I’ve been bugging myself for days (and other people too) on my research about a smarter way of transferring money from Paypal to my bank account. This is part of my planning for my upcoming trip by the end of March (El Nido) and end of April (Beijing). And since I don’t have much money in my pocket, my best ally would be planning and research (hint: I’ll be repeating this again).
Why the hell did I mention Paypal?
I mentioned Paypal because it would be my primary source of income when I start travelling. I’ve been trying to earn online and so far it’s doing well. Now, the challenge is to minimize the loss from foreign exchange.
I tried to check if it’s possible to withdraw Paypal to a local Philippine bank (dollar savings account), unfortunately it’s not because the transfer only works on local currency (as of the time of writing).
Check out the equation that I made:
1. Paypal ($) –>Local Bank (PHP) –>Withdraw Overseas(ex: Baht) = 2 Currency Conversions
2. Paypal ($) –>Local Bank ($)–>Withdraw Overseas(ex: Baht) = 1 Currency Conversion (Better)
The only feasible thing for now is option number one. Sucks!!! But if you know some possibility to make option 2 happen, let me know, ok?
Tip: If you’re going to travel long term and you don’t know for how long, then start learning about making money online. And if you don’t have a Paypal account yet, register now. I wish I knew this when I backpacked for six months last 2009.
Since I know that option one is not feasible, I have to find a way to offset some losses. I found a local bank (Unionbank EON) that has no maintaining balance and does not charge a fee if you transfer your Paypal funds (more than P7K and P50 for P6999 below). It seems to be the most viable option for me as of now. The withdrawal fee abroad is also acceptable (P175 or around $3.50).
Tip: Sometimes the best is NOT always the best for YOU(for the time being). Based on what I’ve seen, the best way to save money from your overseas withdrawal is to open an account with HSBC and Citi because they don’t charge a withdrawal fee if you use their ATM machines. But they have humongous initial and maintaining balance requirement that I could not afford. Always remember that “best” is always relative.
Decide and Be Open to Changes
I will sign up for EON for now buy maybe when I get to save enough money to cover for the maintaining balance of HSBC or Citi, then I’ll switch. It’s always good to save more money. A dollar a day goes along way and who know I might be able to save some bucks enough to pay for some cheap flights to Hawaii (wishful thinking).
Aside from Paypal and ATM cards, I also checked some credit cards. I already have an existing Citibank Premier Miles Gold (which I love) but it wouldn’t hurt to get a backup for emergency purposes. I found out that Metrobank has a “no-annual-fee-for-life-card” which is known as the M Free MasterCard. So, I might get one as well to cover for some incidental and unforeseen expenses (which I hope won’t happen).
I could not believe I spent a few days researching about this but as I have mentioned above, planning and research is the ally of poor backpackers.