Published: January 13, 2021 | Updated: January 14, 2021 | Posted by: Mayee Gonzales | Personal Finance
Every day, millions of Filipinos use an ATM to access their savings and checking accounts. With a debit card, or ATM card as most people call it, account holders can withdraw money, check their account balance, and even transfer money to other bank users. All of these activities can be done in a few clicks, making electronic banking more convenient to the public.
But in case you did not know it yet, your bank charges you different service fees. Some of these bank fees and charges include ATM fees.
ATM fees in the Philippines are comparative and vary from bank to bank. Charges also differ for every transaction. For example, a balance inquiry fee is typically cheaper than a withdrawal charge because balance inquiries are deemed simpler compared to withdrawals.
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An Automated Teller Machine or ATM is an electronic banking outlet that offers quick self-service options to cardholders. Electronic banking allows customers to complete transactions without going to the bank.
ATMs are convenient as you don’t have to wait in line at the bank to withdraw funds or know how much money you still have in your account. Today, there are over 3.5 million ATMs in use across the globe .
Before we discuss ATM withdrawal fees in the Philippines, let us first identify the networks that provide online facilities to banking corporations and debit cardholders in the Philippines. At present, there are three major bank consortia namely Bancnet, Megalink, and Expressnet.
Bancnet is the largest electronic banking network in the country with 114 members and more than 13,000 ATMs nationwide. Founded in 1990, the company is the exclusive gateway of UnionPay, allowing access to nearly 1 billion ATM cardholders from China. Apart from providing services in the Philippines, Bancnet also links with international card networks like Diners Club, Discover Card, KFTC, Mastercard, and VISA.
Before merging with Bancnet in 2015, Megalink was the biggest electronic banking network in the Philippines, handling more than 795,000 transactions per day from over 13 million cardholders. Founded by Equitable Banking Corporation (now BDO) in 1989, Megalink continues to operate as a partner of Bancnet.
Expressnet may not be the largest bank consortium in the country, but it is one of the most accessed, thanks to one of its members, BPI Family Savings Bank. Despite its popularity and success, Expressnet merged with Bancnet in 2016, making it the newest partner of the company.
Megalink and Expressnet remain to be separate entities regardless of their partnership with Bancnet. All of these electronic banking networks perform under different agencies, which explains the non-uniform ATM service fees in the Philippines.
Read more: 25 Top Commercial Banks in the Philippines
Avoid unwanted charges when using an ATM. Be updated with ATM withdrawal charges from other banks in the Philippines as well. Refer to this list of local ATM transaction fees and other related service charges.
Doing a balance inquiry on your own bank’s ATMs is free of charge. However, there is a minimal fee ranging from PHP 1 to PHP 2 when doing it with other bank’s ATMs.
|Bank Name||Balance Inquiry Fee|
|China Bank||PHP 1|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 1|
|PS Bank||PHP 1|
|Security Bank||PHP 1|
Withdrawal transactions done at other banks’ respective ATMs come at no cost, which is why it’s good to know where your bank’s nearest ATMs are located. The withdrawal fees from other banks can be substantial, especially if you make several withdrawals in a day. Here’s what you will see on your transaction receipts after making a withdrawal at a different bank’s ATM.
|Bank Name||Withdrawal Fee|
|China Bank||PHP 15|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 11|
|PS Bank||PHP 10|
|Security Bank||PHP 14|
Intrabank transfers mean transferring an amount to another person who has an account with the same bank. Majority of banks still offer this service free of charge, except for BPI, Eastwest, LandBank, and UCPB.
|Bank Name||Intrabank Transfer Fee|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 25|
An interbank transfer is done when you transfer money from one bank to another. Most banks charge PHP 25 for this, except for BDO that charges PHP 50.
|Bank Name||Interbank Transfer Fee|
|China Bank||PHP 25|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 25|
|PS Bank||PHP 25|
|Security Bank||PHP 25|
Banks in the country may impose a fee on accounts that have fallen below the Required Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB) for at least two consecutive months. HSBC and UnionBank have the highest monthly penalty fees.
|Bank Name||Below Maintaining Balance Charge|
|China Bank||PHP 300|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 500|
|PNB||PHP 300 to PHP 500|
|PS Bank||PHP 500|
|Security Bank||PHP 300|
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), banks can only charge a dormancy fee of up to PHP 30 per month on deposit accounts that have been inactive for five years. Additionally, banks can only charge this transaction fee if there are no deposits or withdrawals done for five years, or if the account balance is below MADB.
To provide a more holistic understanding of ATM services in the Philippines, here is a list of ATM maximum withdrawals of some of the major banks in the country. If you don’t know your ATM limit, this can be a handy guide the next time you need to make a maximum withdrawal.
|Bank Name||ATM Withdrawal Limit|
|China Bank||PHP 50,000|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 50,000|
|PS Bank||PHP 30,000|
|Security Bank||PHP 50,000|
For BPI clients, 05SI service charge is what you get charged when you use non-BPI ATMs. The charge of PHP 15 is earmarked per withdrawal but will only be debited at the end of the month. You can find this in your transaction history and is listed as withdrawal with EN/ML.
Most banks have a minimum withdrawal amount of PHP 100. But BDO has a minimum withdrawal amount of PHP 200 per transaction.
ATM fees in the Philippines may seem cheap, but multiple interbank transactions can eventually hurt your savings. Still, ATM fees are cheaper compared to banks’ deposit fees when you deposit to a branch outside of Metro Manila. They are also cheaper than over the counter withdrawal fees for certain savings accounts.
Be smart when it comes to checking your account balance and with your withdrawal transactions. Opt for your bank’s ATMs first when you need to withdraw at the mall or when you’re traveling. Not only is it safer, it can save you money as well.
Mayee is an experienced writer, editor, and content strategist. She enjoys writing about personal finance and lifestyle topics. On her free time, she reads, travels, and watches a lot of movies. She’s also a proud cat-mom. Follow Mayee on LinkedIn.