Suppose you’re expecting family or relatives vacationing from abroad. In that case, the arrival of tourists for a business conference, or you’re traveling abroad, one of the first things you need to do is look for a money changer or exchange. Cash is one of the most important travel essentials, so your guests exchange their currency for pesos, or you get pesos changed before traveling abroad. Is there a money changer near me?
Anywhere you go in Manila and major cities in Luzon, you often spot a lot of small money changers. While these can be tempting because of their proximity, their rates are usually lower than those announced by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Since you’re looking for a “money changer near me,” go to the best and proven money changers with reasonable rates.
Useful Tips to Make Foreign Currency Exchange Easier
Avoid airport money changers
While they may seem convenient, airport money changers will charge more because of high operating costs, expensive monthly rent, and extended operating hours. If you’ve just arrived in the Philippines, exchange some cash at the airport only if you need money for commuting.
Avoid paying commission fees.
Foreign exchange businesses make money by selling foreign currency at higher rates or charging customers a commission. Inquire first from the shop if they set such a fee. If they charge for commission, go somewhere else if you’re not in a rush. There will always be a commission-free money changer in the Philippines.
Stay updated and compare rates before exchanging
Foreign exchange rates fluctuate regularly, even at banks and money changers. Before exchanging, look around for favorable exchange rates. This way, you can maximize the value of the exchange.
Where is the Best Money Changer Near Me?
Here are some of the best foreign exchange shops to check out.
Czarina Foreign Exchange
Established in 1978 as one of the best money changers in Manila, if not the Philippines, it trades significant currencies, including the ones other money changers do not deal with. It does not charge a commission. Branches are located at:
- Pasig City – Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons
- Muntinlupa City – Alabang Town Center
- Baguio City – Pines Arcade Building, Session Road
- Taguig City – Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City
- Rizal – Q Plaza Commercial Complex, Cainta
- Glorietta 4, Ayala Center
- Makati Cinema Square, Chino Roces Avenue
- Liberty Center Building, Salcedo Village
- Picasso Residences, Salcedo Village
- Quezon City:
- New Farmers Plaza, Araneta Center, Cubao
- Ali Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao
- Fairview Terraces, Novaliches
- Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth Avenue
- Robinsons Magnolia, Aurora Boulevard
Tivoli Money Exchange
Founded in 1983, it trades in primary as well as rare currencies. Tivoli is more than just a money changer near me because it also engages in cryptocurrency. It facilitates over-the-counter trading and withdrawals of most major cryptocurrencies because it is BSP-accredited. Major branches are located at:
- Makati City – Glorietta 2, Ayala Center
- Quezon City – TriNoma
- Parañaque City – Okada, Manila
A more recent money changer founded in 2008, Lulu provides fast, secure service and the best market rates. It also offers remittances and forex trading. While you can find Lulu Exchange in malls, you can also find them at Terminals 1, 2, and 3 at the Manila International Airport and Clark International Airport. Though we mentioned avoiding airport money exchanges, Lulu is worth checking out because of their rates and service. Other branches are located at:
- Parañaque City – Ayala Malls Manila Bay
- Las Piñas City – Robinsons Place Mall
- Cebu – Robinsons Galleria
Naila’s Money Changer
It is a popular and one of the best “money exchange near me” located at 1741 A. Mabini Street in Malate. They even exchange for less typical currencies like the krone, rand, real, rupee, and sol.
Moonlight Money Changer
Moonlight is another best and most popular money changer at 1190 A. Mabini Street in Ermita. Many foreigners and ex-pats flock to this money changer because of its customer-friendly service and reasonable rates.
Best Remittance Centers with Money Exchange Services
In Metro Manila, select Cebuana Lhuillier and Pera Padala branches have foreign currency exchange services located at:
- Marikina 3
- Shaw Boulevard
- Vito Cruz
- JAKA Plaza
- Isetann Recto
- Malabon 8
- Pasay Road
- Roces Avenue
You can find a Palawan Pawnshop at almost any corner of Manila. Exchanging foreign currency for pesos is pretty straightforward. Buying foreign currency is stricter to avoid money laundering. You must make a reservation, pay a non-refundable down payment, and submit supporting documents.
Villarica is not just a popular pawnshop but a money changer offering high exchange rates for any foreign currency.
Best Banks for Foreign Exchange
Aside from looking for a money changer near me, banks also double as money changers. But remember that banks only offer foreign currency exchange service to those with an account with their bank and transact such service only with the branch where the account is located. Before exchanging currency, you must also present your passport or valid government-issued ID.
- Philippine National Bank (PNB)
- Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) – Their forex trading includes foreign currency deposits and multi-currency investments. You can convert foreign currency online with a peso and US dollar account.
- Security Bank – You can also convert foreign currency online with a Security Bank peso and US dollar accounts.
Foreign Exchange Counters in Malls
SM Malls, SM Hypermarket, Savemore, and Robinsons Malls have money changer counters at their department stores or supermarket areas. They are suitable for shoppers, ex-pats, and foreigners who need one-stop shop convenience. However, their currency exchange services only convert foreign currency to pesos. They don’t do peso-to-other currency exchange.
Note: While most money changers listed above, especially in Manila and Makati, are open at the regular office hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., others are usually available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is to facilitate more customer transactions after 5 p.m. and that there are far fewer transactions before 10 a.m.
Ultimately, no one should worry about getting a lousy deal when exchanging currencies. By properly researching the options near you and checking out reviews to see who offers the best exchange rate, you can ensure you receive quality service and get the most bang for your buck. Whether your goal is to save money or find better convenience, it’s essential to consider both considerations for your upcoming currency exchange. Remember to consider taxes and fees associated with each option as well! With these tips, you can rest assured that you’re making a wise decision when selecting your reliable money changer.
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