This article was published on June 16, 2018 and was updated on December 12, 2019.
What remittance center do you usually visit to send money to the province or another country? Your favorite money transfer company may be providing great service, but it doesn’t hurt to look for better options out there.
Looking for a new remittance center for your money transfer needs? Here’s a comprehensive guide you can refer to for when you need to know more about remittance centers in the Philippines, which ones are the top service providers, and how to pick the best remittance center for your money transfer needs.
Remittance centers are financial service providers that allow people to send or receive money to anyone within the country or abroad. With multiple physical locations, these companies offer a traditional way to transfer money for Filipinos without a bank account, PayPal account, and/or internet connection.
Almost 20,000 money remittance centers operate all over the Philippines, including far-flung barangays where banks and ATMs are scarce. Aside from their accessibility, these money service businesses attract many unbanked Filipinos because of their other financial services such as pawning, bills payment, foreign exchange, and e-loading.
Customers can just visit the nearest remittance center and send cash to their loved ones, make payments, or claim remittances from abroad. Typically, money gets transferred and is ready for pick-up within minutes or the same day.
A remittance center in the Philippines usually serves OFWs who send money back home, as well as their families who receive such remittances. It also enables online and home-based businesses to receive payments from their customers who have no credit card or savings account.
Here’s a closer look at eight of the best remittance service providers in the Philippines. Most of them offer domestic money transfers, while a few ones provide international remittance services. Only Cebuana Lhuillier, Western Union, and MoneyGram allow sending money from the Philippines to various countries.
Transfer Speed: Remittances can be claimed just a few seconds after sending from a Palawan Express branch.
Palawan Express Operating Hours: Palawan Express branches are open seven days a week (including holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Some partner agents have shorter or longer business hours.
Number of Branches in the Philippines: Over 2,900 branches and Pera Padala agents
Palawan Pera Padala Notable Features:
Money Savings via the Suki Card: A loyalty rewards program that gives a 5% discount and 2% rewards points on every remittance fee, as well as rebates when claiming money.
Instant Text Notification: Remittance senders and recipients receive a text message when remittance has been transmitted, is ready for pick-up, and has been claimed.
2. TrueMoney Money Padala
Photo from TrueMoney Philippines Facebook page
TrueMoney Padala Rates: PHP 0 – PHP 380
Basic Facts about TrueMoney:
Transfer Speed: Real-time
TrueMoney Operating Hours: Vary per location, with most branches open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Number of Branches in the Philippines: Over 20,000 TrueMoney centers
TrueMoney Padala Notable Features (3):
Accessibility: TrueMoney remittance centers can be found practically everywhere—in sari-sari stores, pawnshops, internet shops, salons, bakeries, pharmacies, carinderia, travel agencies, laundry shops, water refilling stations, and more.
Free money transfer service for remittances of PHP 100 and below and only PHP 1 fee for remittances from PHP 101 to PHP 300
Secure Money Transfer Transactions: TrueMoney agents use point-of-sale (POS) terminals to process remittances and issue transaction receipts.
Text Alerts: Senders receive confirmation and unique reference code via their cell phone.
3. RD Pawnshop Cash Padala
Photo from RD Pawnshop Inc Ph Facebook page
RD Cash Padala Rates: PHP 0 – PHP 311
Basic Facts about RD Pawnshop:
Transfer Speed: Real-time
RD Pawnshop Operating Hours: RD Pawnshop branches are open from Monday to Sunday, including holidays (except for Christmas, New Year, Good Friday, and Black Saturday). Business hours vary per location, with most branches operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Number of Branches in the Philippines: Over 1,300
RD Pawnshop Cash Padala Notable Features (4):
Free money transfer service for sending PHP 100 or less
Discounts on remittances starting at PHP 301
Rebates on remittances starting at PHP 901
4. Cebuana Lhuillier Pera Padala
Photo from Cebuana Lhuillier Facebook page
Cebuana Lhuillier Pera Padala Rates
Domestic Remittance Rates: PHP 1 – PHP 1,200
Overseas Remittance Rates: PHP 500 – PHP 1,200
Basic Facts about Cebuana Lhuillier:
Transfer Speed: Real-time
Cebuana Lhuillier Operating Hours: All Cebuana Lhuillier branches operate from Monday to Sunday, with six branches that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other branches open as early as 7 a.m. and close as late as 9 p.m.
Number of Branches in the Philippines: Nearly 2,500 branches and 4,000 Pera Padala agents
Number of Branches Worldwide: Over 80 international remittance partners
Cebuana Lhuillier Pera Padala Notable Features (5):
Money Savings via the 24k Rewards Program: Earn one point for every PHP 40 remittance fee paid, which can be exchanged for discounts, exclusive privileges, and other special offers.
Faster Transactions via the Online Appointment System: Allows customers to set an appointment online before visiting a branch. No need to wait in line and fill out forms.
Accessibility via 24/7 branches in Makati, Imus, Olongapo, and Angeles City
5. Western Union Sulit Padala and Overseas Money Transfer
Photo by Judgefloro via Wikimedia Commons
Western Union Money Transfer Rates
Domestic Remittance Rates: PHP 5 – PHP 595
Overseas Remittance Rates: PHP 500 – PHP 1,100
Basic Facts about Western Union:
Transfer Speed: Within minutes
Western Union Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday (Business hours vary per location.)
Number of Branches in the Philippines: Over 8,400
Number of Branches Worldwide: 500,000 agent locations in over 200 countries
Western Union Sulit Padala (6) and Overseas Money Transfer (7) Notable Features:
Track a Transfer: Enables Western Union customers to check the status of their remittance online
Mobile Money Transfer Service: Allows sending money to a PayMaya mobile wallet at any branch
My WU Membership Program: Earn 10 rewards points for every remittance sent or received and 30 points for every remittance sent abroad. Accumulated points can be used to get a 10%, 25%, or 50% discount on the next money transfer fee.
6. M Lhuillier Kwarta Padala
Photo by FroyAgta via Wikimedia Commons
ML Kwarta Padala Rates: PHP 3 – PHP 350
Basic Facts about M Lhuillier:
M Lhuillier Operating Hours: Most branches are open from Monday to Sunday until 10 p.m., while 150 locations operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. M Lhuillier branches are closed on national holidays.
Number of Branches in the Philippines: Over 2,000 ML Kwarta Padala branches
Number of Branches Worldwide: Almost 100 overseas partner agents
ML Kwarta Padala Notable Features (8):
Accessibility via 24/7 branches located in key cities
Convenience via the ML Gift Card: Available in PHP 500 and PHP 1,000 values, this scratch card allows sending money anytime and anywhere in the country using a mobile phone.
Transfer Speed: Within the day and next-day delivery options
LBC Operating Hours: LBC branches are open seven days a week. Office hours vary per location, with some opening as early as 7 a.m. and closing as late as 10 p.m.
Number of Branches: Over 6,400 branches in the Philippines and partner agents in more than 30 countries
LBC Instant Peso Padala Notable Features (9):
Convenience via the Peso Pak Door-to-Door Delivery: Instead of cash pick-up, you can choose to have cash delivered to the recipient’s home or office. This is a great option for sending money to senior citizens and persons with disabilities who may have difficulty traveling to the nearest LBC branch.
Photo from Diskarteng MoneyGram Facebook page
MoneyGram Money Transfer Rates
Basic Facts about MoneyGram:
Transfer Speed: Within 24 hours
MoneyGram Operating Hours: Office hours of partner agents vary per location, with some opening as early as 7 a.m. and closing as late as 10 p.m.
Number of Branches: Around 350,000 agent locations in over 200 countries
MoneyGram Notable Features (10):
Track a Transfer: Conveniently check the status of your money transfer online. Simply enter your transaction reference number and last name on the MoneyGram website.
Send to a Bank Account: Allows sending remittances directly to the recipient’s bank account
5 Tips for Choosing the Best Remittance Center for You
How do you know if you’re doing business with the right remittance company? In a nutshell, its money transfer service should be affordable, quick, convenient, reliable, and secure.
Whether it will be your first time to avail of a money transfer service or you’re a long-time customer planning to switch to a new provider, here are some important tips to remember when choosing the best remittance center in the Philippines.
1. Consider the Speed of Money Transfer
Of course, you want your money to get to your recipient as soon as possible. Most of the top remittance centers in the Philippines (Refer to the list above) can transmit cash in real-time or within minutes, so your loved ones won’t have to worry and wait too long, especially if they need the money for an emergency.
2. Choose a Remittance Center That Makes Money Transfer Convenient
Although remittance centers traditionally enable transactions in person, some of them have leveled up in terms of offering convenience to their customers.
For example, there are money remittances that allows people to send money using their credit card or PayPal account, so they don’t have to personally visit a branch. Likewise, money transfer recipients have other options aside from cash pickup. Some remittance centers enable direct deposit to a bank account. Others even do door-to-door delivery, which is the most convenient way to receive remittances.
3. Choose a Provider with Good Customer Service
Visit the social media accounts of the remittance companies you’re considering to check the reviews and comments left by their customers. Take note of what most feedback (and complaints, if any) is all about. Also, observe how each company replies to negative feedback on social media. How does it deal with disappointed customers? Does it even respond to customers?
Even better, ask your family and friends about their experience with certain remittance centers. It’s important to know if a remittance center has a helpful, responsive, and friendly customer service team that can quickly assist you when an issue arises, like delays and failure to receive funds.
It’s also great if a remittance center offers different ways to contact its customer service reps, including phone, email, or chat.
4. Do Business Only with a Reputable Remittance Center
When it comes to anything that has to do with money, you don’t want to take chances with a relatively unknown remittance center, or one that has a shady reputation. Go with a company with a good track record and reputation.
Reputable remittance centers are regulated by the Bangko Sentral Pilipinas (11), giving peace of mind that the money you send will reach your loved ones safely.
5. Compare Remittance Fees of Various Providers
Which remittance center lets you save money with their low service fee? Keep this in mind when comparing different rates charged by remittance centers. Some service providers charge higher than others for a certain range of remittance amount.
While the money transfer fee seems minimal for every transaction, note that the fees add up over time as you keep sending money to your loved ones.
Also, make sure to choose a service provider that doesn’t charge recipients a fee for claiming remittance.
To make comparing service fees easier for you, we’ve created several comparison tables you can check when determining which remittance center provides the cheapest money transfer within the Philippines.
Overseas Money Transfer Fees: Cebuana Lhuillier vs. MoneyGram vs. Western Union
Cebuana Lhuillier and Western Union charge the same rate for international cash transfers of PHP 5,000 or less. Western Union Money Transfer is the cheapest service when sending PHP 5,001 to PHP 100,000 and PHP 250,001 to PHP 500,000. Sending PHP 100,001 to PHP 250,000 from the Philippines costs lower at Cebuana.
Meanwhile, MoneyGram is the most expensive option when sending PHP 10,000 or less. However, its service fees are more or less the same as the other two remittance centers when sending more than PHP 10,000.
Domestic Money Transfer Fee Comparison
TrueMoney is the cheapest remittance center in the country for sending cash up to PHP 2,000. But those sending over PHP 2,000 up to PHP 50,000, RD Pawnshop offers the cheapest money transfer within the Philippines.
Meanwhile, MoneyGram has the most expensive money transfer fees regardless of the remittance amount. Western Union also charges the highest service fees for sending larger amounts, from PHP 10,000 to PHP 50,000.
Here are detailed tables comparing the money transfer fees of the listed remittances in the Philippines.
Pera Padala Rates in Metro Manila and North Luzon
Pera Padala Rates in South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
To sum it up, when choosing between remittance companies for sending money abroad or anywhere in the Philippines, consider the service fees, location or accessibility, transaction speed, convenience, security, and quality of customer service. This way, you can save money and time, whether you’re remitting cash to your loved ones or receiving payments from customers for your online business.
If you’re an overseas worker who’s looking for the best way to transfer money to your family in the Philippines, check out the Moneymax remittance guide for OFWs.