50 Ways Banks Are Earning From You Through Bank Fees

Here are 50 ways banks are earning from you through bank fees, penalties or charges.

This list is not to condemn banks. We need banks.

This is just to make you aware there are a lot of bank fees and what these fees are, so you can be smart about them.

These bank fees are not only charged in the Philippines -- most of these fees are also charged by banks in other countries.

Here are 50 Ways You're Making the Banks Richer with Bank Fees:


1. Below-maintaining-balance fee
    This is among the most common fees charged by banks, based on complaints online. One OFW wrote to this blog, saying she was charged 300 pesos for 15 months for a total of 4,500. She did not know that the minimum Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB) or maintaining balance was increased.

2. Dormancy fee
    This is common among OFWs who are too busy with their work abroad they forget to remit to their accounts. A savings account becomes dormant if there's no deposit or withdrawal within 2 years. The time frame for a checking account is only one year.

3.  Interregional-branch over-the-counter deposit fee
     It's great to say that BPI, BPI Family, Union Bank, EastWest Bank, Sterling Bank of Asia and some big RCBC branches do not impose this fee.  This is one of the reasons why many online sellers use BPI accounts for collecting payments from their customers. Their customers will not have to pay deposit fees.

4.  Fee for exceeding maximum number of monthly withdrawals for special accounts
      This is usually imposed on higher-interest accounts.

5.  Lost passbook replacement fee

6.  Dollar withdrawal fee (withdrawing more than maximum amount)
7.  Dollar deposit fee (depositing more than maximum amount)

8.  Early account closure fee
    Fee for closing your account within one month from opening date

9.  Bank statement or certification fee  


10.  Another-bank's ATM withdrawal fee
     This is perhaps the most common fees charged by banks, and the most ignored by cardholders ("15 pesos lang naman...").

11.  Another-bank's ATM balance-inquiry fee

12.  Same-bank ATM withdrawal fee for special accounts

13.  Over-the-counter withdrawal fee for ATM accounts
       Banks say your ATM account is ATM-based, so you should use only the ATM for withdrawals.
       Your withdrawal should be free if the machine is out of order, or if you need more than the daily maximum ATM withdrawal amount.

14.  ATM card or debit card replacement fee

15.  Overseas ATM  withdrawal fee
       This usually costs US$3.50 per ATM withdrawal. Some ATMs abroad also charge their own fees.

16.  Overseas ATM balance inquiry fee
       This usually costs US$1.00.

17.  Overseas ATM withdrawal rejection fee
      These fees for overseas withdrawals are in addition to fees charged by some ATMs abroad for foreign-issued ATMs.

18.  Fee for exceeding maximum number of ATM withdrawals (for special debit cards)
       Usually, you are limited to 2 to 4 free ATM withdrawals a month.

19.  Funds transfer to another local bank

20.  Foreign-issued ATM card fee


21.  Cash card or prepaid card over-the-counter deposit fee

22.  Cash card inactivity fee
       Fee for not doing any transaction for more than 12 months

23.  Same-bank cash card ATM withdrawal fee

24.  Another-bank cash card ATM withdrawal fee

25.  Cash card replacement fee

26.  Visa or Mastercard prepaid card annual fee
        This is charged for Visa or Mastercard prepaid cards not linked to a savings account.


27.  Fee for inward remittance from overseas
        Nagbayad ka na sa remittance company sa abroad, may bayad pa sa bangko? Yes!
        In some cases, banks get their remittance fee through their foreign exchange conversion rate.

28.  Fee for outward remittance to overseas

29.  Correspondent bank fee for outward remittance to overseas
30.  Intermediary bank fee for inward remittance to another local bank

31.  Fee for outward funds transfer to another local bank

32.  Fee for incoming funds transfer from another local bank

33.  Fee for funds transfer using debit/credit memo over-the-counter


34.  Returned check fee
       This could range from 2,000 to 2,500 pesos

35.  Stop payment order (SPO) fee
        SPO application fee is usually 200 pesos per check.
        Plus 2,000 pesos for the process of stopping to fund the check
        (this is charged whether funds are sufficient or not)

36.  Fee for depositing a dollar check that was later returned
37.  Check retrieval fee

38.  Over-the-counter check encashment
       (Isn't this free? It has always been, but now some banks want you to deposit the check, not encash over the counter.)

39.  New checkbook fee


40.  Late payment fee
       If your due date is a holiday, Saturday or Sunday, pay before your due date.  
       If you're paying by check, pay several days before to allow for the 3-day to 7-day check clearing period.

41.  Over credit-limit fee
      You spent more than your available credit limit.
      (Why don't the banks decline the card usage? Well, you might sue them for embarrassment or for loss of business opportunity, so they might as well allow you to go over your limit, and just charge you a fee. Isn't that clever?)

42.  Annual fee

43.  Fee for making multiple payments per month
       Fee for making more than 2 or 3 payments to your credit card within a month
       Pinapagod mo raw kasi yong teller nila or yong system nila :)
       Bakit daw hindi ka minsanan lang magbayad? Huh!

44.  ATM cash advance service fee

45.  Over-the-counter cash advance fee

46.  Foreign transaction service fee

47.  Returned check fee (if you used an unfunded check to pay )

48.  Sales slip retrieval fee

49.  Credit card replacement fee

50.  Installment pretermination fee

. Foreign banks usually do not impose maintaining balance requirements for each account. What they use is Total Relationship Balance (TRB), the overall total of the balances of all your bank and investment accounts with them.

. The 50 bank fees above are not the only bank fees charged. There are other bank fees.

Related Posts:
What is Maintaining Balance or Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB)?
Tips for New Checking Account Owners
Below-Maintaining-Balance Penalties for BDO Kabayan Accounts


Enroll in BPI Online Banking While Abroad

Yes, you can enroll in BPI online banking while abroad.

What account can I enroll in online banking?
.   any deposit account with BPI, BPI Family, BPI Europe or BPI Direct
.  BPI credit card

For Express Cash card, loan accounts and other BPI accounts, you can enroll them ONLY after your online banking enrollment has been approved and activated.

What are the steps in enrolling in BPI online banking while abroad?

1.  Go to bpiexpressonline.com

2.  Find "Personal Login" and " Enroll Now"

3.  Click "Enroll Now"

4.  Choose one of these below:

    Enroll an ATM-based BPI, BPI Family Savings, or BPI Direct deposit account
        For clients with ATM-based accounts

    Enroll a Passbook-based BPI or BPI Family Savings deposit account
        For clients with Passbook-based accounts

    Enroll a BPI Europe account
        For clients with BPI Europe accounts

    Enroll a BPI Credit Card account
        For clients with BPI Credit Card

5.  Click "Continue"

6.  You will see "Please let us know where you are residing"
      Choose "Outside the Philippines"

7.  Click "Continue"

8.  You will see Internet Banking Services Agreement.
      Click "I Agree"

9.  Complete Express Online Registration form

  • User ID
  • Password
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • Mother's Complete Maiden Name
  • Email Address
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Account Numbers and Account Types

10.   Review what you have written.

11.  Print the completed form
       If you do not have a printer, select the whole application form, press Ctrl C, and then paste on a blank Microsoft Word page. Save in your USB.

12. Click "Submit"

Take note:
If after submitting, you see a print-ready version of your completed application form, then this is the one that you should print, sign and mail to BPI.

Again, if you do not have a printer, copy the print-ready form, save it in Word and then in USB, then have it printed at an Internet cafe.

13. Sign the printed form and mail to:

BPI Fulfillment Banking Department
9th Floor BPI Card Center
8753 Paseo de Roxas Makati City 1200

14.  After your request is processed, BPI will send you an email advice.

Which BPI accounts can not be enrolled in BPI Online Banking?

  • Peso Passbook accounts
  • Joint AND accounts 
  • In Trust for accounts (ITF accounts)
  • Corporate Accounts
  • Power 5-Bullet (Lump Sum Payment)
  • TF Plus Tax-Dree Repriceable
  • BPI TD Plus Tax-Free
  • Insta-Credit  
Third-Party Accounts that You can Enroll for Funds Transfer

You can enroll third-party accounts only if your own account is an ATM-based account.

These third-party accounts should be Individual Accounts

  • ATM Savings  
  • ATM Checking 
  • Passbook Savings  
  • Maxi  
  • Platinum Savings 
  • Platinum for Kids
  • BPI Direct Savings
  • BPI Direct Checking
  • Pangarap Savings


3 Thrift Banks are in TOP 20 Banks List

Three thrift banks are among the Top 20 banks in the Philippines, based on assets as of September 2017. Each of the three has more assets than several commercial/universal banks.

BPI Family is No. 14, with total assets of more than 265 billion.
PSBank is No. 15, with total assets of more than 221 billion.
RCBC Savings Bank is No. 20 with total assets of more than 110 billion.

Of the TOP 50 banks, 14 are thrift banks. Here are the 14:

14  BPI FAMILY  265.012
15 PSBANK  221.291
20 RCBC SAVINGS    110.291
27 CITY SAVINGS    71.701
34 PNB SAVINGS   46.973
37 STERLING BANK   36.266
38 BANK OF MAKATI   29.312
44 UCPB SAVINGS   18.185
46 HSBC SAVINGS    16.020
47 BPI DIRECT BANKO    14.995

Of these 14 top thrift banks, 9 are subsidiaries of commercial/universal banks:
BPI Family -- subsidiary of the Bank of the Philippine Islands
PSBank -- Metrobank
RCBC Savings Bank -- RCBC
China Bank Savings -- China Bank
City Savings -- Union Bank
PNB Savings -- PNB
UCPB Savings -- UCPB
HSBC Savings -- HSBC
BPI Direct Banko -- Bank of the Philippine Islands

One observation: BPI Family is the only one among the above top thrift banks that does not have its own website. Perhaps because BPI Family's operations are so intertwined with its parent, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), that BPI Family does not need a separate website. Clients of BPI and BPI Family can use any of BPI and BPI Family's ATMs and cash deposit machines without any interbank fees and use the same BPI Express online banking system.

Here's a complete list of the top thrift banks in the Philippines, based on assets

Are there how many thrift banks in the Philippines?



Wells Fargo Bank Philippines

There's a Wells Fargo Bank Philippines, but it's not operating as a regular bank. It does not do banking transactions like accepting deposits, granting loans or making foreign exchanges.
It's a representative bank, doing only promotions and marketing work for the US-based Wells Fargo Bank.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
15th Floor Tower 1, Enterprise Center
6766 Ayala Avenue cor. Paseo de Roxas
Makati City
Phone: 884-8426
Fax: 884-8644

Send Money from the US to the Philippines through Wells Fargo Bank
One service that the US-based Wells Fargo Bank offers is remittance from the US to the Philippines.
Its service is called Wells Fargo ExpressSend®.

Its remittance partners in the Philippines are:
Cebuana Lhuillier
M Lhuillier

First, you go to your Wells Fargo branch and register your recipient in the Philippines. 
Or call 1-800-556-0605.
Provide your recipient's complete name, complete address, phone number (indicate if mobile or landline), bank name and account number if remittance is meant for deposit, bank or remittance company if cash pick-up.
After registration, you can then make your first remittance. 
For your second and subsequent remittance, you can go again to your branch, use the Wells Fargo Phone Bank, or Wells Fargo Online

How much is the money transfer fee?
It's 4 US dollars (for remittance amounts from 25 to 3,000 US dollars)

Use this calculator here to estimate your remittance cost and your remittance amount in pesos.

What is the maximum amount that can be sent from the US to the Philippines?
3,000 US dollars per day if through BDO, BPI, Metrobank or PNB
1,000 US dollars per day if through Cebuana Lhuillier or MLhuillier

Maximum amount that the sender can send per day: $5,000

Maximum amount that the sender can send during any consecutive 30-day period: $12,500

In what currency will the recipient receive the remittance?
In peso

Minimum remittance amount: $25

Would you like to work with Wells Fargo in the Philippines? 
Wells Fargo has a business processing outsourcing (BPO) company in the Philippines named
Wells Fargo Enterprise Global Services, LLC-Philippines.
It provides business processing, corporate, and information technology services to Wells Fargo's customers in the US.

Wells Fargo EGS LLC-Philippines
Uptown Cluster 2 Building
36th Street, Uptown Bonifacio
Taguig City

For job applicants: visit the Wells Fargo Uptown Recruitment Center at the ground floor. One-day application processing. Open from 10 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday

There are 11 representative offices in the Philippines, including Wells Fargo Bank 
The others are:

The Bank of New York Mellon
Bank of Singapore Ltd. Philippine Representative Office
DBS Bank, Ltd.
Japan Bank For International Cooperation
Korea Development Bank Representative Office
Korea Eximbank Manila Representative Office
The Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank, Ltd. Representative Office
Rothschild (Singapore) Limited Philippine Representative Office
State Bank of India
UBS AG Philippine Representative Office

Photo credit for the Wells Fargo Bank logo above:
The original uploader was Henry W. Schmitt at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


US Banks in the Philippines

There are 3 US banks in the Philippines. All 3 are commercial banks and operating as overseas branches of the US banks.
  1. Citibank, N.A.
  2. Bank of America, N.A.
  3. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Of these 3 US banks, it's only CITIBANK that offers consumer banking in the Philippines.
It has 3 branches: Makati City, San Juan City, and Cebu City

5 ATM locations in Makati
2  in Mandaluyong
2  in Muntinlupa
2  in Taguig
3  in Pasay City
1  in Quezon City
1  in San Juan City
1  in Cebu City

Maximum Limit per Day for ATM Withdrawals by Citibank Account Owners:
  • At non-Citibank ATMs: 40,000 pesos
  • At Citibank ATMs:
       3,000 US dollars or its peso equivalent
      (minus amount already withdrawn at non-Citibank ATMs)
  • Call 995 9999 anytime if you need to withdraw more at a non-Citibank ATM
  • Free Withdrawal at any ATM
  • Withdrawal of US dollars:
  • If you have a Philippine-based Citibank US dollar account, you can withdraw US dollars from any Citibank ATM, except the ones at the US Embassy.
Location of the main office of Citibank:
9th Floor, Citibank Tower
8741 Paseo de Roxas St.
Makati City 1226

Phone: 894-7700
Fax: 894-7703
Website: citibank.com.ph

See here Citibank branch and ATM locations

The other two US banks -- Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase Bank -- cater only to corporations, government agencies and other institutions. They do not have ATMs.

Bank of America, N.A. 
27th Floor, Philamlife Tower
8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 1226
Trunkline: 815-5000 / 815-5600

Fax: 815-5582

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. 
31st Floor, Philamlife Tower

8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 1229
Phone: 885-7925

Fax: 885-7924

Banking information for foreign travelers to the Philippines or those planning to stay here:

  • You can use your US-issued debit cards in most ATMs in the Philippines.
  • At many ATMs, maximum limit per withdrawal is 10,000 pesos. Maximum limit per day is 20,000 pesos.
    In other ATMs, maximum limit per withdrawal is 4,000 or 5,000 pesos.
  • ATM withdrawal fee is 200 to 250 pesos per withdrawal.
  • International payment networks honored here (debit and credit cards):
    1. Mastercard/Maestro/Cirrus
    2. Visa/Plus
    3. American Express
    4. UnionPay
    5. KTCP
    6. NYCE
  • Bring more than one type/brand of card so you have backup cards
  • When traveling to the provinces, bring enough cash in pesos. Credit cards are not accepted in many provincial areas.
  • US-issued cheques need around one month to clear here. In addition, you need to have a US dollar account here to which you can deposit your US cheque.
  • For US pensioners planning to retire here:
    Here are Direct Deposit account options that you can consider.
  • Are foreigners allowed to open a bank account here in the Philippines?
    Yes. Present your passport and ACR-ICard. You will fill up an application form that asks personal information, including your residential address in the Philippines.
    If you have a work permit or student registration card, bring them, in case these are required. Expect some banks to be stricter in their requirements than others.
  • Do you live in Los Angeles or New York City?
    There are Philippine banks there: Metrobank and Philippine National Bank
  • You can send money online from your US bank account or using your US debit or credit card to your Philippine bank account through these online money transfer companies:
    1. Xoom.com
    2. Transferwise
    3. WorldRemit.com
    4. SmallWorldFS.com
    5. Remitly.com
    6. ShareMoney.com
    7. LuckyMoney.com
    8. WellsFargo.com
    9. RiaMoneyTransfer.com
    10. Transfast.com
    11. Moneygram.com
    12. WesternUnion.com
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