Transferring Foreign Currencies to GCash

Filipinos are known for having connections in other countries — as immigrants, as overseas workers, as tourists. And understandably, a lot of Filipinos remit money back home to their families.

Additionally, through the rise of e-commerce and side hustles, it isn’t uncommon that Filipinos can also earn dollars and other currencies. They would also need to transfer their earnings to their local bank or to their GCash account.

In this post, we’ll talk about different ways of how you can transfer money from a different country to your GCash account.

Can I use GCash abroad?

As a Filipino abroad, you are able to make use of your GCash as long as you qualify for the following:

  1. You use a Filipino SIM card and have international roaming enabled.
  2. You are Fully Verified and have an address in the Philippines.
  3. You are a Filipino national.

If you use a SIM card from a different country, you won’t be able to log into GCash, even if you have help with OTP (one-time-password) from a local in the Philippines.

How to activate roaming on your phone

For postpaid plans, you typically only need to turn your data on. For prepaid plans, you would need to avail of roaming plans (Globe / Smart).

Transfer via Remittance

As we have a lot of OFWs abroad, they also need to remit their earnings back home. Unknown to many, GCash has a lot of partnerships with remittance partners abroad.

For remittances, the fees are shouldered by the sender. So in this case, the recipient receives the net amount with the fee removed.

A shortlist of partners include:

For more details, you can also take a look at my receiving remittance post.

Transfer via Bank/Wire Transfer

Another popular method is to transfer to a Philippine bank account via wire transfer. The originating currency will automatically be converted to pesos once deposited. But expect that there will be processing fees included in the transfer.

Some common bank SWIFT Codes are:

  • BPI – BOPIPHMM
  • UnionBank – UBPHPHMM
  • CIMB Bank / GSave – CIPHPHMM
  • BDO Unibank – BNORPHMM
  • Metrobank – MBTCPHMM
  • Landbank – TLBPPHMM
  • Security Bank – SETCHPHMM
  • Philippine National Bank – PNBMPHMM
  • Chinabank – CHBKPHMM
  • Eastwest Bank – EWBCPHMM
  • RCBC – RCBCPHMM
  • UCPB – UCPBPHMM
  • PSBank – PHSBPHMM
  • AUB – AUBKPHMM
  • PBCom – CPHIPHMM
  • DBP – DBPHPHMM
  • Maybank – MBBEMYKL

Once the wire transfer is complete, depending on the bank, you can either withdraw (from GSave), initiate a bank cash-in, or do an Instapay transfer to your GCash balance.

Take note that for Instapay transfers, there may be fees for some banks.

Here are the InstaPay fees for most banks:

  • AUB: Free
  • BDO: Php 25
  • BPI: Php 25
  • Chinabank: Free
  • Coins.ph (DCPay): Php 10
  • Landbank: Free
  • Maybank: Php 40
  • Metrobank: Free
  • Paymaya: Php 10
  • PBCom: Php 20
  • PNB: 50
  • PSBank: Free
  • RCBC: Php 25
  • Union Bank: Free

You can also refer to the BSP Instapay fees list if your preferred bank is not here.

Transfer via Paypal

For many entrepreneurs, Paypal is one way to receive money online. It’s also easy to link Paypal to a GCash account, as long as your name matches the Paypal account name.

You can also enable multiple currencies in your Paypal account, meaning you can hold multiple currencies in different sub wallets without converting from one to another. If the currency you plan to accept isn’t on the list, it will be converted automatically to the primary currency you’ve set.

Cashing in is simple as you can do it from within GCash once linked. Fees may include the conversion from one currency to PHP.

Here is the list of supported currencies. :

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Czech Koruna (CZK)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Israeli New Shekel (ILS)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Polish Złoty (PLN)
  • Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • United States Dollar (USD)

Transfer via Payoneer

Another option for online business owners is cash-ins via Payoneer. Similar to Paypal, you can receive payments in Payoneer, then transfer to your GCash balance. The main advantage of receiving payments in Payoneer is the receiving account can simulate a checking account at a local bank which makes it easier for some sellers.

Supported currencies are USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. This means that you can accept payments with these currencies without needing conversion.

For fees, according to this site, receiving payments with Payoneer using the USD wallet incurs a 1% transaction charge. The other currency wallets don’t have this fee. Another is the conversion fee when you do cash-in to GCash.

Transfer via Cryptocurrency

There is no direct cash-in via cryptocurrency from within the GCash app. However, you can receive money in GCash by converting the cryptocurrency you received in Binance. You can use P2P trading to have the crypto converted to fiat and sent to your GCash balance.

The fees you will encounter are related to the conversion of your cryptocurrency in the exchange, and the conversion to fiat via the P2P buyer.

The supported cryptocurrencies for P2P trading to fiat are:

  • USDT
  • BTC
  • BUSD
  • BNB
  • ETH
  • SLP

I recommend you use BNB, BUSD, or USDT (via Binance Smart Chain) as these don’t take too much gas fees to transfer, unlike BTC, ETH, or SLP which costs an arm and a leg to transfer.

Transaction Limits and AMLA

In receiving money, let us always remember the monthly transaction limits:

Wallet and Transaction Limits

This also covers most of the limits of all cash-in channels, including over-the-counter, machine, online, Paypal, Payoneer, and remittances.

Additionally, the outgoing limit also applies to GInvest and GInsure, as you are putting money into investments and/or insurance.

DetailBasicFully VerifiedFully Verified with
Linked Accounts
Fully Verified Minor (GCash Jr)
Wallet SizePhp 50,000Php 100,000Php 500,000Php 50,000
Daily Incoming LimitPhp 10,000N/AN/AN/A
Monthly Incoming LimitPhp 50,000Php 100,000Php 500,000Php 10,000
Daily Outgoing LimitPhp 5,000Php 100,000Php 100,000Php 10,000
Monthly Outgoing LimitPhp 100,000N/AN/AN/A
Yearly Outgoing LimitN/AN/AN/APhp 100,000

The linked accounts here pertain to BPI, UnionBank, and Payoneer accounts, with GSave and GInvest placements.

If you encounter GCash limit exceeded errors, you will need to wait for next month for your limits to reset, or you can use an alternate GCash account to transact.

For some cash-in channels, here are the respective limits:

  • Payoneer: Php 100k per month
  • BPI Cash-in: Php 50k per day
  • UnionBank Cash-in: Php 50k per day

Otherwise, the GCash monthly limits apply.

Take note that the GCash upper limits are Php 500k per month, this is because the Anti-Money Laundering Act mandates reporting of deposits of amounts exceeding this.

If you have big amounts to transfer, it would be best to transfer partially at a time and stretch it. You can also send it one time via bank transfer but be prepared as you may need to send documents proving the legitimacy of your fund source.

Other Questions

How do I send money in my GCash balance into other currencies?

You can utilize your AMEX or GCash Mastercard to send payments to them. Or if the recipient is also a GCash user in another country, you can send money to them, and have them convert to their respective currencies by the channels we mentioned here.

Summary

Transferring foreign currencies to GCash is not that hard, as you have a lot of channels to choose from — either through remittances, wire transfer, Paypal, Payoneer, or cryptocurrency.

You should also take note of the monthly limits due to your verification level, as well as other limits and fees imposed depending on the channel you chose.

If you’d like to learn more about GCash, I created a how-to on the basics of GCash.

Here is a list of links if you’re interested in the main GCash features:

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