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I just arrived in Jakarta’s International airport at 12:00 am and I have an early flight to Yogyakarta (5:00 am) so I went directly at the ATM to withdraw, to my surprise I received an error message that the machine cant make the transaction. I thought it was just the ATM’s problem so I tried other machines but I got the same error. I started to panic, thankfully I have $100 on my wallet for emergencies ( I never thought I would use it). I was sure that $100 is not enough for 4 days ( and some Taxi driver tried to con me outside the airport). Anyway I went directly to the domestic airport and tried to think of a game plan/spending plans, terminal 3 is still closed till 3 am so I waited at the waiting area and tried to sleep.
Once the terminal 3 was open I self checked in and went directly inside, again, I tried other machines but I still got the same error. Maybe it was BPI error and it will work tomorrow, that was I thought, to cut the story short I used the wifi of the hotel and tried to google a solution, but everything I got was tweets/posts about the same issues, so I went to BPI’s web site and contacted their customer support (email@example.com).
Below is the message I got including some instructions.
Greetings from BPI Express Online!
We received your e-mail regarding international ATM withdrawal with your BPI ATM. Please be advised that you may use your ATM card in Cirrus
terminals. Nonetheless, please be advised that due to a change in product features, the international access for BPI ATM cards is deactivated. With
this regard, if you will use your BPI Express Teller ATM card abroad, you need to activate your international ATM withdrawal. However, we regret to
inform you that we cannot activate it through email for your security. May we request you to call our 24-hour hotline so our Phonebankers can assist
• 89-100 for Metro Manila
• 1-800-188-89100 for domestic toll-free calls (where available)
• International Access Code + 63 + 2 + 89-10000 for international calls.
Applicable fees or charges imposed by the service provider are for the caller's account.
You may also check this link for the list of tollfree numbers which may be applicable in your current location:
Once you are connected, please dial 0 for “Other Products and Services”, then 0 “To talk to a Phonebanker”, and finally 1, ” For Express Teller”.
Your call will be transferred to a Phonebanker who shall assist you once positive identification has been conducted.
If you need further assistance or have other concerns, please do not hesitate to send us another e-mail.
Thank you for choosing to bank with us online!
So I was happy that I got a reply ASAP. It was my 2nd day in Jakarta and funds are running low ( I paid the hotel). I asked the hotel to use their phone , they asked if its domestic since its expensive to call abroad or Jakarta. I explained that its toll free but I think they didn’t know how Toll Free works. I was a little tired so i didn’t insist, I decided to buy a prepaid local sim card the next day to make the phone call. thankfully the sim card is cheap , so I made the phone call and followed the instructions. the rep. was very helpful and he activated my ATM card to make withdrawal abroad,
here are some reminders:
1.You must activate your card before exiting the country for your convenience.
2. They will ask you the country and how long it will be activated.
That was really frustrating as a BPI card holder I never knew of this restriction, I didn’t have this issues with my other cards. If you cannot contact them by phone you may email them and give them your contact numbers of your current location (probably the phone of your hotel). see below E-mail I got:
Greetings from BPI Express Online!
We received your e-mail regarding the activation of your ATM card for
international withdrawal. If you are still unable to call or if you have
not been assisted yet, may we request you to provide us your preferred
contact numbers (international landline/mobile number) including the
appropriate area codes, your preferred days and time frame for us to call
(e.g. Mondays, 1pm-3pm) so one of our Phonebankers can call you regarding
Please take note of the following reminders:
1. This service is available Mondays – Fridays, from 8am to 5pm. Please
indicate the best time for us to call you within these hours (Manila time).
2. The number that will appear on your caller ID / mobile number will be
one of our outbound trunk lines (not our vanity number 89100).
3. Please be sure to indicate the applicable country/area codes.
Kindly also send your reply using your registered email address in BPI
We will wait for your response.
If you need further assistance or have other concerns, please do not
hesitate to send us another e-mail.
Hope this post will help and avoid inconveniences. I am thankful for WIFI (even provincial areas have hotspots and a must for establishments) and Google.