Last Updated: July 24, 2021
Did you suddenly decide to get a BDO Checking Account (also known as a Current Account)? Not so fast. Before you go to the nearest BDO branch, here are the things that you should know whether you can actually open a checking account. This guide will orient you about BDO’s checking account.
There are several kinds of checking accounts with BDO.
If you would like to keep your existing savings account number, there is an account for that. If you would like to earn interest from your checking account, there is an account for that. There’s the (Basic) Peso Checking Account and Smart Peso Checking Account.
Basic Checking Account is a zero-percent interest bearing account. You need to have (or will be lending) PHP 5,000 to the bank in order to open this account, while Smart Checking Account is an interest-bearing account. The Smart Checking account offers interest of 0.125%, similar to an ATM Savings account.
It’s not worth it to put aside PHP 15,000 or PHP 25,000 just to earn interest from a checking account.
As of writing, the interest rates for BDO’s Smart Checking are really low, or not existent at all.
If you would like to have an ATM card, you can always request for an ATM debit card from your branch of account. There is even no sense in setting aside PHP 25,000 just to have a passbook. There’s internet banking or you can always ask your branch to print an official statement of account.
The Simple Convincer recommends you only open a basic checking account. Checking accounts are also called transactional accounts or demand accounts. Checking accounts are supposed to be used for daily transactions such as payments, fund transfers, not for savings.
Opening a basic checking account will not cost you PHP 5,000.
Based on experience, you cannot open a checking account by referring to BDO’s Personal Banking page alone.
According to BDO’s Peso Checking Account page, you only need PHP 5,000 as opening balance and you have to maintain the same amount to avoid banking fees. But in reality, that’s not true.
WHAT THEY DIDN’T TELL YOU: BDO is very strict when it comes to opening a bank account in general. It’s even harder to open a BDO Checking Account. Depending on the branch you will be transacting with, you may need to have an average monthly balance of PHP 20,000 in your savings account for the past six consecutive months. After that, the BDO branch whom you will be dealing with will allow you to open a Philippine Peso Checking Account.
UPDATE (August 31, 2019): Again, this PHP 20,000 average monthly balance ALL DEPENDS on which branch you will be creating an account at. Some branches, such as NAIA Terminal 3 will ask you to have an average monthly balance of PHP 50,000.
You can still open even if you don’t have six months balance history.
Opening a checking account under exceptional cases is under the bank branch manager’s discretion. If you would like to issue post-dated checks for payment (monthly amortization payment for real properties, transaction payments), make sure that you bring your proof that you need them. Proof of necessity of opening a checking account includes, but is not limited to, real property payment agreements.
If you really need to open a checking account, you need to justify your reason for opening a checking account with the branch manager. Talk to the branch manager to negotiate or to waive the six months average monthly balance requirement.
You can order checks online.
One thing good about BDO is that if you think you are going to run out of paper checks to endorse, you can order checkbooks online.
…but you can’t get have them delivered even in this pandemic era.
You can order checkbooks online but you can not have them delivered to you. You have to get out of work or allot time to visit the bank because checkbooks are for pickup only.
Don’t even expect picking up your checkbook in other branches.
Philippine banks love the concept of home branch. Thus, if there is a BDO branch near your company and you wish to pickup your checkbook there, you have no chance of getting your checkbook because in the eyes of a BDO branch, you’re not their customer.
Don’t expect Statement of Accounts to be generated on time.
According to BDO’s Customer Contact Center, Checking Accounts’ Statement of Accounts are usually generated 10 banking days after the cut off date. But in reality, it takes one full month before you see your statement of account. Sometimes even more.
You can transfer your checking account to another branch if you decide to move, but your account number will change.
Did you move to a new home? Isn’t it a bit more hassle to visit your home branch located somewhere in Cebu City while you are living the grand life in the heart of Metro Manila? Fear not. You can ask your home branch that allowed you to open your checking account to make an endorsement letter to the nearest BDO branch that you would like to bank with. That endorsement letter is the only thing that you need to bypass the requirements that were mentioned in this article.
You can always choose to link an ATM card to your checking account.
Again, checking accounts are mean for transactional banking–for everyday transactions and payments. How will you pay your favorite store if they don’t accept checks yet they have a card machine? Of course, with the use of a debit card! You can always ask your branch of account to issue an ATM card for your checking account.
Never ever issue unfunded or bouncing checks.
This is very important. In the old days, people with checking accounts should always balance this checkbooks as often as needed. This is so old style. With today’s technology, before you endorse any kind of check, open the BDO mobile app, transfer funds from any of your accounts to your checking account before endorsing a check.
Make sure that there are funds in your demand deposit (checking) account anytime on the endorsement date on the check (or the date that you write on the check). Remember that issuing bouncing (or unfunded) checks is a criminal offense. The bank will have to pay a minimal amount to the Philippine Clearing House Corporation for rejected transactions, while the bank account holder will be charged PHP 2,000. If you decide to pull out your check before the endorsee deposits your check (called stop payment order), the endorser (or the bank account holder) will be charged PHP 200.
Issuing bouncing checks will affect your credibility in all the banks in the Philippines. Banks have this so-called negative list.
DISCLAIMER: All information here are based on the experience of opening a checking account with BDO by the Simple Convincer back in 2017 and recent changes in 2020 have been added. Things may have changed. The Simple Convincer only provides this information as a quick reference only. For the official guide and information, PLEASE VISIT YOUR DESIRED BDO BRANCH OR CALL THEIR CALL CENTER HOTLINE.
If you are senior officer at BDO, why not tell the marketing people at BDO or someone who manages BDO’s web site to put self-help articles, like what BANK OF AMERICA does? There are lots of questions the average Juan Dela Cruz would like to ask BUT YOU ARE MAKING US ALL QUEUE AT YOUR ANNOYING BRANCHES FULL OF PEOPLE.