BPI vs BDO vs Metrobank in the Philippines

BDO, BPI and Metrobank

BDO, BPI and Metrobank are the biggest commercial and universal banks in the Philippines. Each one has its own strengths, so not one of the three, to my mind, can categorically claim that it's the most powerful bank in the country.

BPI, Metrobank and other banks, however, can't but agree that BDO has been the fastest-growing bank since BDO was acquired from its original owners by the biggest shopping mall operator in the country.

To ordinary people like me, however, the best banks are the ones that:

  • offer various banking services for free or at low costs
  • offer convenience to customers, such as a lot of branches, ATMs and longer banking hours
  • offer safe investment opportunities
  • give back to the community
  • contribute to the stability of the country's banking system

Because not one bank offer all the services that we want, we usually have accounts in more than one bank. These banks offer a lot of services, including Internet banking, investment options and private and corporate banking, but we'll mention only part of those that interest us, or that are unique to one bank.

What We Like About BPI

  • It has a lot of ATMs and branches, with 1,600 ATMs spread out all over the country.
  • It's also the only one, to my knowledge, that directly accepts peso bills for deposit at several of its ATMs in Metro Manila without using an envelope and with the ATM deposit instantly credited.
  • It offers a local credit card with a lower interest rate and lower-cost installment and loan features.
  • The BPI Classic Card's Special Installment Plan and straight-charge features can be used to pay tuition fees directly to the cashiers of major schools from grade schools to universities. I paid my daughter's tuition fee at FEU last semester using this feature.

It gives back to the community:

*It holds the annual Search for 10 Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children.

*Its BPI Foundation runs:

  • microfinance trainings in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University in major cities
  • Show Me, Teach Me, SME Empowering Entrepreneurs
  • BPI-DOST Science Awards
  • BPI College Scholarship program
  • Climate Change Project

What We Like About BDO

  • Longer Banking Hours
  • Open on Saturdays, Sundays and most holidays (for branches located in SM malls)
  • Lots of branches and ATMs -- Has 1,372 ATMs and 716 branches as of June 2010

*The location of BDO branches in SM malls evidently helped speed up BDO's growth. Because a great number of Filipinos go to the mall often, they choose to open BDO accounts so they can bank and shop at the same time under the same roof. It's also very convenient for OFW families receiving remittances from abroad. Certainly, it's safer withdrawing money inside the safety of the mall, including exchanging dollars, pounds or yens.

It gives back to the community:

BDO Foundation runs:

  • partnership with Gawad Kalinga
  • SME entrepreneurship program

*BDO's majority owner, the SM Group, runs the SM College Scholarship program.

What We Like About Metrobank

  • Offers a Zero-Fee credit card -- Its M Free Mastercard is Forever Free of annual fee. This is significant as most credit cards typically charge 1,400 pesos or more for annual membership.
  • Over 1,200 ATMs nationwide, over 730 branches, and 42 foreign branches

It gives back to the community:

Metrobank Foundation runs the following:

  • Search for Outstanding Teachers
  • Metrobank Scholarship Program
  • Outstanding Policement in Service
  • Outstanding Philippines Soldiers

OFW Services

Almost two million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are currently working worldwide as engineers, nurses, teachers, seamen, doctors, dentists, physical therapists, domestic helpers,welders, electricians, machine operators, etc. Since they remit large amounts of money to their families monthly, banks have crafted special services for them.

Aside from the usual bank to bank transfer or remittance service to bank transfer, these banks also have their proprietary accounts designed for OFW clients and their families:


  • BPInoy Remittance


  • BDO Remit
  • Kabayan Savings


  • Super Bilis Padala
  • Metrobank World Cash Card  

Recent International Awards Received by BPI, BDO and Metrobank

These three banks have received plenty of international and local awards. The following are just some of the awards:


  • Best Bank in the Philippines 2009 from Global Finance
  • Best Bank in the Philippines 2009 from Euromoney
  • Best Bank in the Philippines 2009 from FinanceAsia


  • Best Emerging Market Bank in the Philipines 2010 from Global Finance
  • Best Bank in the Philippines 2010 from FinanceAsia
  • Best Foreign Exchange Provider in the Philippines 2010 from Global Finance


  • Best Bank in the Philippines 2010 from Euromoney
  • Best Managed Company (Medium Cap) in the Philippines 2010 from AsiaMoney
  • Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines 2010 from AsiaMoney

Facts That May Interest You

*** In the Philippines, there are 773 banks (branches not counted) as of June 2010:

  • 11 private universal banks
  • 7 private commercial banks
  • 5 branches of foreign universal banks
  • 9 branches of foreign commercial banks
  • 3 subsidiaries of foreign commercial banks
  • 3 government banks
  • 74 thrift banks
  • 620 rural banks
  • 41 cooperative banks

... including branches, there are 8,685 banks in all, as of June 2010

*** Arguably, BPI was the first bank in the Philippines and in all Southeast Asia. It began as El Banco Espanol Filipino de Isabel 2 in 1851 as a Spanish-owned bank. In 1907, the bank became a Philippine institution, and in 1912, it became the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI).

***Among the top stockholders of BPI as of December 2009 are the:

  • Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila
  • Metrobank
  • Mercury Group

***The Metrobank Foundation owns the:

  • Manila Doctors Hospital along U.N.
  • Manila Doctors College along Macapagal Ave.

Metrobank also owns 30-percent of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation.

***Among the top stockholders of Metrobank as of June 2010 are:

  • Federal Homes
  • Home Development Mutual Fund
  • Insular Life Assurance Co.

***Among the top stockholders of BDO as of September 2010 are:

  • International Finance Corp. (U.S.)
  • United Overseas Bank (Singaporean)
  • Insular Life Assurance Co.

***We're just curious that in all the three banks' Lists of the Top 100 Stockholders, Non-Filipino Philippine Central Depository Nominee Corp. shareholders account for the biggest number of shares.

  • For BPI, non-Filipino PCDNC shareholders ranked No. 1 as of December 2009.
  • For Metrobank, non-Filipino PCDNC shareholders account for 28.55 percent of the total, and ranked No. 1 as of June 2010.
  • For BDO, non-Filipino PCDNC shareholders account for 20.47 percent of the total, and third in ranking behind SM Investments and Filipino PCDNC shareholders.

This could mean though that Philippine banks are seen as strong and stable by foreign investors. Besides, PCDNC shareholders don't grant their voting rights to PCDNC.

*** Of course, many know that:

  • BDO is controlled by Henry Sy's SM Group
  • BPI is controlled by the Ayala Group
  • and Metrobank is controlled by George Ty's group.

For Some Info about these banks, based on personal experiences, just head over to this article on these banks -- BPI BDO Metrobank

Vote for Your Bank -- Just for Fun

1. Which is your primary bank?

  • BDO
  • BPI
  • Metrobank
See results without voting

2. If none of the above, which of these is your primary bank?

  • RCBC
  • PNB
  • Union Bank
  • China Banking
  • Security Bank
  • Other
See results without voting

And You Are?

  • OFW
  • Filipino currently in the Philippines
  • Filipino currently outside the Philippines, but not OFW
  • Expat in the Philippines
  • Other
See results without voting

Comments 183 comments

Glemoh101 profile image

Glemoh101 5 years ago

Thanks for your useful information , i like Philippine.

I rated your hub , hope you do the same with me.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your kind comments, Glemoh.

chinita07 5 years ago

thanks this wil be useful for my proj research. :)

chamilj profile image

chamilj 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

Informative hub rated up!

ace 5 years ago

I never had a problem with BPI. I'm so happy I never needed to talk to any of their CSRs, that's how good they are. Also, one thing I like most about them is my depositors are waived of the interbranch fee. Definitely, big savings.

I also own a BDO account but I find them just as a convenience to receive money after usual banking hours/days. Or when I don't like to keep extra cash (avoiding temptation), I deposit leftovers from my shopping to the mall branch.

Thanks for sharing these infos.

Frustrated 5 years ago

Why is it so hard to find out which BPI branches have hours on Saturday?

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 5 years ago Author

Hi Frustrated, because, to my knowledge, there are no BPI branches that are open on Saturdays. The ones that are open on weekends and holidays are those outlets in malls, but their services are limited (balance transfers, credit-to-cash, account opening, peso deposits thru the ATM). Here are locations of ATMs with the 24/7 instant deposit capability:

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 5 years ago Author

Thanks, ace, for your comments. Yes, we can take advantage of the plus points of certain banks.

john 5 years ago

allied bank is the best bank... its the most underated bank in the phls.. it is owned wholly by the richest man in the country ( based on how many corpo this man have) THE KAPITAN HIMSELF "DR. LUCIO TAN"....

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 5 years ago Author

Thanks a lot, John, for commenting. If Allied Bank offers lower loan rates, charges lower banking fees and penalties, and treats consumers well, then Allied could be what you say as the best bank for consumers/borrowers even if it lags behind the 3 banks mentioned above in assets/capital/ROI and number of branches. Allied is being folded into PNB, right? If this is completed, then PNB can give the 3 banks above stiff competition, as PNB has the widest bank network outside the Philippines.

Michael Santiago 5 years ago

How come you know a lot about these banks?

duran 22 5 years ago

thanks for this site to give some information..keep it up!

Emecita paras 5 years ago

Retiring in pinas early this year.Thanks for the info.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 5 years ago Author

Hi Michael, this post is a result of research. It's not really hard for me, as I've been writing about banks since 2008. I would have enjoyed a banking business if I had the connections and finances in my younger days.

thom 5 years ago

bpi is excellent!

Ramil 4 years ago

Bpi is a big bank with lots of services. For a normal employee like me the differences between the three banks is minimal.. Just do comparison see which provides services that suit you best (you don't benefit from all the services they provide any way). I however did my homework and sure going to close my BPI and open a new account at nearest Metrobank. Why? Simply because they still dreaming of old good time and forgot to upgrade their system and services!

insidepi profile image

insidepi 4 years ago from Philippines

I'm always a big fan of BPI.

miles 4 years ago

i have BDO and BPI but I like BPI more...

wel 4 years ago

I have tried inquiring the 3 banks, going inside one of their branches, and I saw what bank is really the best in terms of customer service, systematized banking experience, and most all accommodating employees, and that is no other than "BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS". It is where I open my first bank account and I really feel so secured and confident with BPI. If you let me rank the 3 banks with my inquiry experience with them, then it goes this way.

1. BPI

2. BDO


Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Duran, Emecita, Mina, Thom, thanks a lot for your comments.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Wow! Thom, Insidepi, Miles, Nick, Wel, You're all BPI fans! It's great to know you're satisfied with BPI. I'm also a BPI depositor, but I also have accounts with other banks, as they have certain types of accounts that I like.

Yes, one of the best I like about BPI is their cash deposit machines -- no need for envelopes and deposit is instantly credited. As far as I know, they're the only ones that have these machines in the Philippines. But I have to check again though -- the foreign-owned banks might have also these machines by now.

Their cash/prepaid cards though are not as good as BDO cash cards and UnionBank Eon Cybercards. The BPI Express ATM cash card has ATM fees and the BPI My ePrepaid Mastercard has balance limits and has no ATM withdrawal feature.

The BPI Classic Credit Card though is a winner for me because of its flexible loan features and it's a payment partner of FEU where my daughter studies. And yes, it's website is a winner. It's fast-loading. And BPI's restaurant promos are great. I'll stop for a while.

thelma 4 years ago

I go for BPI, it has alot of 24/7 channels like express phone via a csr or through ivr, mobile banking (via sms or internet) and online banking. you can manage your account anytime anywhere. it is actually the leading in banking technology. I have with metrobank also, i'm satisfied with them as well... I go for metrobank and bpi, apart for convenient they are also the most stable.

Banker 4 years ago

I have and I guess will always be a banker..have been employed with BPI, BDO and Metro now. Objectively though, I will go for BPI as the best employer.

Binondo girl 4 years ago

I'll go for BPI! Aside from innovative banking technology, I've experienced the best customer service too, way back 2007 where I opened my 1st account at their Binondo Branch near Starbucks

nick 4 years ago

it's good to know that bpi made the pioneering effort of offering the cash accept machines (cams). i bet their bea's will definitely be copied by other banks soon. their bank anywhere effort is also excellent, no interbranch transaction fees and offers other services that makes you feel at ease, having the feeling of being served by your mother branch.

ch1126 4 years ago

BDO still the best in terms of convenience, long banking hours.easy enrollment to internet banking. friendly staff and very efficient customer service. Phone banking is very good. they have personalized handling for each type of client, even you are just a small client they will assist you properly, not unlike with BPI and Metro bank, Customer service are very poor. Try calling their hotline to compare which bank has the best Customer service.

nick 4 years ago

bpi's customer service has changed alot since the merger with far east bank, this improvement has a lot to do i guess with the younger far east bankers being folded into bpi. i agree with you ch1126 though that maybe bdo's phone banking is a bit better than bpi's but never when it comes to internet banking.

krypton darnell 4 years ago

GREAT is equal to BPI... ^.^

jimmychain40 4 years ago

wait till you guys see BPI unveils the bank of the future by 2014, it will sure raise the bar of hi-technology banking services never before seen in the phils and in most first world countries, brace yourself as everything will be at your fingertips.

Allan 4 years ago

Bpi is the best! Bdo's customer servixe is the lousiest plus the ling line of minimum 1 hour waiting everyrime! And the high interbranch charges depending on the amount! Thieves!

nick 4 years ago

i've heard that jimmy, i've heard about it ... let's wait and see ...

Maria Remedios Vasquez 4 years ago

BPI is simply the best! No one comes close to it...

banker26 4 years ago

Kudos to BPI!

trader 4 years ago

I like BPI coz you can bank anywhere at any branch. NO interbranch transaction. Nowadays, people are quite mobile. They don't stay in one place. SO even though you open your account in one branch, you can still transact with other branches (even if its provincial) without any extra charges unlike other banks. BPI Bank anywhere is the winner!!!

carlo 4 years ago

Go BPI.. coz BPI make it easy..

jen Monreal 4 years ago

I think,i will try BPI.

Jon Sy 4 years ago

Definitely BPI!

Morielle 4 years ago

I wanna try BPI cos of the comments i hear my my friends n internet. and i experienced some system error with my current bank n it warns me .. altho im just a student n i dont have much lol. but ye! i wana go to BPI soon!

nick 4 years ago

another thing, nowadays, with so many alternative channels to do your banking (internet, atm, phone, mobile etc.), time will come that we don't need the extended banking hours, before, we are used to banks closing at around 3pm, those clients who were always late then are still the same clients who are still late now even though banking hours were extended to 4:30 even up to 7:00pm. I hope BPI acquires UBP soon ...

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Again, it's Wow! BPI has a lot of fans here! Nick, thanks for checking from time to time if there's something to respond too. I'm just sad I've no time yet to update the post... Two other things that BPI has that most others don't is a separate online bank -- BPI Direct Savings Bank -- and a microfinance bank -- BPI Globe Banko.

sheryline perez 4 years ago

very informative..

I'm a BPI user.. for me, it's much flexible and innovative.;)

Zeze 4 years ago

I love BPI. They have the most responsible and warmest tellers. :)

gwen 4 years ago

elo ms nera!!! just wanna ask if which of the 3 banks offers the BEST HOUSING LOAN???

i'm torn between bdo & bpi~~~

thanx much!!! appreciate the response... =)

Michael Warnick 4 years ago

I hate my bank metro bank for 10 years onward never even have a credit card in this bank. i try to apply for 3 times nothing happen, now im having BPI and BDO. i am also OFW using metro bank till now for remittances only i have no choice.

may 4 years ago

what bank give high interest rates on savings deposits and time deposits?

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Michael, thanks for commenting. Where are you working? I may have some info about remittance services in your place because I've been writing about remittance companies for over a year now.

Angel Cruz 4 years ago

BPI is the best!

angel 4 years ago

..BPI??????i have a problem on my account because balance transfer from Saudi took a long time to process,, until now i didn't receive yet the remittance,, my remiter transfer last sunday,,it's already wednesday!!!customer service told me that it will be process within 2 banking days,, im so dis appointed

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Angel Cruz, thanks for commenting

Hi Angel with Saudi remittance: What's the remittance company? Sometimes it's with the remitter. BPI remittance partner ba? Hope the money is already in your account. Best regards

angel 4 years ago

hi Ms.Nera,

until now, i didn't receive yet.. and it's holiday tomorrow, for sure it will appear by nextweek

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Yes, Angel, you're right, if you don't get it today, you'd have it after the Holy Week. Best regards

kahlil 4 years ago

BPI na lang or Metrobank.

Sila lang ang may UPUAN sa tatlo, di na kelangang luminya nang pagkatagal-tagal.

BDO laging mahabang pila. Marami ngang branch pero konti naman ng tao sa counter.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Kahlil, thanks for your comment. I hope BDO sees the need to offer instant-credit cash deposit machines so cash depositors have options and so long lines are reduced. This is where BPI soars because it has these machines -- I can deposit anytime, even at night and during non-business days.

Long lines, depende rin sa branch -- and this is true for all banks. Metrobank has seats, but some branches have only 2 tellers serving, such as the branch along Alabang Zapote, opposite Caltex/Honda, and in Muntinlupa Putatan.

Angel 4 years ago

Hi ms. nera,,

I checked already on my account but still no remittance yet, my remitter already follow up..

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Angel, the same with mine, it's still not appearing on my BPI account. But it was sent on Good Friday in South Korea. Yours was sent earlier. I didn't ask which remittance service she used. Let's see tomorrow. The 5-day holiday really had an effect.

Anne 4 years ago

Hi, I was just wondering. With the insurance coverage at 500,000 per depositor, how can you spread your risk? How many banks do you deposit to? Thanks.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Anne, you can spread out your deposits to the top banks. Looking at Philippine banking history, however, only the savings and rural banking sectors had suffered closures, more particularly the rural banking sector. BDO had survived even if it lost more than a hundred million dollars from Lehman's bankruptcy in 2008. Metrobank and RCBC also had investments in failed Lehman but they also survived and prospered.

We just have to be vigilant by constantly monitoring the economy and the banks.

Angel 4 years ago

Hi, until now there is no incoming remittance on my account,,what will i do

Nick 4 years ago

Hi Angel, if you are expecting your remittance from saudi, best to send it via samba, bpi has a tie up with them, is this your first time receiving remittance thru bpi? remember bpi is the receiving bank and not the sending bank, sometimes the problem lies with the wrong details in your remittance i.e. wrong name,wrong account no. etc. all these details should be accurate otherwise the receiving bank can return this remittance if there will be no confirmation from your branch of account that remittance can push through. there are options to have it credited to your account or pick it up in branches with your reference no. in hand.

Angel 4 years ago


no its not my first time to receive remittance from saudi,,coz other remitatance i receive is from taiwan,, and its just for 2 banking days,, my remitter transfer the account last April 1 and until now there's no remittance in my account, my remitter already verify many times

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Angel, that's indeed too long for a remittance to get credited to your account, unless it's a wire transfer that goes through at least 2 banks, which usually takes that long. But if it's through a commonly used remittance firm, then there must be something wrong somewhere. But I hope it's just a once-in-a-long-time hassle or glitch somewhere -- nothing serious -- so that by tomorrow, the money is already in your account.

Danaika 4 years ago

I read all the comments and I think BPI won in terms of customer service and stability and system. I'm just wondering which bank should I choose if I'm going to open a credit card account, one that has no annual fee, lower rates and has good freebies, regardless of the existing bank services. Which will you recommend me Nera?

BPI BDO Metrobank Allied

Thanks, by the way, I voted on your hub... this is really nice and informative!!!

maricel 4 years ago

I'll go for BPI. I can open a checking account by internet and just pick-up the checkbook on your nominated branch. Imagine the convenience. Also you can apply for a time deposit via internet banking, terminate it or roll over the interest whenever you want it. You can deposit on ATM. You can bank with minimal visit on their branches. I have a BDO account and interest rates are so low, but the convenience is you don't need to go to the branch to submit you phone number for buying your load.

MrKreyon 4 years ago

Hi-tech ang BPI so amaze talaga ako wala na silang deposit and withdrawal slip to fill up.touch screen good job BPI.

Fred 4 years ago

Bank=BPI. Simple, Clear, Easy and Innovative

Delia 4 years ago

My sister's house tenant has asked me to deposit her rent to my sister's BDO bank account. At BDO-Robinsons, there were only three (3) bank tellers serving two long queues of bank clients. It took exactly three (3) hours to get this single transaction done!

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

To Takayuki Akihama and Maria Elisa B. Akihama, I have given you several days of exposure already. Blessings for you!

Mr. E 4 years ago

BDO of course,aside from friendly tellers, they always smile, greet and thanks for every banking transactions..In terms of remittance,mabilis at madaming branches at SM malls para mag-claim. Banking hours are very convenient, lalo na sa mga pumapasok sa office, also internet banking, mabilis at maaasahan. Thanks

Mimi 4 years ago

BPI sure has lots of great comments here. Ask ko lang, hanggang anong oras ang banking hours ng BPI?

Dridge 4 years ago

Hi... I have a question coz i'm dumb when it comes to banking stuff.... So your help will be much appreciated.. I work here in dubai and i want to open a savings acct.. I have 2 options here BDO and metrobank... which do you think is better? Coz i'll be going on vacation this july and i don't want to bring cash with me just to be safe and to avoid the temptation of spending it...which bank has the bigger exchange rate. Let's say 1 aed is = 11.7 pesos(i know it fluctuates) but will the rate of the day be the same when i withdraw money in the philippines? I'm sorry.. I just wanna be sure i'm doing the right thing here... Thanks a lot...

jobelle 4 years ago

Do you have any alternative idea

regarding time deposit, or anything doubled my money for several months or even a year...

Paolo D. 4 years ago

Hi! Maybe you could help us decide which bank is the best for my wife and I. I'm currently living in Belgium and would like to send some money to the Philippines. I already calculated that if I send money in dollars rather than in pesos, my wife would actually receive more. Cause I have to convert Euro to Dollar or Euro to Peso. That's why I want to open a dollar account.

I actually did some research already with those banks. And it seems that BDO offers a lower maintaining balance in dollars. The BPI is asking for $500 maintaining balance. And Metrobank is asking $0 maintaining balance that's what I read in the internet, but when my wife came to their office they said otherwise. I just don't get it.

Anyway, I hope you could help us! And thank you for sharing your knowledge :) God Bless...

Ian 4 years ago

I agree with one of the posters above. Allied Bank is one of the most underrated bank. I have a 'market revenue' account that earns me as much as 2.75% interest per annum on a 3-month maturity period. If I do,choose the 6-months or even 1-year maturity period (you may choose what maturity period suits you at the maturity date of the'preceding period) the interest rate may go as high as 2.95% or even 3.2%.

amethyst_in_red 4 years ago

I don't have enough cash in my banks and most of the time I only maintain the minimum daily balance required. What I've observed is BDO is very strict in penalties. When you go below MDB they charge you at the end of the month. BPI when you go below MDB but you return it before month end they will not notice it and you will not be penalized. RCBC is also not that strict. Ive closed my BDO and maintained BPI.

Larry 4 years ago

I am an OFW in Korea, before going here, we were offered the BPinoy card during seour PDOS. I took up the peso and dollar account for remittance as the BPI staff told us that we can just leave the card to our loved ones and get the money OTC for the dollar account. I specifically clarified this as the account we were asked to open were to be under our name.

I am supposed to send money to my dollar account but my wife was told that she cannot get the money over the counter.

I was frustrated as a lot of us who enrolled in the remittance was mislead about it. I asked the staff if OTC withdrwal is possible even if it is under our name, and they said yes. Any thoughts on this matter especially those with BPinoy cards?

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Larry, that's very sad. The BPI officer should have cleared with you your question before responding. How can she answer yes when the account is under your name? The only way your wife can withdraw dollars OTC is for you to sign the BPI foreign currency withdrawal slip and for her to sign it as authorized representative. BUT I just based my opinion on common OTC rules. I still have to check if BPI allows foreign currency withdrawal by an authorized representative.

However, if you still like BPI despite the glitch, you can send dollars to your wife via BPI -- not through your BPInoy account -- but via CASH PICKUP. She must specify that she wants the cash in dollars.

You can still remit to your BPInoy dollar account, but your wife can withdraw from this account only via ATM, and in PESOS.

Additional information:

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Ian, for sharing info about your market revenue account with Allied Bank. I'll check it out. I hope PNB continues to offer this account when their merger is already completed. 2.75% is a high interest rate for a 3-month term.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Paolo D, perhaps the Metrobank zero-maintaining dollar account you referred to is the OFW

Dollar Savings Account. It does not require a maintaining balance, as long as you remit it to

the account at least once a year. But it needs $500 to earn interest. Perhaps the teller your

wife approached forgot this account. Or maybe the teller was thinking she can convince your

wife to open the $500-maintaining dollar account. I guess one of the requirements would be receipts of remittances to her from abroad.

BDO offers the BDO Kabayan Dollar Savings Account with only $100 as maintaining balance. Your wife needs to show a receipt of remittance to her from abroad, and of course IDs and 2 1x1 photos.

Yes, you can get more out of your remittance if your wife gets dollars and then exchange these at Czarina, Sanry's, Mail & More (Cash and Carry Makati) and other money exchange outlets with high exchange rates.

Lord 4 years ago

About to open an account and I found this very helpful! Thanks! (Also to the commenters.) Definitely going with BPI. :)

Nick 4 years ago

Hi nera, she couldn't withdraw OTC as a representative since she has an ATM based account, it will only be allowed for a passbook account and yes she could withdraw via ATM and only in peso. A suggestion for larry, why not enroll your bpinoy account via eol ( and have your wife activate it through the atm since it is with her, or she herself can enroll it and activate it simultaneously. Ask for a referral letter from your company, let her open a dollar allottee account with bpi then you enroll it as a third party account (print, sign and mail to bpi's fulfillment banking), your funds in your bpinoy account can be transferred to your wife's account 24/7 realtime without any charges whatsoever, that would be convenient and cost effective.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Nick, thanks for explaining. I didn't realize that BPinoy savings is an ATM-based account. I assumed it was BPI's answer to BDO Kabayan, which is a passbook and ATM account, and which they're also offering at PDOS sessions. Thanks also for the Internet banking suggestion. I always feel good when I see OFWs taking advantage of Internet banking. Best regards, Nick.

Des Villar 4 years ago

BPI is the best customer service oriented bank in the country in terms of deposit and withdrawals..

Metrobank is the most stable bank, when you want to save alot without having a problem this is for you..

BDO is offerings are somewhat mediocre, customer service is very biased, they are angels when you are depositing, but kinda rude when you are withdrawing, also seen their tellers being rude in low-middle class customers

Larry 4 years ago

Thanks to Ms. Nera and Nick for you suggestions.

Nick, I already activated my account before going here and just gave my card to my wife. If I had been informed better, I wouldn't enroll on their program.

As a follow up, I received some emails from BPI and they were insisting that what happened was a miscommunication. And one solution they were offering is for my wife to just send me a withdrawal slip and send it back to her so that she can do the withdrawals. Of course, I told them it is too inconvenient and impractical. They offered some solutions and even asked for my wife's name and my contact number but after a week of waiting and almost 3 weeks of communication with them, it seems that they are not interested in helping me out anymore. So much for what I have read here for them being the best customer service oriented bank in the Philippines.

Arlene 4 years ago

BPI GAVE ME A HARD TIME when I arrived here in Singapore!!! I wasn't able to use my BPI Express Teller International debit card in ATM machines. All it says in the machine is THERE IS A SYSTEM FAULT AT YOUR BANK. THIS TRANSACTION CANNOT BE PROCESSED. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR BANK. After losing a lot of phone credit while waiting on their perpetually busy international hotline, I was able to finally get my account activated after talking to a phone banker. Yes it may be a helpful security measure to some, but what about for the majority? It was certainly a big hassle for me. I had no choice but to borrow money from someone while my account was not yet activated and I cannot get through to their phonebanker due to busy lines. I was able to withdraw from my BDO Kabayan Savings without a fuss. Unfortunately, I had the wrong decision of keeping most of my money in the BPI account when I was in the Phils.

bless 4 years ago

Good day! which is better when it comes to employment, BPI or Metrobank?

ronald 4 years ago

metro bank is better, when your using smart money, way ahead.

Nick 4 years ago

hi arlene, i believe that was just but temporary for BPI to have done that, I don't know if it was a system upgrade or something but I guess your account was affected albeit temporarily.

Alvin Asingua 4 years ago

i love this site u can view your account balance and your last 60 days transactions..

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monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

Nice write up. I'm super interested about how things work in other countries. Thank you!

Lhide 4 years ago

Hi Nera,

Would like to ask which is best in terms of housing loan?

Buzz 4 years ago

BPI's BEST: no interbranch fees, lowest interest rate in credit cards, faster OTC processing, widest network of ATM's, and the only bank open during typhoons.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 4 years ago Author

Hi Lhide, both the housing loan interest rates offered by BDO and BPI Family are among the best rates. As of March 2012, BDO topped other commercial/universal banks in loans (all types), so BDO's rates and loan rules must be good. BPI Family is a savings bank, so it's not in that loan list. BPIF however tops all other savings banks in assets, etc.

Put time on analyzing whether you opt for a fixed interest rate or one with repricing period. A fixed interest rate for the entire life of the loan will assure you that you're going to pay the same monthly amortization all throughout the years.

The attraction of the repricing option is a possible lower rate, but there's a big risk here -- what about if current market rates increase? Then you'll be slapped with much higher monthly amortization.

Consider borrowing from Pag-ibig -- it beats the banks in rates and rules, such as prepayment without penalties. The paperwork may be stricter and frustrating at times, but it will be worth it.

sherville 4 years ago

BPI is the best for me.. W/ all that have been mentioned and comments regarding customer service, tellers and all. One thing that has not been mentioned that in terms of their office uniforms and design of their bank, they are the best. And I admired them most if I have some inquiries, I just can email them and not to call their hotline coz of high call volume unless it's urgent then I have to wait. The BPI Expressteller serves as a debit card, touch screen pcs for withdrawals, deposits and payments. They can also provide credit card w/o applying as long as you have an account w/ them. As far as I can remember, I have read an article on line that as of 1st quarter of 2012 in terms of atm machines, no. of branches, net income and market capitalization BPI topped them all. If equitable pci bank did not merged w/ BDO, this will be my 2nd best bank. I have some doubts and speculations regarding the merging of the two banks. But of course, it's all about business.

Go BPI 3 years ago

Out of all the banks. The best so far in my book is BPI. I would rave on and on about how wonderful this bank is. =)

precious 3 years ago

Good day! which is better when it comes to employment, BPI or Metrobank?

ernie 3 years ago

i like Bpi low intrest rate on credit card ,housing loan ,and best atm card.

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi ernie, yes, the 2.75% offered by BPI Classic is unique in the local credit card industry and the 3.4% offered by BPI Mastercard credit cards are lower than industry rates.

BPI cards also do not impose overlimit fees and their cash advance fee rate is tiered, charging only 300 pesos for lower cash advance amounts. Other banks charge 700 pesos or more even for low amounts. Nevertheless, card holders should avoid using the cash advance route. They should prepare and use the Credit-to-Cash route.

Nick 3 years ago

Hi nera, BPI's credit-to-cash is the way to go instead of cash advance, the interest rate ranges from 1 to 1.5% only, proceeds will be credited to client's account the following day.

Mike 3 years ago

Opened an account with bdo, their place looked nice, clean and the tellers looked professional, but soon found the service to be poor, every time you go to a different branch it feels like you're at a totally different company, every movement they required a charge. Deposit or withra,w charge charge charge if it's not the same branch. As for credit card, I got my credit card easy with bdo and the fraudulent online purchases came as easy as well, 3 months now and I'm still dealing with the 20 fraudulant airline tickets which were purchased on my card. Bdo requires 75 days investigation, are you kidding me? Customer service on the phone were of no help either i just ended up fighting with them. Bdo is pure money making evilness. Opened bpi they don't act like a separate branch is a different company, they have an app for my iphone so i can easily check my transactions. No deposit fees. Note, I'm a balikbayan from the states, my expectations are quite high and bdo falls short.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Nick, yes, thanks a lot for the info. Yah, I've been using this scheme since it was introduced. And it really helps because of the low rate. Sometimes I use the tuition and balance transfer schemes whenever they have promo rates. Also, I think my constant use of these schemes have prompted them to increase my credit limit by so much.

Thanks again for visiting from time to time

Kaira Llantos 3 years ago

Which of the three do you think is the best in terms of foreign exchange rates and other banking transactions related to online shops?

JRfacs 3 years ago

I use BPI bank for 5 years and their services are excellent. also their online banking is awesome. Branch to Branch ATM credit transfers as well as E.P.S.(EXPRESS PAYMENT SYSTEM) are all free!

Red 3 years ago

BPI credit cards are the most secure among other CCs because of the chip cards... I believe, they are the only local bank that offers that kind of technology. Moreover, BPI is the innovator in the banking industry. Cash accept machines, BEA, online banking, name it... BPI pioneered them.

Nick 3 years ago

More to come from BPI, very technology driven, accessible 24/7 in every channel imaginable, also check out their bpi app in android or ios, simple yet very convenient, best part, you can transfer to any account you want real time ...

jacy 3 years ago

I am planning to open an account and I am choosing whether I will have BPI or Metrobank.Pls. help

GERARD 3 years ago

I have always been curious about something. Let's say I have $10000 coming from outside the country. The only place I could convert this much to peso is thru banks (or should you suggest somewhere else?). I checked the internet and found out that BDO has slightly higher Dollar Buying Rate than BPI, a difference of 5 cents per dollar. So that's extra 500 pesos if I sell my dollar to BDO rather than BPI.

But, I haven't seen the buying rates from other banks like Metrobank and smaller banks.

Anyone here can suggest which bank (or which establishment, if not banks) I should sell my dollars safely?


EJ 3 years ago

BPI ftw! customer service is excellent!

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Gerard, you can exchange your dollars about 2k dollars at a time at money changers inside malls or near malls or near banks. If you're in the Alabang area, there's a Czarina inside Alabang Town Center. After converting your money into peso, you can walk to a BPI bank inside the same mall to deposit. There's also a Czarina near the corner of DeLaRosa and Makati Avenue, which are near a lot of banks. There's at least one Sanry's in the Glorietta/Greenbelt area. There's a Czarina at the Makati Cinema Square along Chino Roces (formerly Pasong Tamo), near corner Arnaiz Ave (formerly Pasay Road). There's a Sanrys at Robinsons Galleria. There's a Czarina in Cubao Farmers.

In other places, there are always money changers that offer better rates. You can visit , and then check their CHAT section -- people are asking exchange rates there -- then you can compare if the exchange rate quoted by the money changer near you is competitive.

In the Ermita area, the ones recommended are Naila, Edzen, Sheeha, El Fhada...

By the way, Czarina and Naila's have a service wherein they deposit your money into your bank account, but I haven't tried it. You might want to explore it.

Ladyluck 3 years ago

Metrobank for me is the best a most stable bank, they are very secured too. Teller is fast in customer service and professional. Queing on the counter is fast too even without electronic bank machines that issue number and transaction like BPI.

BPI on the other hand for me i dis not had a good exp. I happen to buy something online and had to pay to a BPI account. First i had to ask if the account was savings or family bank which is inconvinient for me. Second was yes there is an electronic touch machine that you will key in the name and account but won't help either to hasten the long wait. Tellers are not exactly fast to respond and not all counters are filled with tellers most seats are idle. It took me an hour and a half just to pay so the electronic touch machine did not serve any purpose for me and my time. Unlike in MetroBank the tellers respond quickly with prompt service. The 20mins wait is better than 1 and a half hour.

BDO for me is the worse, i had a friend from japan who had amex and ha to buy an electronic item in sm. it took him 2-5hrs just to clarify is card info. Yet the only thing they could not determine was the zip code which was already correctly given on and on. It was a hassle and the teller really did not know how to serve well even on phone. Tellers of BDO is not as professional as those i see from MetroBank, BPI, China Bank, Allied, and Hsbc. It seems they hire tellers that are not well educated enough to respond quickly, accurately and timely. They have many tellers but most are not courteous too, they don't even know how greet well with a smile. Typically,sales ladies are way better than how they treat their customers inside their bank. BDO for me is just a bank for those who loves shopping in sm malls or was expecting longer. Banking hours. Yet longer banking hours means lousy service.. And more hassle. Look at Metrobank their tellers are not overloading in every brancj yet they can multi task like a Pro.

BPI on the other hand is also good for people who wanted to save like students which i guess their atm membership fee is as low as 200php-300php. Unlike MetrobBank which has. 2000php maintaining balance. :)

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Philip88 and Ladyluck, yes, Landbank is the country's 4th biggest bank in terms of assets, so it's also a good bank to patronize. But the Top 3 -- BDO, Metrobank and BPI -- are usually the favorites because they have a lot of branches, and they're in places accessible to more people.

I think Landbank has more branches in the provinces, as countryside development is one of Landbank's goals.

No matter if I want to patronize Landbank, I can't because there's no branch near where I am. There's only one branch in Muntinlupa, and there are many good banks nearer my place than Landbank.

As to customer service, my take is that the quality varies depending on the day and the kind of service being sought. There are times you're not served well, and there are times you feel so great about their assistance. Generally, I have had great experiences with BDO and BPI. I like BDO's Xoom, Kabayan, Internet banking, mall banking, cash card and payment services. I like BPI's local-card credit-to-cash facility, 24-hour deposit machines, BPI Easy Saver and Internet banking. Access to BDO and BPI atm machines is also good.

I found Metrobank useful when it accepted an institution-issued check payment for my child's tuition, as the other school-affiliated bank accepted cash only.

What we try to do is choose which banks fulfill our needs well.

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Katarina, as of today June 13, 4:15 PM, based on info on their websites, 1 euro is equal to:

BPI 54.29 pesos

PNB 55.14

RCBC 56.3976

BDO 56.60

Czarina 57.10

Nailas 57.23

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

As of June 13, 4:38 PM, 1 US dollar equals:

BPI = 42.71 pesos

PNB = 42.75

RCBC = 42.75

BDO =42.95

Czarina = US dollar not published; call them

Naila's = 43

peter 3 years ago

Don't know about Metrobank. But between BPI and BDO the former is way far ahead when it comes to customer service. In my experience, BPI offers plenty of chairs for clients while waiting to be called. It never charges interbranch deposit. BDO is just way to greedy milking its depositor of P50.00 per 50k deposit or less.

ambic 3 years ago

I usually encountered arrogant tellers in bdo and bpi. If you want exceptional service, choose chinabank or sterling bank of asia.

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Peter, Metrobank also uses a number system and has chairs for customers. Yes, I think BPI's BEA machine is the first of its kind in the Philippines, and its decision to stop charging interregional deposit fee is a great move.

Max 3 years ago

Bdo Robinson Manila wlang kwenta services may account nko dko pa rin mkuha remittance ko they told me to go to my branch,1 -3 hrs pghihintay b4 u can get ur remittance, wla pang dollars available, deposit n withdrawal may charges if not sa branch wer u open ur account

May Mei 3 years ago

I agree with all of you who comment for BPI... such a nice custormer service not unlike with BDO and Metrobank.... I had open with those two banks which is BDO and Metrobank but unfortunately I was disappointed the teller was a lousy and not accommodating the customers well not unlike BPI... and when my friend tells me, that BPI was the great one and I've been hearing a lot of good feedback in terms of their services... I just drop by in their branch near to us and ask for requirements despite of their strictness in having u qualified it's better and you can trust all the way.... BPI was the secured savings account for me... very convenient and they are all SMILE at you every time you about to approach them.,....

disappointed 3 years ago

BPI very disappointing, everything is so time consuming. very few tellers. I wanted to stop credit card services, but needs to complete many requirements that it really eats up my time.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

I frequently go to different branches of BDO, BPI and Metrobank and other banks to do various transactions, and they're all similar in the fact that only 2 or 3 tellers are there to service customers.

For all these big and popular banks, there are also peak hours and peak days depending on their locations. Avoid going there during lunch hours, first and last business days of the month and 14th or 15th of the month.

For BPI clients, you can use their Instant Credit Cash Deposit Machines. They even have cardless deposit machines (Bring atm card numbers, in addition to account numbers). They have deposit machines for checks. They also have BPI Express Centers for instant credit card services and basic account openings.

If you want instant over-the-counter service most of the time, look for a reliable savings bank -- I go to two trusted savings banks, and many times, I get to be serviced immediately because there are no other customer waiting. You even get to be the Star of the Moment because you're the only one there to be served, so you get all the greetings from the guards to the tellers.

The disadvantages of smaller savings banks are they have only few branches and only few atm machines. Also, if you use these smaller banks, deposit only up to 500k pesos, the maximum coverage by PDIC insurance.

lj 3 years ago

I like the online banking of PNB hassle free...

JustAThought 3 years ago

The most important thing to be sure of is that the company u r considering is financially strong one that is going to remain in the long term in the banking business over the long haul. Take a big look on the assets of the bank it owns for one. Dont get enticed by bank who offers high interest earning on deposits the truth of the matter is its one way of strategy of getting more customers to open an account. But those hu remain minimal interest are those who are stable in managing their clients money. Second is that in banking u dont just approves a loan for the sake of booking it. The more scrutiny a bank is the more it is that they value more on the capability of client to pay so as no past due is recorded. No past due or unsettled loan would mean rare case on bank closure and so on. As far as i know metrobank is the closest thing i got on conservative banking. i sure know that polite greeting would means a lot but hu cares just secure my money so that i can sleep with no worries!

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi JustAThought, thanks for your comments. Agree with you on your points. Yes, Metrobank is stable. Always 2nd or 3rd top bank in assets, capital, deposits over the years

jen 3 years ago

i'd go for bpi too:) can't wait for its branch of the future..very prudent as well..didn't invest in lehman company..doesn't approve credit cards and loans that easy because bpi has a higher criteria than the rest of the local banks..i've heard that the other banks keep on pirating bpi employees because they are better trained..a teller in bpi can become an officer in bdo faster than a long-time bdo employee (well, just proved this when i saw 2 bpiers already working in bdo in our area alone but i could guess bpi's still a better employer) but of course all of the positives and negatives of the 3 main banks are not always the same in every branches..but all in all, id still prefer bpi.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Jen, thanks for your comment. Am happy you're also knowledgeable about banks because you know about the need to be prudent and how BPI is being prudent. That's interesting -- about bank employee training and hiring. I guess those 2 former BPIers realized they can move up more quickly if they apply for higher positions at BDO and have better benefits and salaries. Anyway, we can say that these 2 banks offer good employment opportunities. Thanks again for commenting. More blessings for you!

nick 3 years ago

hi, jen is right, other banks particularly bdo and china pirate bpi officers rather than train their own guys, they find the training of bpi officership program better than their own, many can attest to that ...

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi nick, thanks a lot for checking this blogpost from time to time, and then commenting...

ryan 3 years ago

Im proud to be a BPI employee....:-)

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi ryan, that's great! It's always nice to hear of employees liking their employers -- it means these companies are good to their employees.

John Cardenas 3 years ago

I would like to find out which local bank has the best interest rate for a dollar account whether it be savings or time deposit. I currently have an ATM dollar savings account, but it doesn't seem to earn as expected. Any advice on this?

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi John, savings rates, whether in peso or dollar, have really been falling over the years, so savings accounts now are just to preserve funds (if inflation rate is not considered), or preserve part of the funds (if inflation is considered). But having a dollar account with low interest rate is better than none. Of course, you can always put your money in other investment instruments, like mutual funds, but you need to put some attention into these funds.

For higher time deposit rates, choose savings banks over commercial banks, like BPI Family.

Jellee 3 years ago

Hi Nera! this is a great post. anyways, i like BPI and Metrobank, their bank tellers know what CUSTOMER SERVICE mean, they treat customers well and willing to explain and answer any queries you have. unlike BDO tellers they don't even know how to smile, some of them are even rude... for me, the way you treat customers is also a factor.

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Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Jellee, thanks for taking the time to comment. BDO is the biggest Philippine bank now, so their tellers might have gotten this fact into their head in a bad way, as if saying "we're busy, we're tired, and if you don't like it here, we don't care; you can always move to the other banks, and we won't mind a bit."

anonymores 3 years ago

Big FAN and have been loyal to BPI for several years but after what happened I decided to switch banks and go back to BDO. Eastwest Bank by Filinvest and Chinabank Savings are promising banks in thePhilippines.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi anymores, thanks for your comment. Yah, sometimes things happen and our banks fail us. And true indeed, Eastwest and Chinabank Savings are growing fast, and they're both powered by malls.

Nick 3 years ago

Hi Nera, im curious, it seems it was not clear what does anonymores mean, really, what does he mean with "what happened" to BPI?

Salidumay 3 years ago

Yes that's correct BPI has an excellent customer service whether in the branch, phone banking and social media. I recently downloaded BPI bankers app on apple store and was amazed of how dedicated they are with customer service not just that even their twitter account is superb!

A very dynamic bank that caters with different class of society (target market) like BPI (main) , BPI-Family Savings Bank, BPI-Direct Savings Bank, BPInoy, BPI-Globe BanKO, BPI Asset Management and etc., .

BPI exerted much effort through innovation. I like the real time cash deposit machine which you can credit cash even on a weekend. The sad part is that BPI has few full bank operations on a weekend (Shangri-La only). I hope that someday they will operate full banking operations in Ayala Malls during the weekend soon.

It's a conservative bank that evolves with each generation..

Continue innovating BPI.

165 years of banking and counting? I believe BPI can only do that.

KimmyDora 3 years ago

For me BDO is the best! Kce ito lang ang bangko na open kapag sabado at linggo. Yun nga lang laging sooooooooooooooobraaaang haba ng pila. aabutin ka lang ng 30 minuto o 1 oras kakaantay. Kung saan may SM tyak may BDO at longer banking hours pa. Okay din ang online banking at mobile app nila mas maganda at malinaw inavigate unlike sa iba. Siguro kaya dahil masungit ang mga bank officers nila kce overworked na sila. Panahon na rin sigurong maglagay ng realtime cash/cheque/coin deposit machine ang BDO.. para nde mastress ang mga staff nila.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi nick, thanks for checking from time to time. I hope anymores reads your comment so she/he can elaborate. When I read his/her comment, I just assumed quickly that an expectation (usually from a long-time client) was not met. Could be a crossed check with a little defect (no risk at all to the bank) and was not accepted for deposit.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi KimmyDora, I agree with you about the need for BDO to put up real-time-credit cash deposit machines and envelope deposit machines for checks. Yes, BDO has been winning clients with its Saturday, Sunday and holiday service hours at the malls.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 3 years ago Author

Hi Salidumay, like your name, I'm from Northern Phils. Yes, BPI is indeed an innovator in the banking industry. I'm also glad that BPI Globe Banko reduced their service costs, removing the fees for deposit transactions to own accounts. They also offer free insurance depending on average balance.

Derp 2 years ago

I heard MetroBank doesn't allow overseas bank wires, like you have to go in there in person and do it. MetroBank also offers real-time remmittance, so if you're in Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, and some places in Europe/Asia you can deposit cash and it's funded to that account immediately which is pretty awesome

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Thanks, Derp, for that helpful info. Far East Bank was as fast with its Philippines-bound remittance service in Saudi before it was acquired by BPI.

derp 2 years ago

Found some more info

UaeXchange has branches worldwide and does 'Flashremit' to Metrobank and Asia United Bank. This means immediately funding the bank account in either dollars or pesos. Xoom also does instant Metrobank account loading, and if you're in Canada can pay online to fund accounts too (Metrobank).

Not sure anybody else offers that besides MB and AUB. Foreigners I know all use Unionbank, which I've never heard of.

KateGal 2 years ago

hello i would like to ask which of the three banks is the best to open an ATM account for working students? in which has the lowest membership fee, lowest maintaining balance and where the withdrawal and deposit charge are the lowest.

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Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Hi derp, thanks a lot for sharing useful info. Xoom also remits directly to BDO accounts. I prefer though getting my Xoom payments in US dollars at BDO counters and then exchanging them with money changers such as Czarina and Sanry's that give more favorable exchange rates.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Hi KateGal, I recommend that you open a BPI Easy Saver account. This account charges 5 pesos for every atm withdrawal and for every atm balance inquiry at BPI atm machines, but it does not require you to maintain a balance in your account -- perfect for students who usually need all the money they earn. Paying 5 pesos for every withdrawal is better than paying 300 pesos if the maintaining balance is not maintained for 2 consecutive months.

But if you're sure you're able to maintain some amount in your account, and you don't like paying 5 pesos for every withdrawal and every inquiry, you can get a BPI Family atm account. This requires only 1,000 pesos for maintaining balance and your atm withdrawal and inquiry at a BPI machine are free.

A BDO atm account requires you to maintain 2000 pesos in your account for maintenance. China Bank also offers an atm account with a 1000-peso maintaining balance requirement. You can also find China Bank branches at SM malls. If you can find a China Bank Savings branch near you, then it's better because they offer a 500-peso-maintaining-balance account.

kateGal 2 years ago

thank you so much for the info it has really helped me narrow down my options.

r.a 2 years ago

bdo siguradong walang bankrupt

a.g.c. 2 years ago

As an OFW, BPI is the best for me. I can convert my dollars to pesos using bpiexpressonline.

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Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Hi a.g.c., yes, that's one of their latest innovations. I just hope they use a favorable exchange rate. I bank with both BPI and BDO, but I exchange my dollars at Czarina or Sanry's.

Eugenie 2 years ago

BPI fan here!!! XD

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Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Thanks for commenting, Eugenie!

Jim Reeed 2 years ago

Just my 2 cents worth

I was a Metrobank customer until I got fed up and switched to BPI

For the following reasons:

BPI is not one large bank but rather it is a collection of semi-independent local branches. Why is this important to me. You can only conduct transactions at your "Home" branch. So for example if I need to do a withdrawal or deposit while away from home they have to fax the paperwork to my home branch, The wait for this is sometimes horrible.

They refuse to allow you to VIEW dollar accounts online. I don't mean conducting transactions I just mean passive viewing. I argued with a VP of theirs for months. He kept blaming it on AMLA but that's not true.

Neither of these 2 issues are a problem at BPI and I have been very happywith PBI since switching.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Thanks, Jim, for sharing your experiences with both Metrobank and BPI. I'm surprised that in this age of technology, Metrobank still does transactions and implement restrictions like what you described. Thanks again and happy banking.

JR 2 years ago

For me BPI is the best, second is BDO

Arnel Zobel de Ayala 2 years ago

Yahh great!! thanks for supporting us.

coz you know guys "We take you further." We dont just find ways. We offer 24/7 bankings any time, anywhere.. "Lets make it easy" coz we want "Make the best happen." ;) thanks guys.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Thank you, Arnel Zobel de Ayala, for commenting

MJ 75 2 years ago

BDO: We find ways.....ways? what kind of ways? please clarify your slogan. it has a double meaning. :P

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Hi MJ75, you know of course that BDO and all other banks publicly promote their efforts to find ways to fill the banking needs of their target customers.

But in reality, they do only those that are profitable to them.

And of course, that's how for-profit business achieve their profit goals.

Vanz 2 years ago

Hi Nera,

I want to know which those 3 banks will give you cc or will easily approve your cc application if you already have existing account on them! I heard BPI will automatically send you cc if you have 40k savings account, how true it is?I'm planning to get Citi Cc.

Please advise, thanks

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

I think Citi cards are easier to get, as I always see their marketing reps at supermarkets and malls.

BDO cards are more difficult to get.

BPI accepts applications for a secured starter card.

If you like, get a BDO or BPI card, as they have these installment products, where you can convert straight purchases to installment modes with lower interest rates using Credit to Cash (BPI) or Easy Pay (BDO). BDO also has just launched its new Simple Installment program.

BPI and BDO also offer virtual cards to keep your cards secure for online purchases.

The last time I had a Citi card, it's Citi that decides whether the cardholder deserves a conversion or not. But Citi gives higher credit limits more quickly.

RCBC is also offering a secured credit card.

Vanz 2 years ago

Hi Nera,

Thank you so much, I have friend in college who happens to be a BPI fan. She said the bank sent her the credit card after openning a savings account in BPI. I asked her what account it was she said passbook!when I checked Citi' website you should have 250k-350k gross annual income!

Kentthegreet 2 years ago

Please consider customer service as well.

I'll give two thumbs up for BDO. All their non-teller staffs can be converted into working teller all the time. Big help of servicing the long teller queue. Longest is 5 mins. With BPI, I got horror experience of more than an hour queued in line to at least 2 of their branches in Makati, mall and Ayala. That's miles shy compared to BDO. Metrobank is second to BDO. Maybe they have few clients?

Titus 2 years ago

East West Bank offers the shortest USD/PHP spread.

Eliezer Navera profile image

Eliezer Navera 2 years ago

In my previous years of having an small amount deposited in several bank branches I observed that they do not care on the convenience of depositors or clients like me. The bank let the depositors standing on line for a long time almost an hour or even more. There are no seats. However, in Metrobank there are seats and number assigned for you. Metrobank is my bank.

sa tatlong bangko ang metro bank matapobre eh paano pala kmi na self imployed d pwd mag savings sa metro bank na yan kc wala daw aq tin# eh ksalanan ko ba na wala sa minimum sahod ko pero nakakapag ip 2 years ago

Metro bank ang matapobreng bangko,

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

I've observed that all the big banks have long lines in their most popular branches (those located in office centers). The trick is to use the atms for cash and check deposits, and if possible, to go to less-patronized branches for other transactions. If you have to go to a certain popular branch, go at opening time. I have gone to many BPI, BDO and Metrobank branches, and all of them have long lines at certain times. But it's true that many Metrobank and BPI branches have seats and numbers for waiting clients and BDO lets their customers wait standing in lines. I get the feeling that BDO does this (making clients wait standing) so that the tellers are pressured to work faster.

James Brown 2 years ago

"sa tatlong bangko ang metro bank matapobre eh paano pala kmi na self imployed d pwd mag savings sa metro bank na yan kc wala daw aq tin# eh ksalanan ko ba na wala sa minimum sahod ko pero nakakapag ip 4 weeks ago

Metro bank ang matapobreng bangko,"

For whoever post this comment,

As far as I know, ALL BANKS or most of the banks today requires Tax Identification Number of the account holders to secure the account they may have on their respective banks. Im a BPI account holder for years, when I updated my signature card few months ago, CSR asked my TIN. I guess there's no pain in complying those petty issues (on requirements) as long as our banks give the best security on the hard earned money we have in our accounts.

Nick 2 years ago

Hi Nera, it has been awhile, reading the latest comments, for BPI, the answer to the long queues should be the Cash Accept Machines (CAM), BPI pioneered that and no bank has yet to offer it, this way you need not go through the lines Kentthegreet experienced, as for the Eliezer Navera's comment, BPI have ottomans/seats to wait for your numbered turn which you encode in BEA Machines, you can even book your turn online. For whosoever matapobreng banko is that, one can open a BPI Easy Saver account with no maintaining balance, they will only need an initial P250 deposit and acceptable IDs of course. As far as conveniences are concerned, BPI are the most technologically advanced bar none (think about their online banking, CAMs, BEAs, android/IOS apps etc) being duplicated by his peers. Just my opinion.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

About TIN No. as account opening requirement:

Yes, as James Brown said, all banks require a TIN No. for account opening. Philippine bank regulations (MORB) specify TIN as one of the 11 pieces of basic information that must be provided by people wanting to open a bank account.

We can understand though the feeling of a self-employed individual who is instructed to pay 500 pesos plus 15-peso stamp tax after registering at to get a TIN No.

One remedy is to have your minor child open a bank account -- they are not expected to have a TIN No. -- and then use the account as yours. But paying 515 pesos might be better, for the long term.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Hi Nick, you're a BPI shareholder, aren't you? Just joking. Or maybe not joking. Yes, BPI was first in nearly everything, if not everything. It was even the first bank be established, right?

Indeed, BPI is constantly innovating, and I'm glad that it introduced the BPI Easy Saver. Based on comments on our blogs, many in the Philippines still struggle in maintaining bank accounts. Our Easy Saver posts are one of our most viewed posts.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 2 years ago Author

Yes, BPI's instant credit cash deposit machines are one of their best offers. And even BDO has not decided to offer its own. Maybe BDO wants its clients to make deposits during business hours, meaning go to the mall branches and deposit and shop at the same time.

Andy V. 22 months ago

Hi all,

The girl assigned in the new accounts section at BPI Rotonda Pasig was arrogant, entertained my queries with annoyance.

I hope she reform her ways. I have an a check account at that branch since 2011. All staffs except her are courteous and approachable.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 22 months ago Author

Hi Andy V., I hope too that she recognizes her ugly behavior and starts to interact well with people. I wish too that she's not like that everyday, and that maybe that day you were served by her, she's just going through something difficult in her life or career, and unable to handle it well.

But if she's really a lady with bad attitude everyday, then sooner or later, she'll find herself unemployed.

wings987 19 months ago

By Phil. law, am I allowed to open a bank account on every bank that I prefer. Like for example, am I allowed to keep an account one with BDO, one with BPI, one with Metrobank and so on, with no problem?

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 19 months ago Author

Hi wings987, yes, you can open an account with all the banks that you like. I myself has accounts with 5 banks. As far as I know, there's no law against this. Besides, who is able to know you have many different bank accounts other than you and any other person in your confidence?

It takes a court order for banks to release information about their depositors and it takes frequent suspicious movements of huge amounts of money for banks to report suspicious banking activities to the BSP Anti-Money Laundering Law Council.

Even with the same bank, you can open several accounts (different account types).

Be sure to comply with the maintaining-balance requirements so they're maintained well and that you're not charged with below-maintaining balance penalties.

One good account is the BPI Save-Up, where you can set up an automatic transfer every week or month from another BPI account so you can save.

Nera Woods profile image

Nera Woods 19 months ago Author

Correction: Should be "I myself have accounts..."

wings987 19 months ago

Your reply is very much appreciated.

Tera_97 19 months ago

I love BDO for its convenience, since they have lots of branches, atm machines and open till 6pm which gives us ample time to deposit or make a withdrawal. But in terms of handling customer... rating it from 1 to 10, 10 is the highest.. I will rate it as 5. Its true that their service is slow, sometimes there is only one teller that handles our transaction. But there are times na full-force.. but the service is still slow.. kasi they tend to chit-chat.. check their text... i don't mind kung minsan lang.. pero madalas kasi. And last straw is.. they DO love to argue with customer.. which is so sad. And when that customer decided not to argue back and he/she is out of hearing distance they will chit-chat about that customer, boasting their "victory" against that argument. I have a BDO account but I love BPI more, lalo na ngayon. They are much more advance. they have a waiting area lounge that has seats to make customers comfortable while waiting, their tellers are focused on their work and best of all if the customer has complaints, they do their best to solve the problem.. not argue with them.

Layag 18 months ago

Even 80% of my alotment goes to BDO USD I ask my wife to transfer it immediately to my BPI peso account. I find myself queuing for one hour imagine it is in BDO iloilo and gen luna.

I applied for a credit card but not approve, they tell me that I dont have land line number (my place was outside the city) now in the middle of the mall and and walk ways I find lots of people offer to open a credit card from BDO.

Applying for loans ca I applied for a credit card but not approve, they tell me that I dont have land line number (my place was outside the city)

applying for car loans and house is not so easy to tese bank, I dont find my way to get an approval, even the person that I talk with, feels not interested, thinking that maybe because im not waring neck tied attire. With car keys on my side. BPI is so pleased to serve you, no hiden charges.

SM manila, if my company doesn't required, I will never open from this bank, arrogant employee. Beside the service is not FINDING THEIR WAYS to improve, contradictory to its slogan we find ways,

I am not hating Bdo, but the serves I do, i have an account in Bpi, rcbc china bank, and PNB

Mr Criminology profile image

Mr Criminology 12 months ago from Philippines

BPI has a savings account product which I like, It is called Easy Saver, Aside from its very low initial deposit of P300 if I am not mistaken, It has no maintaining balance which is great. But if you prefer Metrobank savings account, Here is how to open an account

rita 5 months ago

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nej 3 months ago

Hi, do you have any idea about where is the best bank to apply for a mutual or equity fund? is it bdo or bpi? thank you.

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