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Five Best Savings Accounts Every OFW Must Know in 2019

Updated on May 10, 2019 12:00 am
Women saving money

Today, we are covering which of the Philippine banks have the best products for OFWs. This article is for all the OFWs, potential OFWs, families, and friends of the OFWs. So, which bank should an OFW choose?

For overseas Filipino workers (OFW), every hard-earned amount earned outside the country is worth it. Although much premium is put on choosing how to spend their money here or investing part of their salary for their future, how they send money also plays a big factor in their finances.

For those who still rely on traditional financial institutions to handle their money, different banks in the Philippines have their own solutions as to how OFWs can send, receive, and manage their accounts. If you’re thinking of opening an account to make money management much more convenient, we’ve listed the best bank accounts you can open if you’re an overseas worker.

Understanding the factors

Before we start discussing the different banking products, let’s talk about how you should discern these products. By knowing what to look for, you’re basically allowing yourself to become smarter with the way you pick your potential OFW bank account. To know how you’ll select, consider the following factors:

  • Cost: How much will it set me back?
  • Transmission: How quick will my loved ones receive my money?
  • Convenience: Do they have a mobile app/desktop or is it easy for my relatives to receive the money?
  • Security: Is my money safe?

Now that you know what to check when you’re in the market for an OFW savings account, it’s time to check our top recommendations:

Citibank

If your job requires you to frequently travel the world, having any Citibank Philippines account will allow you to use their remittance service called Citibank Global Transfer. You can send money from 28 countries–including India, the United States, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore–to your loved ones in the Philippines without a hitch.

How can you do this? You can send money through the Citi web portal, the Citi app on your smartphone, or any of the bank’s ATM in any of the participating countries any time of the day. Aside from convenience, there’s no need to deal with currency conversion because Citi already does this along the way.

Currently, only the following Citibank Philippines accounts can receive remittance through Citibank Global Transfer:

  1. Citibank Peso Savings Account
  2. Citibank Peso Checking Account
  3. Citibank Dollar Savings Account
  4. Citibank Dollar Checking Account
  5. Citibank Online Peso Savings Account

Is there a catch? The only remittance cost charged from the sender’s bank account is the currency conversion commission. However, the service itself is basically free. In addition, you also have to watch out for the total relationship balance, which is the total amount you have across all Citi banking products.

BDO

As one of the biggest banks in the Philippines, there’s no doubt that BDO has its specific products tailor-fit for OFWs. For all the hardworking OFWs who want their relatives back home to receive their money in any part of the country, getting a BDO account means that you can be sure that withdrawing money for them is fast and easy.

To start your BDO Kabayan account, you can open one yourself in the Philippines (or your loved ones through special authorization) and you just need the most basic requirements such as at least one valid ID, 1x1 photo, and an accomplished application form. In addition, you also have to deposit an initial amount of PHP 100 for peso accounts or USD 100 for dollar accounts.

What is BDO’s advantage over any other bank? For OFWs who want their relatives to have access to their accounts anytime, anywhere, opening a BDO Kabayan Savings means that you can use any of the more than 1,000 branches nationwide. In addition, a Kabayan Savings account doesn’t have any maintaining balance. However, the overseas worker must remit at least once a year to the said account to keep it from getting shut down.

For those who think of long-term goals, BDO Kabayan Savings will also be instrumental for its numerous OFW-related loans such as Kabayan Home Loan, Kabayan Auto Loan, and Kabayan Personal Loan. When you have an account there already and you’re maintaining it, getting approved for any of their products can be easy.

PSBank

Not all Philippine banks have a direct line to other foreign banks in other countries. Fortunately, Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) has enough partners in the United States to make remittance much more convenient. If you don’t have a PSBank Overseas Filipino Savings Account, we’re here to give you two reasons why you should open one now.

First, you can send money to your loved ones through the PSBank Overseas Filipino Savings account partners. You can choose from the following: Metrobank, iRemit, and other money transfer companies. If your family is also using their PSBank account, you can send money in real time.

Meanwhile, those who prefer to do remittance through other banks can do this through other banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of New York, and Metrobank branch in New York. Just simply go to your chosen branch of the following banks, send your money using PSBank’s SWIFT code (PHSBPHMM), and wait for the amount to be credited. However, keep in mind that this transaction will cost you a flat rate of USD 15 regardless of the amount sent.

Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank may not be one of the first three banks you can recall when you think of financial institutions in the Philippines. Despite their limited coverage in the Philippines, the said bank can go toe to toe with the products and services of its bigger rivals in the country. If you’re looking for a savings account where interest rates outweigh the convenience of remitting money, then Sterling Bank’s Bayani OFW Savings is the perfect solution for you.

For starters, the Bayani OFW Savings account’s biggest advantage is its interest rate: one percent per annum, with the interest credit every month. In addition, you can earn interest in your account for a little as PHP 2,000 in your balance. Finally, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a certain amount in your account because you can skip the penalties by merely just remitting to it.

Who is the target of Bayani OFW Savings account? Those who prefer to use their bank accounts as an investment vehicle can greatly benefit from it. Other savings account in the country can give you as high as 0.25 percent–provided that you’ll get to their minimum account balance to earn interest. Not only that Sterling Bank’s minimum amount is low enough, but it is encouraging because it rewards you saving like no one else.

PNB

Not all OFW savings account require their clients to have a maintaining balance. For Philippine National Bank (PNB), you can have an account whenever you need it even if you don’t top it up regularly.

So what makes PNB OFW Savings Account one of the most attractive savings products for OFWs? For starters, you have three options, namely peso ATM, peso passbook, and dollar passbook account. All these products don’t require their owners to have a maintaining balance–or even open an account with any amount. Despite this, keep in mind that all PNB OFW Savings Account has a dormancy of two years so make sure to remit to your loved ones using it every now and then.

How does PNB make it possible to open this savings account without an initial deposit? To avail of this special option, you need to submit a letter of introduction along with the documentary requirements needed prior to receiving your OFW Savings Account. If your beneficiaries for whatever reason cannot open an account for you, you can visit one of the overseas branches of PNB.

Regardless of the bank, compare the offers by the top money transfer companies before sending money to the Philippines. At CompareRemit, we allow you to do just that for free!  And to know the daily USD to PHP exchange rates you can subscribe to alerts here.

Sources:

https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/remittance-services/bdo-kabayan-savings

https://www.citibank.com.ph/gcb/static/os_over_cgt.htm

http://www.sterlingbankasia.com/Content.aspx?id=204https://www.psbank.com.ph/content/psbank-ofw

https://www.pnb.com.ph/index.php/ofw-savings-accounts

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