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Cheapest Ways To Send Money To The Philippines From The USA

Updated on January 25, 2022 04:13 pm
Cheapest way to send money to the Philippines from the US

Sending money to your family back home in the Philippines is easy, safe, and affordable using the world's best online money transfer options. 

Whether you're an overseas Filipino worker, own property or a business in the Philippines, or have family back home that you need to support, being able to send money to the Philippines from the US easily and quickly is important. 

Luckily, you have many options to compare when it comes to the best ways to send money to the Philippines from the US. Online remittance services are becoming more user-friendly and offer competitive rates to make the process of sending money online simple. 

Compare Online Transfer Options to Send Money To Philippines From US

Online remittance services are a fast, easy, and reliable way to send money to the Philippines. Our service, CompareRemit, is the leading money transfer comparison platform that helps you get the best deals based on your specifications.

You can compare the fees, exchange rates, transfer speed, amount receivable, and even discount offers of top money transfer service providers at your fingertips.

Read on to learn more about the top online money transfer companies that offer the cheapest ways to send money to the Philippines from the US. 

Remitly

  • Remitly offers a special rate and zero transfer fees for your first transfer. You can send via bank account, cash pick-up, mobile wallet (GCash), or opt for home delivery in the Philippines. 
  • You have the option to send cash to over 18,000 locations in the Philippines, such as Palawan Pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier, BPI, BDO, SM branches, LBC, and others. 
  • For transfers funded by a bank account, there is no Remitly fee. However, it only takes 3 business days. If funded by a debit card, it arrives almost immediately, but there is a fee on top of the exchange rate margin.

Pomelo

  • Pomelo offers a new way of sending money from the US to the Philippines. Rather than sending money in one transaction online, you can sign up for Pomelo and your beneficiary receives a spending card. They can use this card as spending funds. You pay the bill monthly, and still receive a very competitive exchange rate. Plus, you pay no transfer fees, no waiting for funds to arrive, and no cash pickup hassle. Try Pomelo today!

Wise

  • Wise's popular claim is that they are 8x cheaper than banks. They indeed use the mid-market exchange rate when transferring your money. The fees are always upfront, so you don't have to worry about hidden charges. But exchange rates are subject to fluctuations. Compare before sending money internationally. 
  • You have two options to fund your transfer: direct bank debit (ACH) or wire transfer. ACH is cheaper than a wire transfer. 
  • Transfer your money to your recipient bank account via their online platform or app. The transaction is done in 3-5 days.

XE Money Transfer

  • XE also offers a special rate to new customers. Their rates are generally competitive. Your recipient will need a bank account to receive your money, and the transfer can be funded by a bank account or debit/credit card. Most of the transfers to the Philippines arrive within minutes. 
  • XE charges a small fixed fee for transfers below $500. 
  • There is no transfer fee above $500. However, they make their profit from the marked-up exchange rate when making larger transfers. You sometimes need to pay for third-party charges. 

Small World

  • If you prefer to transfer money for cash pick up in the Philippines, Small World is a good option for competitive fees and exchange rates. There are over 11,000 cash collection locations across the country. Your first transfer is fee-free. 
  • You can send money directly to a bank account, send money for cash-pick-up, prepaid card reloads, airtime top-up, and home delivery. For larger transfers, Small World can be your cheapest option.

Instarem

  • Instarem provides transparent and upfront fees. Their service is low-priced, fast, and secure. The fees can vary from 0.3% to 1% of the transfer amount. Your first transfer generally comes with offers and discounts (especially for customers in the U.S).
  • For small transfers, Instarem is a popular choice. You can directly transfer via ACH or direct debit or wire transfer, and the money is received directly in the recipient bank account. In the Philippines, there is also the option to transfer for cash collection by the recipient.
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What Should You Know About Transfer Fees When Sending Money To The Philippines?

Depending on the money transfer service providers, the method you choose to send your remittances, how the money is received, or the transfer speed, the transfer fees can range from $0 to $30 and above. 

You will have to pay more fees for faster transfers. Payment with credit cards comes with higher fees than transfers via bank account or debit card. Direct cash transfers are also quick but carry higher fees, etc. 

So, based on your urgency or convenience, the cheapest option may not be your best option. That's why before you decide which provider you want to send your money with, you have to note down certain information to help you make the best decision for your transfer needs.

In addition to the speed of money transfer, transfer fees and exchange rates are the two main costs that you need to be aware of. You want the lowest fees with the best exchange rates for every transfer. 

9 Questions To Ask Yourself That Will Affect Your Money Transfer Cost

  • How much money are you sending?
  • How are you paying for the money transfer?
  • Does your recipient have a bank account?
  • How do you want the money to be received?
  • How fast do you want the money to reach your recipient?
  • How much will be the total cost of the transfer? 
  • What is the exchange rate between your currency pair?  
  • Are there any hidden charges that might cost you more money?
  • How will your money be protected?

What Are The Best Exchange Rates For Philippines?

Money transfer companies can offer a marked-up exchange rate which is not the real exchange rate available on Google search. The marked-up can be anywhere between 3-5% onto the real rate (mid-market rate). The difference in these two rates is how these companies make a profit. 

This currency conversion cost is often not disclosed, and customers unknowingly end up paying high fees. While banks are a convenient way of sending money to the Philippines, online money transfer service providers are cheaper than traditional money transfers via banks.

  • It is best to choose a service that is upfront about the fees. Most specialist money transfer operators have a price estimator on their website that allows you to check an estimate before you send it. 
  • The rate varies widely with different money transfer service providers. That's why comparing service providers is highly recommended. 
  • Some companies allow you to lock in a favorable rate for a certain period. So even if the actual rate fluctuates in the market, you still can send your money with your locked-in rate. 

If you are sending money from the USA, watch for any dip in the PHP to USD exchange rate and send your money when it is low so that your recipient receives more Pesos for your Dollars. 

Discounts And Coupons To Reduce Transfer Costs

If you are a first-time user, the first transfer generally is for free. Many companies also offer discounts and coupons from time to time. Take advantage of such offers to waive the transfer fees. 

Facts About USA-Philippines Remittance

The USA-Philippines remittance corridor is a competitive corridor which means that there are a plethora of money transfer companies that are ready to offer you good exchange rates and low fees.

In 2020, the Philippines received $11.9 billion in remittances from the U.S. alone. Remittances sent by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are an important source of income for both the households and the government. But sadly, $476 million of the money sent gets lost in transfer fees and bad USD to PHP exchange rates.

The Bottom Line 

How to send money from the Philippines to the US is easy once you compare and evaluate your options. The cheapest option currently may not always be the cheapest option, and when it comes to sending money internationally, the cheapest is not the fastest. That's how the money transfer market works.

Banks may seem to offer convenient transfer options to the Philippines. Still, money transfer specialists provide better exchange rates at a low and transparent fee, which is faster and easier. Just remember, you have options when it comes to the ways to send money to the Philippines. To conclude, there are many cheap options to send money to the Philippines, but always compare your options and find the least expensive one for every transfer. 

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