Currency In The Philippines
One of the most important things you must have when traveling, besides your passport and clothing, is cold, hard, cash! The currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP). It is used as legal tender for almost all establishments in the Philippines.
Bills and coins
Currency in the Philippines is divided into bills and coins. There are 25-cent, 1-peso, 5-peso, and 10-peso coins. Bills are available in 20-peso, 50-peso, 100-peso, 200-peso, 500-peso and 1,000-peso denominations.
Make sure you have a coin purse at the ready! It is a good idea to have enough change on hand, especially for paying things like transportation fare or food. Doing so also helps you avoid getting scammed.
Exchanging currency in the Philippines
It is more convenient to bring foreign currency and exchange them in the airport. Money changer kiosks are available at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), so you don’t need to worry! However, some have noted that the exchange rate is not actually the best deal one can get.
Exchange only as much as you need at the airport, then find a money changer near your hotel for better rates. Banks will often have better rates and no hidden charges. Alternatively, you may also exchange your currency at major banks from your home country before coming to the Philippines. This is another convenient option, but there may be limits on the amount of money you can exchange.
A word of warning, though! Be wary of people without proper identification or certification near your hotel who offer to exchange your money. Some money changers that look seedy are also best avoided. They may be scammers and may exchange your foreign currency for fake bills.
Credit cards and ATMs
Visitors to the Philippines can use credit cards in most malls and establishments in major cities. ATMs are also plentiful. When withdrawing from a foreign bank, note that local ATMs will charge a PHP 200 service fee. There is also a daily withdrawal limit which differs per bank.
When traveling to the provinces or beaches, however, cash is still best. Bring only as much as you need, plus contingency. Be sure that you get change. ATMs are few in provincial areas, so it is best to be covered for any emergency. Keep your cash in several places instead of just in one purse or wallet.
Most travelers are happy with the combination of credit card transactions for major purchases like hotels and accommodations, plus cash for daily expenses. No matter which you choose, remember to be very vigilant with your currency in the Philippines. Trust only accredited or reputable institutions for your exchanges. When in doubt, simply visit a bank for better advice.
Be money smart
It’s definitely a good idea to be vigilant about your cash when traveling to a foreign country! Familiarize yourself with the currency in the Philippines, and you’ll have perfect peace of mind as you soak up the sun and surf!