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Currency - The Philippine Peso and where to exchange


The currency in the Philippines is the Philippine peso (or officially piso), divided into 100 centavos (officially centimo). Its international abbreviation is PHP. Currently (April 2012), the U.S. dollar is worth about 42 pesos, and the euro about 56 pesos. Current are coins of 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos and 1 and 5 pesos, and bank notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos. Five and ten peso note is no longer printed, but still legal tender. 




In 1997, all old Philippine currency was replaced by new banknotes and coins, which are now the only ones valid. 

In December 2010, a new series of banknotes was announced. The old notes will remain valid for at least three more years. New coins have been announced for 2012.



Money Changers in Manila are plentiful!
There are lots of Money Changers in Manila, just about every third shop on either Adriatico or Mabini Streets is a Manila money changer. Before you head off into your Philippines holiday you will need to convert your hard earned holiday money into Philippine Pesos.

Just about all foreign denominations are catered for, with the more popular being US Dollar, The Euro and the British Pound.

What do I take – Travellers Cheques, Cash, Credit Cards or ATM access?

It is important to remember that the best place for exchanging money in the Philippines is Manila. Without a doubt you have more options which in turn lead to more competition.

Travellers Cheques, while great to use in Western countries which are geared to exchange them, they are not that readily exchanged in the Philippines. Yes you can change them at the banks and major hotels, however the rates of exchange offered are not that good. Once you move into the provinces you will have a lot of difficulty exchanging travellers Cheques.

Cash is king, without a doubt. Not only will all banks and hotels exchange cash to Pesos, but they will in some instances accept US dollars instead of Pesos. You can also change cash readily at money changers Manila.

Credit Cards are accepted in all major department stores, hotels, resorts throughout the Philippines. Make sure you do not have an international barring on your credit card before you leave home, you do not want any nasty surprises when you come to pay your bill.

ATM access is readily available in Manila and major cities throughout the islands. The withdrawal limit tends to change from bank to bank with the more common withdrawal limit being P4,000 you can keep withdrawing up to your daily limit of your card however be a ware that fees and charges will apply for each transaction.

The Visa / Plus ATM’s have a limit of P4,000 per transaction. Whereas the MasterCard / Cirrus ATM’s have up to P40,000 per limit. But it is important to remember that each bank will have its own limit and the above is really a guide.

In summary I always bring cash and my credit card. I exchange the cash in Manila and use my credit card for major purchases like accommodation.

Best Rates – Banks or Money Changers Manila?

The best rates for money exchange Manila are without doubt the money changers in Manila. In general they are anywhere from 10% to 20% better than the banks. Make sure you shop around at the manila money changers to see is offering the best exchange rates for your cash. The larger Manila exchanges quite often have a list of there exchange rates posted on the front window, if they don’t just pop in and ask how much for XYZ currency

Which Money Changer in Manila?

It can be quite a daunting task with so many money changers in Manila to choose from. How do you know which one is best? They will always change your money, so long as you have a common denomination to exchange. One thing you will not come across is a lack of money changers in Manila.

The money changer Manila I always use who has consistently the highest exchanges rates, is Edzen Money Changer. You will find Edzen Money Changer on Mabini Street between Pedro Gil and Salas Street which is just a block from Robinsons Shopping Centre; it has a yellow sign on the front with red writing. Edzen is always busy and like most places in the Philippines has an armed guard standing at the entrance. Once inside compare the rate and make sure you are happy with it. There are seats on either side of the small room with two ladies behind bars at the end. Go up to the ladies and confirm the exchange rate by asking how much for US Dollars? She will then confirm the rate for you and slide a plastic tray under the bars for you to place your US Dollars on. When you place your US Dollars on the plastic tray advise her of the amount you have placed on the plastic tray. She will give you a number which will be on the tray, now just take a seat and wait with everyone else. Te process does not take all that long.

When your number is called go back up to the counter and show the lady your number. She will ask you how much you changed, let her know and she will pass the tray under the bars to you with the exchanged money now in Pesos. The tray will also have a small slip of paper like a docket which will have the amount of US Dollars you requested to be changed times by the rate of exchange that you accepted and the amount of Pesos you exchanged to.

Make sure you count all your Pesos before you leave once you have verified that it all adds up make sure you put your bundle of Peso away from prying eyes before you walk outside of Edzen Money Changer.

A good thing is to ensure you have a lot of smaller denomination of Pesos for Taxi fares etc. especially when you are in the provinces where changing large Peso notes can be difficult.

If you get to Edzen and it is way to crowded, just make a note of there exchange rate and go to another money changer in Manila, in fact there is one almost next door to it. Sometimes they will match the Edzen rate. Try to avoid Friday afternoons it is usually peak hour for Edzen.

Note of Caution

Be aware of anyone coming up to you in the street and giving you a great exchange rate. Usually they will fleece you they are experts at it. They will even count the money out to you however through slight of hand you will be ripped off. Be grateful that all you lose is your money in some instances people have been mugged. I have to repeat this, if anyone offers to change your foreign currency into Pesos and they have walked up to you in the street do not go with them!

1 comment:

  1. There are lots of medium through which money exchange is possible. I personally find so many place where we can easily exchange our currency.

    ReplyDelete