Pinoy travelers’ best option for buying foreign currencies

*Actual rate on the day of conversion according to XE Currency App:


Top 3: Mabini Street, Manila money changers

Just like you I also had my doubts on the legitimacy (based on the judgment of their shops) of local money changers in Mabini street. Well, I’ve tried it myself, it’s legit and BSP compliant. 

  • Hermosa Money Changer (beside BPI Malate-Mabini branch): TWD 1 = PHP 1.80
  • Moonlight Money Changer (across Cowboy Grill): TWD 1 = PHP 1.85
  • Nikko Forex (beside Hermosa Money Changer): TWD 1 = PHP 1.90


Top 2: ATM withdrawals abroad (BPI and BDO debit cards) 

For only a fee of USD 3.50 for a maximum withdrawal and converted (converts Philippine peso according to your bank’s foreign exchange rate, before taxes and fees) amount of Php5,000 per transaction, my partner and I agreed that this is one of the most convenient ways of converting your money abroad rather than opting for foreign airport money changers. 

So when we withdrew Php5,000 from my BPI debit card in Cathay Bank ATM in Taipei we received TWD 2,684 (or roughly 1 TWD to PHP 1.86) — oh diba convenient, fast, and safe. 

HOWEVER, you should DOUBLE CHECK if the country you are visiting charges foreign bank accounts in every transaction. Taiwan doesn’t. Thailand, like the Philippines charge ATM fees to foreign banks per transaction, so verify if the country you’re visiting does the same sort of ‘extortion’.

Top 1: Banco de Oro foreign exchange (this is not a paid ad)

Exclusive only to Banco de Oro account holders, BDO is the best bank in the Philippines to buy foreign currencies — this is in comparison to BPI, Metrobank, PNB, Security Bank, and EastWest Bank. 

BDO also have the wider variety of foreign currencies other than all major banks in the Philippines. However, if you aren’t buying USD you should notify your local branch first, 4 weeks ahead of your actual trip due to the availability of the currency you are requesting. 

BDO’s Taiwan Dollar rate hovers around PHP 1.76 on a 1.74 XE Currency rate. 


Worst way to convert your PHP

  • Airport money changers
  • Remittance centers abroad 
  • Money changer in malls


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