BPI, BDO, or Metrobank Fees — Why Keep Paying Them?

BDO Fees, BPI Fees, Metrobank Fees, Bank Fees in the Philippines

Bank fees of 10 pesos, 2 pesos, 1.50 pesos, 150 pesos — they add up.
Let’s avoid them.

Over the past months, my daughter accumulated a total deductions of 327.50 pesos
from her BPI Family savings account:

  • two 150 pesos for allowing her maintaining balance to fall below 1,000 pesos for three consecutive months
  • two 10 pesos for ATM withdrawal in other banks’ ATMs
  • three 1.50 pesos for ATM inquiries in other banks’ ATMs

Same with me, I also accumulated a lot of 11-peso and 2-peso deductions
from my BDO savings account for ATM withdrawals in other banks’ ATMs. Obviously, we’re not good examples of what I’m writing about. But since I’ve seen the total deductions on printed paper, I’ve become more conscious about these fees.

My attention to bank fees was also heightened when an OFW in Italy wrote to ask about her BDO savings account which she left dormant. When she comes home this December, she will find that her more than 48K deposit, instead of increasing, has been reduced by about 1,600 pesos. A dormant BDO savings account is charged 200 pesos per month. (Update: BDO increased its dormancy fee to 300 pesos per month of dormancy in February 2011.)

Take note of the following common bank fees. All banks charge them. They just differ in amounts. Let’s avoid them.

1.  ATM Fees for withdrawing in other banks’ ATMs

BPI withdrawal fee: 10 pesos
BPI inquiry fee: 1.50

BDO withdrawal fee: 11 pesos
BDO inquiry fee: 2 pesos

If you withdraw twice a week at another bank’s ATM, you would be
spending 80 pesos a month just for withdrawal.

2.  Service Charge for Not Complying with the Maintaining Balance Requirement

BPI Family: 150 pesos
BPI: 200 pesos
BDO: 200 pesos (increased to 300 on Feb 1, 2011)
Metrobank passbook savings: 250 pesos
Metrobank ATM savings: 200 pesos

The maintaining balances are the following:

BPI Family ATM peso savings — 1,000 pesos
BPI Family passbook savings — 10,000 pesos
BPI ATM peso savings — 3,000 pesos
BPI passbook peso savings — 10,000 pesos

BDO ATM peso savings — 2,000 pesos
BDO Passbook peso savings — 5,000 pesos

Metrobank ATM peso savings — 2,000 pesos
Metrobank passbook savings — 10,000 pesos
Metrobank SSS pensioner — 200 pesos

These banks charge fees for two consecutive months of being below the maintaining balance.

3.  Charges for Dormant Accounts
BPI and BDO:  200 pesos for every month of dormancy (BDO increased its dormancy fee to 300 on Feb 1, 2011)

4.  Service charge for over-the-counter withdrawal for ATM-based Accounts

BPI — 100 pesos
No charge if ATM is off-line or if withdrawal amount exceeds the daily ATM withdrawal limit, which is 20,000 pesos

BDO  —  100 pesos

The daily ATM withdrawal limit for BDO is higher — 50,000 pesos.  If your account is ATM-based, you can’t withdraw over the counter unless you’ve already withdrawn 50K through the ATM or unless you pay the OTC withdrawal fee of 100 pesos.

5.  Fees and Penalties for Returned Checks

Metrobank:  2,000 pesos plus 200 pesos per day for every 40,000 pesos and fraction
of check amount
BPI: 2,000 pesos plus 200 pesos per day for every 40,000 pesos and fraction of check amount

Related Articles:

BDO Deposit Accounts — Baka Maubos Imbes na Lumago

BPI and BDO Internet Banking

BDO Correspondents for Sending Money to the Philippines

BPI Correspondents in Saudi Arabia

BDO Kabayan Savings and BDO Remit Accounts for OFWs


Add a Comment
  1. Hi aYTHEEN, BPI cash cards do not have a maintaining balance requirement, but they have an expiry date, after 2 years — written on your card. You said it was through online bank transfer, how so? Is this a remittance from abroad done through Xoom or other online remittance companies? You can go to your BPI branch and ask. You can ask your sender for the transaction reference no. and date of transfer and name of remittance company if there’s a company used.

  2. Hi! I am so glad I found you!
    I opened an account overseas with Metrobank through the foreign exchange company here in Kuwait. I received a preembossed card and I deposited money in it. Went to Philippines that year for vacation and then have not touch the account eversince OCTOBER 2012.
    I am still overseas and planning another Philippine vacation so I called the branch of the ATM card to inquire and they told me there is a service charge of 900pesos? How is this calculated?
    I don’t think I left much money in the acct.
    Do you think it’s better to just open a new account rather than reviving the old acct and paying the service charge?
    What bank do you suggest that is more friendlier to overseas people?

    Thank you so much

  3. Hi Jen, I think your OFW account was converted into a regular passbook account in Oct 2013 because you did not remit to it from abroad. Since the balance is below 10k (kasi sabi mo not much money left), the 300-peso penalty for below-maintaining-balance started in Dec 2013, then Jan and Feb — that’s 3 x 300 pesos. Yes, if it’s not worth it paying the service charge, just open a new account, and then enroll it in online banking so you can track it while abroad.
    You can try BDO Kabayan account — it’s also a zero-maintaining-balance account; but you need to remit to it at least once in 12 months. But if you put 10k in it and not touch it, then even if it’s converted into a regular passbook account, it does not incur a penalty. But do not let 2 years pass without making at least 1 deposit or withdrawal transaction because it will become dormant.
    After opening and depositing some amount, enroll it in online banking so you can check your balance while you’re abroad– you need to do the enrollment here in the Phils because you’re required to validate your enrollment via a BDO atm machine.

  4. Hello! I have a Dollar Account at Metrobank and this April 2014 I ask my nephew to deposit $1 to avoid dormancy but they said my account is INACTIVE already. I am out of the country and have no chance to visit my bank. I have $792 USD balance at my account. Do you know how much penalty fee I have to pay and how to reactivate my account again without going to the bank? Thank you for your help and advice.

  5. Hi Home, I checked the maintaining balance for a Metrobank dollar account, and it’s 500 USD, so there should be no penalty charged for your dormant account since its balance is above 500.
    Reactivating your account requires your personal appearance at the bank. But ask your nephew to go to or call Metrobank and ask if you can reactivate your account by sending a copy of your passport/valid IDs by postal mail from abroad plus a letter of request for reactivation.

  6. Hello,

    I live in U.S. permanently, but I would like to open a checking account in one of the bank in the Philippines, do you think I can be able to do that? I have a property that I would like to sell and in that case, I would like to deposit the proceeds to this checking account with either Metro Bank or BDO and transfer the money to my account in U.S. Do you know what other documents the bank would require if I open a checking acct?

  7. Hi Baby, if you meant opening your account in person here when you travel here, yes, I think you can open an account, but I think it would be easier opening an atm savings account with BDO or Metrobank. These banks usually approve checking account applications only from active clients or from those with referrals. Anyway, you can deposit your check into a savings account. Big banks here offer Direct Deposit accounts to US pensioners, so I’m assuming they’re accepting account applications from Filipinos who have immigrated. They’re accepting account opening from foreigners with ACRs. The usual requirements are 2 valid IDs, 1 ID photo, local address and phone no. Ask others too.
    There’s a BDO remittance partner in Arlington, if you like to inquire if they’re offering Kabayan account opening:
    DOLEX DOLLAR 700 Highlander Blvd., Suite 450 Arlington, TX 76015
    Customer Service Center – 1.800.892.0210.
    Email: info@dolex.com

  8. Hi,

    Just like to ask, yung 2k + 200 na penalty for every 40k na bounced check depende po ba yun sa amount ng check if 40k? How about if the check amount is only 7k how much po ang magiging penalty sa metrobank???

  9. Hi Michelle, the usual basic penalty is 2000 pesos, regardless of amount. 1k goes to metrobank and the other 1k goes to the issuing bank, whether the same or different bank

  10. Hi.I need some advice.I have a bpi credit card and I always pay my minimum amount due before the due date online but when i checked it yesterday coz I’m about to pay I’m surprised I have a negative balance under my available limit and it’s added to my outstanding balance.

  11. Hi ann, are you sure you did not use your card for a new purchase? Is your card with you? Did somebody use it? Call 89-100 asap and ask if there’s a new purchase in your card account?

  12. Hi! May I ask if my cheque acct will close if I’m delayed in my deposits to pay my housing loan equity? Last july 5, it was my payment due date but I was able to deposit july 28. The next due date was august 5 but I deposited Sept 4. I want to settle all my dues and penalties with BDO if I have. More thanks

  13. Hi Janine, do you mean you have given a set of post-dated checks to the developer of the home you are buying? If yes, it seems your developer did not submit those checks to their bank for automatic encashment, or they’re not depositing the checks over the counter on the due dates, because if they did, then your checking account should have been closed already, as you said you’ve been very late in funding your account. Unless your account had enough funds to cover the penalties. I’m puzzled though about when they are depositing your post-dated checks, as your checks are not getting returned. Enroll your checking account in BDO online banking so you can track your account anytime online.

  14. Hello Nora,

    I hope you are doing great upon receiving this message.
    I loaned someone and she gave me checks in return.
    But things dont go as what we agreed(payments and dates).
    I would like to deposit that checks to have a bounced check in case things go legally.
    She already told me that the account is already closed but I still need to deposit the check.
    I would like to know if I will pay any fees once I try to retrieve the bounced check.
    I also want to know if the bounced check can be received by a representatives.

    Thank you very much.


  15. Hi Paolo, I believe that we should not pay for charges for depositing checks that will turn out to be unfunded, but there are banks that charge returned check fee to the depositor-payee so call your bank about returned check and check retrieval fees and about getting back the check through your representative. But I suggest that when you ask the bank, ask hypothetically because banks also want checks deposited in good faith.

  16. Hi Ms. Once the service charge (P300.00) is deducted from bpi savings account, will this charge be deducted monthly even if the account is already above ADB? I read in another website that the charging is continuous even if the account is no longer below ADB. Thanks a lot

  17. Hi Angel, yes, the charging is continuous if the required ADB is not yet maintained. But if the account is already above ADB for the following month, it should no longer be charged. The account owner can complain if the charging is continuous even if the account is already restored to above required ADB. The penalty is charged at the end of the 2nd consecutive month that the required ADB is not maintained. If on the 3rd month, the ADB is still below, then the account is charged again at the end of the 3rd month. If on the 4th month, the account is already maintained, then there should be no more charge. How to compute ADB

  18. January 25, 2015 Hi. I live in Canada. more than two and a half years ago I opened a u.s. dollar account amounting to 7,000 at a bpi branch in my birth province, but eversince the time that it was opened, I never made any deposit or withdrawal. I am worried now that I may have to pay some penalties already for its inactivity.So my question is how much is the maintaining balance of a dollar account at BPI and am I going to pay penalties.I s it considered dormant that it needs reactivation, and if so, what shall I do?

  19. Hi lita, the maintaining balance requirement is $500, so your account is compliant. Yes, your account is already dormant, but there should be no dormancy charge because your balance is well above the maintaining balance requirement. But it’s good to email BPI expressonline@bpi.com.ph and ask how you can reactivate your account while you’re abroad, so your balance will continue to earn interest. Mention where you live so they can check if they have a tie-up company there.

  20. Hi,Can you suggest the best bank for a beginner professional worker? I graduated last year and I want to save money from my salary yet I don’t know what type of account and bank is the best to fit for me. -Patchi

  21. i have a friend who open an ofw acct. with metrobank in dubai.for 5 years shes she’s sending remittances to the said account then it became dormant for 2yrs. when we try to deposit this month they said the acct is closed already. what happened to the deposit when we know its more than enough to cover the charges even if converted to regular savings account.

  22. Hi ron, when your friend stopped remitting to her account, how much was the balance? Was it 10k pesos or more? If 10k or more, her account should still be active, and her 10k should be in her account because her 10k is enough to cover the maintaining-balance requirement of regular passbook accounts (an OFW account is converted to a regular passbook account after 12 months without foreign remittance). A dormant account is charged only for dormancy if the account is below the maintaining balance. Did the bank say “closed”? The account should have been put on hold only, and your friend can reopen it by presenting valid IDs. Your friend should ask to reactivate her account.

  23. thank you nora. they say the account is already closed as they cannot find it in the system. the balance is more than 100k so I hope its just on hold.

  24. Hi ron, I’m puzzled about their response that they cannot find it in their system. By the way, when was the last time your friend checked her balance? Because if she never checked before, there could have been a problem with the remittance process. Your friend should follow this up asap.

  25. hi nora, sorry i wasn’t able to reply to you last month regarding that mbtc acct. she’ll be coming hone this june to check her account. anyway i have one question with regards to credit card. are collection agent here in the philippines allowed to collect and harassed people for unsettled balance from another country? thank you.

  26. Hi ron, do you mean like a Citibank or HSBC credit card issued abroad? I think so. For big amounts, all banks always try to collect. They research info about the debtor and pay local affiliates or collectors to collect. I know someone whose neighbor incurred a big credit card debt in Dubai, and a collector went to the debtor’s house everyday to try to collect. What I know is the collectors never found the neighbor as the neighbor relocated.

  27. hi nora follow up question are they allowed to file a case here in the philippines. do they have jurisdiction to do that here. the name of the collection agency is bilkish and from what i read in some forums and blogs they are the worst. thank you. happy easter!

  28. Hi ron, I’ve read up on foreign judgments and reciprocity law, but I’m not so clear about everything. I’m not sure if they’ll be successful in filing a case — like what civil crime was committed in the Phils, what Philippine law was violated in the Phils, what evidences are available.

  29. Hi i just wanna ask if my account in bpi will be still active even it is almost ten months i am not depositing and what steps i will do if its not activated ..thank you and godbless

  30. Hello, my state pension is paid into uk nationwide bank, can I open bpi in uk so nationwide will transfer my pension then bpi remit to bpi bank in manilla to pay my intended house purchase. Thanking you Brian .

  31. Hi tina, if your account is Easy Saver, your account is still active. If it’s a regular atm savings account and your balance is below the 3k maintaining balance, it’s most likely your account is already closed. If closed, it’s better that you open a new account — BPI allows reactivation but you have to pay below-maintaining-balance penalties, and paying a big amount is not wise.

  32. Hi Nora,
    Can the return check fee be waived? If yes, how?
    It was an over sight that i left my BDO checking account short of 200 pesos for my car loan with ps bank and they charged me of 2200 pesos. I have been a good payer and this is the first time that it happened and I am already on my final payment for my car loan. ‘Appreciate your response.

  33. Hi my company deposit my salary to my metrobank account but to my surprise The account was already closed. I called metrobank already and they said that the money is floating. What do they mean for the word floating? How can I get my salary? Thank you.

  34. Hi ariel, go to your Metrobank branch and ask if you can reactivate your account, and if you need to pay a penalty, and how much. If cannot be reactivated, open a new account, and then ask your company to redeposit your salary to your new account. A better option is to talk with your HR or accounting dept. and ask for advice.

  35. Hi Nora! I opened an ATM account in Metrobank last 2011 and I have not yet get the card until now. I still have the deposit slip. Last 2013, I received a letter from the branch operations officer of the bank and it says that my account will be dormant effective September 2013. What should I do? Should I ask my account to be active/reactivated or might have open another account? Thank you! :)

  36. Hi Reyne, you asked about the option of opening another account, so I assume that your initial deposit was not that big that it was most likely wiped out already by the dormancy penalties, and that your account has already been closed. If this is true, then you can open a new account.

  37. BPI seems to be the best among the Philippines Top 3 Bank. I prefer BPI’s Easy Saver Savings Account. It has no maintaining balance which is great.

  38. I issued post dated check to citibank.i dated it on every 20tj of the month.this month my statement of account due was dec 21st,2015.will it be possible that citibank will get the payment on the 21st?im not able to fund,since im planning to fund it on the 21st.will citibank get my maintaing balance on my checking account?i have funds around 12000 on that account and my due is only roughly 3500.do i still be charge as bounced check?pls answer me.thank you

  39. Hi ligaya, have you checked your checking account balance? If your balance is around 8,500, it means your check was deposited by Citibank on the 18th (Friday before Sunday, 20th). If your post-dated check date is every 20th, Citibank will deposit it every 20th, even if your due date is 21st. Many banks deposit postdated checks due on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday the business day prior to the check date.
    Yes, your maintaining balance can be used to fund a check. Make sure to maintain your account in Jan 2016 so that you won’t be charged for below-maintaining-balance (the penalty is charged if not maintained for 2 consecutive months)

  40. Hi Maam,

    I just want to ask if magkano po ang service charge ng metrobank if mag transfer po tayo ng USD sa USD account natin sa Pilipinas.

  41. Hi Nora, Can the return check fee be waived? If yes, how? It was an honest mistake that I forgot the due date of my car loan with psbank and they charged me of 2200 pesos plus 439 for the interest. Instead of 19th, I funded my checking account the next day, 20th. I have been a good payer and this is the first time that it happened. Thanks in advance!

  42. Hi Catherine, so sad but I think they won’t refund the return check fee in this case because the check was really funded late. The check was returned to PCHC before 7 am of the 20th. But of course you should call your bank and try. Even if you’ll be denied, at least you tried. Call also about the 439 loan interest and ask it to be waived since you’ve been a good payor — this might have a better chance of being waived. Whew, that’s a lot of interest/penalty per day.

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