A practical foreign exchange and currency guide on sending money and travel to Philippines
What's in this Philippines currency guide?
There is a lot more the Philippines than just Manilla so try to get out of the capital, do a little research beforehand about the few possible bad areas and you will be fine. There are ATMs available in most decent sized cities but more than a few travelers have been caught without access to ATMs when getting out of the majors cities, and a lot of popular destinations are nature spots so carrying some cash on you is a good idea. Also using a Prepaid Travel Card can be a good idea so you don’t have to take your credit card everywhere on you. Only drink from bottles water and make sure it is properly sealed when you buy it.
For getting around buses are the most commonly used means of transportation. Second to that are ferries. On arrival at the international airport the easiest, and most expensive, way to get a taxi is take the White prepaid Taxi. First line on the right of exit. A trip to Makati or Ermita will cost you 500-600 pesos. Normal cheaper taxis are available upstairs on the 4th floor, these should be white coloured also.
For local trains in Manilla the three line LRT/ MRT elevated railways are a travel bargain and very cheap. While they don’t go everywhere, an indirect trip via Taft and EDSA stations (connection is via an overhead footbridge then through Metropoint Mall) is a good way to avoid a taxi clogged in slow traffic.
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Philippine peso.
You can read about the best providers and compare the latest deals for international money transfers to Philippines in our Send Money to Philippines guide.
The Philippine peso is termed an ‘exotic’ currency, which means that there is far less participation in the market for pesos than in the market for more established currencies, such as euros or Australian dollars. For this reason, the price paid to change your money into or from pesos (the “price” being equivalent to the market bid-ask spread) is far higher relative to the amount of money being changed than it would otherwise be.
‘Liquidity’ in the peso market, or the level of participation, is also far less than in many other emerging market currencies, including the Indian rupee, the South African rand, the Brazilian real and even the Thai baht, among others. In fact, even though the Philippine peso is the world’s thirty-third most traded currency (as of 2016), peso trading contributes to just 0.1% of the foreign exchange market’s total daily turnover.
As an exotic currency, the peso is considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against the FX majors (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.
Since 2000, the peso’s lowest valuation against the US dollar came in April 2004 when USD/PHP reached 57.72. Its post-2000 high occurred in January 2000 when USD/PHP fell to just 39.28.
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