Passbook Account Opening Guide | BPI

Can’t decide? Want to get more information about opening a passbook account in BPI? Requirements? Perks? If yes, read on.

I only have a payroll account in BPI [Bank of the Philippine Islands] until recently. I decided to open a passbook account with them and to transfer all my savings from UnionBank because I’m already fed up of UB’s lame service.

The application went just fine. Hence, I published this guide or review to share my experience and to help those who want to learn more about BPI passbook.

I’ll start this post by comparing the passbook account that is offered by BPI and one of its subsidiaries.


What’s the difference? Where to open an account?

BPI, and its subsidiary, BPI Family Savings Bank, offer the same service or product with a difference in interest rate and monthly service fee which is charged on accounts with below the required minimum Average Daily Balance [ADB].

BPI offers 0.250% interest rate per annum, while BPI Family Savings Bank offers 0.500%.

BPI vs BPI Family Savings Bank Passbook Account

The required minimum ADB [Average Daily Balance] of the said two banks is just the same which is PHP10,000.00.

An account’s ADB is equivalent to the sum of its daily balance in a month divided by the total number of days in that specific month.

If an account is below the required minimum ADB in two consecutive months, BPI deducts PHP300.00 monthly service fee, while BPI Family Savings Bank charges PHP250.00.

They both charge PHP200.00 monthly if an account is dormant [defined by BPI as no client-initiated transaction] within two years.

Earned interest is being credited to an account quarterly as long as the required end-of-day balance of PHP25,000.00 and above is being maintained.

Note: BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank offer different passbook accounts, but in this post, I’ll just focus on Peso Savings/Deposit.


Nope. For me, it’s an advantage because I can avoid withdrawing fund easily compared to an ATM card. Also, I can focus on saving money.

The only way to withdraw money from a passbook account is to go to a BPI branch directly [over-the-counter transaction]. It is recommended to bring a passbook for updating.

I am not sure if it is possible to withdraw money in a BPI branch if an account was opened in a BPI Family Savings Bank or vice versa. I haven’t tried it yet. Usually, I just transact with any BPI branch near my place or office.


BPI Express Online
BPI Express Online

It is possible to enroll or add a passbook account as a third-party to an existing Express Online [EOL] account with an active ATM-based account linked to it. Just like what I did!

I requested during my application to have my passbook account enrolled to my EOL account where my active payroll is linked to. With that, I can conveniently transfer money from my payroll account going to my passbook account with just a few clicks.

How to request it? I’ll discuss that later.

Note: A passbook account will not be included in the accounts list if enrolled as a third-party. Its transaction history will not be viewable online as well. It will be included only in the list of third-party accounts under Fund Transfer.

It is not yet possible to transfer fund from a passbook account to another savings account online.

Proceed to the next page.


Request GCash Transaction History

Globe logs all of your transactions every time you use your GCash account to send money, buy load, pay bills, donate, shop online using your AMEX virtual card and etc. Thus, you’ll be able to track your expenses.

You can get a copy of your transaction summary in two ways. You can print it any time via My GCash or you may request a copy of your transaction history to be sent to your email using the GCash app.

Via My GCash Portal

My GCash is an online account management tool available on the new Globe site. You may access it anytime to check your account balance and do some transactions like to send money or view your statement of account.

Go to this link for a thorough instruction on how to access My GCash Portal.

Once you’ve logged in, click View detailed transaction summary link. It will show you the transactions you’ve made in the last 30 days. You may adjust the date range by clicking on the drop-down menu.

You can print a copy of your transaction summary by clicking on Request PDF Format link.

Request Transaction History Using GCash App

GCash app is available for download at Google Play or iTunes Store. It’s free for Android and iPhone users. You can use it as well to manage your account, access your AMEX card details, donate to charities, buy load, check account balance, pay bills, transfer funds, change MPIN and locate GCash outlets.

Take note, your smart phone should be connected to the internet such as 3G, LTE or WiFi to operate the application.

Open GCash app. Enter your GCash MPIN. Tap Log In.

Reminder: You need to insert the Globe SIM where your GCash account is linked to your device. You will not be able to access your account using a different SIM.

Tap the GCash menu GCash App Menu in the top-left hand corner. Tap ‘Request Transaction History’

Tap Request Transaction History

Select your preferred date range: Last 7 days, Last 30 days, Last 60 days or enter a Custom Range.

Enter any working email address where you’d like to receive the copy of the transaction history. Tap Next.

The email will be sent as soon as you confirm the transaction.

Log-in to your email. Check the email from Globe GCash.

The account transaction history is on the email attachment. Generally, it’s a PDF file thus you need a software like Adobe Reader to view it.

When you open the file, you will be prompted to enter the password which is provided in the email.

Remember, transaction history cannot be used as an official document. You can’t use it as a requirement to apply for services from local companies. Please read the disclaimer on top of the PDF file for confirmation.


Transferring Funds from Bank Account to GCASH

Earlier today, I got an SMS update from Globe. They are proud to announce that local ATM cards (either credit or debit card) can now be used to reload GCash online. Here’s a preview of the text message:

“FREE GCASH Advisory; Enjoy the convenience of transferring funds from your bank account to your GCASH wallet online! If you have a BancNet or Mega-link-powered ATM account such as Metrobank, RCBC, EastWest Bank, Chinabank, Unionbank and many more, you can now cash-in to your GCASH wallet online….”

As far as I remember, it’s been a long time since they introduced this online service. It’s available both on GCash and GCASH AMEX official website. Actually, I tried it before but Globe did not clarify that it’s still on beta test. That’s why all of my transactions aren’t going through in the past. Now, it seems like they have already finalized it and good-to-go.

The service is for free. You can transfer funds to your GCash wallet at anytime without being charged a transaction fee. Just bear in mind that the lowest amount that can be transferred is PHP500 and the maximum is PHP40,000 per day. If you’re account is already KYC’ed, your daily limit is PHP100,000. That’s one of the benefits of having a verified account. For more information regarding KYC, please refer to this webpage.

Since this service is what I’d been waiting for months, I was too eager to do my first successful transaction. To no avail, I can’t still transfer funds. Not because there’s a problem with my card but there’s a problem with the pop up window where I need to key in my card details. I always get a certificate error. Whenever I get such, I’m getting apprehensive. I was once a victim of online phishing that’s why I’m afraid to just click on Proceed button without precaution.I called GCASH and they don’t know exactly why I am getting such an error. I used both Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 9 but I got the same certificate error. At first, I thought there’s a problem with the time setting on my Windows system. I tried to switch the time zone from GMT+9 to GMT+8 but it didn’t resolve the problem either. The rep asked me what bank card I’m using. I said RCBC. He said that I can transfer funds to my GCash wallet through BancNet alternatively. He walked me through the whole process but I ended up getting an error again.

I’m going to re-update this post once I completed a transfer anytime soon. I will also provide a detailed guide about the process.


Where to Get SSS E-6 Form?

E-6 is the form that you need to fill out and submit when you apply for a Social Security ID. You may download a copy online or get it from any SSS branches that have facilities for ID capture. Remember, not all SSS branches nationwide process SS ID applications.

You may download SSS E-6 form (PDF format) from this link. Just click on the Print button icon in your internet browser to print the two-page form. Use Legal sized paper. You may use Letter-sized paper but the text is too small when shrinked. Print the form back to back instead of separating it into two pages. That’s how the original printed form looks like when you get a copy from SSS.

You may also use the web fill-in E6 form if you don’t want to handwrite your details. Here’s the link. Use either Internet Explorer or Google Chrome to access the webpage. Fill out the entire form then print it once you’re done. You are not allowed to save the form with the information you have typed in. If you need multiple copies, print as many as you want because once you close the window, the data will not be saved. If you need to make another copy, you need to start from scratch.

You need to present a two valid ID together with the accomplished form when you drop by to SSS.

You must have at least one monthly contribution to be eligible for an SS ID.Notes:

– SSS no longer issue the original design of SSS ID (the blue one). They are now issuing UMID which is known as Unified Multi-Purpose ID. It’s a universal ID which holds you membership info from other government agencies such as GSIS, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig.

– If you haven’t presented or submitted a copy of your birth certificate during your initial application for an SS number, make sure to bring it with you. They need it to validate your information before they process your SSS ID application.

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Where to Find Samsung Device Pack and Certificate Number?

Samsung introduced Extended Warranty to its consumers to provide continuous support on their products. Basically, it is an extension of the original one year product warranty. First, you need to know that not all Samsung devices are eligible for enrollment. You may check Samsung website to make sure your device can be enrolled for an extension of warranty.

To be able to enroll your device to Extended Warranty, you need to register it first online. Here’s a guide on how to register:

After you register your product, you may now proceed with the enrollment. Just click on Registration link under Extended Warranty then fill out the form. You will be asked to enter the pack number, certificate number and pack purchase date. But, where can you find those information?As you may know, Extended Warranty is not free. Generally, you need to purchase it from Samsung Service Center. Depending on the country you’re in, you may contact Samsung customer service first to check if there are other ways of purchasing Extended Warranty without going to service center.

Upon purchasing of Extended warranty, you will be provided with a certificate containing the pack and certificate number. Those are the things that you need to enter during enrollment.

Extended Warranty form
After you successfully registered your device, extended warranty info will be shown under My Registered Product. Remember, extended warranty is good for a year only. It is advisable to get one after the original one year warranty expires.

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Track Western Union Money Transfer Online

Track your Western Union Money Transfer whenever or wherever you are online through Western Union Tracking website.

Tracking your money transfer online is easier, quicker and more convenient than to call or email customer service.

You can check status of a money transfer in just a minute.

To get started, all you need is the Money Transfer Control Number a.k.a. MTCN and the sender’s name.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to track money transfer online.

Track Western Union Money Transfer

Step 1: Go to this webpage.

Step 2: Enter all required information and click Check Status. See screenshot below.

Money Transfer Tracking - Western Union
Money Transfer Tracking – Western Union
If the sender has two first names, enter it on the first box. You can enter the middle initial as well if the sender wrote it in the form.
See example below.
Western Union Money Transfer Tracking - Two First Names


In the event that the link in Step 1 is down, you may track your MTCN here.

Enter the MTCN in the box provided, select your country then enter the expected amount.

Track Western Union Transfer
Track a Transfer page – Western Union

Click Track Transfer.

You’ll see the money transfer status in the next page.

Here’s a list of the common statuses of Money Transfer.

1. Available for pick up by the receiver

2. Picked Up

3. W0131 We do not have an order with the provided information. Please verify your information and click Check Status.

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Package was Held by Customs Due to Missing Invoice

Missing invoice is one of the common reasons why a parcel is being held in customs. Though it was retained, it doesn’t mean you’ll pay duty. Just set your expectation that you might pay. Give customs enough time to examine the package. Most probably, they put it on hold to figure out the actual price of the item. After acquiring enough information, they will evaluate if they should charge tax in your package or not. If they open your package to check the item inside or search for a receipt, they should tag your package as opened or it depends upon their procedure. If you think it’s taking too long, contact them immediately. If they ask a copy of the receipt, then send them a copy. 

missing custom invoice
If the item was declared as a gift, let’s say the item is a gift from a relative, customs will not bother to ask a receipt somehow. They will just determine the item value through research or whatever. It still depends on the customs clearance procedure in the destination country.

If the seller or merchant lowered down the total declared value of the item because you requested it, you may ask for a copy of pretend invoice. Take note, this is illegal. Doing this means you are breaking the law. You might get in trouble if you show them with a forged receipt and they have a reference of the real market value of the item. You should come up with good reasoning. Though you have a receipt, the total dutiable value might increase. Remember, a customs examiner has a way to check the real market value of an item and appraise it. Whatever the total fee that is showing in the customs form is final. You are obliged to pay it.

Now, do you need to ask the seller to put an invoice in the package every time you shop online? It depends. If you know your country’s customs requires a receipt then request it. This way customs will process clearance of your package faster.

Avoid requesting to lower down the item value. If the package was lost, the seller will not be compensated with the correct amount. Always remember that as a buyer it is your responsibility to pay any applicable tax that might be imposed in your package. It’s the law.


Customs Duty and Tax Computation in The Philippines

“All articles, when imported from any foreign country into the Philippines, shall be subject to duty upon each importation, even though previously exported from the Philippines, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code or in other laws.”

– Section 101: Imported Articles Subject to Duty of Republic Act No. 1937 also known as “The Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines

Duties on Imports

You pay tax when you buy a meal. Your utility service providers charge you with government taxes every month. Same when you are employed. Government deducts tax from your salary. And when you import goods, or let’s say a relative, a family member or a friend sent you a gift from another country, you might pay tax as well. And, that is an inevitable fact.

See the emphasis I apply on the word ‘might’. I used it to clear that even though your package was held by customs, it doesn’t mean that you’ll pay tax 100%. Who knows? A courier may knock on your house door anytime. Anyhow, you can consider both of these possibilities. That’s why in this post, I’ll be sharing how to compute tax, so you can estimate the amount you might pay.

If you are planning for the first time to shop online or import goods for commercial purposes, the guide on the next pages is helpful in estimating tax.


Before moving to the next section, let me just introduce the two common terms I’ll use in this post. The first one is tax and the second one is duty.

If you noticed, I mentioned the word tax many times in the first section of this article because Filipinos, as per my observation from an old related article, prefer to use it. However, duty is actually the more appropriate term to use when referring to tax on imports. Now, starting in the next section, I’ll use the word ‘tax’ to refer to value-added tax alone.

Somehow, the two terms are the same since they are both a form of tax, and to compute the total duty (or total tax), you need to sum customs duty, value-added tax, also known as VAT, and other fees.

Now, let’s take a look on how to compute the total duty of imports.


Things to Know About Clearance Delay

Do you ever wonder what “Clearance Delay” mean when you track a package on FedEx website?

People usually ship parcels via FedEx to take advantage of the reliable and fast shipping service. FedEx services are expensive, but it is worth the money. Packages are traceable and insurable. The delivery time frame is awesome. Usually, it takes only a few days, but it is not always the case. Though FedEx offers a great service, the company is not exempt from customs regulations of a country. There are times that delivery is late, and one of the common reasons for it is clearance procedure.
Clearance Delay
Clearance Delay, or “Package available for clearance” means the package was held for examination and assessment by customs. It is a shipment update that is very common on imports from overseas.

About Customs

For the sake of those who do not have an idea about customs, it is a government agency that is responsible for examining, and collecting duties and taxes on shipments coming in and out of a country.

Customs assigns inspectors and collectors in ports and courier facilities. Those people are responsible for clearing shipments, and ensuring that taxable goods are taxed.

Clearance Procedure on FedEx vs. Other Courier Companies

The clearance procedure in a FedEx facility is normally quicker than other courier companies. They update the shipment status of a parcel as soon as customs finishes assessing it. See example below.

Package available for clearance

The tracking history shows the package was shipped on January 29, and it arrived in the destination country at 6:28 a.m., the following day. Customs assessed the package and levied taxes on it. It was released quickly in less than an hour.


Create My SSS Account Online – Social Security System Philippines

On this post, I will guide you on how to create My SSS account to view your transactions and other pertinent information. It’s easy to create an account as long as you know the Social Security Number of your employer. You need not to have the SSS number of your most current employer. Even your past employers’ SSS number will do as long as they associate your number with theirs.

So, to create an account, here’s how:

1. Go to the registration page of the SSS website. Click here.

2. On the next page, tick Member option and click Submit.

3. Fill out the necessary fields required most especially your SSS number and then click Submit afterwards.

4. After you fill out the form, it will tell you that an email was sent to you. Check your e-mail account and click the link provided on it.

5. Continue with the registration process by proving all the information being asked. This is the last step. Be careful in entering your employers’ SSS number. You shouldn’t put dashes since it’s already provided.

6. Tick the I accept the Terms Of Service and Click Submit.

Your account is not automatically activated. You need to wait for another e-mail confirmation from SSS. It will only take a few minutes for you to receive it. If it takes long, wait within 24 hours. Your nominated password during the registration won’t be changed. As soon as you get the last confirmation email, go ahead and login to your account here. You can now check your SSS contributions.

Let me know should there be any updates on the site.