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Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money from the Philippines and from Overseas to Philippines

It’s no secret that the congenial manners, impeccable English and reasonable rates of Filipino professionals have made them indispensable to the global workforce. Personally, I’m proud to say that my parents were OFWs as well. 🙂

Their value to corporations and small businesses can be immense. In fact, some companies in the BPO industry compensate their employees with a salary up to $700/month – more than some doctors make. As such, there is no shortage of skilled workers waiting for entrepreneurs to hire them.

Filipinos are also multi-talented and educated experts who can perform a variety of tasks professionally: from accounting, virtual assisting, writing, coding, customer support and even graphic designing, you can depend on them to do a job well done.

As a result, countless businesses hire Filipinos as remote employees. Want to join the party? To do so, you’ll need to send money to a Philippines bank account from abroad every month. Sure, this task may sound simple enough, but if you don’t do it right the first time, it may cost your business thousands in losses.

In today’s blog post, you’ll find out why sending money via bank transfer or Paypal is actually hurting your company. To remedy this, you’ll also learn about the best way to do money transfer cheaply and conveniently.

How much does it cost to send money to the Philippines?

Paying $300/month to your Filipino employee sounds straightforward enough. But because of the costs associated with money transfer, you need to consider that you need to pay more than that.

How much more, you ask? Well, if you’re sending the money electronically via banks like Wells Fargo, it’ll cost you $35/transfer: almost 12% of the money you’re transferring.

And the unnecessary charges don’t stop there. You’re also subjected to bank’s own exchange rate.

Their USD/PHP rate – 48.5509 – is 4.4% off the interbank rate of 50.7854. To pay your remote employee the $300 you owe them, you’ll need to send roughly $350/month to pay for the money transfer costs. An extra $50/month translates to $600/year that’s wasted on ridiculously high transfer fees.

PayPal isn’t any better. When receiving funds outside the US, a 4.4% withdrawal fee applies, too.

Moving to the Philippines?

You may be ahead of the game when it comes to outsourcing to the Philippines. If you already have an organization there, you may be heading there to manage the team.

If you’re about to move to the Philippines, you’ll have to move assets abroad to avoid double taxation.

Let’s assume you’re moving $30,000 to BDO Bank in Manila.

When setting up the transfer, Wells Fargo will offer what they say is a “reasonable” rate. Usually, their USD/PHP price will be 2% off interbank – in this case, it would be 49.7697. This means you’ll end up with Php 1,493,090.

So, great news for you, right?

Not really. It’d be better if you could trade at the interbank rate. If you moved your assets at USD/PHP price of 50.7894, you’d get Php 1,523,680.

That’s a difference of P30,000 or 0 – and imagine what better things you could do with this amount of money, instead of paying your bank just to click some buttons and maybe type a little bit on their keyboards.

Don’t lose hope just yet, though. Times are changing. Companies such as Transferwise, and Currencies Direct can get you far closer to interbank than you ever thought possible.

Which money transfer firms are best for moving cash to the Philippines?

According to, Transferwise is the best choice for small transfers. They charge the interbank rate for cash shipments of ANY size. To make money, they charge a nominal fee on transfer amounts.

For example, to send $300, you just need to pay an extra $4.50 (1.5% of the transfer amount). Shelling out $304.50 compared to $350 is a much better deal for you, don’t you think?

What about if you’re moving funds to the Philippines?

Then, a firm like OFX is well-recommended. This company has decades of experience working with businesses, traders, and high net-worth individuals.

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