Move money from US bank to the Phils...

Hey y'all... Planning on my retirement in the Philippines 2022 and if by chance I get the opportunity to purchase a place say for $65k US.. how would one get that $$ over from my US bank to the Phils?  Because it will be a while before I can open a bank account and all.. moreover, I would need my ACR card to do so and that takes almost a year.  Any suggestions, tricks, flips or flops.. I'm all ears. Thanks in advance.

Tpiro hi!
My late Partner and I bought a property here too. And it was a huge mistake we did when we used bank transfer and had the bank convert the money into peso. If you can wait, it would be best for you to get here first and open a USD$ ACCOUNT, transfer fund from US BANK to PHILIPPINE Dollar Account which will give you a better rate and option wether to wait til the USD to PHP Rate goes up and up. Just speaking from experience 😉 Hope this helps!

thank you so much.. well noted...

Just go through HSBC and open an account from abroad, I did from Dubai and still not in Phils, got a PHP and USD account.

aklokow.. wow.. didn't know that.. I will look today.. thanks

aklokow, did you get stuck in Dubai or from there waiting to get into the Phils?

No not stuck here still working here plan to move to Phil's in December

I did a $30K wire transfer to my brother in law's PNB account using Fidelity about a month ago. PNB gave me a 49.3 exchange rate on the dollar transfer which was not bad. The wife and I had to show up at the bank along with her brother before they would release the cash.

I wire to my mother in law to PNB for our house and what not. I'll wire about $30k just before we go mid November. My bank, the Boeing Credit Union, also gave me instructions for wiring money to myself or my wife from the Philippines once we set up our accounts there. They said it's no problem over the phone from overseas. BECU goes through Wells Fargo for wire transfers.

An ACR card does not take a year.  Apply, for it, at immigration.  Apply for the ACR card.  Find your house.  Give them a token deposit.  Get your ACR card.  Open a Philippine bank account.  Transfer your house funds to your new bank account or the attorney representing you in the house purchase.

Did you drop the SRRV option. It gives immediately permission to setup a bank account.

Needless to say that you cannot own land here and that a dummy construction is not wise.

Glen Adkins wrote:

An ACR card does not take a year.  Apply, for it, at immigration.  Apply for the ACR card.  Find your house.  Give them a token deposit.  Get your ACR card.  Open a Philippine bank account.  Transfer your house funds to your new bank account or the attorney representing you in the house purchase.


Whoa Bro. . . .Lets not put the cart before the horse, first "get" your ACR card, then open up a bank account and finally go house hunting. Rome wasn't built in a day, likewise for getting an ACR card and a bank account.

Glen.. from what I've gleaned-  it is not that easy to open a bank account or get your ACR card quickly.. If I am missing something here- due tell b/c I would like to know how to obtain these in a timely manner.  Give me bank names, government offices and time lines.  I will be Cebu.   Thanks

Nothing, in the Philippine government moves quickly.   I applied for an ACR card at the immigration office.  I don't remember how long it took to get it.  Maybe a month.  I opened my bank account with 2 IDs in one day.

I would encourage renting.

which bank would you suggest?

sekmet

encourage renting-why would you say that?.. please explain.. thanks

Glen Adkins wrote:

Nothing, in the Philippine government moves quickly.   I applied for an ACR card at the immigration office.  I don't remember how long it took to get it.  Maybe a month.  I opened my bank account with 2 IDs in one day.


It took months for me to get my ACR card with many trips BI. The Grab fare for all those many trips was more than the fees for the card.

Citibank, if I'm correct, still has branches in The Philippines. I would check with Citibank if you are not currently banking with them.

Only Filipino citizens are allowed to own land. You can purchase a condo unit and a house, but not a lot.

JPOTX wrote:

Citibank, if I'm correct, still has branches in The Philippines. I would check with Citibank if you are not currently banking with them.


Yes Citibank is in Manila. I've been banking with Citibank in the states for 20 years. The first thing I did in the Philippines was to visit Citibank hoping to open an account as my direct deposit ss goes to Citibank USA.

I never tried opening an account because they informed me that I could not link the accounts between the Philippines & the States.

Citibank ATM's in the Philippines will let you take out 15,000 php at their ATM in one gulp.

I was able to deposit an income tax refund by an app (sending a picture) of the check to Citibank USA.

The problem I had was down loading the app from Citibank USA, So using a VPN I was able to get the app and make the deposit.

Back in 1998, I had an account with BPI and Metrobank. Living in Germany, I banked with Citi. I never had any issues banking overseas. Using a VPN is the best way to work around any hurdles.

oh no... that was 1998..things have changed since then.

It gives you more mobility. It might take awhile for you to find the perfect place, and even that can change. Roosters, barking dogs, various things can all affect quality of life.

Additionally, the build quality of most structures are far below Western standards.

SEKMET makes sense to RENT only! and it's really common sense! I have 1 barking dog across the street a Labrador and barks all the time. I was lucky to find an apartment with no roosters near. I have rented same place over 9 yrs and an American owner and his Pinay wife have given me a decent 7k pesos a month's rent and they have not raised it. Nice 2 bedroom apartment in a 6 unit complex with secure gated front. There's one other American who lives in the back and the other units are empty. Why buy a place or build a house you will never own? If things go south with your spouse you lose everything. Common sense! Just my thoughts.Good luck! Renting is best at least for me. The more you give or buy your spouse the more she will want and expect! May God bless the Philippines!

All this talk about owning and renting and I had a discussion about this with my wife. I mentioned to her in the states when people get to be our age, maintenance is a problem because it's not a project that is easily done. So they sell their house and move into an apartment.

(1) For example in the last three years we had to replace our security gate.
(2) We had to have a window installed in the kitchen to get better ventilation.
(3) Twice we had to have a partial opening of the cement in the shower to repair a leaky pipe and replace all the tiles.
(4) Every three months we had to have the aircon removed for maintenance. (dust removal.)
(5) We had to have the toilet resealed.  A high rise toilet for us old people since it's not possible to have grab bars.

Now we have a leaky main valve in the bathroom that needs replacement and the toilet has to be removed to get to it. It is also below the tiled floor with an a small opening.

Now back in the states with any repair I would go to the office. If it was not serious, I would just email them. It was always fixed that day or next.

I said to my wife if we lived in an apartment we wouldn't have these problems. She claims apartment renters in the Philippines are responsible for their own repairs, I find this hard to believe.

Jimmy.. I see sekmet reasoning behind renting.. but in a decent condo 14 floors up you don't hear much of anything ... and, you've got a great breeze and view.

Actually I found the best way to transfer the $$ .. is to move it from your US account to the US Wise account and then transfer/wire the $$ to the Philippines bank of choice when the exchange rate is up.. I just did it for my Condo when the rate was US 1 to PHP 0.540.  You can only do it via Wise for 480,000 pesos at a time so I did if several times.  It cost about $343 to move over $62k.  Better than any bank can do.  I checked with my bank and it was like $1,800 to move the bucks over and I wasn't about to pay that to them nor trust them to move it when the ForEx was right.  Just my current experience.

Tremendous info,,, will look into it,,, is that “Transfer Wise App”,,,?? Thank you,,,

I think it used to be Transfer Wise... now it is just called Wise.   Yes you can't beat the wire transfer price and the guaranteed ForEx rate for 8 hours..

Enzyte Bob

Don't you now wish you would have taken those maintenance/repair classes that passed you by some year ago...   Myself, I know how to do all of that kind of work but I have to agree with your wife.. that's why I bought a Condo.  However, I'm sure it itself has its issues .. LOL

Asian bonds are very, very small, unless you have unlimited funds.  You have very limited space, lack of closets and condo fees.  They sell them as investments.  They are not.  They are expenses.  When you see a house or condo, in the Philippines, you have to pay a10% tax plus many other fees.  On the other hand if you can buy and wait 10, 15 or 20 years, I am sure the value will go up.

That's condos, not bonds.

Enzyte Bob wrote:

All this talk about owning and renting and I had a discussion about this with my wife. I mentioned to her in the states when people get to be our age, maintenance is a problem because it's not a project that is easily done. So they sell their house and move into an apartment.

(1) For example in the last three years we had to replace our security gate.
(2) We had to have a window installed in the kitchen to get better ventilation.
(3) Twice we had to have a partial opening of the cement in the shower to repair a leaky pipe and replace all the tiles.
(4) Every three months we had to have the aircon removed for maintenance. (dust removal.)
(5) We had to have the toilet resealed.  A high rise toilet for us old people since it's not possible to have grab bars.

Now we have a leaky main valve in the bathroom that needs replacement and the toilet has to be removed to get to it. It is also below the tiled floor with an a small opening.

Now back in the states with any repair I would go to the office. If it was not serious, I would just email them. It was always fixed that day or next.

I said to my wife if we lived in an apartment we wouldn't have these problems. She claims apartment renters in the Philippines are responsible for their own repairs, I find this hard to believe.


OK this subject is off topic but given the potentially large sums of money concerned needs to be addressed in this thread.

To buy or not to buy. That is the question that regularly comes up on this forum.

From a UK residents perspective if you can afford to purchase a property (service the mortgage/debt for most) it really is the proverbial no brainer. It will be the best investment you will ever make even allowing for maintenance costs.

What is a wise purchase in a developed country does not necessarily apply to a third world emerging market such as the Philippines. Building standards and controls, not to mention materials, are far inferior. Any expat will tell you that.

I'm just a regular visitor and used to stay, when on a business trip, in the delightful Mandarin Oriental hotel on Makati Avenue until it closed. Since then I decided to use serviced apartments so feel qualified to make a judgment here.
In the late noughties a new up market apartment complex named the Joya Loft & Residences went up in a posh part of Makati called Rockwell. Manilian expats will know of it. Conveniently located opposite the Power Plant Mall with an underground walkway to the mall when it pissed down with rain. I made it my home from home for several years and the charming staff got to know me well. " Welcome back Mr Nick" :)
After just 3-4 of years you could see the apartment starting to degrade - plaster crumbling, kitchen units warping, fixtures failing, electrical sockets that wiggled every time you put a goddam plug in the socket etc etc. Wear and tear is to be expected in any property but you really don't expect structural issues after a few years in a new build.

Notwithstanding the above you have the opacity of the Philippines property market: the purchasing and sale process is not as fluid and if you buy 'off plan' there will be high marketing costs. The country in this respect mirrors the US market albeit without the quality. Realtors take a big cut.

Yes I 'get' the joy of owning a property that you live in. You develop a strong bond and to use the cliche ' a mans home is his castle' still holds true.

Given the above I would retain your property in your home country, rent it out, live off the income and enjoy the high life with the option to bail out at anytime - something that you can not necessarily do with a house if the relationship with that sweet Filipina turns sour. Moreover your main asset will be preserved and outpaced the rate of inflation.

And don't forget. As I've stated in a previous post : Todays' condo is tomorrows tenement block.

Lotus Eater

I do hope you meant in your previous post : Todays' condo is tomorrows tenement block.   Which I interpreted as Condo's are a bit more stable than common PI houses unless they collapse under certain conditions... or- one can take that as I did and defined as "(a) set of rooms forming a separate residence" or "(b) run-down or dilapidated apartment building".  Let us hope not the latter.. eh.  Sure you have things to fix things and yes they can happen quite often but that is part of it I think.  The vast majority of folks seem to let broken things fester and causes more damage.  Catch it- fix it- while you're seeing and thinking about it.

I already bought my condo in the PI.   Reason being I knew Pinas is the place for my retirement. 

I will research the Wise.com.  Thanks for that info.