Online Money Transfer to Philippines from US — Paypal, Xoom, Moneygram, Western Union

December 17, 2011 · Filed Under Banks, handling money, OFW, Remittance 

Please see Nov 2012 update below:

Which of these is the best for online money transfer to Philippines from U.S.?
Paypal
, Xoom, Moneygram, or Western Union.

money-transfer-philippines

I’m now looking for another money transfer service that my U.S. employers can use to send me my salary as a virtual assistant and SEO writer. And it must be an online service, as my employers are busy. There are cheaper remittance alternatives, but my employers don’t have time to go to remittance outlets. They prefer paying online with their credit cards and debit cards.

Currently, they’re using Paypal.  All they need is my email address linked to my Paypal account.  But I now think I’m losing money because of the lower Paypal dollar-to-peso conversion rate.  Also, I have to wait for 3 days before the money is credited to my account.  And I have to pay 150 pesos to BPI for the transfer to my BPI account. They say other banks charge 200 pesos for the transfer.

It’s good my employers are the ones paying the Paypal transfer fee, which is 3.4 % of the remittance amount plus 15 pesos.

Now, let’s compare four services that offer online money transfer to Philippines from the U.S.

PAYPAL

Money transfer fee: 3.4 % plus 15 pesos for credit card payments (paid by either the sender or recipient) plus 150 or 200 pesos for withdrawal into a local bank account

For remittance amount of $500, transfer fee is $17 plus 15 pesos, plus 150 pesos for withdrawal into a BPI account or 200 pesos if withdrawn into a BDO account.

For $850, fee is $28.9 plus 15 pesos, plus 150 pesos for withdrawal into a BPI account or 200 pesos into a BDO account.

Dollar-peso exchange rate:
On Dec 17, the Paypal exchange rate was 1 US$ = 42.6354 pesos
BDO exchange rate was 1 US$ = 43.50 pesos

Although the payment appears immediately on Paypal account, the actual money transfer takes 2 to 5 days or more. So far, the transfer to my BPI account takes 3 business days. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards or debit cards can be used.

XOOM

On Dec 17, the Xoom exchange rate was 1 US$ = 42.88 pesos
while the BDO exchange rate was 1 US$ = 43.50 pesos.

The minimum amount to send is $50. The service fee is $5.99 if paid thru bank account and $8.99 if paid thru credit or debit card. Fees start at $5.99.

For $500, transfer fee is $13.99 if paid thru credit card or debit card. For $850, the fee is $17.99. For $1,000, the fee is $18.99.

If payment is made via bank account, money transfer fee is $5.99.

WESTERN UNION

On Dec 17, the Western Union exchange rate was 1 US dollar = 42.6494157 pesos
while the BDO exchange rate was US dollar = 43.50 pesos.

For a remittance amount of $500, transfer fee is $25. For $850, fee is $30. For $1,000, fee is $30. Sender can use Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

If bank account is used to send, money transfer takes 3 business days, but it’s cheaper — only $8 for a remittance amount of $500.

MONEYGRAM

For remittance amount of $500, transfer fee is $28. For $850, fee is $55.
The system calculates only up to $899.99, can’t find why. Moneygram does not disclose its currency exchange rate before actual processing.

If bank account is used to send, remittance takes 3 business days and the money transfer fee is $14.99 for a remittance amount of $500.

FACTOR PAYPAL XOOM WESTERN UNION MONEYGRAM
- Can send online Yes Yes Yes Yes
- Can receive in No Yes Yes Yes
minutes
- Can receive in No Yes Yes Yes
dollars
- Exchange rate 42.6354 42.88 42.65 not disclosed
for 1 US$ pesos pesos pesos before processing
Dec 17, 2011
- Fee for $500 $17 $13.99 $25 $28
paid from credit +15 pesos
or debit card
- Fee for $850 $28.9 $17.99 $30 $55
+15 pesos
- Fee for $1000 $34 $18.99 $30 ?
+15 pesos
- Other fees 150 to None None None
200 pesos
transfer to
bank account

From the above chart, it looks like XOOM is the best.  I’ll check again and then ask my employers to pay through XOOM.

Disclaimer:  If you’re also analyzing which service to use to make online money transfer to Philippines, please double-check my computations.  I made careful research, but I might have missed something.

Update December 2012:
For the past several months, my US-based boss has been paying me every month in dollars via XOOM, and I’ve been receiving it real FAST — almost the same minute as remittance time. I get the email notifying me of the remittance, and the next minute, I get another email telling me the money is ready for pickup. Usually, I pick up the money at a BDO branch in US dollars and then change the dollars to peso at a nearby Czarina branch.

Remit to the Philippines for Just $5.99

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Online Money Transfer to Philippines from US — Paypal, Xoom, Moneygram, Western Union”

  1. Toni on August 12th, 2013 8:41 am

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  2. Mila on March 22nd, 2014 1:37 pm

    You might possibly find Paypal to be better, if the below workaround applies to pesos as it does to CADs. This is best for sending money to family but might work for business too.
    http://www.canadiancapitalist.com/transferring-us-dollar-funds-out-of-paypal/
    Basically this site states that if you link your Philippines dollar account with your Paypal account by changing the country from Philippines to USA and then using the bank code for your Philippines bank branch in the USA (most Philippines banks have such branches), Paypal will then recognize your Philippines dollar account and allow you to link with your Paypal acct and you can forego the exorbitant conversion fee and shop for a better one.

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