Note: This is not a sponsored post. It is written based on experience and research.
Newcomer or not, OFWs has a common question and that is How to send money to the Philippines from Canada?
And here in Calgary, I tried different ways of sending money to my loved ones back home.
I look for a remittance center with the following criteria:
- High exchange rate
- Low fees
- Quick money transfer
- Secure transaction
I am an advocate of the benefits of the Internet and I chose to send money online through PayPal.
It’s not that complicated although others are doubtful with this method. Still I tried to inform others of how simple and convenient it is.
For those who prefer to take a trip, I gathered the money transfer companies for you to choose from.
Choose carefully. And don’t entirely take my word for it.
Make sure that your family can get the money without hassle. (A little maybe since proof of identity and other requirements have to be met.)
Remittance Centers in Calgary
I cannot remember when was the first time I shared my first salary as a temporary foreign worker in Canada. Still it feels great whenever I think of the possibility of helping my family.
So here is the list of the money transfer companies in Calgary. You are probably a patron of some. So don’t hesitate to let us know what you like or not about the company.
In my first year, I sent money through I-Remit for my family. But I prefer PayPal because of convenience.
Still I rely on I-Remit in investing to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The recipient is COL Financial. I’ll write in another post on how invest in Philippine stocks from Canada.
What I like in I-Remit is that the recipient always receive the money. No follow-up is needed. Once I fill up the registration form, it’s done.
The downside: I’m the type of person who doesn’t like paperwork since I don’t have a legible handwriting. I sent through I-Remit on another branch and found out that I have to fill up a membership form AGAIN.
Other than that I would recommend I-Remit.
I pay $ 10.00 for a bank-to-bank (Metro Manila); service fee is $12.00 for the province. And $5.00 for SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG.
- Choose from different ways to remit money to the Philippines from Canada
- I-Remit Visa Card (Prepaid ATM Card)
- iCredit (Credit to Bank of Your Choice)
- iDeliver (Door-to-Door Delivery)
- iNotify (Remittance Pick-Up)
- iShop (One-Stop Shop Delivery)
- iPay (Bills Payment)
- Send money online
- Pay your monthly contribution to save for retirement (SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG)
- Pay other forms of investment (real estate amortizations, insurance premiums, and pre-need plans.)
I’m about to pay my contribution to Pag-IBIG through I-Remit. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’ve only been in the Pacific Mall Branch. It’s located near the foodcourt.
If you see the Filipino food (pansit, puto etc) move quickly to the remittance center to avoid waiting on the long line. Then you can treat yourself later with lugaw with egg.
Calgary Pacific Mall Branch
Pacific Mall, 636-999 36th St., NE Calgary Alberta T2A 7X6
Fax : (403)569-8863
Monday to Saturday (9:30 am – 7:30 pm)
Sunday (9:30 am to 6:00 pm)
Calgary Downtown Branch
227 6 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0P5, Canada
Telephone: (1) (403) 452 8577
Monday to Wednesday (9:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Thursday to Friday (9:00 am – 7:00 pm)
Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Sunday (11:00 am – 5:00 pm)
I learned that I-Remit is the first publicly-listed remittance company (symbol: I, stock price: Php 1.73) in 2007. So that is why it’s no wonder why OFWs can invest in Philippine stocks with the help of COL Financial.
Although I’m a fan of The Filipino Channel (TFC) for the right reasons (to watch the news and TV shows that teaches how to invest in the Philippines), I am not familiar with myREMIT, an ABS-CBN Canada Remittance Inc.
I don’t think I’ll try myREMIT in the future unless it will allow me to deposit to my COL account and pay monthly contribution to SSS or Pag-IBIG.
I might change my mind (as always). You can try and compare the services and rate with other remittance centers in Calgary.
You’ll pay $8.00 regardless of the location and type of service. If you will remit an amount more than $3,000, you have to pay an additional service fee.
The recipient can only receive peso payout in all of myREMIT services.
- credit to bank account
- cash pick-up
- door-to-door delivery
- credit-to-ABS-CBN cash card
300 Consilium Place, Suite 105
Toronto, Ontario M1H3G2
Fax: (855) 997-3649 (1-855-99-REMIT)
Toll-free: 1-855-80-73648 (1-855-80-REMIT)
Monday to Friday (10:00 am – 5:00 pm, except for statutory holidays in Canada)
Remittance Agent of myREMIT in Calgary
Most likely, you can send money in the Philippines through myREMIT by visiting some Filipino convenience stores in Calgary. The upside: you can also apply for TFC or buy Filipino foods you’ve been missing and craving.
- Manila Convenience Store (Suite 114-10325 Bonaventure Dr. SW)
- Mayers Lotter Ticket Centre (Real Canadian Superstore, 100 Heritage Meazdow)
- Tindahang Pinoy (1095 Falconridge Drive NE)
- R and G Pinoy Dollar Store Ltd. (6518-1A Steet SW)
- Franchesa Foods Ltd. (#36 6130 1A Street SW)
- Messiah’s Convenience Store (Unit 162 328 Centre St. SE)
- Jon Tecson Enterprises (3215 – 17 Avenue SE)
- UPS Store (Bridlewood, Bay 327 2335 162 Ave SW)
- Jenrich Fast Cargo (Suite 101, 6036 3rd St. SW)
- Smart Choice (Unit 102, 909 – 7 Avenue SW)
- Angel’s Filipino Groceries and Variety Store (6 – 5008 Whitehorn Drive NE)
- Filipino Market (12 – 3803 26th Avenue SW)
It’s a long list of Filipino convenience store and I’ve only been gone to one store. Shame on me.
The list will likely change so keep on checking the myREMIT remittance agent in Calgary.
I discovered ePadala by reading one of the free magazines for Filipinos in Calgary. I usually grab at least three newspapers every time I visit my favorite Filipino convenience store.
I don’t know anything about ePadala so I look for reviews and read the company’s website.
The result: I cannot find any negative feedback or recommendation.
As always, stay diligent in your transaction. Talk to the right person. (I meant this for all the remittance centers in Calgary or wherever you are in Canada.)
The upside: the VTK and teller rates (or what is commonly known as exchange rate) are shown in the homepage. No more searching or guessing.
The fee range from $6.00 to $10.00 depending on the type of service. Additional fee is applied if you exceed the amount limit of remittance.
- Redi Money ATM cash card (send money to visa debit card)
- Lhuillier cash pick up
- Cebuana Lhuillier cash pick up
- Cash pick up
- Bank to bank
- ePadala instabank (not yet available)
- Door to door cash delivery
Among the money remittance companies, ePadala offers an online money transfer which is called VTK or virtual kiosk service. In this payment mode, you’ll receive the receipt and reference number after sending the instruction—everything done online.
ePadala claims that VTK has a lower service and a higher exchange rate.
If you are the type of a person who is doubtful with online transaction or doubt your technical skills, then you can try the teller encoding service with the help of a customer service representative.
Evergreen Business Centre
4101 230 Eversyde Blvd SW Calgary AB T2Y 0J4
Cellphone: (403) 255-5807 (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
Office line: (403) 719-1600 (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
Contacts/staff: Celia, Ivan, and Padi
Monday to Friday
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm (office teller, email, and telephone services)
9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight (online and email transactions)
Saturday to Sunday (and holidays)
9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight (online and email transactions)
While I advocate doing an online money transfer, I must say again: only send money to the Philippines through a reliable and trustworthy money remittance company or agent.
A recommendation of a good friend (not even this post) is still the best word of advice.
4. Western Union
When I was still in the Phillippines, Western Union is the remittance center in the Philippines my family can rely on.
We are able to send money in Philippine provinces especially on emergency or special occasion.
Western Union comes out ahead of other money transfer companies when it comes to fee transparency.
No need to create an account.
You can use the Price Online Service (right sidebar) or the Price Shopper to calculate the fees.
Pay attention to the exchange rate of Canadian Dollar to Philippine Peso.
The amount you intend to send is LOWER than the local currency pay out; it is better to send money higher than your preference.
And don’t miss the small-font information that reveals the details of other charges such as foreign currency exchange.
This is true to all remittance companies but WU is one of the few that reveals important information—no matter how hard it is to read.
Western Union Money Transfer Service
Although I don’t remit through Western Union as an OFW, I may consider it as an option in the future since I learned the various services of WU. You can send money:
- Online (Visa or Mastercard, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal)
- From an agent location (find the nearest agent in your area)
- By phone (worldwide, 24/7). Call 1-800-235-0000
- By mobile (Scotiabank mobile)
Customer service for Canada customers only: 1-800-235-0000.
5. SR Cash Remit
Out of all the remittance centers in Calgary, SR Cash Remit has the least information on the Internet. If you are a patron of SR Cash Remit, I hope you can share any feedback about the company.
It could be a good alternative for our kababayan; if not, then they can find a more reliable money transfer service to send money in the Philippines.
So here is what I found.
- Same day deposit to any banks
- Door to door
- Cash delivery
- Bills payment
- Personal loan
- Cheque cashing
#1464, 515 Marlborough Way N.E., Calgary, Alberta – AB T2A 7E7
Telephone: (587) 353-2753
And if you find any error, can you leave a comment. I’ll change it right away.
6. Forex Alberta
When I used to send balikbayan boxes (bad idea back up with sane reasons), I relied on Forex Alberta.
Little did I know or pay attention that the company offers money remittance.
If you’re curious about my feedback on cargo forwarding, I can attest that my family received all the balikbayan boxes with all the clear and duct tapes around it.
Sometimes it took more than four months to deliver the box. I had a follow-up on the phone and my sister through email.
But when it comes to Forex Alberta’s money remittance, I cannot vouch anything.
Nada. Zilch. Nothing. I can’t find any information about the fee. But for a consolation, Forex Alberta shows the exchange rate.
- Cargo Forwarding
- Balikbayan boxes
- Travel and tours
328 39th Ave SE Calgary, AB T2G 1X6
Telephone: (403)873-6739 / (403)243-2912 / (403)232-6712
Toll free: 1-866-503-6939
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Monday to Saturday (9:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Saturday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Let’s sidetrack from remittance for a minute.
If you are going to consider my experience with Forex Alberta in sending balikbayan boxes, I have a reminder.
I sent one box in 2015 amidst the issue of Philippine Customs opening the box for inspection (seriously!) through a different company.
I was so glad my box reached our home in one decent piece with all the goodies for my doggies (aspin).
Another big company in the world of money transfer service is Moneygram.
It can compete with Western Union when it comes to accessibility and credibility. Moneygram is located in more than 200 countries and territories.
The downside against WU: you cannot send money online to the Philippines.
Moneygram has a cost estimator. You can click the “include fee.” I tried it and the transfer fee is $9.99; while the currency exchange rate is not revealed. (And why is that?)
- Pick up at any agent (PHP or USD)
- Account deposit (PHP): transfer money to bank (top 20 Philippine Banks), SMART Money, and BDO web.
Allied Bank, Asia Trust Bank, Asia United Bank, Banco de Oro, Bank of Commerce, Bank of the Philippine Islands, China Bank, Citibank, Development Bank of the Philippines, East West Bank, Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC), Land Bank of the Philippines, Maybank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Planters Bank, Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, Security Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines, and United Coconut Planters Bank.
Location: you can find Moneygram in Canada Post and other agent locations.
And now the end is near . . .
It’s to ask the most important question.
Which is the Best Money Remittance Company?
I cannot . . . and will not give a direct answer.
But I do hope that with all the information in this post, you can choose reliable remittance centers in Calgary.
You don’t have to choose only one.
So for one last advice about this topic, this is what I value the most: TIME.
I choose the money transfer company I can rely on sending the money without delay and much effort.
What is your choice? Did you have any unfortunate experience?