How to Exchange your Philippine Peso to Foreign Currency?

Thai Baht taken from Wikipedia

Thai Baht taken from Wikipedia

My friend, when will you go out of the country?  I’m sure you’re excited and prepared for your trip.  Do you have the pocket money you need with the currency of the country you’re going to?  Though you can do that at the airport before your flight, it is best that you have everything you need as sometimes, the currencies may no longer available or not enough.  Admit it, the rates inside our airport in the Philippines does not have the best rate.  To ensure that you have the currencies, here are some of the suggestions for you.

  1. If you have savings account in any commercial bank, reserve the currencies you need.  Call the branch where you open your account at least a week before your departure so they can reserve the notes for you.  If this is not available, move to number 2.
  1. Secure a Cash Card with Visa or MasterCard sign.  This is available in any established commercial banks.  If you have it, it means you can use your card to swipe and/or withdraw overseas if you need cash.  But do note that if you use your card in any machine overseas, corresponding charge will be deducted to your account.  Sometimes, aside from the usual overseas usage charge, additional charge will be paid by you.  Example of this is if you use your card in Thailand which they called ATM Fee worth THB 150.

HOW TO AVOID THE THB 150 ATM FEE IN THAILAND?  ANSWER: Look for any Citibank ATM and withdraw your money there.  I got this tip from this blog.  Unfortunately, Citibank do not have any ATM machines inside Suvarnabhumi Airport so you really need to roam around the city to look for one.  Look for Don’t Worry Just Travel blogsite to give you the list of Citibank ATM branches in Bangkok, Thailand.

Side note: I do not recommend to use your Credit Card or even your Cash Card to pay overseas.  Aside from additional fees you may incur (depending on your bank), sometimes they will charge you more.  It happened to me more than once in different countries!  That’s why I opt to transact in cash abroad either I have them before my trip or withdraw instead from any ATM Machines using my Cash Card.

  1. Buy currencies at your most trusted money changer.  Money is their business.  Definitely they have most of the currencies available.  But make sure that you call them at least a week in advance to reserve the notes you need.  Two of the establishments I trust are Czarina’s and Sanry’s.  They have branches at some popular malls in the Philippines, specifically at Ayala Malls.  For Czarina’s, you can fill out their form online by clicking here.  As for Sanry’s, you may check their locations here.  Unfortunately, I do not have any contact number for any of their branches.

WHAT IF THEY DON’T HAVE THE FOREIGN CURRENCY YOU NEED?  ANSWER: Buy Dollars or Euros instead.  This is because they are the ones that can be exchanged anywhere in the world.  Example is if you will go to Vietnam.  Their Vietnamese Dong (VND) is not widely circulated.  So before you go to Vietnam, make sure you convert your Philippine Pesos to US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euro or UK Pound and then exchange it to Dong once you arrive in Vietnam.

So my friend, prepare your money.  And don’t forget: Enjoying your hard-earned money does not mean you have to spend it all.  Save for the future, too.  To close this, let me inspire you with a quote which also describes my current goal:

“The thing I should wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security.”

– Bertrand Russell


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