What can I do if for some reason the ATM in El Nido is not working?
Firstly, don’t panic! You can still withdraw money with this useful alternative method:
Use your ATM card (debit/credit) or bank details to securely send yourself funds online through a reputable International remittance service.
You can then pick up the cash in Peso the same day from Mlhuillier (open daily 8am-6:30pm) on Real Street opposite the church or any branch of Cebuana Lhuillier or Palawan Pawnshop in town (you will specify which during the transfer).
See our step by step guide below to avail the promo code that gives you a FEE-FREE first transfer – which actually works out less expensive than paying ATM withdrawal Fees.
Subsequent transactions are usually equivalent to, or cheaper than ATM withdrawal fees when you transfer anything over 10,000 Peso. With one of the best exchange rates available you can send up to 250,000 peso dependent upon country of origin and payment method used.
Maybe you are only in El Nido for a limited time, or concerned about how power outages may affect this? Don’t worry, because even if there’s no electricity, if you choose Mlhuillier, they can still process your transfer by calling their head office. Also, if for some reason you are unable to pick up your money, you can cancel the transfer and get a full refund, including all fees (if any) or pick it up from other branches in the Philippines. There is no time limit on picking up your cash, so it’s OK today, tomorrow or whenever.
Note: when paying with a credit (not debit) card you may be charged a cash advance fee dependent upon your card provider.
Step By Step Guide:
Visitors use this method regularly, so it’s definitely safe and reliable.
We also access funds this way because, besides being more cost effective for us, it’s also nice to know that the ATM card won’t get stuck in a machine if the power goes out!
(It is currently possible to send from 50 countries, however, Israel and a few others are not yet included – in this case your next best option is Western Union)
- To begin, click World Remit LTD (UK based, this is one of the most trustworthy, fastest growing services in the sector. This link opens a new secure window/tab so you can easily refer back to this quick guide)
- IMPORTANT (must be correct and cannot be changed later): The very first thing to do is choose your country (the country you will be sending money from) in the “send from” option at the top of the page (on mobile this is at the bottom of the drop down menu at the top of the page represented by the 3 horizontal lines) & wait for the page to refresh
- Choose Philippines in the “send to” box & click “Get Started”
- On the next page you sometimes have to re-input the “send from” and/or “send to” info once again and wait for the page to refresh, then where it says “Select Service” select cash pick-up and wait for the “select payout-network” option to appear. Here make your choice of either Mlhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier or Palawan (for Palawan Pawnshop). Note: This cannot be changed later.
- Choose the amount to send in your currency or receive in Peso. The exchange rate & fee (which you can remove with a promo code later) will automatically show. Once you’re happy click Send. You are then prompted to register and input details of who you are sending the money to (in most cases – yourself). After this you’ll need to provide your personal details and card or bank payment information. Don’t forget to use the promotion code “FREE” (without quotes) on the payment page to get a fee-free first transfer!
TIPs to make it go smoother: for the recipient, put yourself (as your name appears on your Passport) and use the address of your accommodation here (even though it may state you should use the address that is on your ID, you will be unable as it must be a Philippines address) . You will also require a local mobile number, however if you don’t have one, people have successfully used all zeros, or asked their accommodation to use their number. For the sending reason, select “Sending Funds To Self”. When it comes to payment details, it is important to make sure your name and address match the name on your Debit card and the billing address is used. If your card payment fails for any reason, select the Sofort option and pay using your online banking log-in details.
- Process your transfer.
- Almost instantly you will receive a welcome email (don’t worry if this does not arrive) and a confirmation email of your transfer informing you to wait for a further email. In most cases this takes 10-30 minutes (longer if paying via bank details & not card or your financial situation is complicated). It will say whether identity checks have been completed or not and inform you if your transfer is available to pick up.
- Once complete just go to the pickup point you selected and collect your money. Show your Passport and quote reference “WorldRemit” with your transaction ID number.
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TIP! Even if the cash machine starts to work again it is still worth your while trying this service so that in the future you have an emergency back up if your credit/debit card should ever get lost or stolen. Once you have made a transfer, and therefore cleared any credit checks, you can access your money this way instantly in over 120 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.
You can also transfer money to a bank in the Philippines using the above method by choosing bank deposit rather than cash pick up. We recently tried this and were only charged 1p for the fee and got a v competitive rate – much better than a swift / bank to bank transfer!
Western Union (click text for website) also offers a similar service to World Remit, although commissions and rates may be less favorable and the process perhaps more lengthy and complicated. Having said that, it’s a great backup solution if for some reason World Remit doesn’t work for you!
- Whilst we like to encourage “Walk Ins”, paying for your accommodation online will free up your cash for other things. You could even arrange with your accommodation to pay for your next few day’s online if possible.
- If you have foreign currency to exchange, money changers can easily be found to change currency to Peso.