
Create strong and unique passwords or use multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. Furthermore, enable two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security.
It’s also crucial to keep your devices and software up-to-date to protect against potential vulnerabilities and security breaches.
Not updating your apps could also result in outdated security features, which could put your money and personal information at risk.
Lastly, update your password regularly to make it harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts and steal your financial information.