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Philippines: A Transit Passenger’s Guide to Savvy Currency Exchange


When transiting through the Philippines for a few hours to half a day, you might find yourself needing local currency for short-term expenses. Planning your currency exchange in advance can make your airport waiting time more productive. This guide will delve into the most efficient and safe ways to exchange currency in the Philippines for transit passengers.

About the Philippine Peso

The Philippine currency is known as the Philippine Peso, symbolized as “₱” and denoted by the ISO code “PHP”.

Bills and Coins

The Philippine Peso is circulated in both bills and coins. Bills come in denominations of 20₱, 50₱, 100₱, 200₱, 500₱, and 1000₱. Coins are available in 1₱, 5₱, 10₱, and smaller denominations such as 25 centavos, 5 centavos, and 1 centavo. Coins are handy for small transactions, while bills are commonly used for larger amounts.

100USD to Philippine Peso??

Exchange Rate

The value of the Philippine Peso fluctuates based on its exchange rate with other currencies, especially major ones like the USD, EUR, JPY, etc. Tourists should check the latest exchange rates before or upon arrival in the Philippines. Currency can be exchanged at airports, banks, and money changers, though rates may vary by location.

“The current rate can be found here.”

Exchanging Currency in the Philippines: Tips for Transit Passengers

Airport Money Changers

Rating: ★★★☆☆ The most accessible option upon arrival is the airport’s currency exchange counters. Though the rates might be slightly less favorable compared to city rates, they are convenient for exchanging small amounts necessary for transit stays, such as for meals or short-term accommodations.

Shopping Mall Money Changers

Rating: ★★★★★ If you can venture into the city, money changers in shopping malls offer the best rates. These places are secure, and competitive rates are often available due to the high volume of transactions.


  • BDO Unibank Rating: ★★★★★ One of the Philippines’ largest banks, with branches throughout Manila, offering a secure environment for currency exchange.
  • Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Rating: ★★★★★ Another major bank with extensive branch coverage, including tourist and commercial areas, offering reliability for currency exchange.

Money Changers

  • Czarina Foreign Exchange Rating: ★★★★★ A trusted currency exchange service with several branches in Manila, known for offering competitive rates.
  • Sanry’s Money Changer Rating: ★★★★☆ Operates in shopping malls and standalone stores, known for its competitive rates and reliability.

Important Considerations

For short transit stays, there’s no need to exchange large amounts. Exchange just enough at the airport for immediate needs and consider using cards or exchanging at city shopping malls for better rates if time allows.

Best Practices for Currency Exchange

  • Airport for Small Amounts: For limited transit times, exchanging a small amount at the airport is practical.
  • City Exchanges for Better Rates: If time permits, exchanging money at city shopping malls is recommended for better rates and security.
  • Safety First: Regardless of where you exchange money, prioritize safety. Avoid counting large sums in public and secure your money immediately.


When exchanging currency during a transit through the Philippines, follow the guidelines above to choose the most efficient and safe method. Even for short stays, prior research and planning can ensure a smooth and enjoyable transit experience. Take advantage of savvy currency exchange to make the most of your brief time in the Philippines.

In Manila, there are hotels offering day-use options that are available during your transit. Why not choose the best room that fits your plan?

For tips on how to make the most of day-use hotels, click here:

To find day-use hotels available in Manila, visit:

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