As I stepped outside, I can hardly tell where the sidewalk is. The snow was falling. It didn’t wait for me to send large amount of money to the Philippines before it covers everything on the ground.
In a typical day, I would remit money online and didn’t have to bother about the weather.
But for a huge sum of money, I prefer to go to a remittance center in Calgary (a city in Alberta, Canada) not only because I don’t rely in the Internet (if much is at stake) but also, I have no idea how it works.
And it was a learning experience I’ll never forget. (But more because this is the first time that I spent/sent a humongous amount of money for something. No. It’s not for a gadget. It’s for the future.)
I’m going to share to you how to do it the right way by showing you how I did it the wrong way (unintentional).
Don’t worry, in spite of my trials, I was successful in the end. And so are you but in less time and hopefully in a favourable weather.
Steps on How to Send Large Amount of Money to the Philippines
Although the setting is in Canada, the steps would also be applicable if you are transferring money from other countries.
1. Check the daily withdrawal limit of your chequing account.
It doesn’t matter whether you use the debit card or withdraw cash in the bank or ABM. The method is irrelevant to the limit.
Before transferring a large amount of money, I didn’t bother asking what’s my daily withdrawal limit. All I am concern of is to maintain the minimum monthly balance to waive the monthly fee.
“Not approved.” This was how I found out about withdrawal limit in the remittance center.
Embarrassing, yes. So I tried my other debit card. Double embarrassment. With a startled face (like watching Ripley’s Believe It or Not), I stepped aside and think things through.
Bless the moment when there wasn’t much people and the staff told me to call my bank.
2. Ask for a daily withdrawal limit increase.
At times like this, I am grateful to be (teeny weeny) obsessed with organization. My contact list on my phone includes the phone numbers and other important information of my banks.
I was in R & G Pinoy Dollar Store (one of Filipino convenience stores in Calgary) when I was calling my banks and found out that chequing accounts have different withdrawal limits.
TD increased the limit to $1,000.00 for 1 calendar day. I asked to have a permanent limit increase which was approved. Other than calling, you can request a limit increase on the website or through email.
While Tangerine has a higher daily withdrawal limit, I still asked to have it increase to $5,000.00 for a day. Just like for Cinderella, the party is over at midnight. The daily limit will go back to its original value. The only way (so far) to know the daily withdrawal limit is through a phone call, just like when I had to find a solution when my Interac e-Transfer was not deposited.
Why is it that online bank have a higher limit than a Big Bank?
Whatever the reason is, I am hoping that Canadian banks can increase the limit for a day. Since It’s hard to find out the withdrawal limit, for Filipinos in Canada, can you share the daily withdrawal limit of your bank in the comment.
3. Plan on how you will divide the transfer.
After calling the bank, I was relieved that I can send large amount of money to the Philippines in the same day. But it wasn’t that large since remittance companies also have a transaction limit per day:
PNB Remittance Company: $2,500.00 with $10.00 fee
RIA Money Transfer: $3,000.00 with $8.00 fee
Like staring to a fast-food menu, you’ll have many choices on how to send the money. I’ve chosen PNB and RIA because of the high exchange rate. Other choices include Transfast and Vigo.
Tip: Take advantage of the ever changing exchange rate. Choose the reliable money transfer company with a high rate. Get more Philippine Peso for Canadian dollars (or whatever currency you have).
4. Take note of the fee.
Because of the withdrawal and remittance limit, you will have to send money for several days. (I went back three times.)
The trips to remittance center could also increase the transaction fee. The fee will be deducted to your debit card along with the remittance.
So if you want to send $3000.00 and the daily limit is $3000.00, let’s say, you can only send $2,990.00 through PNB. The $10.00 is allotted for the fee. On the bright side, you can also use two debit card for each transaction for a single fee.
Tip: Though I haven’t tried this, I’ll share it anyway. On the second part of my blog post on How I Send Money Online, I mentioned CanadianForex which allows higher money transfer; free for more than $10,000.00 of remittance.
5. Keep the record.
As for any transaction big or small, make it a habit to keep the receipt. It has the exchange rate and other information and might come in handy for any unfortunate event.
With PNB, aside from a receipt, I also received an email regarding the transaction. And soon, Tangerine sent me an alert about the withdrawal to my chequing account. The alert is a good way to monitor the activity on a bank account. You can set up an alert or notification online for Canadian banks and assuming to other banks worldwide.
Before you go, ask how long it will take to receive the money in the Philippine bank because you’ll be asked by your family without a doubt. They wouldn’t have to make unnecessary trips to the bank or money transfer company.
The Successful Money Transfer
Yes. After all the challlenges I had to go through including the slippery walk on ice and snow, my family received the money in the Philippines. What a relief.
And before I end this post, I’ll give more tips for you and for myself because I don’t want to miss anything. Also, I’ll likely do this again when buying a house (another one in the Philippines) and a farm. One property at a time.
These will be quick yet worthwhile for OFWs regardless of how much is the remittance.
- Send money in different days to take advantage of fluctuating exchange rate.
- Compare the exchange rate for different money transfer companies.
- Plan ahead for large amount of money transfer because it can be frustrating.
- Borrow money in the Philippines if it will take time to complete the transaction. But please do pay. (I was about to do this but didn’t have to eventually.)
If you have more tips, I would love to know how you were able to send large amount of remittance in the Philippines or any other countries.