Living in the Philippines

ATM Machines Withdrawal

There are a few peculiarities of ATMs in the Philippines that I would like to mention here.

Payout Limit of ATM Machines

All ATMs in the Philippines have a payout limit of either 4000, 5000, or 10,000 Peso per withdrawal. How high this limit is depends on the bank that operates the machine. This ATM Limit has nothing to do with the credit card you own, but is set by the machine and/or the bank.It is not specified at the machines, how high the respective ayout Limit is.

For example, if you want to withdraw 30,000 Pesos in the Philippines, you run at least three transactions in succession with a withdrawal of 10,000 Pesos each.With a normal credit card, this inevitably costs three times the fee (about 5 $ per usage plus x% foreign assignment) plus three times the philippine ATM Service Charge (see below).

ATm machines in the Philippines
ATM Machines in the Philippines. The Service Charge is now 250 Peso per transaction

Now, if you enter 10,000 Pesos at a machine, which is limited to 5000 Peso per process, it may be that the machine outputs a completely different error message than that one has exceeded the payout-limit.

Error messages might be: "Your card is not accepted", "The data line is offline" or simply that "you can not perform the transaction". Do not give up however, it is best to try again with an amount of 5000 Peso or you switch to another machine, at another bank.

The Daily Payout Limit

In addition, there is also a daily cash-payout limit of the credit cards itself, for security reasons. In my case this is set to 1000 Euro per day. So in case the card is lost or stolen, the maximum damage is 1000 Euro per day. Time enough to have the card blocked.

ATM Service Charge

Meanwhile, most banks in the Philippines levy a Service Charge for foreign Credit Cards of about 250 Pesos (2018) per transaction at the machine. If you know about any ATMs that do not charge an extra withdrawal fee, please let me know.