Guide to Philippine Peso Currency with Converter Calculator: Where to Exchange Money & Travel Tips

Guide to Philippine Peso Currency with Converter Calculator: Where to Exchange Money & Travel Tips

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Philippine currency The Philippines is a tropical country located in Southeast Asia that is famous for its beautiful beaches, cultural and heritage sites, and vibrant festivals. Aside from the stunning natural wonders, the country is also known for its warm and hospitable Filipino locals, that’s why a lot of travelers around the globe plan a holiday to the Philippines.

If you're thinking of visiting the Philippines, you'll be happy to know it's one of the most affordable destinations. Whether you're a budget traveler looking to backpack your way around or someone who prefers luxury hotels, the Philippines has something for everyone. You'll find everything from cheap hostels to fancy resorts and from tasty street food to high-class dining options.

If you're traveling to the Philippines for the first time, it's important to plan how much money to bring and where to exchange it. You can use this Philippine currency guide to help you know more about the Philippine Peso and essential travel money tips for your vacation.

Philippine Currency Exchange Converter Calculator

You can use this handy widget to easily convert your currency to Philippine Peso. Just enter the amount you want to convert and choose your currency. Whether you're budgeting for your trip or shopping, this online calculatorl makes it easy to plan your financials ahead for your vacation in the Philippines.


Frequently Asked Questions about Philippine Currency

Money with passportCheck out these FAQs about Philippine money and foreign exchange. Whether you're wondering about what currency does the Philippines use, where to exchange currency in the Philippines, and more, we've got you covered.

What is the currency of the Philippines?

The currency of the Philippines is called the Philippine Peso, abbreviated as PHP or represented by the symbol ₱.

Can I use foreign currency in the Philippines?

It is not recommended to use foreign currency in the Philippines as it may not be accepted widely. It is best to exchange your currency for Philippine Peso (PHP).

Where can I exchange money in the Philippines? 

In the Philippines, you can exchange money at various places including:

  • Banks: Most major banks in the Philippines offer currency exchange services. You can visit their branches to exchange your currency for Philippine Pesos.

  • Money changers: There are numerous licensed money changers located in popular tourist areas, shopping malls, and business districts in cities across the Philippines. They often provide competitive exchange rates.

  • Hotels: Some hotels offer currency exchange services for their guests, although rates may not be as favorable as those offered by banks or money changers.

  • Airport: Currency exchange counters are available at international airports in the Philippines, allowing travelers to exchange money upon arrival or departure. Avoid exchanging large amounts at Philippine airports as rates there can be higher.

  • Remittance centers: Companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram, and LBC Express offer money transfer services and may also provide currency exchange facilities.

When exchanging money, compare rates and fees for the best deal. Stick to reputable establishments to avoid scams and counterfeit currency. 

Girl counting US dollars for exchange to peso

Is it better to exchange currency in the Philippines or before arriving?

In general, it's better to exchange currency in the Philippines as rates are usually more favorable. If you must  exchange at the airport, only exchange a small amount.

Consider booking an airport pick-up and drop-off service in advance to minimize the need for cash upon arrival at major airports, such as Manila Airport or Cebu International Airport.

What is the exchange rate for Philippine Peso?

You can check the current exchange rate for the Philippine Peso on the official website of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Are credit cards widely accepted in the Philippines?

Credit card in the PhilippinesYes, credit cards are widely accepted in most urban areas and tourist destinations in the Philippines. But to be sure, it’s best to always carry cash with you since not all establishments in the Philippines are guaranteed to accept credit cards.

Can I withdraw Philippine Peso from ATMs in the Philippines?

Yes, you can withdraw Philippine Peso (PHP) from ATMs in the Philippines. ATMs in the Philippines typically support withdrawals in Philippine Peso using local debit cards, credit cards, and some international cards linked to major networks such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

However, if you are using an international card, it's a good idea to check with your bank first to make sure it will work in Philippine ATMs and to be aware of any associated fees for international transactions.

Can I exchange Philippine Peso back to my home currency?

Yes, you can exchange Philippine Pesos back to your home currency. You can do this at currency exchange offices, banks, or airports. Just bring your Philippine Pesos, and they'll give you the equivalent amount in your home currency. Make sure to check the exchange rates beforehand to get the best deal.

Is it safe to carry cash in the Philippines?

Wallet with credit cardsIt's safer to carry only the cash you need for the day. Use safe boxes provided in your hotel room for any excess cash. Making an online hotel booking, checking out tours, or renting a car in advance online can help minimize the need for carrying cash.

What's the Best Currency To Bring to the Philippines?

If you're traveling to the Philippines, it's best to bring US dollars (USD) with you. Once you arrive, you can easily exchange them for Philippine Pesos (PHP).

All You Need to Know about the Philippine Peso

Philippine peso coin

In this section, you'll learn more about the history and features of the Philippine peso. The Philippine Peso has a long history that goes back to the time when the Philippines was colonized by Spain. Over the years, the design and value of the Philippine Peso have changed many times.

When you look at Philippine money, you'll notice images of significant figures from the nation's past. These include notable Filipinos like Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Jose Rizal, and Emilio Aguinaldo. Their faces on the money serve as a tribute to their important roles in Philippine history.

What are the denominations of Philippine Peso banknotes and coins?

Philippine Peso banknotesThe Philippine peso comes in various denominations, both in banknotes and coins. Banknotes are available in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 pesos. Each banknote features unique designs and colors, making them easily distinguishable. 

On the other hand, coins are issued in smaller denominations, including 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, as well as 1, 5, 10, and 20 pesos. These coins have different sizes, shapes, and materials, with each denomination serving different purposes in daily transactions. 

Together, these banknotes and coins form the currency system of the Philippines.

How can I differentiate between genuine and counterfeit Philippine currency?

To determine whether the Philippine money is real or fake, look for special security features introduced by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). These include holographic strips, raised prints, watermarks, and other unique elements designed to prevent counterfeiting. Make sure to check for these features. If you're not sure, compare the bill to a real one or ask someone at a bank for help. It's important to be careful so you don't accidentally use fake money.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Photo by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Can damaged or torn banknotes still be used?

In general, banks and businesses in the Philippines may accept slightly damaged or torn banknotes, but it's better to exchange them for new ones at a bank or financial institution. If the notes are heavily damaged, you might need to exchange them directly at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines. However, to avoid any issues, it's best not to accept or use damaged or torn banknotes whenever you can.

How Much Does It Cost to Stay in the Philippines?

Woman in hotelThe cost of staying in the Philippines can vary depending on how long you stay and what activities you do. If you're on a budget, you can find Philippine tours starting at PHP250 ($4.55) and travel packages starting at PHP2747 ($49.95). For a more comprehensive, all-inclusive Philippine itinerary, a 5-day trip can be as low as PHP15,000 ($272.73).

Tips for Saving Money in the Philippines

Man at the airportTake note of these important tips to help you lessen your spending when in the Philippines:

Book in advance

Save money by making an online flight booking and hotel booking ahead of time. Rates are often cheaper when booked in advance, allowing you to take advantage of early booking discounts. Consider booking with agencies like Guide to the Philippines that offer flexible cancellation terms, giving you peace of mind in case your plans change.

Take public or shared transportation when possible 

Jeepney in the PhilippinesOpt for public transportation or shared airport and city transfers whenever possible to save money on transportation costs. Shared transfers and sea transfers are economical alternatives for traveling around, helping you save money while exploring the Philippines.

Stay at budget-friendly hotels

When visiting the Philippines, consider staying at budget-friendly hotels. These accommodations offer affordable rates without sacrificing comfort. Look for guesthouses, hostels, or budget hotels that provide basic amenities at lower prices. By choosing budget-friendly accommodation, you can save more money for exploring attractions and experiencing local culture. Keep an eye out for discounts or promotions offered by these hotels to maximize your savings during your stay.

Go where the locals eat 

Eating scallops in IloiloChoose local eateries and street food stalls for affordable and authentic meals. These food spots offer delicious Filipino dishes at lower prices than most restaurants, helping you save money while enjoying local flavors.

Book shared tours or activities

Boracay White BeachConsider booking shared tours or activities instead of private ones. Shared tours, such as shared island hopping tours, are often much cheaper and can provide a budget-friendly way to explore popular destinations and attractions. By joining group tours, you can enjoy the same experiences at a fraction of the cost, allowing you to stretch your travel budget further and make the most of your time in the Philippines.

Avoid traveling during peak season 

Traveling during the peak season and holiday season, from March to June and from November to December, can lead to higher rates for accommodations, transportation, and activities. Consider visiting during the off-peak seasons, from January to February or from July to October, to take advantage of lower prices and fewer crowds.

Essential Travel Tips about Money in the Philippines

Traveler on beach hammockTraveling in the Philippines requires smart money management to make sure you’ll have a smooth trip. From choosing between credit cards and cash to knowing where to find ATMs and understanding local tipping customs, these essential tips will help you handle your money wisely during your stay.

Credit Card vs Cash

Using credit card while in the PhilippinesWhen visiting the Philippines, it's best to have both cash and a credit card on hand. While credit cards are accepted in big cities and luxury hotels, it's still best to carry cash, especially in remote areas where card acceptance may be limited. Cash is universally accepted and handy for small transactions at local establishments. However, having a credit card for emergencies or larger purchases is a good idea.

ATMs in the Philippines

ATM machineWhen traveling in the Philippines, you'll find ATMs in cities and popular tourist spots, but they might be scarce in remote areas. These machines are convenient for withdrawing cash, and many are part of international networks like Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, and Plus. This means visitors with international credit or debit cards can easily withdraw Philippine Pesos. 

Before your trip, it's a good idea to check with your bank to ensure your card will work in the Philippines and to learn about any fees or restrictions that may apply. This way, you can avoid any surprises and have easy access to money throughout your trip.

Tipping in the Philippines

Tipping isn't mandatory but is appreciated by service staff and tour guides. Some restaurants may already include a service charge, so check before tipping separately. Typically, tipping is around 10-15% of the total bill, depending on service quality.

What Are the Different Ways To Pay in the Philippines?

Gcash interface example

In addition to cash and credit cards, there are various digital payment options available in the Philippines, including debit cards, GCash, Maya, and GrabPay. These digital payment platforms offer convenience and security, especially for online transactions and transportation services like taxis and ride-sharing.

Spend Your Money Wisely in the Philippines

Philippine money in front of an islandAs you get ready for your Philippines trip, make sure you're familiar with Philippine currency basics to handle money smoothly while traveling. Also, remember to consider the best time to travel and what to bring to the Philippines to make the most of your adventure. Don't forget to check out all-inclusive Philippines vacation packages for hassle-free travel arrangements.

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