Budget & Planning
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BDO Debit Card for Asia, USA Travel

I am sharing this for everybody who doesn’t know it yet… but I have a feeling that I am the last person to know, that you can use your BDO Debit Card also for online purchases and for purchases outside of the Philippines. I’ve had this card since 2010, and it’s only this year that I’ve used it for online purchases. Specifically, it was only just weeks before I started planning our Singapore + Melaka trip that I learned from a BDO bank teller that I can use my debit card like a credit card.

It happened because I asked her if they have a card similar to Unionbank’s EON card that you can use to pay for online purchases and a card I can bring with me abroad, specifically to Malaysia and Singapore. Turned out, I need not apply for a new card because the card I own already works that way. I thought it was great I never had any idea I can use my card to pay for online purchases. I saved my self.


Photo from blogspot.com

I’m sure you know how to use the credit and debit cards. And, I won’t go into much detail. What I’m going to share are the service charges I incurred on my trip abroad for future references and if you are planning to go abroad and bring a card with you. I knew before I went to Singapore that there are service charges but the BDO teller said she does not know the exact amount of the service charge because it varies depending on the transaction (purchase, withdrawal) and the foreign bank ATM. I only learned of the exact amount of the service charges when I had my account updated when I arrived in Cebu.

So here are the service charges. If you know the service charges in other cities and countries, feel free to comment. This table will be continuously updated.

City/Location Transaction Service Charge
Melaka, Malaysia Clothes purchase US$2.00
Singapore ATM withdrawal US$3.50
Thailand ATM withdrawal THB220
U.S.A. ATM withdrawal $3.00 per withdrawal
U.S.A. Purchase, used as credit card $1.00 per transaction

Notes on BDO Service Charge Outside of Philippines

  • In Melaka, I purchased a dress which costs RMB49 (discounted from RMB59). I was charged US$2.00 in my BDO debit card. I used the card as a debit card.
  • In Singapore, I withdrew money from an OCBC ATM and I was charged US3.50 for the transaction.
  • In Bangkok, I withdrew money from ATMs of two different banks and both transactions charged me 220baht per transaction (withdrawal of 2,000baht each). In my bank account, it reflected that I was charged US$3.50 per transaction. I used the ATM machine at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, and it would notify me of the service charges in baht before allowing me to proceed to the transaction.
  • In the US, I withdrew money from a Citibank ATM machine and that withdrawal charged me $3.00. I could not withdraw money from Chase or Santander ATM machines. My BDO Debit card was denied twice in the US, probably because it was a Mastercard and the credit card machine was for Visa. I was also charged $1.00 per transaction for the times I used my debit card as a credit card. I used the card to pay for entrance fees at the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum and for JetBlue excess baggage fees.

All times, there were no glitches to my transactions, and the amounts reflected in my bank statements were accurate.



    • With BDO, I only know of their P50 charge for deposits made to banks that are located in the same city. Other banks do not charge for the same transaction. Do you know of other Philippine banks that offer lesser service charges, especially for international transactions?

  1. On our latest travel, we were using BDO and BPI ATM cards. I didn’t get the chance to OC the charges yet. When I do, I will comment it here. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Bus Travel to Melaka + Booking Tips – Thrifting Adventures

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