USD INR ₹ 83.37
GBP INR ₹ 103.73
CAD INR ₹ 60.78

How To Avoid Transfer Fees When Sending Money From The USA To The Philippines?

Updated on December 02, 2021 09:30 am
No transfer Fees when transferring fees to philippines

The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), also known as Bagong Bayani, loosely translates to modern-day heroes for their contribution to the Philippine economy through their remittances. Many households rely on the money sent by friends and families from abroad.

According to the World Bank, a whopping USD 35 billion was sent by Filipinos living abroad to the Philippines in 2020. Filipinos in the United States alone sent USD 11.9 billion the same year. The USA is the leading remittance sending country to the Philippines, followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, U.A.E., and the United Kingdom.


The sad reality is that for USD 11.9 billion sent from the USA to the Philippines, another whopping USD 476 million of hard-earned money was spent on exorbitant transfer fees and bad USD to PHP exchange rates to send that money.

Why Is It So Expensive To Send Money To The Philippines?

For years, the money transfer industry was riddled with legacy technology, regulations pertaining to anti-money laundering, national security, and generally upheld by powerful industry players.

Fortunately, in recent years, the landscape is changing - with new players disrupting the financial industry. Armed with innovative technological advances, FinTech disruptors have changed how we transfer money for good.

By being more transparent about how much users are being charged on every transfer, users are now empowered to make more informed decisions when it comes to sending money. Even with all the advances, it is still expensive to send money.

In the end, money transfer companies are in business - they have to make money to sustain themselves, whether it is a disruptor or an established company.

In order to understand the cost of sending money from a sender's perspective, let's first understand that there are two primary ways money transfer companies make money:

  • Through currency exchange rate margins
  • and/or on transfer fees.

Here's how money transfer companies make money through currency exchange rate differences:

  • Banks and money transfer companies get close to mid-market exchange rates
  • Mid-Market rates are the rates you see on or Google
  • Let's say the money transfer companies get 1 USD/50 PHP exchange rate
  • They offer customers an exchange rate lower than the one they get, say 1 USD/49 PHP
  • If you send 100 dollars at 1 USD/49 PHP, your recipient will receive 4900 pesos
  • The money transfer company makes 100 pesos, the difference in the currency exchange rates

Alternatively, money transfer companies can make money through transfer fees by simply charging you a flat fee of, let's say, 100 PHP on your USD 100 money transfer.

Traditional money transfer service providers tend to charge both, which is an exorbitant cost just to move money across a geographical border.

While we are talking about ways to avoid transfer fees while sending money, it is worth mentioning that banks are the most expensive ways to transfer money from the United States to the Philippines.

Banks have unfavorable exchange rates and have exorbitant transfer fees that are usually hidden. Here are a few alternative names of "hidden fees" used by banks and money transfer companies:

  • Currency conversion fee
  • SWIFT charges
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Remittance service charges
  • Returned transfer fee
  • ACH bank transfer fee
  • Wire transfer fee

What Is the Average Cost Of Sending Money From The US To The Philippines?

World Bank data shows that the average cost of sending USD 200 to the Philippines from the USA is around 4 percent of the total amount being sent - which means your recipient gets only USD 96 for every USD 100 being sent.

The cost can go higher up to 14 percent if you use traditional methods of sending money, including banks.

If you have ever sent money internationally, you are well-familiar with the exorbitant transfer fees and hidden fees. We will further discuss whether it is possible to avoid transfer fees and find the cheapest ways to send money to the Philippines.

The best depends on the urgency of the need and the following factors:

  • Amount of money you are sending
  • Payment option
  • Payout option
  • Speed of transfer

Which Remittance Service Provider Offers the Cheapest Money Transfer Fees?

In the world of cross-border money transfers, the harsh truth is that it is expensive to be poor. In other words, it costs more to less amount, say USD 200, than to send a large amount, say USD 1000, from the US to the Philippines.

If you are sending a higher amount, say USD 1000 and above, most likely you will get a transfer fee-free offer or a much lower transfer fee from the money transfer company. We recommend sending a larger amount one time instead of sending small amounts multiple times, depending on your urgency.

So Is It Possible To Avoid Transfer Fees While Sending Money To The Philippines From The US?

Yes! Here's how - many companies offer discounts and coupons, especially if you are a first-time user. So you can avoid transfer fees while sending money internationally by taking advantage of the coupons and offers that money transfer companies run from time to time.

As discussed above, if a money transfer company is offering you a "free transfer fee," they are most likely giving you a lower exchange rate. Make sure you are not being compromised on getting the best exchange rate possible. Too confusing?

Compare the offers of all money transfer companies on CompareRemit, and choose the one that offers the highest exchange rate and the lowest fees. Don't forget to check out the coupon section to find deals that waive your transfer fees.

As with any money transfer service, keep in mind that speed is expensive, and some are slower than others.

As you can see in the example above, Ria charges zero transfer fees to send $1000 from the US to the Philippines compared to Pangea Money Transfer's fee of $3.95. However, it will take three days for your recipient to receive the money sent. So depending on your needs and urgency, the cheapest might not always be the best way to send money.

Exchange rates fluctuate, and so do the rates offered by the companies, so there is no single best way to transfer money to the Philippines. See the real-time transfer fees and exchange rates and how much each transfer will cost before sending money.

It is no surprise that the Philippines is an attractive market for money transfer companies; several companies such as Western Union and Moneygram have strengthened their ground in the recent past. Other top money transfer companies that offer competitive exchange rates and transparent transfer fees are: 

  1. Wise
  2. Pangea
  3. Pomelo
  4. Xoom
  5. Remitly
  6. Instarem
  7. Xe
  8. Ria

How To Send Money To The Philippines Using An Online Money Transfer Service Provider?

  1. Compare the top money transfer service on CompareRemit
  2. Sign in or sign up with the money transfer service you have selected
  3. Provide your details (the sender) in the United States
  4. Provide the beneficiary's details (the recipient) in the Philippines
  5. Fund your transfer by wire transfer, debit, or credit card
  6. Click "send"

Can I Send Money Online From The US & Have My Family Pick Up Cash In The Philippines?

Yes, you can send money online and have a beneficiary pick up cash in the Philippines from any of the pickup locations within your money transfer service provider's network.

This option is the best if your recipient does not have a bank account. The recipient can simply pick up the money transfer instantly, usually using a code from any location within their network, including banks and pawnshops.


One feature unique to the Philippines is its extensive network of pawnshops when it comes to money transfers. Financial services providers, including money transfer specialists, work with many renowned pawn shops such as M Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop in the country to facilitate money transfers.

It is one of the fastest ways to send money. Popular companies such as Xoom and Remitly also offer a home delivery service for your money transfer to the Philippines.

In conclusion, banks are still one of the most convenient ways to transfer money to the Philippines. However, this convenience will cost you a lot of money. When in doubt, compare options before sending money, and save on every money transfer. Our rule of thumb is to go with the company that offers upfront and transparent fees.

Rate article:
Money Transfer FAQ's
Related Articles
Insurance Risks
Risks That Travel Insurance Can Help Protect (2024)

When planning for an upcoming trip, deciding whether to invest in travel insurance is a significant choice that may be in your best interest not to overlook. Travel insurance serves as a financial safety net, protecting you from a myriad of potential risks during your journeys. As you begin your research, you will notice there are two types of travel insurance: trip insurance and travel medical insurance–also known as visitors insurance. It can be very confusing, we know. But don’t worry. In this guide, we'll delve into the advantages of travel insurance, clarify the distinctions between trip and travel insurance, and provide clarity and insight into its often-overlooked perks.How Important is Travel Insurance?Travel insurance works as a shield against the various financial risks associated with traveling. Whether it's a sudden illness, a missed flight, or lost baggage, having the right travel insurance can alleviate the financial burdens that may arise during your trip.What is the Difference Between Tip Insurance and Visitors Insurance?Long story short, the difference is simple, think of trip insurance as insurance for your trip itself while travel medical insurance–aka visitors insurance–serves as insurance for you while you are on the trip. While both types of insurance offer protection during travel, their primary purposes differ. Trip insurance safeguards your investment in the cost of your trip, while travel medical insurance prioritizes your health and well-being during the journey. Please note that only U.S. residents are eligible to purchase trip insurance, and coverage extends to both domestic and international travel.Exploring the Benefits of Travel InsuranceWhile common risks like trip cancellations and medical emergencies are well-known, there are several benefits that travel insurance offers which many don’t even know about, providing a broader safety net for travelers. Let's unravel just some of these often-overlooked advantages. Benefits of Trip Insurance1. Coverage Beyond Trip CancellationsTrip cancellations or interruptions are inevitable. Trip insurance, with its Trip Cancellation coverage, acts as a safeguard for your invested time and money. It can refund 100% of your trip expenses for covered reasons, including illness or death of you, a family member, or a travel companion, extreme weather, or terrorist attacks.Trip cancellations are a common concern, but travel insurance extends its coverage beyond this. It safeguards your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses in case of unavoidable circumstances.2. Protection Against Flight DelaysFlight delays or missed connections can disrupt your travel plans. Trip insurance steps in to cover financial losses incurred due to delays caused by factors beyond your control, including extreme weather, natural disasters, plane breakdowns, or accidents on the way to the airport.3. Safeguarding Your BelongingsLost, damaged, or stolen baggage can add stress to your travel experience. Trip insurance offers coverage for delayed baggage, allowing you to claim expenses for essential items after a waiting period. In case of permanent loss or damage, reimbursement is provided to replace the lost items.4. Addressing Unconventional RisksFor situations not covered by standard plans, such as unconventional trip cancellations, opting for a "Cancel for Any Reason" insurance plan provides flexibility. Though relatively more expensive, this upgrade offers reimbursement for refundable trip costs and specific non-refundable deposits.You can also see a more detailed list of what can be covered by your trip insurance. Benefits of Travel Medical Insurance1. Comprehensive Medical CoverageTravel medical insurance largely serves to cover unexpected medical expenses during your journey. This includes reimbursement for medical treatments, ambulance services, and hospital charges in case of illness or injury. This aspect is particularly beneficial for elderly parents traveling to the U.S.2. Emergency EvacuationIn the case that those who are covered by the insurance need emergency medical evacuation some travel medical plans help cover the evacuation. Without this coverage, should you need to be airlifted or evacuated, you could be facing a cost upwards of ten thousand dollars.3. Emergency Medical ReunionIn the unfortunate case that you face a major medical emergency during your travels, travel medical insurance can cover the transportation of your loved ones from back home to be there with you during your hospitalization. 4. Trip InterruptionIf you have to cut your trip short, some travel medical insurance plans would cover their stated amount for the non-refundable, unused travel expenses that canceling your trip halfway would incur. Make sure you read the details of the plan you are planning to purchase thoroughly to see the extent of coverage if unexpected interruption is something you are concerned about. You can also see a more detailed list of what can be covered by your visitors insurance. Choosing the Right Travel InsuranceIt's crucial to recognize that different insurance providers offer varied coverage plans. Factors like non-refundability, traveler's age, pre-existing conditions, the value of luggage, and existing coverage from health insurance, life insurance, renters' insurance, or credit cards play a role in determining the best travel insurance plan.If you are someone who travels frequently or are purchasing travel insurance plans for parents who plan to make the same trip often, we also suggest looking for a travel insurance plan with easy renewal. Do not worry, most plans today have a very easy renewal system so you can travel again and again with no hassle. Who Should Opt for Travel Insurance?Trip Insurance: Opt for travel insurance if you're concerned about trip cancellations, interruptions, or non-medical incidents. It's ideal for travelers who have invested significant sums in their trip and want financial protection against unforeseen events.Travel Insurance: Choose travel medical insurance if your primary concern is health-related emergencies during your trip. It's essential for travelers who want comprehensive coverage for medical expenses abroad, ensuring access to quality healthcare without worrying about exorbitant costs.Visitors insurance is also the best option for those looking to purchase travel insurance for their parents visiting or traveling.  Related Article: Visitor Insurance for Parents Visiting USAConclusion: Empowering Your TravelsIn conclusion, travel insurance is not merely a safety net; it's a comprehensive companion that grants peace of mind during your journeys. As you plan your next adventure, take the time to understand the nuances of travel insurance, evaluate your options, and ensure you have the best travel insurance plan tailored to your specific needs.__FAQs: Demystifying Travel Insurance FearsWhat does travel insurance cover?Travel insurance typically covers a range of risks, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, delayed or lost baggage, flight cancellations, and certain unexpected incidents.Does my health insurance cover international travel?Most health insurance policies have limited or no coverage for international travel. Travel medical insurance is specifically designed to address the unique risks associated with traveling abroad.Does travel insurance cover illnesses?Yes, visitors' insurance often covers medical expenses incurred due to new illnesses during your trip. This includes reimbursement for medical treatments, ambulance services, and hospital charges.Does travel insurance cover flight cancellations?Yes, trip insurance typically covers flight cancellations due to reasons such as illness, extreme weather, or other unforeseen circumstances. Reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses is common.Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?Many travel insurance plans provide coverage for COVID-19-related expenses, including medical treatments and trip cancellations. However, coverage details may vary, so it's essential to review your policy.What should travel insurance cover?It depends on whether you opt for travel medical insurance or trip insurance. Ideally, trip insurance should cover delayed or lost baggage, trip cancellations, etc. While travel medical insurance should cover a broad spectrum of medical risks, including medical emergencies, unexpected incidents, a necessary visit to urgent care, etc.. The coverage should align with your specific travel needs and potential risks.Does travel insurance cover hurricanes?Yes, trip insurance often covers trip cancellations, interruptions, or delays caused by hurricanes or other natural disasters. It's essential to check the policy details for specific coverage related to natural calamities.Does travel insurance cover rental cars?Travel insurance may offer coverage for rental cars, typically covering expenses related to theft or damage to the rented vehicle. It's advisable to check the specific coverage details in your travel insurance policy.Does insurance cover travel vaccines?Travel insurance usually does not cover the cost of travel vaccines. This expense is often considered a preventive measure and falls outside the scope of typical travel insurance coverage.How easy is it to renew visitor's insurance?Renewing visitor's insurance is generally a straightforward process. Opting for policies that allow easy renewal is advisable, as it saves time and ensures continuous coverage.

NRE Bank Account
Best NRE Accounts for NRIs Across the Globe

Best NRE Accounts for NRIs Across the GlobeFor Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), managing finances across borders becomes essential, and having the right bank account is crucial. One of the go-to options is the NRE (Non-Resident External) account, designed to facilitate seamless money transactions and savings for NRIs.What is an NRE Account?An NRE account is a type of bank account for NRIs to maintain and manage their foreign earnings in India. The acronym 'NRE' stands for Non-Resident External, indicating that the funds deposited into this account are from overseas sources. NRIs can deposit foreign currency into an NRE account, and the balance and interest earned are freely repatriable, i.e., both the principal amount and interest can be transferred abroad without any restrictions.NRE vs. NRO AccountIf you are just starting to explore the options of NRI banking, you might have heard of NRO accounts. NRE and NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) accounts are two distinct types of accounts catering to different financial requirements. While NRE accounts are primarily for repatriable income and earnings from outside India, NRO accounts are for managing income earned in India. Both account types serve NRIs' distinct banking needs, providing avenues for managing Indian and foreign income separately.What Makes a Good NRE Account?Several factors contribute to making an NRE account a preferred choice for NRIs:Repatriation Benefits: Opt for accounts that offer seamless repatriation of both principal and interest earned without any restrictions.Interest Rates: Look for accounts that provide competitive interest rates to maximize returns on your deposits.Convenience: Choose banks that offer easy accessibility through online banking platforms, especially for NRIs residing abroad.Customer Service: Opt for banks known for their reliable customer service and efficient grievance redressal for a hassle-free banking experience.Best NRE Accounts for US-based NRIs and Foreign-Based IndiansSeveral banks offer top-notch NRE savings accounts tailored to meet the diverse financial needs of NRIs. Here are some of the best NRE accounts available. To determine the best account for your needs, view a more detailed comparison of each bank’s interest rate, key features, and more on our CompareRemit NRE Account Comparison Site.  ICICI Bank NRE Savings AccountA household name, ICICI Bank is a very popular and safe choice for your banking needs. It is the one most often chosen by NRIs.Key Features: Higher interest rates, zero balance requirement, online remittance services, and NRI-focused banking solutions.Learn more about ICICI NRI and to get started with your application. HDFC Bank NRE Savings AccountA competitive player in the field, HDFC Bank is known for its high interest rates and benefits for its customers. Key Features: Competitive interest rates, 24/7 online access, easy fund transfers, and a global presence.Yes Bank NRE Savings AccountYes Bank provides a unique feature which many NRIs find helpful, a personal relationship manager who can guide you through your questions and account needs. Key Features: Flexible interest rates, hassle-free fund transfers, a dedicated personal relationship manager is assigned to each account holder.  State Bank of India (SBI) NRE Savings AccountAnother household name, State Bank of India is reputed for its reliable service and dedication towards keeping the process simple and easy for its customers. Key Features: Widest network, attractive interest rates, simple documentation, and multi-currency facilities.Kotak Mahindra Bank NRE Savings Account Kotak Mahindra Bank serves as an excellent choice for those looking for a service that will give you a reliable and a high interest rate wielding account. Key Features: High-interest rates, convenient banking services, and personalized solutions for NRI customers.Axis Bank NRE Savings AccountAxis Bank, previously known as the ever-reliable CitiBank, continues the staple practices that gave CitiBank its reliable name. This is a great option for those looking for a bank with years of experience and reliability. Key Features: Flexible deposit options, competitive interest rates, user-friendly online banking, and diverse financial products.Choosing the right NRE account depends on individual preferences and banking needs. Each of these banks offers competitive interest rates, online banking convenience, and excellent repatriation facilities suitable for NRIs managing finances from abroad.NRE accounts serve as an ideal financial solution for NRIs seeking efficient money management, seamless repatriation of funds, and tax benefits. By choosing the right NRE account based on individual preferences and banking needs, NRIs can effectively manage their finances and easily send money back home to their loved ones in India.

Last Minute Diwali 2023
Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Diwali 2023

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a time of joy, celebration, and the exchange of gifts. As Diwali 2023 approaches, finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be a delightful challenge. Whether you're running short on time or looking for thoughtful last-minute gift ideas for your sister for Bhai Dooj, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll explore the essence of Diwali, its significance, key dates, and suggest creative ways to send gifts using remittance services.What is Diwali? Diwali is a prominent Hindu festival celebrated with enthusiasm across India and among the global Indian diaspora. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, with a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. A time full of vibrant rangoli, crackling firecrackers that light up the night, and aromatic food being passed around, Diwali spans five days of festivities, each with its own rituals and significance.Families illuminate their homes with diyas (oil lamps) and candles, create beautiful rangoli designs, and indulge in sweets and savories.Why is Diwali Celebrated?Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It's a time to seek blessings for prosperity and happiness. The exchange of gifts during Diwali is a way to show love and appreciation for one another, enhancing the festive spirit.Key Dates for Diwali 2023:Dhanteras: November 10, 2023The first day of Diwali, dedicated to the worship of Lord Dhanvantari (the physician of the gods) and goddess Lakshmi. People buy gold, silver, and utensils on this day.Naraka Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali): November 11, 2023On this day, Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. It's a day of cleansing and lighting lamps.Diwali (Main Day): November 12, 2023The most important day when families come together to perform Lakshmi Puja (worship) and light oil lamps or diyas to illuminate their homes.Govardhan Puja: November 13, 2023A day to worship Lord Krishna, who lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect the villagers from torrential rain.Bhai Dooj: November 14, 2023A day to celebrate the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters, with sisters applying tilak on their brothers' foreheads.Last-Minute Diwali Gift Ideas1. Digital Gift CardsConsider sending digital gift cards from popular online retailers. These cards allow your loved ones to choose their perfect gift, ensuring they get something they truly desire. Many remittance services offer the option to send digital gift cards along with money transfers, making it a convenient choice for last-minute gifts.2. Money TransfersSending money home for Diwali is a practical and thoughtful gift. Online remittance services like Wise, Instarem, Abound, Xe Money Transfer, Wo Transfer, etc. offer quick and secure transfers, enabling your family to make Diwali purchases, decorate their homes, and prepare delicious meals. It's a versatile gift that allows your loved ones the freedom to use the funds as they see fit.To find which money transfer service is the best one for you, check out our catalog of reviews and guides, all designed to help you see the complete ins and outs of the many remittance services on the market to make the best decision for your needs. We invite you to compare remittance providers using CompareRemit’s comparison tool today to find the best rates, lowest fees, and fastest turnaround times for your specific destination and transfer amount.3. Subscription ServicesGift subscriptions to streaming platforms, magazines, or online courses. These subscriptions offer entertainment and knowledge, making them valuable and enjoyable gifts for your loved ones.4. Personalized Diwali HampersPut together a personalized Diwali hamper with traditional sweets, homemade treats, and small decorative items. Include a heartfelt Diwali card to add a personal touch. Sending a picture of the hamper along with a digital money transfer can be a delightful surprise for your family.5. Online Shopping VouchersOnline shopping vouchers from popular e-commerce platforms allow your loved ones to pick their favorite items. These vouchers can often be emailed directly, making them an excellent last-minute gift option.In the spirit of Diwali, the joy of giving is unparalleled. Embrace the true essence of the festival by spreading happiness, love, and prosperity. Even in the last minutes leading up to Diwali, these thoughtful and practical gift ideas ensure your loved ones feel cherished and valued. Utilize reliable remittance services to make these gestures of love possible, bridging the distance and connecting hearts across the globe.For all of your money transfer needs, visit our homepage for more information on how to find the best option for you and your family this Diwali. Here you will be able to compare exchange rates between the top remittance companies, find the best rates, learn how to get started, receive exclusive offers, and more. This Diwali, let your gifts illuminate the lives of your dear ones, just like the radiant glow of diyas brightens the darkest of nights. Happy Diwali!

Download the CompareRemit App
Download the CompareRemit App
Personalize your CompareRemit experience with your preferred corridor and receive target exchange rate notifications, seamless transitions to partner apps, and real-time comparisons of top remittance providers at your fingertips.
Personalize your CompareRemit experience with your preferred corridor and receive target exchange rate notifications, seamless transitions to partner apps, and real-time comparisons of top remittance providers at your fingertips.

Get Listed or Advertise

Download Our Free App

Try our faster, enhanced mobile app for a better experience

CompareRemit App