Using a Philippines Bank Account

Find out about the products and services available from banks in the Philippines, plus bank opening times...

ATMs

Foreign bank cards with the Visa Electron logo can be used in ATMs in the Philippines that carry the appropriate logo. Withdrawing from local banks incurs an additional surcharge of PHP 200.00. It is best to withdraw from international banks such as HSBC, Maybank, & Standard Chartered Bank, which do not charge an extra fee.

Some local banks have withdrawal limits of between PHP 4,000 – PHP 20,000. Some banks may impose a maximum of two withdrawals per day.

It is important to note that although ATMs are available in every major street in Metro Manila, some ATMs run out of money on weekends and paydays (10th/15th and 25th/30th of the month), or a few days before and during national holidays.

Cheques

Cheuqes are still used as form of payment in the Philippines. Always ensure that there are sufficient funds in the bank tbefore paying by cheque. Stiff penalties are imposed if cheques bounce and this can affect the account holder's credit worthiness.

How to write a cheque:

Write the exact name of the recipient of the cheque. Differences in spelling are not acceptable and the bank will require a new cheque to be written. Do not use abbreviations unless it is the official registered name of the payee.

The signature of the originator should be the same as the signatures logged in the Specimen Signatures. It is not advisable to issue blank cheques.

Always make sure that the amount in words is the same as the amount in figures. If there is a discrepancy, the bank teller uses the amount in words as the basis.

Cheques with erasures, or alterations of any kind including the date, name of payee, amount in figures, amount in words, signatures, account name and number and cheque number are not accepted.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are generally accepted in business establishments in Metro Manila and other major Philippine cities, and this is usually indicated at the entrance. Before dining or buying, it helps to ask first if credit cards are accepted, because there are occasions when the establishment is ‘offline’. Some may require a minimum purchase before accepting credit card payment. Businesses based in rural areas or smaller in scale may only accept cash.

Stolen credit cards

Contact the issuing bank when a credit card is stolen. Fees and charges may apply when reporting the loss of a credit card and requesting a replacement, which vary from bank to bank.

The toll free numbers for credit card holders in the Philippines are:

  • Visa Card: 1 800 1 111 9015
  • MasterCard: 1 800 1-111 0061

Customer contact center for AMEX:

  • Personal cards: (+632) 81 417 or 814 170o
  • Corporate cards: (+632) 840 7400

Bank Opening Times

Bank opening times vary from bank to bank, but are generally from around 09:00-17:00. In major cities and Metro Manila, banks may have longer opening hours and even be open six or seven days a week, while the opposite may apply in rural areas.