Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m not affiliated in any way with East West Bank and I’m not being paid to write this. I was just compelled to write about my experience!
Recently, I received payment via PayPal. It was my first time to use the service and it was very stressful for me. Long story short, I looked for debit cards that could be linked to PayPal so that I could withdraw the funds to my bank account and this Visa debit card from East West bank seems to be the crowd favorite, at least in the blogosphere. I researched some more, found out about their basic savings account, and proceeded to open one as soon as I could.
East West’s basic savings account is possibly one of the best, and most affordable, savings accounts out there.
With an initial and maintaining deposit of just 100 pesos, I don’t see how anyone would have trouble with it. However, what really takes the cake is the fact that you get this sparkly lime green Visa debit card when you open an account!
It’s such a refreshing color, don’t you think? And it’s Visa, which means you can use it to shop online and overseas.
Some people say you only need one valid ID to open a basic savings account. I tried that, but they also asked me for my school ID, my registration card, proof of billing, and even my birth certificate. If you’re not a student, skip the school ID and registration form, but bring two valid IDs just to be sure. Also, bring one ID picture for the signature specimen card. I don’t think it matters if it’s 1×1 or 2×2 as long as it’s an ID picture. I opened an account in 30 minutes or so and picked up my card after exactly one week.
Of course, don’t forget to enroll your account in their online banking service. It’s free. All you need is to sign up here, print the enrollment form, sign it, and submit it to the branch where you opened your account. It should be active in 24 hours. If not, call your branch of account to sort it out. I’m happy to know they implement an OTP (one-time password) system like BDO internet banking; this feature provides an additional layer of security to your online transactions.
I haven’t tried linking my Visa debit card to my PayPal account because I used another card for that, but you shouldn’t have any problems. East West staff are familiar with the process and will readily give you the four-digit confirmation number from PayPal once you ask for it.
After calling BDO and being told that they are not affiliated with PayPal, and after finding out that you can withdraw PayPal funds to your BDO savings account but you’ll get 200 pesos slashed off it as a “remittance fee”, I decided to withdraw my funds to my brand-spanking-new East West account instead. Well, the funds were successfully transferred to my account in two working days and I wasn’t charged anything for it, except the 50-peso PayPal fee for bank withdrawals less than P7,000. Win!
Using my East West debit card is different from using my BDO debit card in that I’m asked for my signature, as in credit card transactions, instead of being asked to input my PIN.
Thus far, I’m loving my experience with East West. If you’re looking for a savings account with a small maintaining balance, I highly recommend East West basic savings! They don’t charge extra for POS (point-of-sale) transactions and East West ATM withdrawals. You get a Visa debit card to boot!