BDO remittance: a complete guide to send international wire transfers

Fernando Figueiredo

BDO is one of the largest banks in the Philippines¹, so it’s no surprise that many people abroad need to transfer money to Filipino friends and relatives with a BDO account.

BDO offers its own remittance service for people in the USA, and this article explains how it works. It will also introduce Wise as an alternative way of getting your money where it needs to go.

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BDO remittance: fees and time

Sending money from the US to a BDO account in the Philippines, you have several options. One option is to use BDO itself.

If you want to send money to the Philippines, and you use BDO’s own service, here are the fees you can expect to be charged – depending on exactly which service you’re using².

BDO remittance fees rise depending on the amount you send, with the lowest fees for transfers of below USD 700 and the highest for USD 10,000 and above.

BDO service Fees Estimated time Total cost
Paying into a BDO Kabayan Savings account or Kabayan Bills Beyond Between $7 and $25 Within a day $7-25 plus possible exchange rate markup
SSScontribution payment Between $7 and $25 3-5 days $7-25 plus possible exchange rate markup
Cash pickup Between $10 and $25 Within an hour $10-25 plus possible exchange rate markup
Paying into a different Filipino bank or for door-to-door cash delivery Between $12 and $25 Within a day, or up to 5 days in the provinces $12-25 plus possible exchange rate markup
USD payout – however you make the payment Between $15 and $40 - -

The other option is to use a BDO remittance partner organization, which will process your transfer instead.These include banks like Wells Fargo and remittance services like Wise and Xoom³. If you use one of these services, the fees will be set by the partner, not by BDO.

BDO exchange rate

What’s the BDO remittance exchange rate? BDO notes on its website that exchange rates change all the time, and you’ll need to check with whoever’s processing your transfer on the day itself, if you want to find out what it is².

But when you do so, you should be aware that the rate you see may not be the mid-market rate. It’s common for banks and other remittance services to mark up the exchange rate so that your money is effectively worth less in the foreign currency.

That’s why Wise is worth considering as an alternative way to send money from the US to the Philippines. It offers the mid-market rate, and you only have to pay an up-front fee. We never hide extra fees and charges in the exchange rate. We just use the mid market exchange rate – the one usually seen on Google. That means fair, cheap money transfers, every time.

How to make an international wire transfer with BDO

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to remit your money from the USA to the Philippines using BDO, with the key BDO remittance requirements included.

1. Choose how to make the transfer

You have three options⁵:

  1. Go to the BDO office in Daly City, California – a good option if you live nearby.
  2. Make the remittance by phone – call 1-800-472-3252. There’s a BDO remittance form you’ll need to fill out first, and you also need to already have a BDO remittance account.
  3. Mail the remittance. Again there’s a form – you’ll need to print this out and send it. You can send a personal check up to USD 500 or a cashier’s check or money order for higher amounts. With a personal check, include a copy of your ID and put your name and address on the check.

2. Fill out the form

The BDO Remittance Application Form asks for basic information about both you and the receiver – make sure you have their bank details, if you’re sending the money to their account.

3. Select the type of transfer you want to make

There are a variety of options here which you can put on the form. You can ask BDO to credit a BDO account, credit a non-BDO account, pay a bill, or send cash either to be collected or to go straight to the recipient’s door.

BDO particularly emphasizes that you can pay into a BDO Kabayan Savings Account⁶.

As you’ll have seen from the table above, the fees vary for these services.

How to receive money from abroad with BDO

In order to receive the money, first of all you’ll need to give the provider your details including full name, telephone number and address in the Philippines. If you want to receive the money into your bank account, you’ll need to provide them with the account number too⁴.

How long does a remittance take with BDO?

As you can see from the table above, the times vary depending on the exact type of remittance you’ve chosen. A cash pickup can be ready for your recipient within an hour, and credit into a BDO account should be there within 24 hours. SSS contribution payments could take 3-5 days.

All in all, using BDO to make your remittance to the Philippines may be an especially convenient option if you want to use their cash pickup or door-to-door services. Some of BDO’s partner organizations also offer those services, however, and many of them offer online transfers as well.

If you prefer the convenience of making the remittance online, an alternative option like Wise is there for you. Right now, 45% of our transfers are instant money transfers.

And the same goes if you just want to minimize the cost. Just be sure you factor in the exchange rate before you commit to a transfer.

Wise: an alternative to send money abroad

If you prefer the convenience of making the remittance online, an alternative option like Wise is there for you. And the same goes if you just want to minimize the cost. Just be sure you factor in the exchange rate before you commit to a transfer.

Why is Wise a good alternative?

  • Mid market exchange rate: when you send money online with Wise, the conversion won't have a markup on the exchange rate.
  • No Swift fees: banks usually use the Swift network, which incurs in extra costs. With Wise technology, you won't have this nor other extra fees.
  • Convenient: with just a few clicks you can set up a transfer from the US to the Philippines, knowing exactly how much you pay and how much the receiving bank account will get.

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Sources (last checked on 29 Jan 2021):

1.Statista - Largest banks in the Philippines as of June 2020, by assets
2.BDO - remittance fees (you need to select US-Daly city as the origin location)
3.BDO's remittance partners
4.Remittance acceptance form
5.BDO Remit international (US) page
6.BDO Kabayan Savings ATM Card page

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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