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Currency, Exchange, Credit Cards, ATMs in Philippines

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The official currency of the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP, symbol P), divided into 100 centavos. Notes are available in following denominations: P1,000, P500, P200, P100, P50 and P20. Coins are in denominations of P10, P5, P2 and 1, and 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.

Import and export of local currency is limited to P10,000, unless authorized by the Central Bank of the Philippines. The import and export limit of foreign currency is limited to US$10,000.

Foreign Currency Exchange

Money can be exchanged at banks or independent money exchange offices. Some banks may require a minimum transaction amount, about US$100 and usually offer lower rates than exchange offices. The exchange offices are not common outside of large cities or tourist areas.

Travelers should be warned not to exchange money on the street as there is a high risk of becoming a victim of a scam (like getting counterfeit notes). Also, there is some risk of potential scams or rip-offs by exchange offices.


Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) are widely available in cities and major tourist areas and they can be found at banks, department stores, supermarkets or shopping malls. ATMs may be unavailable in rural areas or on smaller islands. If you plan to stay away from a larger city, it is recommended to check for ATMs before you arrive there.

The ATMs in the Philippines accept major credit cards for cash advances (mostly MasterCard, followed by Visa) and debit cards that work on Cirrus (most machines) or Plus networks, for cash withdrawals. Also, many BancNet ATM's accept Chinese UnionPay credit cards for cash advances. Machines of certain banks impose daily withdrawal limits (P4,000 - P5,000). Most ATM's in bigger cities operate 24/7.

ATM's are the recommended way of getting cash while traveling in Philippines.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards (mostly MasterCard and Visa, American Express, Diners Club and JCB to lesser extend) are accepted by larger hotels, restaurants, stores and resorts, mostly in larger cities. In smaller cities and towns or on smaller islands cash is often the only option to pay bills.

Note that some stores may only accept credit cards issued by local banks. Some stores will require a minimum purchase amount or will add a surcharge to the bill (or both).

Traveler's Checks

Traveler's checks can be cashed at most banks; some larger hotels or restaurants will also accept checks. It is strongly recommended to bring checks in US dollars (American Express checks work the best here) as checks in other currencies may be difficult to cash. Small fee will typically apply for cashing traveler's checks.

Banking Hours

Banking hour are typically from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Current Philippine Peso Rates

For other currencies or conversion amounts go to Currency Converter

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