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Absolute Cheapest Ways to Send Money to Philippines

Absolute Cheapest Ways to Send Money to Philippines

Here are some of the most commonly used accounts that people in the USA use to send money to the Philippines. These are not ranked in any way as they all have their own perks and flaws that only personal research will uncover. Plus, it would be ethically unfair to rank them according to things such as fees, since they all have some way or another of charging extra cash.

Only by doing personal research into each service will you discover the best deal. Pricing policies and company policies change so often that what was once a low-cost and fair transfer company may now offer a terrible deal.

Overall, we recommend, generally, Transferwise as the best and cheapest ways to send money to the Philippines for MOST people. There may be better, more specialized ways, but for the average person, Transferwise gives the lowest fees and best exchange rate, by far.

TransferWise has a single charge and doesn’t skim any extra from the exchange rate. However, their flat fee and pricing is confusing. Many people have said the service is cheap and fast the first time it is used, but then exchange rates become poorer and/or rates shift on subsequent transfers. There’s also the issue of getting your money into their account. If you live somewhere like Canada or the US, the only way to do so is to do a Bank Wire Transfer to TransferWise.

Your bank itself will charge you anywhere from 25 to 40 dollars for this, so you have to add this amount on to your ‘currency’ exchange savings. Typically, for amounts like 1000 USD, you may save around $30 in transfer fees, but the Bank Wire transfer costs will eat into this savings so you might just about the same as regular currency exchange methods.

If you live somewhere like Canada or the US, the only way to do so is to do a Bank Wire Transfer to TransferWise. Your bank itself will charge you anywhere from 25 to 40 dollars for this, so you have to add this amount on to your ‘currency’ exchange savings. Typically, for amounts like 1000 USD, you may save around $30 in transfer fees, but the Bank Wire transfer costs will eat into this savings so you might just about the same as regular currency exchange methods.

However, for larger sums ranging in the thousands, the savings are there.

The Key Factors to Consider Before Picking the Best Company

Exchange Rate Cost (ERC)

This is the amount the company either charges as a fee for converting or skims from the top of your money by offering a worse exchange rate than the current market averages.

Fee (FEE)

This is the amount the company will charge you for transferring $1000 to the Philippines. It is not a flat rate; it is simply the rate for that amount only.

Slow or Fast

There are some companies that charge different fees for different transfer speeds. The “Slow” or “Fast” comment means the company offers guaranteed faster transfer if a higher fee is paid. Slow usually means they transfer some time within 7 working days.

Transfer Time (TT)

This is how long it will take to transfer your money if you use the company listed. The times shown represent working days that run from Monday to Friday; known as a working week.

Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money to the Philippines

Here’s a list of the different options for transferring money.

We list the FEE, the exchange rate fee you pay per 1000 dollars and the time the transfer will take as per the chart we listed above. As to which of these is the CHEAPEST, look for the options with the lowest FEE per 1000 dollars and the lowest exchange rate (ERC) for 1000 dollars US converted into the Philippine peso. We’ve done the math for you and sorted by the cheapest transfers to the Philippines for 1000 dollars, including the Exchange rate fee and the company fee.

Keep in mind also the time to transfer AND how easy it is to get the money out once you transfer. For example, you can use something like Paypal to send money quickly and instantly, but you’ll pay much higher fees in both exchange rate and transfer fee. Then once you transfer, you’ll also need to get the money OUT of the pay pal account transferred to — this can take a week or so.

Ria Money Transfer (Slow)

FEE $3

ERC $3

Total Cost to send $1000: $6

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: They do not charge you much at all, but they are also going to make you wait a long time. This is a very highly used service but a lot of people, but it has also managed to anger a lot of people because of their poor customer support and the fact their service can take a very long time to process. But, it’s the cheapest way to transfer money to the Philippines on this list, though you wait nearly a week.

Ria Money Transfer (Fast)

FEE $7

ERC $3

Total Cost to send $1000: $10

TT $10 Minutes

Our Review: Some people have complained that their transactions and transfers have been denied even when the money has been taken from their bank account. This happens from time to time without any real explanation, and they return your money in a few days. It is possible they have a very scattershot fraud detection protocol that flags people for the sake of it just to show they are trying to prevent fraud, but that is mostly speculation. At $10 per 1000 dollars to transfer to the Philippines though, it’s one of the cheapest ways to transfer on this list.

TransferWise

FEE $10

ERC $0 (the market rate)

Total Cost to send $1000: ~$10

TT 3-5 days

Sign Up for Transferwise here

Our Review: Despite what you read on their website, they are not a swift money transfer service. You can expect to wait around five days for your money. There’s also the issue with country laws still coming to grips with the new transfer type of service (peer to peer currency exchanges) that TransferWise represents. However, despite this, Transferwise remains one of the best ways (and cheapest) to send money abroad (read our Transferwise review).

USForex

FEE $0

ERC $10

Total Cost to send $1000: $10

TT 1-2 days

Our Review: Some say their rates are very bad, but it all depends on how much you are sending. There is also some confusion as to why they charge a fee to transfer to some banks and not to others. Yet, these are the sorts of things you should be researching prior to making your transfer or signing up for an account, but they do not hide these charges.

LBC Home (Slow)

FEE $5

ERC $13

Total Cost to send $1000: $18

TT 3-5 days

Our Review:This is one of the cheapest and most reliable ways of sending money to the Philippines. Their fees are low and their conversion costs are tiny.

PNB Web Remit (Slow)

FEE $4

ERC $15

Total Cost to send $1000: $19

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: Their fees and costs are very low, and they keep creating offers for US citizens to send money to the Philippines, so it may be worth keeping an eye on this company.

Wells Fargo

FEE $5

ERC $16

Total Cost to send $1000: $21

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: There are over 6300 branches around the country, so it is pretty easy to walk into a branch and have money moved if you wish. There are some instances online of people being lied to by the phone support people just to get them off the phone. This method cost more than the others though.

PNB Web Remit (Fast)

FEE $9.5

ERC $15

Total Cost to send $1000: $24.5

TT: Minutes

Our Review: This service is also known as their Rapid Remit service, and they offer a reasonably good price for an acceptable service.

Remitly (Slow)

FEE $0

ERC $26

Total Cost to send $1000: $26

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: They have no fees, but they are skimming from the top of your exchange rate, so do not be fooled into thinking you are getting the best possible deal. They are very slow to do things such as increase your limit or anything beyond simple transactions. The company is known for posting fake positive reviews online.

XE Trade

FEE $0

ERC $26

Total Cost to send $1000: $26

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: They appear to have a good service, but there are just too many reports online of people sending money and then it disappearing without any help from the customer support or XE Trade staff.

Xpress Money

FEE $11

ERC $16

Total Cost to send $1000: $27

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: They appear to have a very good online reputation, but do not be fooled. They have a very light online reputation that is almost as nonexistent as WorldRemit. The reason they are so lightly reviewed online is because they are new company, but it may also mean they are curating their online reviews and having negative ones removed by a reputation management company.

Western Union (Slow)

FEE $0

ERC $28

Total Cost to send $1000: $28

TT 5-7 days

Our Review: Walk into a branch and they may charge you a fee, do it online and there is no fee, but do not expect an easy ride. People are still complaining of compatibility issues with their website if you choose this option. You can allow every cookie and every popup, and they will still blame any failures to load or to submit on you. The benefit of Western Union is that you can pretty much send money to anyone anywhere in the world. If you need to get money to someone abroad fast and they don’t have easy access to the internet or bank accounts or anything (or the person lost their wallet and ID and need emergency cash), Western Union is the go to choice for this. But…it’s not so cheap.

MoneyGram (Slow)

FEE $0

ERC $28

Total Cost to send $1000: $28

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: This is a very poorly reviewed company because they do not charge fees, or they charge very little, and they think that allows them to skimp on customer support or user experience.

TransFast (Slow)

FEE $5

ERC $24

Total Cost to send $1000: $29

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: Their service can be even slower than five days, but usually it takes place within four days. There are many people that say they take a very long time to transfer the money and that it is potluck if you are going to be one of the unlucky ones. It seems like once you are chosen to be an unlucky one, then you will receive a slower service than most others.

WorldRemit

FEE $14

ERC $15

Total Cost to send $1000: $29

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: Compared to the others on this list, WorldRemit seems to be the least popular. That is not to say that it doesn’t have a good online reputation, it is just that they appear to have less of a reputation. People do not seem to post very much positive or negative content about them on the Internet when compared to the others on this list. The most common complaints are that people have trouble getting their money back for refunds or when the recipient bank didn’t receive the money.

Lucky Money (Slow)

FEE $3

ERC $26

Total Cost to send $1000: $29

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: They have fairly small fees, and sizable exchange rates when compared to other countries. The money they are making they are not investing into customer service because they are very bad at it. The worst thing is that sometimes you force you to call because your funds are on hold, and the staff is just terrible.

Remitly (Fast)

FEE $4

ERC $26

Total Cost to send $1000: $30

TT Minutes

Our Review: Their customer support are trained to lie, it is actually a fact. As a default position, if things go wrong, they will tell you that your money has been credited, just to shut you up for a while, or they will tell you that their systems went down and it has delayed things. They are not very interested in customer happiness or user experience.

Payoneer

FEE $3

ERC $25-$28

Total Cost to send $1000: $28-$31

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: Send money only, read all the small print, and send your money for a pleasant experience. Anything else and you will be hit with their hidden fees. They are everywhere, including large fees for withdrawing your money. Be careful when using their service.

Xoom (Slow)

FEE $5

ERC $29

Total Cost to send $1000: $34

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: Low fees and high currency conversion costs. Their customer support is pretty bad, and they are not above posting fake reviews on websites to make themselves appear more credible. They too seem to have a very scattershot approach to fraud detection, where they may flag you for something as simple as sending money one day and then doing the same amount the day after.

Western Union (Fast)

FEE $8

ERC $28

Total Cost to send $1000: $36

TT Minutes

Our Review: There are more hidden fees than just the $8, but it depends on how much you are sending, to where, and to which account. It you are sending just $1000 to the Philippines, then the cost do date is just the $8 fee and the currency conversion skimming they do. The rates are not terrible, but you will find cheaper elsewhere.

MoneyGram (Fast)

FEE $8

ERC $28

Total Cost to send $1000: $36

TT Minutes

Our Review: Do not use MoneyGram as of this time. If your money goes missing, if a payment doesn’t appear to be made, or if you need refund, you will find they have no process for it. Your case is put in a file and ignored if your lost amount is less than $24,000. It is cheaper for them to go through court, which rarely happens, than it is to set up systems to solve these complaints.

Xoom (Fast)

FEE $8

ERC $29

Total Cost to send $1000: $37

TT Minutes

Our Review: They have been known to report users that post negative reviews about them so that their review is removed from review websites. They seem to be trusted by a lot of people, but their exchange rate conversion is just too high. There are other alternatives you should consider first.

Ko-Kard

FEE $8

ERC $29

Total Cost to send $1000: $38

TT 3-5 days

Our Review: Here is a company that likes to curate its online reputation, which is why you cannot find much about them online. They are very expensive if you total up the final amount you receive at the other end. It is hard to tell if they are simply making a mess of their business, or if they are a fraud, so it may be wise to avoid them for now.

TransFast (Fast)

FEE $30

ERC $24

Total Cost to send $1000: $54

TT Minutes

Our Review: Their fee is a little high for a fast service, but nothing to complain about in the grand scheme of things, but it would be nice if they lowered the amount they skim from the currency conversion. Beware, this is one of the many companies that posts fake positive reviews online.

LBC Home (Fast)

FEE $50

ERC $13

Total Cost to send $1000: $63

TT Minutes

Our Review: Their fee for a fast transfer is higher than the industry standard, so it may be worth taking the slow route. They are a good company, but they could stand to be a little nicer to their employees.

Lucky Money (Fast)

FEE $36

ERC $26

Total Cost to send $1000: $62

TT Minutes

Our Review: This company does quite a few things; it is not just for sending money abroad. That is part of the reason they have so many mixed reviews on the Internet. They are seemingly okay in some areas and not in others. Their exchange rate/conversion cost is rather high for just $1000.

Skrill

FEE $14

ERC $50

Total Cost to send $1000: $64

TT 0-5 days

Our Review: This is a company that is very similar to PayPal, but they charge a lot less. Many times your money will appear within two hours, but sometimes it takes up to five days. They have an expensive currency exchange rate, but will cost you less than PayPal. 

PayPal

FEE $0 – $40

ERC $25 – $40

Total Cost to send $1000: $25-$80

TT 0-5 days

Our Review:  Here is a company with one of the largest money monopolies on earth that is charged a tiny amount of tax because governments fear upsetting them. The fee is changeable on an almost monthly basis, but so far, this is the fastest, most convenient but also the most expensive way to send your money abroad. I recommend this as one of the last options to pursue for a transfer of money abroad.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ‘

He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.

And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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