“Can I withdraw cash from ATM’s here in (name your country of work) using my Philippine bank’s ATM card?
This has been asked by some of my OFW readers in the past but I have not found time to answer until now.
So, is it really possible for an OFW to withdraw money abroad using his Philippine ATM card? Here’s the answer. (Sencia na, pa-bitin effect lang.)
Yes, you can withdraw from a foreign bank’s automated teller machines in your country of work using your Philippine ATM card.
So if you have an ATM card from Philippine banks like BDO, Metrobank, BPI, RCBC, PNB, etc. with you in your wallet that bears the MasterCard or Visa logo then you can withdraw cash abroad in times of emergency.
How Much Is The Withdrawal Fee?
I tried withdrawing cash myself using my BDO ATM card from a Saudi Arabian bank in Al Khobar called Saudi British Bank (SABB), which is actually HSBC.
Singit Trivia: Foreign commercial banks do not carry their original international names for their branches in Saudi Arabia (except in Riyadh head office operations). The bank name has to show that it has a solid partnership with Saudi Arabia or its local financial firms.
Okay, back to your question. How much is the withdrawal fee being charged by the foreign bank when you withdraw from their ATM?
Here’s a screenshot of my BDO account statement after I pulled out SAR500 or equivalent to Php6,091.85. The service charge debit is 159.92, or roughly 2.6% to 3% of the amount withdrawn.
Please take note of the withdrawal limits of your Philippine bank and the foreign bank where you are withdrawing money from.
Is It Safe To Withdraw Money Abroad Using PH ATM Card?
Whether it’s in the Philippines or abroad, your safety depends on your vigilance and awareness. You’ve heard horrifying stories of people getting robbed or even murdered after or during withdrawal of cash from the ATM in the Philippines. That seldom happens in the Middle East (but it happens as well, sometimes). But with solid police presence, the Middle Eastern authorities can easily scare away bad elements of their cities.
I will be more concerned on the scammers using ATM’s to victimize people. You can check out anti-fraud sites or the FBI for the types of ATM schemes that may happening in your area.
Also, the inconvenience of coordinating with your Philippine bank and the foreign bank where you withdrew your money from in case when your ATM card has been “eaten” by the machine. Sobrang hassle nyan. Even if the foreign bank has a tie-up with your Philippine bank, this may take some time before any issue like this is resolved.
So use your Philippine ATM cards abroad during emergency situations only. In our case, we also keep some of our emergency funds in our Philippine bank accounts.
Keep on saving. Keep on investing.