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Transiting at Cebu Mactan Airport: Smart Ways to Exchange Currency in Cebu Island


Traveling to Cebu Island, known for its beautiful beaches and rich culture, is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the Philippines. However, an unavoidable part of international travel is “currency exchange”. Many people wonder where to exchange currency for the best deal and how to minimize fees. This article introduces the best ways to exchange currency for traveling to Cebu Island.

About the Philippine Peso

The “Philippine Peso (PHP)” is used in the Philippines, and life on the island revolves around this currency. Banknotes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos, with various small coins in circulation. As the exchange rate from yen to peso fluctuates daily, it’s important to check the latest rates before your trip.

1PHP = 0.018 USD (as of February 27, 2024) For the latest exchange rates, check here.

Currency Exchange Points in Cebu Island

Exchange at Cebu-Mactan International Airport

For travelers just arriving in Cebu Island, exchanging currency at the airport is the first step. Although there are several exchange offices at Cebu-Mactan International Airport, the rates there are generally less favorable compared to those in the city.

There are exchange offices in both the arrival and departure areas of the airport, typically located near the baggage claim in the arrival lobby or near the check-in counters and before security checkpoints in the departure lobby.

Therefore, a common approach is to exchange only a minimal amount upon arrival and look for better rates in the city.

However, exchanging a small amount at the airport can be convenient if you need pesos immediately after arrival, such as for taxi fares or meals on your first day. The common strategy is to exchange a small amount at the airport and look for better rates in the city.

Exchange Offices in the City

Exchange offices in the city center, especially those in Ayala Mall and IT Park, offer favorable rates for tourists. These areas are well-secured, allowing you to exchange money with peace of mind.

Ayala Mall

Several exchange offices inside the shopping center offer relatively good rates due to competition. Most of these are located on the first floor, but it’s important to walk around a bit and compare rates at different offices.

Ayala Mall is a 33-minute drive from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines).

IT Park

IT Park, a new business and leisure area in Cebu, also has places where you can exchange currency at good rates. Rates fluctuate daily, so checking the latest information before visiting is advisable.

IT Park is also a 32-minute drive from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Cebu City 6000 Cebu Philippines).

Exchanging Currency at Hotels or Banks

Exchanging currency at hotel fronts or banks is very convenient, but the rates offered are often less favorable compared to city exchange offices. Except in emergencies, it’s recommended to use city exchange offices that offer better rates. Also, exchanging currency at banks may require a passport, so preparing it in advance is smooth.

Tips for Finding the Best Rates

  • Compare several exchange offices: There are many exchange offices in Cebu City. Stretch your legs a bit and compare rates at different offices to find the best deal.
  • Check official rates: Exchange rates fluctuate daily. It’s important to check the rates at major banks or online to understand the actual market rate.

Points of Caution When Exchanging Currency in Cebu

  • Avoid the risk of counterfeit money by exchanging currency only at reputable offices or banks.
  • Check for fees: Some exchange offices may charge fees. It’s important to check these fees in advance and compare the overall rates.


With a little preparation and information gathering, currency exchange in Cebu Island can be done more advantageously. We hope this article helps make your trip to Cebu Island enjoyable. Enjoy smart currency exchange methods along with the wonderful experiences Cebu Island offers.

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