Open a Philippine Bank Account While Abroad

By Nora
Updated October 2015 

There are at least three ways for OFWs and other foreign-based Filipinos to open a Philippine bank account while abroad:

1.  Open an account at the foreign branches or subsidiaries of Philippine banks with branches or subsidiaries abroad:
       Philippine National Bank
       Bank of the Philippine Islands

PNB Japan

You can apply for a Philippine-based peso savings account at PNB Tokyo or Nagoya. Bring your passport, residence card and two 1x1 ID photo. Deposit in yen. Minimum initial deposit is the equivalent of 10,000 pesos in yen.

PNB Tokyo Branch 1st Floor Mita43MT Building 3-13-16 Mita Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan Phone: (813) 6858-5910 Free Dial: 0120-86-6382 Fax (24 hrs): (03) 6858-5920 Auto Email Reply for Rates Info: rate@pnbtokyo.co.jp Phone for Rates Info: (03) 6858-5940 / (03) 6858-5950 PNB Nagoya Sub-Branch 7th Floor Nishiki 324 Building 3-24-24 Nishiki, Naka-Ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken 460-0003 Japan Phone: (8152) 968-1800

PNB Los Angeles, California

You can open a Philippine-based peso or dollar savings account, peso checking account, peso or dollar time deposit.  Minimum initial deposit for a peso savings account is the dollar equivalent of 10,000 pesos.

For those in the U.S. who cannot go to the PNB Los Angeles branch in person, read this info:
 Open a Philippine Bank Account in the U.S.

PNB Los Angeles Branch
316 W. 2nd Street, Ste. 700
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Between Broadway & Hill Streets)
Phone: 213-401-1800 ext 201, 202 or 206
Fax:  213-401-1803
Email: losangeles@pnb.com.ph

PNB Canada and PNB Europe
You can ask these branches if they're already offering assistance in opening Philippine-based PNB accounts.

PNB Global Filipino Card
At most PNB locations abroad, you can apply for a Global Filipino Card (GFC) or Global Filipino Money Card (GFMC) for your beneficiary. This is a prepaid atm card that your beneficiary can use to withdraw your remittance from PNB and Bancnet atms. Your beneficiary can pick up the card at the nearest PNB branch. Valid IDs are needed to claim the card. You can apply for more than 1 card.
A GFC can only be funded abroad; it cannot accept a deposit over-the-counter in the Philippines.

List of PNB Bank Branches and Subsidiary Banks Abroad

BPI Europe
Go to the branch in person and ask for assistance in opening a Philippine-based peso or foreign-currency account. The documents they require for UK-based accounts might be the same documents they require for Philippine-based accounts:
 -  Passport or UK photocard driving license
 -  Proof of address, such as billing statements
 -  1 ID picture
 -  Initial deposit of 50 pounds

BPI Europe PLC in London:

BPI Europe, London (Earl's Court)
26A & 27A Earl's Court Gardens
Phone: (+44) 207-8350088
Fax: (+44) 207-3731848
Email: bpinoy@bpieuropeplc.com
BPI Europe, London (Threadneedle)
4th Floor, 28/29 Threadneedle St.
Phone: (+44) 207-6389100
Fax: (+44) 207-6386838
Metrobank Japan
Ask the Tokyo and Osaka branches if they're still offering Philippine-based savings accounts and World Cash Cards for your beneficiaries.

Metrobank Japan - Tokyo Branch Kandabashi Park Building 1-19-1 Kanda Nishiki-Cho Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 101-0054 Japan Phone: 81 (3) 5281-7281 / 81 (3) 5281-7210 Fax: 81 (3) 5281-7282 Email: mbtokyo@metrobank.co.jp Metrobank Japan - Osaka Sub-Branch 1st Floor, Honmachi Central Bldg 4-2-5, Honmachi, Chuo-ku Osaka, 541-0053 Japan Phone: 81 (6) 6252-1333 Fax: 81 (6) 6252-2226 Email: mbosaka@metrobank.co.jp

Metrobank New York, USA
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 832-0855
Toll-free for US only: (800) 863-8762
Fax: (212) 832-0993 / (212) 223-0916
Email: customerservice@metrobankny.com

Other Metrobank branches abroad are in:
  China, Korea, Taiwan and the Bahamas.
There are Metrobank remittance companies in:
Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and the UK

Foreign-Based Accounts -- Foreign Branches of Philippines Banks

At any of these foreign branches, you can open a foreign-currency account which is based in the country where you opened the account. It will not be covered by the PDIC, and it may or may not be covered by insurance in that foreign country.

If you have an online bank account and you transfer money from your foreign account to your account in the Philippines, the transfer will pass through a remittance system, so there will be a remittance charge.

The advantages of opening an account with a foreign branch or subsidiary of a Philippine bank are the lower cost and the faster processing due to the relationship between the Philippine bank and its foreign branch or subsidiary.

Most ATM cards issued abroad (with Mastercard, Visa, China Union Pay logos) can be used to withdraw from ATMs in the Philippines. The charge per ATM withdrawal is 200 pesos, more or less.

2.  Open a Philippine-based BDO Kabayan Savings account or a BDO Remit cash card account in countries where there are BDO Remit offices.  There are also many BDO remittance partners that offer these accounts.

Here are some lists of BDO remittance partners:
Abu Dhabi, UAE
New York
Saudi Arabia
Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands

This BDO Kabayan account is a passbook-and-atm savings account. It does not require a maintaining balance, as long as it receives at least one foreign remittance within a 12-month period.
Warning:  If this account does not receive a foreign remittance in 12 months, it will be automatically converted into a regular passbook account, and it will require a 5,000-peso maintaining balance. This will become 10,000 pesos starting May 1, 2014.  On the last day of the 2nd consecutive month that the account is below maintaining balance, 300 pesos will be deducted as penalty, and another 300 pesos on the last day of the 3rd month, and so on, if the account remains below the maintaining balance requirement.  

When you open your account at a remittance office, only a few are able to give you immediately your passbook and atm card; most others ask you to return on a certain date because they need to get your passbook and atm card from BDO Philippines.  After getting your passbook and atm card, you can start sending money to your account, but you cannot use yet your atm card. You will need to activate your atm card in the Philippines.

A BDO Remit cash card is a reloadable atm card that your beneficiary can use to withdraw your remittance from an ATM in the Philippines. It is not a savings account and it does not require a maintaining balance.
It can contain a maximum of 100,000 pesos at any one time. Regular BDO cash cards can contain only 10,000 pesos (generic) and 25,000 pesos (with embossed name).
The Remit cash card can also be used as a debit card to pay purchases at SM supermarkets, stores and affiliates.

3. Open a deposit account online with BPI Direct Savings Bank 

       As of October 2015, online application for a bank account with BPI Direct
       has been temporarily suspended.
       You can email bpidirect@bpi.com.ph.

BPI Direct Savings Bank is the online bank of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI). It is an Internet bank. As of today, as far as I know, it's the only Internet bank in the Philippines. Wala itong branches na pisikal na makikita at pupuntahan ng mga depositors, pero BPI Direct customers can use BPI ATM machines and cash deposit machines to make deposits, withdrawals and other transactions.

For over-the-counter transactions, you will choose and designate your BPI branch during enrollment.

You will also enroll in BPI Internet banking (bpiexpressonline.com) to do online banking.

To open a BPI Direct Savings account while abroad, go to bpidirect.com. You will fill up a form online and you will be given instructions via email on how to complete your account opening.

As of now, opening a BPI Direct account while abroad is open to OFWs and other Filipinos in:
  • Bahrain
  • HongKong
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • United Arab Emirates 
  • United States 
Every BPI Direct deposit account owner is insured by the PDIC up to a maximum of 500,000 pesos.

What types of BPI Direct Savings accounts are available?
  • Express Teller Savings
  • BPInoy Savings
  • Save-Up Automatic Savings + Insurance
  • Maxi-Saver Savings
  • Maxi-One Checking
  • Time Deposits
For OFWs, the BPInoy Savings account is recommended, as this account was designed for Pinoys abroad.

  • No initial deposit required
  • No maintaining balance, but you must make at least one remittance every 6 months
  • You can enroll it in Internet banking
  • You earn interest if you maintain a daily balance of at least 500 pesos
  • Annual interest rate of 1% is higher than many other regular deposit accounts
4.  Apply for a Landbank OFW ATM Savings Account
      at the office of a Landbank Overseas Representative Officer
          The Landbank officer will give you a generic ATM card  upon application.

         Saudi Arabia:
         Jose Aryiel G. Castor
         Overseas Representative Officer in KSA
         c/o Tahweel al Rajhi
         Manila Plaza Bldg.
         Al Batha, Riyadh
         See other Landbank Overseas Representative Officers
            (link to be attached soon)

                                            Open a Philippine bank account while abroad 
READ MOREList of Philippine Banks Overseas
Direct Deposit Account for US Pensioners
Peso Savings Accounts for OFWs
US Dollar Accounts with Low Maintaining Balances

To save space, many of your Comments were moved here:
Comments from Dec 3, 2014 to May 22, 2016


  1. About Metrobank's OFW account and maintaining balance Sep 8
    Hi My mother was not able to remit to her ofw account in metrobank though she has withdrawn money from her account there in Bahrain. what will happen to the remaining money?
    When was the last time your mother sent money to her Metrobank OFW account? How much was left? Does she have a passbook? Or atm card only? If 12 months or more have passed since her last remittance, her account is already a regular account. She must now maintain her account -- 10k if passbook, and 2k if atm only. If not maintained, a penalty of 300 pesos will be deducted from her account every month, starting from the 2nd month the account fell below the maintaining balance level. Ask your mother to call or write Metrobank at metrobank.com.ph (Contact Us).

  2. About withdrawing initial deposit from Kabayan savings using passbook
    Hello po. Can I withdraw my initial deposit in my bdo kabayan savings? It doesn't have maintaining balance, right? And if ever po, can I withdraw using my passbook because I don't have yet my atm card? Thank you. :)
    Yes, I think so. Yes, you can use your passbook. Why not wait for your atm, and then withdraw? Minimum atm withdrawal is 200 pesos.

  3. Hello po ask q LNG po pgngopen b aq Ng account rito Kuwait pguwi q Ng pinas pd q po kya mgmit un as my personal savings account n for life?,,, bdo kbayan po sna... Bka po pg hinulugan q un mwala nl g pera q nkktmot... First time q po qng skali mgkrun account... Slmat po....

  4. mary allen, about opening and maintaining BDO Kabayan account October 3, 2015
    Hello po. If I open a BDO Kabayan account here in Kuwait, can I use this account when I go home to the Philippines? Can I use it as my personal savings account for life? I'm afraid my money will disappear. It's my first time to have a bank account. Thanks po.
    Hi mary allen, yes, you can use your BDO Kabayan account as your personal savings after you decide to stay home in the Philippines for good. But this is a passbook account, so when you're no longer working abroad, you must maintain 10,000 pesos in your account, to prevent your account from getting the monthly below-maintaing-balance penalty.
    While abroad, your Kabayan account does not require a 10k maintaining balance, but you must send to your account from abroad at least once every 12 months.
    Here are BDO remittance partners in Kuwait, where you can ask if they're offering BDO Kabayan account opening. Track your remittance here: BDO Remit Status Inquiry. Your money in a BDO account will not disappear, as long as you do not share your atm card or passbook with other people. Comment again if you have other questions.

  5. Anu pong partner ng bdo dto s dammam ang my hghest currency rate? Mg open dn po aq ng kabayan account? Anu po mga requirements?

    1. About BDO remittance partners in Dammam: Based on BDO's list, Al Rajhi Banking is its only partner in Dammam. To open your account, bring your IDs and iqama. Bring 2 ID photos in case these are required.

  6. Hi, I want to ask where can I open Metrobank OFW Savings Account. I'm here in Jeddah KSA. Thanks

    1. Hi Renz Bryan, about opening a Metrobank OFW account in Jeddah KSA:
      Hi Renz, here's a list of Metrobank remittance partners in KSA. Sorry to say there's no partner in Jeddah. If you like, you can ask these BDO remittance partners in Jeddah if they're offering BDO Kabayan account opening.

    2. Thanks you for the info. Mam,I take in a BDO Kababayan Account, but it's already close last August. Can I get a new one?

    3. Hi Renz Ryan, yes, I think so, you can apply for a new Kabayan. I just don't know if they have rules about those whose Kabayan account was recently closed. Try a Landbank atm savings account. Al Rajhi Bank is a remittance partner of Landbank -- ask them if they're offering Landbank OFW atm account opening.

  7. Hi Nora,
    I want to open an account to any of the banks. I am from Sacramento, California and can easily travel to San Francisco. The reason I am opening an account is so I can deposit money from the US that I could use when I travel to Manila.

    1. About opening a Philippine-based account in California
      Hello, if you like PNB, here's the address of the PNB Los Angeles branch and PNB remittance firms and partners.
      If you like, you can open a BDO Kabayan account. Here's a list of BDO remittance partners in California.

  8. Hi, I'm here in Hail KSA, Where can I open a Philippine savings account here in Hail. Thanks

    1. Hi Hoydie, sorry there's no Hail in the list of BDO remittance partners in Saudi Arabia. But ask the branch of Bank Al-Bilad or Al-Rajhi Banking there if they're offering BDO Kabayan account opening.

  9. Good day. Im currently working in Thailand. Nakuha ng mother ko check ko for my previous company and its a Managers Check from Security Bank. Di niya maencash need ng any atm account ko dae. I dont have any account sa Ph. Can i open one account online para madeposit niya and masend ko sa atm niya na landbank online? Thank you

    1. Jenny, about opening a Philippine bank account online: Hi Jenny, sorry you can't open a bank account online. It was BPI Direct before that offered this to Pinoys in 5 countries, but it has suspended it. BDO Kabayan account is being offered by certain BDO remittance partners abroad, but there are no BDO partners there in Thailand.
      Ask your mother to go to Security Bank (branch on the cheque) and ask if she can use a SPA from Thailand (verified by the Philippine consulate there) to encash your cheque. If the bank allows it, then request for a SPA from the Phil consulate there.

  10. Hi, miss Nora Tamba, have a great day, I'm here in Jeddah Saudi Arabia where can I open a Philippine savings account here...thank you,

    1. Liza, about opening a Philippine bank account in Jeddah Saudi Arabia: Hi Liza, here's a list of BDO remittance partners in Saudi Arabia. You can ask the banks in the list if they're offering BDO Kabayan account opening. They will forward your application to BDO Philippines. You will receive your passbook and atm, but you can activate only your atm at a BDO machine in the Philippines when you take your vacation.

  11. Heloo po my sis is in manchester..my checkque po xa dto pinas.kso la xa account..pwede b xa on line apply don s manchester?

  12. Anonymous, about opening a bank account in Manchester, UK October 22, 2015
    Hello po my sis is in manchester. she has a cheque here in pinas but she doesn't have an account here. Can she open an account online there in Manchester?
    Your sister can ask this BDO partner AFTAB Currency Exchange Ltd., Pall Mall Court 61-67, Kings Street, Manchester M2 4PD, Lancashire if they're offering a BDO Kabayan account opening. If not, your sister can open an account with BPI Europe and then ask for assistance in opening a Philippine-based BPI account.

  13. hi ms nora, where can i check the balance inquiry on my bpi atm here in singapore? how much the charge in sgd?tanx!

    1. About checking BPI atm balance in Singapore: Does your atm have Cirrus logo at the back? If yes, then look for an atm machine that has a Cirrus, Mastercard, or Maestro logo and make a balance inquiry. The charge for balance inquiry is around 1 US dollar. For withdrawal, it's 3.50 US dollars.

    2. Kahit ba da kuwait pwede basta may cirrus?

  14. Hi po, pwd po ba mgremit to BPI sa al senaya bank sa hail ksa? Please rply po thanks.

  15. Myla Sarraga, about remittance to BPI throough Al Senaya Bank in Hail, KSA November 12, 2015
    Hi po, can I remit to BPI through al senaya bank in hail ksa? Please reply po thanks.
    Hi Myla, Al Senaya is not a remittance partner of BPI. Look at these lists of banks in Saudi Arabia that have partnered with BPI: BPI Remittance partners in Saudi Arabia

  16. good day po mam nora ask ko lang po sana kaka open ko lamang po ng BPI epress teller international last year here in kuwait bale ang sabi po pag uwi pa lang ng pinas bago ma widraw yung pera at pag uwi pa lang din ma change yung pasword.. ok lang po ba kahit abutin ng 3 years bago mapalitan ng pasword pero nahuhulugan sya at makukuha po b yung na deposit na pera sa account. kung hinde po sya makuha pano po kea ang dapat gawin me mga resibo po akong tinabe katibayan na nag hulog ako maraming salamat po madam

  17. Hi Ms. Nora, Ask ko lang po if theres a way to send a usd to a usd account in BPI that doesnt have a fee. It was suggested before kasi na I open a dollar account para daw if magpapdala anyone from the US wala na siyang fee. But sadly,nalipat ata ng branch ung nakausap ko and I have no time to go to the bank to ask them personally. Thank you.

  18. kung mag oopen account ako sa metrobank dito japan magagamit ko kaha sa pinas

  19. kung mag open account sa metrobank ako dito sa japan magagamit ku kaha sa pinas

  20. Hello ma'am nora. Anu pong pwedeng Bank ang pwede kong ipa open sa kapatid kong nasa PH para makapag hulog at savings po ako. Habang nan dito ako sa abroad. THANK YOU.

  21. Hello Ma'am Nora. I would like to know kung anung bank ang pwede kong ipaopen sa kapatid ko para makapag Padala ako at the same time pwede rin syang gawing savings acct at pwedeng icheck online. Ipapangalang ko po kasi sa kapatid ko. Thank you.

  22. About a good savings account for sibling of person working overseas
    Hello Mrs Nora. I would like to know in which bank can my sibling open an account so I can send money to it and at the same time he/she can maintain it as a savings account that we can check online. The account will be in his/her name. Thank you.
    It depends on where you are, which bank have many remittance partners there, and which bank is near your sibling's house or school. BDO, BPI, Metrobank and PNB are the banks that have many remittance partners abroad. Landbank too. All these offer accounts for OFWs and their beneficiaries and all these offer online banking. The most popular, based on comments on our websites, is the BDO Kabayan account. To open this account, your sibling needs to present a recent receipt of remittance from overseas, school ID and another ID, if there is, and 1 or 2 ID pictures.
    There have been many complaints about additional remittance fees from remittances sent to accounts, so you can consider sending money for CASH PICKUP -- your sibling picks up the money at his/her bank, and then deposit the money to his/her account. Your sibling can open a regular atm savings account at this bank. She/he needs to maintain the maintaining-balance requirement (2k at BDO, 1k at BPI Family, 3k at BPI),

  23. Hi.. i filled up my applicatin of activation ng bpiexpressonline ko. Tanong ko lang po kung any bpi branch pwede i pa submit ung form na un. Ipapadala ko lang po kc sa kakilala ko.. im here in kuwait. Thanks

  24. Lester Concepcion, about BPI online banking enrollment November 25, 2015
    Hi. i filled up my applicatin of activation ng bpiexpressonline ko. Can I submit the form at any bpi branch? I'll send it through an acquaintance. i'm here in kuwait. Thanks
    Here's the process of enrollment: Enroll in BPI online banking while abroad. Do not send your printed application through somebody; you should mail it directly to BPI by postal mail. See the BPI address in the post.

  25. Hello po Mam Nora. Mam ask ko lang po sana, may branch po ba ang metrobank sa uae na pwede ko po g pag withdrawan ng pera galing sa passbook ko po? Iniisip ko ho kasi na baka maubos yung cash ko, and kakailanganin ko pong magwithdraw from my dollar account pag nanduon na po ako sa uae. So ask ko lang po sana kung may pwedeng pag withdrawan ho ba ng pera mula sa passbook duon sa uae po? Thank you in advance mam.

  26. Hi po mam nora,may sss cheque po kami ng father-in-law ko kasi nag-apply sya ma salary loan online. Pano po namin maencash dito sa pinas eh nasa saudi arabia po ung father-in-law ko?

  27. Jane sapad, SSS cheque of father-in-law December 23, 2015
    Hi po mrs nora, we have the sss cheque of my father-in-law. He applied for a salary loan online. How can we encash it here in pinas as he is in saudi arabia po?
    Sorry you cannot encash it. You might be able to encash it with a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) from your father-in-law. But ask first the bank that issued the cheque if they accept a SPA.
    But you can deposit the cheque to your father-in-law's bank account. It will be available for withdrawal on the 3rd business day.

  28. Hi ms nora. Monthly nako nghuhulog s metro bank account q dto s abu dhabi. Ndi pa activate account ko. Pano ko mlalaman ung balance? Ndi ko nman mgamit sa atm machines

  29. Adrian Meneses December 25, 2015
    Hi ms nora. I deposit monthly to my metrobank account here in abu dhabi. My account has not yet been activated. How can I know my balance? I cannot make balance inquiry at atm machines.
    I hope your vacation is soon so you can activate your atm card and enroll your atm card in Metrobank online banking. Meanwhile, you can go to metrobank.com.ph and then click "Send us email" and write your concern.

  30. hello Ms. Nora. ano po mga requirements when opening a BDO Kabayan savings account sa remittance partner nila? dito po ako sa uae. thanks po.

  31. Hi?ask q lang po f paano open account sa OFW BPinoy savings account sa sharja UAE and what are the requirements...tenks

  32. Hello :)
    ask ko lang po kung meron sa inyo may alam How to have a savings account from Japan? Yung dito ko po i dedeposit then sa Philippines lang po pwede iwithdraw? Thank in advanced

  33. Hi :) Ask ko lang po kung anong magndang option to have savings account in the Phil? Where I deposit the money from here at Japan and can only withdraw that money in the Philippines? Any suggestions pls

  34. hi po, ask ko lng po ang duration ng bpi atm card activation, if it takes 3yrs pa po bago makabakasyon sa pinas ok lng po ba yon? with regular remittances po namn...salamat po

  35. Jourter Delgado March 16, 2016
    Hi po, May I ask po the duration of bpi atm card activation, if it takes 3 yrs before I can get back to pinas . Is that ok? with regular remittances po. Thanks po
    Hi Jourter, it's great that you continue to save through your bank account. Yes, in case later on your atm card is not recognized by the machine, just go to your branch and ask about it. Have you enrolled your account in BPI online banking? So you can track your balance? How to enroll in BPI Online banking while abroad

  36. Hi po May i ask if i can open a bdo account in netherlands?

  37. Hi. Thanks, Nora, for your many very helpful pieces of advice. I'm wondering if there is any difference between the exchange rates between BPI and BDO. My sister in law will be leaving for Oman in a week and we gave her our BPI account number to send her remittances to. But I compared the BPI FOREX rates with those of BDO and though they don't list the Omani Rial, for the currencies listed, BDO has better rates. Would it be worth it to open a BDO account if the rial-to-PhP is better at BDO instead of using our existing BPI account? Thanks!


  38. Hi amalahi, thanks a lot for appreciating my efforts. Means a lot.
    About the exchange rates, based on my experience, BDO's exchange rate for dollars or rials remitted is much lower than their rate posted or published. It could be the same with BPI and other banks. My suggestion is this: Your sis-in-law tries sending rials in 3 modes: rials for cash pickup, rials for deposit to account, and pesos for deposit to account, and then you compare the exchange rates used. Some OFWs also change rials to US dollars then send the dollars. I'm not very sure, but I think if the rial-peso exchange rate is good in Oman, then she sends in pesos so that BPI or BDO should just deduct their incoming remittance fee. Based on my experience getting dollars from the US and UK and won from South Korea, BDO deducts a lot when foreign currency is sent to a peso account.

  39. hello po,
    I am in Qatar now. I want sana mag open nang regular savings account. can you inform me which bank I can open regular savings account?
    I have a check that needs to be deposited on a regular account. Hindi daw pwede magdeposit sa kabayan account nang BDO.

    1. About opening a Philippine account while abroad for check deposit: Go to this info on applying for a Landbank account in Qatar and call or email to ask if the account you'll open in Qatar will be able to accept check deposits.

    2. Another option is to ask the issuer if you can send an authorization letter or a SPA so they can reissue the check in your family member's name so your family member can encash the check and deposit to your account.