Of Banks, Fees and Limits


You know how there’s a fee for pretty much everything these days?  Well, I’m making a note here of what costs how much, and which is a better option for The Cruising Shutterbug — when traveling and when in the Philippines.

Behold below, my little list of Banks and their Fees and withdrawal/transaction Limits.

It is mainly meant for Filipino seafarers and foreigners visiting the Philippines.

Note:
*** = Best
** = Good
* = Fair enough


Foreign (non-Philippine) ATM debit cards

OceanPay

This is a U.S.-based payroll debit card for seafarers. They charge…

  • zero for the 1st ATM withdrawal in one pay period ***
  • USD 1.50 for domestic (i.e. U.S.) withdrawals, after the 1st *
  • USD 2.50 + 3% of amount withdrawn for international withdrawals, after the 1st *
  • USD 15 wire transfer fee if wiring to a USD account
  • USD 8 + 3% international transaction fee if wiring to a Philippine peso bank account *

Note that in addition to what OceanPay may charge you, the company or bank that owns the ATM you’re using may also charge you a fee.

Info as of 2014


SeaPay

This is another payroll debit card for seafarers. They charge…

  • USD 1.75 for using an ATM in the USA
  • USD 3.75 for using an International ATM *
  • USD 12 wire transfer fee if wiring to a USD account
  • USD 8 + 3% international transaction fee if wiring to a Philippine peso (or any foreign non USD) bank account *

Note that in addition to what SeaPay may charge you, the company or bank that owns the ATM you’re using may also charge you a fee.

Info as of 2016


Wells Fargo USA

Wells Fargo USA allows non-residents to open accounts. They charge their ATM cardholders…

  • USD 2.50 for using a non Wells Fargo ATM within the U.S.
  • USD 5.00 for using an ATM overseas
  • a 3% International Purchase Transaction fee for each purchase made with their debit card in a foreign currency *
  • around USD 4 for remitting money via their Express Send service where you have an overseas account (e.g. Philippine bank account) registered with them **

Info as of 2014


Your foreign ATM card in the Philippines

Charges by the company that owns the ATM you use…

HSBC Philippines

No ATM fees. Maximum withdrawal amount is PHP40,000. Info as of 2013.

Info as of 2016: According to a PDF document and this page, the maximum withdrawal for an HSBC account holder is PHP75,000. *** Never tried it, but it may mean that the maximum withdrawable amount is the same if your foreign bank allows it.

Citibank Philippines

Maximum withdrawal amount as of November 2012 is PHP15,000.  There is no option for a higher amount, so I didn’t actually make any withdrawal, and therefore have no info on their fees. 

I have read somewhere on the internet though that multinational banks (like Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered) don’t charge a fee for the use of their ATMs.

Banco De Oro (BDO)

In 2012, I tried a BDO ATM but strangely, after the amount I manually entered did not go through, it led me to a screen that only had a few choices, with PHP5,000 as the maximum amount withdrawable. So I did not proceed with the transaction.

Info as of 2016: For BDO ATM cardholders, the maximum withdrawal is PHP10,000 per single transaction and up to a total of PHP50,000 per day. Reference: https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/accounts/atm-debit-cards/limits-fees

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

BPI has a PHP20,000 or PHP50,000 daily withdrawal limit depending on the type of account, and a USD500 for their dollar account. **

I haven’t tried it myself but I’m guessing that means non-BPI ATM cardholders can use a BPI ATM to take out that amount if their foreign account allows that much as well. Maximum number of ATM withdrawals per day is 6.

Reference: https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/449/atm-basics.

Info as of 2016

NCL cruise ships

If withdrawal is made on-board an NCL ship using the Crew ATM, the charge is only USD2.50. ***  Using the ship casino’s ATM will cost USD5.50. **  Maximum withdrawal amount is USD2,500. 🙂

Info as of 2012

U.S. banks

Charges vary depending on the bank and on the ATM’s location:

  • Bank of America @ Bowens Wharf, Newport RI:  USD2 fee, maximum amount USD800 *
  • Wells Fargo @ major cities:  USD3 fee, maximum amount USD800 *

Info as of 2012

Other countries’ banks

  • HSBC, Southampton, England. No ATM fees. Maximum withdrawal is GBP590, approx USD900. *** Info as of 2013.
  • Santander, Southampton, England. No ATM fees. Maximum withdrawal is GBP590, approx USD900. *** Info as of 2014.
  • Sparebanken, Norway. No ATM fees. Good rates. Maximum withdrawable NOK15.000. Not that you’ll ever need that much. No use for their currency unless you’re there. ** Info as of May 2013.
  • Santander telebanco machines, Barcelona, Spain. No ATM fees. Maximum withdrawable is EUR300, approx USD400. *** Info as of April 2013.
  • Banesto ATM inside the bank, La Palma, Gran Canaria. No ATM fees. ForEx rate is okay. ** Note: Fellow photog says other street ATM has a €3 fee!
  • Citibank, St. Petersburg, Russia. No ATM fees. I wouldn’t want to keep extra rubles though. No use for their currency unless you’re there. * Info as of May 2013.

I shall add more as I discover more…


About Evelyn Yap

The Cruising Shutterbug. Seafarer. Photographer. Nomad. Chinese material, made in the Philippines, God's property. Here now, there tomorrow.