If you are a retiree or a student of legal age who wants to stay and study in the Philippines, having a bank account is necessary. It’s where you save most of your income and savings, and choosing the best bank to rely on your personal savings should be well considered.
With the help of personal experiences and as well as some research on the internet, I highly recommend these 5 Philippines Banks for win-win savings and financial growth.
BDO (Banco De Oro)
It is the biggest bank the Philippines has today. With over 1,000 branches across the country, it is noted to be the most accessible, convenient bank today. If you would go wander around Manila or Makati, you would probably notice their proud, blue BDO sign literally everywhere.
I recently opened a saving account last year in BDO, and I pretty agree that their service was great. I came to one of their branches, and I was properly rejected—because I should be opening an account near where I live or where I work. I go to the nearest branch around my place and I was assisted there nicely. They ask for two valid ID’s. They usually implement any first-time user to deposit 2.000 Filipino Pesos to open an account, and that money would go straight to your ATM card. No deductions, no subtraction. You would only get to be deducted few Filipino pesos when you withdraw from another ATM Bank Machine. I got my BDO ATM after three working days. As of today, I am still using it and it’s easier for me ever since to withdraw to any of their 24-hour ATM machines.
BPI (Bank of the Philippine Island)
Another great bank for keeping savings through a reliable financial portal—BPI race next to BDO’s popularity. If you are a foreigner and would like to open an account with BPI, you would need to present your passport or any proof of your residency in the Philippines. You can even open a Trade Account with BPI when you are starting a small business and need to establish a payroll account for your employees. After registration, you would only need to wait 3-5 working days to claim your newly furnished BPI ATM.
There was a 2017 recent news about BPI’s unfunctional system, due to one of the bank’s IT employee’s internal error which caused a temporary bank Glitch. Most of my friends who are BPI account holders are irritated by this problem, as they can’t withdraw any cash from their respective accounts. But in the latter days that followed the situation has been resolved, and the BPI operations have pretty gone back to normal.
Metro Bank (Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company)
Metro Bank is also one of the leading banks in the Philippines. The bank only requires foreigner settlers one or two valid identities from a country of origin. If you are a student, they require a letter of introduction from your country’s educational institution to be addressed to Metro Bank. If you had come from care homes or sheltered accommodation, you would also need a personal letter from the supervisor of the mentioned facilities. Other than that, transactions with Metro Bank is as easy as pie. It also has many branches across the country you could come into when you have personal concerns regarding your account.
This bank has no annual fee and offers a free renewal of your card account upon expiry. Note that ATM cards and accounts are expired if it exceeds three years without active use. I think for foreign students and retirees, this wouldn’t be the case.
Security Bank only requires the basic things every bank would want from you: proof of your residency in the Philippines and passport. It would be better if you can present two or three valid ID’s, so to successfully furnish your account upon first registration.
My brother has been a user of Security Bank ATM for two years, and over those two years, I haven’t been told of any problem with his transaction with the bank. He only gets to be deducted ten (10) Filipino pesos when he withdraws from non-Security Bank ATM machine, but other than that—it’s all good use.
RCBC (Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation)
The least popular of the four banks mentioned—but as good as the four as well, in terms of service and reliability. When I had my first job, I am assigned to open an account with RCBC, and in less than one week I got my ATM card working.
I only present two (2) Valid ID’s, and a photocopy of them—and I became a user of their ATM service since December 2016. So far, I haven’t experienced anything irritating with RCBC’s transaction—only that they don’t have many branches around Manila where I live, so I always end up withdrawing my salary in another bank machines. I was always got deducted by at least 12 pesos per transaction or balance checking. Well, a lesson learned for both me and you, If ever you would acquire an account with RCBC.
These banks offer debit payments, so it would be easier for you to pay bills and purchase stuff in whatever payment situations. These banks have online registration, but I highly recommend personal and face to face interaction with the bank of your choosing. In a free, hassle less way, you could lay down your terms and conditions in agreement to the bank’s rules, and in return have a good savings and financing experience.
These banks had simplified Filipinos way of financing management, and it can do the same with you and your settlement plans, too. In this part I think BDO is the best bank for me—it’s your turn to know what’s yours upon staying here in the Philippines!
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