Payment Methods for International Freelance Writing

by noid ( | | | )

One of the usual questions I get when I tell others that I write for international publications is how I get paid.

Well, here are the main ways you get to be remunerated once your article is accepted:

By Check / Cheque

This is the most common way to get paid for your writing services. Once you get the check in the mail, you then deposit it in your bank account. Clearing time in the Philippines is usually 45 banking days, so it's a bit of a long wait. In real time, this translates to 2 months. If you don't plan on spending your earnings at once, you might want to open a dollar account where you can deposit your dollar earnings. I gather that Banco de Oro is the friendliest bank in this regard.

Via Bank Transfer

If the publishing company of the publication you're writing for is a bit generous (like the owner of the magazine I write for, Pool & Billiard Magazine) bank transfer is the way to go. If I remember correctly, it only takes three banking days from the time it is deposited in a bank in the United States for example, for the deposit to clear and for it to appear in your Philippine bank account. You just provide your publisher/employer with the details of your account, and your bank's SWIFT Code -- a kind of zip code for banks -- to facilitate the deposit.


The online payment system Xoom is another alternative for you to get paid for your freelance writing gig. Some companies, like one U.K.-based translation agency I worked for, employ Xoom to pay freelancers abroad. You just sign up for a Xoom account, and you provide your foreign employer with your name and address. Your employer then sends the payment via their credit card or checking account. You then receive your payment via Xoom's Philippine bank partner, Equitable PCI Bank. Your payment can be deposited in your Equitable PCI Bank account if you have one, or you can pick it up in the Equitable PCI Bank branch nearest you. If memory serves me right, it takes around three days (or less) for you to get your money.

PayPal (soon..we hope)

PayPal is the premier online payment method in the world, and it is the number one dream of most Filipino online entrepreneurs and freelancers for PayPal to be fully functional in the country. Right now, Filipinos can only send (a minimum of 100 dollars) not receive or request payment. Once we have an honest-to-goodness PayPal operation in the country, it will definitely contribute to an improved economy since foreign employers will be encouraged to hire from our vast freelance pool. In other words, a fully operational PayPal in the Philippines will result in more jobs -- and high-paying at that -- for us freelancers.

But in the absence of Paypal, the best option for you to get paid right now is via bank transfer and Xoom because with these two payment methods, the sender bears the cost of the transaction. With check on the other hand, fees are deducted from your payment for the bank transactions here and abroad.


Paypal is already fully available in the Philippines since last October 2007. Aside from sending funds, you can also now receive, and then withdraw your funds either through your bank account or Unionbank's EON debit card. Just register at the PayPal site.

Things to Remember

It is important, once you have submitted your article, that you inquire from your employer how you will get paid. If by check, politely ask your editor/ publisher/employer if they are open to paying you via bank transfer or Xoom. The answer usually is no because the publisher's usual goal is to incur the least cost possible for their company. But since asking costs nothing, make it a rule to always inquire.

Also, make sure that you're sending your employer your correct payment details, e.g. your real name, bank account number, etc. In this case, time is literally, money, and you don't want to waste time waiting for a replacement check because your local bank would not recognize your pen name. (But if it's your employer's fault, then it may turn out to be a blessing because then you may have a better chance of 'persuading' them to send your payment this time via bank transfer of Xoom .

Final Words

For a freelance writer, getting paid is the best part of the job, no doubt. It's that stage of that freelance writing process when the fulfillment in what you do is concretized in the best form possible -- moolah. Smile Most of the time though, as a writer for international publications, you have to wait before you can literally hold that 'sense of fulfillment' in your hands, and sometimes -- I know I do -- we can get trapped in the act of waiting, itself. When you catch yourself doing this, just remind yourself that the money will eventually arrive, and thus the best way for you to make the most of your time is to start the freelance writing process again. There's definitely a lag in terms of pecuniary gratification, but you're comforted by the knowledge that it will come in huge measure (read: dollars). So don't stop working because you want to keep 'gratification' coming once it starts coming. Wink

Dino Manrique is the owner/publisher of You may reach him at filipinowriter (at) gmail (dot) com.

by tithum on January 31, 2008 - 9:53am

we have to do our best to help others...

by megobei on March 19, 2008 - 4:40pm

hi noid. i'm new here. thanks for that informative article on how to get paid for writing gigs. I was just wondering if you could suggest legitimate international companies or websites that offer legit home-based or part-time writing projects?

and if so, what's the current acceptable rate per article?


thanks so much. 

by noid on March 19, 2008 - 4:51pm

Hi megobei. Kindly read my other articles on looking for publications and on how I first started freelance writing internationally. Another good site for freelance writing opportunites is :)

by butanting44 on August 12, 2008 - 3:58pm

Hi. Mr. Dino. M.

     I am a newbie in e-commerce and I am enjoying learning this new frontier in commerce. I am learning this thing already about five to eight years ago but I stop because internet connection and the hardwares are very expensive that time. but now I am electronically connected to the web. Today, what I am busy studying aside from Internet Marketing is my youthful dream; being a writer. and I'm glad today because today is also my birthday August 12, (forget the year coz I felt old and ugly mentioning that. Smile ) I accidentally stumbled on your website and very glad too that the owner is my kabayan, Thank's GOD for that. I am already a member of some freelance writer websites and looking for that payment method article  and the risks of somebody stealing my copyrights. your blog the payment method for International freelance writing answers my reluctance on where to find a group which I can trust on.  thank you for the Information.      

by noid on February 25, 2009 - 11:36am

You're welcome. Good luck! :)

by Hanan on February 25, 2009 - 9:16am

i was unemployed and i'm looking for financial opportunities around the net.then i saw this site. and( i also want to practice my english skills for employment) i have a question. Does the International market are also strict when it comes to educational attainment if your planning to go on in freelance writing?or you just have to show them your portfolio then they going to judge your work?

well, I'm an 2nd year undergraduate who is looking for some opportunities.

i'm just a little worried about it.

by noid on February 25, 2009 - 11:34am

It's the latter, Hanan. They will base their decision on your sample works. Good luck!

by krysia on October 11, 2009 - 3:55pm

Another alternative to Paypal is Moneybookers. I don't know why there are other international buyers who prefer this. It's easy to use just like Paypal anyway. But with the low exchange rates, freelance writers in the Philippines are becoming, well let's say a bit sad...

Bank transfers, on the other hand, are expensive. You can also use Xoom to G-Cash, or perhaps even Western Union. Or you can get a debit card based in the US (like Payooner) which enables your buyers to pay you via Western Union directed to your debit card in USD.

Fresh freelance writing leads in the Philippines - updated manually everyday! 


by kalixa1230 on May 30, 2010 - 2:10pm

Hi everyone! Just received this text from Globe regarding this information. Hope this can help anyone in the forum. So far, my Paypal account is working.