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BANGKOK 20 February 2019 01:41


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About Kerryd

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  1. I think if you are just using a Savings Account they like to see transactions, but I've never been asked to show any transactions of any kind (other than the recent update) when using a Fixed Term. But again, different offices have different rules. Even different IOs in the same office can have different interpretations of the rules and those can change depending on what kind of day they are having (or the person they are having to deal with).
  2. Actually, looking at SCB's website - it has the same requirement to open any kind of account ("Identity Verification ID card (A foreigner using a passport and work permit,"). That's noted at the bottom of all the different account types it seems except for the EZ Savings "ePassbook" account. (Lol - they must be screwed up. With that account they offer 1.2% interest on deposits of 1 to 1,000,000 baht, but if you have more than 1 million they drop the rate to 0.5% for any amount over 1 million. So if you have 3 million deposited, you'd get 1.2% on the first million, but only .5% on the other 2 mil !!) However, other banks have different rules, and even other branches of the same bank can have different rules. Bangkok Bank (for example) doesn't require a work permit: https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal/Save-And-Invest/Save/Fixed-Deposit-Account
  3. When you open a Fixed Term account, they give you a bank book (but not an ATM card). Some may call it a "pass book". It shows the amount deposited and the date. The day before I go for my extension I go to a bank branch and "update" the book, then photocopy the page that shows balance and new date.
  4. I've been using Fixed Term deposits for years (7+) with NO problems of any kind. Immigration at Jomtien has never had a problem as long as the bank book is updated (within a day - or if it's updated on Friday and you are in first thing Monday morning) and you have the bank letter. The regular 1 year Fixed Term account at Bangkok Bank pays 1.5% per annum. On 800k that works out to 12,000 in interest minus 2,000 in taxes, leaving 10,000 net. More than enough to pay for your annual Extension as well as a Multi Re-entry permit (if required). The account auto-renews (at the same rate) every year and the interest can be deposited in your savings (or whatever) account or rolled over in the Fixed Term account. KrungSri I think has a 4 year fixed term that pays better (2.15% I think it was for a 48 month term) which would be a better option as it would give you about 5,000 baht more interest every year. Also, some banks have "promotional" Fixed Term rates of 1.75% per annum (or more) - for the length of the "promotional" term (7 or 11 months) after which it reverts back to the basic 1%. (So you get the higher rate just for the 7 or 11 months but it's actually 7 or 11 months of what you would get if you were getting the higher rate for the whole year.) The problem with those promotional accounts is making sure that if you are renewing them when the term(s) are due, that you make sure any new deposit will be in the account long enough to meet the 3 month "seasoning" rule. Plus it's a pain in the @** to have to keep opening a new "promotional" Fixed Term account, transfer the money from the old one, then close the old account - every time a term comes due as they can't simply use the same account and renew the deposit for a new term for some reason. Also - keep in mind that almost every Immigration Office has different rules so you need to confirm with the office you deal with as to what is acceptable to them.
  5. I've been dealing with Bangkok Bank for 14+ years now and have never been charged additional fees except when I've made a cash withdrawal from another bank's ATM. Don't recall ever being charged an annual fee (on any of my accounts) and have NEVER been pushed to pay for any kind of insurance (but then I already have 2 policies with them). Before I took those though, they never pressured me or told me I had to do anything. The bank should be able to easily explain what the charges are. I highly doubt they are tallying up a bunch of small charges over the course of a year and then billing you for them at one time. I know that "back home" some banks have accounts where you get a better interest rate but are limited to the number of transactions you can do per month and anything above the limit results in a "per transaction" fee - which are billed either as they occur or monthly at most. Other accounts waive the fees if the balance is maintained above a certain amount but if the balance drops below the threshold, then the fees are applied. However, with Bangkok Bank it's never been an issue even when I've let the balance (in my regular Savings account) drop down to under 10k. Never been dinged with an "annual" fee for my debit card or any other additional charges (other than the "other ATM" fees of course). So I'd say you may have an automatic payment set up for something that is billed once a year or you've been clicking on SMS messages on your phone and accepting things (like "Daily Horoscopes sent directly to your phone !" that add fees to your phone bill. Normally that would be paid monthly as well (if, for example, you have your phone bill being automatically paid from your bank). Whatever the case - the bank would be the ones who could actually explain it, especially when no one here (besides yourself) has probably seen your bank book so can't see what the "charges" are. For example - if we saw "5,000 cash withdrawal" and the code for "other ATM" and below that a 25 baht fee, then it would be easy to figure out that you have been making cash withdrawals at ATMs belonging to other banks and that is why you are getting charged those extra fees, which is pretty much standard everywhere (yes, including most banks "back home"). But without knowing what transactions you are doing so frequently or seeing some examples of the fees being deducted in your bank book, it's kind of hard to speculate about what the actual problem could be.
  6. Many years ago (12-13) I used to do the border runs to Ban Laem. I was told the extra 100 baht fee (at the time) for the entry/exit stamps (in Cambodia) was because I wasn't staying in the country. If I was entering Cambodia and going to be travelling around, even for just a few days, then there wouldn't be a fee to get the entry/exit stamp, but as I was turning around and leaving the country in a couple minutes (and obviously not contributing to their economy) they charged a fee to get the entry/exit stamps done at the same time. (If you think that is a rip off, try booking a flight to a destination and flying back the next day. You'll have to select the option "must fly on these dates" or they'll tell you that no seats are available. When you check that box though, suddenly there are all sorts of seats available - but the ticket price has increased by anywhere from 50% - 150% !! For some reason, the airlines don't want you flying back for at least 2 days. If your return date is 3+ days after your arrival - no problem. But if your plan is to arrive one morning and fly out that night or the next morning - it seems to be an issue even though the seats are clearly available. Maybe it's just a way to stiff business travellers or people who have no choice. Kind of like how they stiff people that want a Residence Certificate in 20 minutes instead of waiting for a week, or people who are only in Cambodia for a few minutes to get an entry/exit stamp.) Last time I went to Cambodia was 2 years ago at Aranyaprathet/Poi Pet and I thought that was the weirdest border I've ever crossed. You come out from Thai Immigration and you are in Cambodia, free to simply just walk away. You have to walk down the road to the large arch and get your visa from the building on the right, then walk another 100+ meters down the road to the little immigration office on the right to get your stamp. To me, it looked like I could have easily skipped both, hopped into a cab and went wherever I wanted (obviously not a smart thing to do but there are some who might try it for whatever reason). Wasn't charged anything to get the entry stamp. Couple days later I headed back to Thailand. No charge for the exit stamp. (Huge frikken line to get through Thai Immigration. Something like 2 1/2 hours from the time I entered the line until I got to an IO.) If I cross by land again, I will probably detour and go through Ban Laem instead. Less crowded and less hassle. Just don't arrive there early in the morning when all the Border Run buses are there. I found that arriving around 10ish or so was great as everyone (even the annoying beggars and touts) had disappeared). But again, that was a few years ago.
  7. 1.5% may not seem like a lot - but go ahead and check what a normal savings/term deposit gives you in a main stream bank "back home". I have and guess what ? They aren't offering any better and the "boutique" banks (smaller banks, fewer branches, desperate for customers) that may offer higher rates usually have a catch (of course) and if you don't meet the conditions, you end up with the same, lower rate that the "big" banks offer. (I'm not talking RRSPs and "locked in" investments or other BS that gives higher returns but you CAN'T access the money to live on if need be.) 1.5% on a Fixed Term deposit at Bangkok Bank gives you 12,000 baht interest per year (on a deposit of 800k), less 2,000(+/-) in taxes. That leaves about 10,000 baht which is more than enough to pay for your yearly extension and a new multi re-entry permit (if needed). No hassles, no transfer fees, no exchange rate worries. (Bangkok Bank has finally created a Fixed term account that "auto-renews" every year - at the same rate (1.5%) so there's even less hassle than before.) The Krungsri info that Sheryl provided shows that they offer a lower rate on terms under 36 months, but a higher rate for a 48 month term. At 2.15% per annum (on a 800k deposit), that would work out to just over 17,000 in interest per year. That's about 5,000 in interest more than the Bangkok Bank 1 year account. Minus taxes (15 or 20 % I think ? I get dinged 20% it seems) leaves you about 13,500 baht. Take off the 1,900 baht for your extension and you'd still have over 11,000 baht left over. Bonus of not having to renew the term every few months or every year. Jomtien accepts Fixed Term Deposits (as long as the money has been there the correct amount of time) and doesn't require any transactions on the account (other than the passbook update the day before applying for the extension). I'm guessing they know that if you needed the money, you could get it easily (but would lose the interest or get a reduced amount). However, as always, every Immigration office has it's own rules so you need to verify with your local office. Also note - some banks (like Bangkok Bank) may have "promotional" rates for Fixed Term deposits. For example, the staff at my local branch would keep getting me to open "promotional rate" Fixed Term accounts that ran for 7 or 11 months (no idea why they used those lengths). The interest rates were better (about 1.75% I think ?) than the normal rate (of 1.00%) - but only for the period of the promotion. When the period ended, you got your interest and then the rate dropped to the regular 1%. Then you'd have to open a new account to get a new "promotional" rate for another 7 (or 11) months. Also - you have to read the fine print. The "promotional" rate is (usually) 1.75% "per annum" - not "per promotional period". So you are not getting 1.75% on your 7 (or 11) month deposit, you are getting 7 (or 11) months worth of what you'd get if the money was on deposit - at that rate - for a whole year. (At 1.00%, you'd earn 8,000 in interest over a year (less taxes). At 1.75% on the same amount, you'd earn 14,000 (before taxes). But as the promotional term is (7 or 11) months, you'd only get (8,166 or 12,833) before taxes. Better than leaving the money in a normal savings account obviously, as long as you are willing to go through the hassles of opening/closing accounts every few months. (Not sure why they can't just use the same account and change the terms. I have a binder full of old passbooks from every time I had to open a new one, transfer the money from the old one, then close the old one. And it's a stack of paperwork everytime - in addition to the requisite passport photocopies of course.) So you'd get more interest, but with the extra hassle of having to open a new account (or accounts) every few months and closing the old one and making sure you had one that would be at least 3 months old before your next extension. For some people, the few thousand baht extra may be worth the hassle. Now I have to trundle off to my bank to see if they have 4 year terms that offer better interest than Krungsri apparently does ! 5,000 more per year over 4 years = an extra 20,000. (For doing nothing at all.) Nothing wrong with that !
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