Jump to content
BANGKOK 20 May 2019 13:40
TallScot1

Money transfer services for USA travelers

Recommended Posts

On 3/20/2019 at 7:13 AM, donnacha said:

I do the same with my N26 debit card (Mastercard), but I always use a regular desk in Thai banks, not the currency exchange one. They simply treat it as a cash advance denominated in baht, you get the current interbank rate of exchange (what Google shows when you do an exchange query) and no cash advance fee or any other fee.

 

People's situation with doing counter withdrawals in Thailand is really going to depend on just what kind of card they're using, and cards are not all the same.

 

--Some credit and debit cards have foreign currency fees. And if the foreign card being used for a counter withdrawal does, it will have a foreign currency fee (anywhere from 1-4%, depending) tacked on to the advance amount.

 

--Particularly with using credit cards, though less with debit cards, a lot of credit cards have very hefty surcharges when they're used for cash advances. Often a flat fee charge plus a percent of the amount being advanced. And then, the credit card will typically start accruing interest from the date of the advance, no month grace period.

 

So, counter withdrawals certainly can be done here in Thailand. But you have to know the terms and fees of the particular foreign card you want to use.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2019 at 4:04 PM, hml367 said:

In addition, there have been posts about Charles Schwaab accounts reimbursing ATM fees and possibly no conversion fees. I don't recall discussion of over the counter cash advances.

 

 

I believe, someone who happens to have a Schwab VISA debit card associated with their U.S. Schwab checking and/or brokerage account could use that card for counter withdrawals in Thailand reasonably well.

 

Schwab does not charge any foreign currency fee. And because it's a debit card, there are no cash advance fees like you might encounter with a credit card. And the standard daily withdrawal limit is $1000 most of the time.

 

Pentagon Federal Credit Union in the U.S. is another one where they have some credit cards, not debit cards, that have no foreign currency fee AND no cash advance fee, making those cards ideal for foreign counter withdrawals.  And despite its name, PFCU is open to membership from the general public, not just military.

 

There are some others similar.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/21/2019 at 3:37 AM, donnacha said:

The new online banks, however, changed the game by using the same card networks (Mastercard or VISA) but choosing to NOT add any fee. They simply pay Mastercard or VISA from your account and that's that. You get the current Google rate for card purchases and cash withdrawals.

* My presumption is that Google derives its real-time rates from the VISA and Mastercard base rates, as those would be pretty much the lowest rates available to a regular consumer. It would not make much sense for them to display the actual interbank rates, but the difference would not be much anyway, the spread between the card network rates is already tiny (you can test that flipping between currencies on their online converters).

 

I'm not sure how some Google rate enters into any of this... Because, when you use a VISA or MC logo card for a counter withdrawal in Thailand, the VISA or MC networks are going to process that currency conversion at their respective network rates for that day (which can be found at the MC and VISA currency conversion websites you listed above).

 

Then, if the person's home country/card issuing bank has NO foreign currency or cash advance fees, the rate you'll get will be exactly the rate shown for that day on either the MC or VISA exchange sites... However, if your home country bank DOES charge some fees, those will be added onto your transaction. And, as you noted, the user of either the VISA or MC currency exchange sites has the ability to add in any particular fee % by their bank in working out the calculation (if the cardholder actually knows what their bank's fee may be).

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, TallScot1 said:

Thank yo all for your assistance. 

 

Quote

Would anyone have a recommendation for a Money Transfer service that will offer debit card capability for USA clients traveling in Thailand?

 

OP, I don't think you ever explained exactly what you're trying to accomplish, but you got a lot of answers all over the board....  What exactly are you wanting to do?

 

If you're from the U.S. and using a VISA or MC debit card, you can use those to obtain cash in Thailand in various ways. They'll be good for making POS purchases or using in Thai ATMs. But you'd want to avoid using debit cards that have foreign currency fees. And you'd want to let your card issuing bank know you're going to be traveling internationally so your card doesn't get locked.

 

To avoid Thai bank 220b per withdrawal ATM fees, either use a U.S. card that reimburses other banks' ATM charges or use the counter withdrawal method explained earlier in this thread. Thus far, the Thai banks, except for SCB, typically don't charge any handling/processing fee for counter withdrawals done against your debit card.

 

Or, you're wanting to do something more exotic???  Some clarity would help.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2019 at 7:13 AM, donnacha said:

You can find out more on the N26 site (here is a link to it), just select your country: Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, and early access registration is now available for residents of the United States.

 

As far as the OP's post is concern, with him presumably being an American, the N26 service you're writing about is not currently available in the U.S., and the "early access registration" you mention above is just leaving an email address for them to contact back if/when they get approval to operate in the U.S.

 

It will be interesting to see how this develops and what happens with them in the U.S., and what kind of services they can provide and at what costs.

 

But for right now, their U.S. website clearly states:

 

Quote

N26 Bank GmbH is a non-US bank, is not FDIC-insured, and does not offer or provide banking services in the United States or to US residents.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

People's situation with doing counter withdrawals in Thailand is really going to depend on just what kind of card they're using, and cards are not all the same.

I believe that is precisely what I and others in this thread have explained.
 

 

1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

So, counter withdrawals certainly can be done here in Thailand. But you have to know the terms and fees of the particular foreign card you want to use.

Yes, and I have recommended using one of the new fintech startups who provide debit cards with no fees for foreign currency transactions, or a traditional bank that offers the same arrangement.
 

 

1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

I'm not sure how some Google rate enters into any of this

As explained in some detail, the fastest way to figure out the current base rate is to speak or type a quick google query into your phone along the lines of "fifty thousand baht to US dollars". Your phone will reply with a dollar amount that almost always exactly matches the Mastercard or VISA rate. When you walk out of the bank with your 50,000 THB, the bank app on your phone pings you with a notification that exactly or very close to the quoted dollar amount has been withdrawn.

I do not know if Google actually source their rate from the card networks, but this approach has consistently worked for years, is handy and makes it incredibly easy to confirm that you are getting a better rate than any other method (forex booths, forex websites etc) - whenever you see a rate, ask your phone to find out whether it is better or worse than you would get from your card at that current moment.
 

 

1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

However, if your home country bank DOES charge some fees, those will be added onto your transaction.

Seriously, the thread has already covered this.
 

 

58 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

the N26 service you're writing about is not currently available in the U.S., and the "early access registration" you mention above is just leaving an email address for them to contact back if/when they get approval to operate in the U.S.

N26 are just one of many, many fintech startups. If the OP cannot wait a few weeks until their official launch, there are plenty of others. The point is that many travelers to Thailand are not yet aware that not getting fleeced by their bank is an option.
 

 

58 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

But for right now, their U.S. website clearly states:

 

Quote

N26 Bank GmbH is a non-US bank, is not FDIC-insured, and does not offer or provide banking services in the United States or to US residents.

Irrelevant. Most fintech startups are not banks, in the same way that Uber and Grab are not licensed taxi companies in most cities. They sometimes gain bank status after a few years, but most are simply card providers or money transfer agents or whatever, you are not using them to store your life savings, you are using them to save money when you travel or live abroad.

Transferwise and Payoneer are not US banks and, yet, they provided me with accounts that can receive wires and ACH transfers. SVB and Azlo are two examples of US banks that no longer require you to appear in person to open an account, saving foreign account holders the ridiculous expense of flying to America. The world is changing, the old monopolies are starting to crumble, it is worth being aware of this stuff.

Edited by donnacha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, donnacha said:


Transferwise and Payoneer are not US banks and, yet, they provided me with accounts that can receive wires and ACH transfers. SVB and Azlo are two examples of US banks that no longer require you to appear in person to open an account, saving foreign account holders the ridiculous expense of flying to America. The world is changing, the old monopolies are starting to crumble, it is worth being aware of this stuff.

 

The part you're missing is your N26 service, right now, isn't providing ANY services to Americans--banking, money transfers or otherwise. And the site doesn't give any indication of when/if that will change. So, for the OP who's presumably an American, N26 is irrelevant for the time being.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

The part you're missing is your N26 service, right now, isn't providing ANY services to Americans--banking, money transfers or otherwise. And the site doesn't give any indication of when/if that will change. So, for the OP who's presumably an American, N26 is irrelevant for the time being.

 

I literally wrote, in my first post, "early access registration is now available for residents of the United States". I do not know how I could have been any clearer. You have a genius for re-stating what has already been said.

N26 is relevant to the OP because he is researching ways to transfer money in the future, as opposed to ways to transfer money in the past. Perhaps he is looking to transfer money right now, in which case, sure, he cannot use N26 today, but it is far, far more likely that he, and the other 490 members reading this thread, are scoping out their options for reducing future transfer costs.

People from anywhere (including Americans) who have access to a forwarding address in Europe can open a free account right away, those who want to use an American address can take their place in the queue for when they launch in the US in a few weeks time. Simple.

I do not understand what you find so exercising about members of this forum posting information that will be useful to other members but, if all you are going to do is repost details that other people have already posted, could we not get a bot to do that instead? What you're doing now seems like an awful waste of autism that could be useful elsewhere.

Edited by donnacha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, donnacha said:

 What you're doing now seems like an awful waste of autism that could be useful elsewhere.

 

Thanks for your helpful comments...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

OP, I don't think you ever explained exactly what you're trying to accomplish, but you got a lot of answers all over the board....  What exactly are you wanting to do?

 

If you're from the U.S. and using a VISA or MC debit card, you can use those to obtain cash in Thailand in various ways. They'll be good for making POS purchases or using in Thai ATMs. But you'd want to avoid using debit cards that have foreign currency fees. And you'd want to let your card issuing bank know you're going to be traveling internationally so your card doesn't get locked.

 

To avoid Thai bank 220b per withdrawal ATM fees, either use a U.S. card that reimburses other banks' ATM charges or use the counter withdrawal method explained earlier in this thread. Thus far, the Thai banks, except for SCB, typically don't charge any handling/processing fee for counter withdrawals done against your debit card.

 

Or, you're wanting to do something more exotic???  Some clarity would help.

 

 

 

 

John,

Thanks for all those detailed posts above.

Very helpful information.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/23/2019 at 2:20 AM, donnacha said:

I literally wrote, in my first post, "early access registration is now available for residents of the United States". I do not know how I could have been any clearer. You have a genius for re-stating what has already been said.

Gosh, what an arrogant SOB; John, you've done well keeping your cool, and explaining what's what. For the OP, he wants the available information for what's currently available to him. N26 ain't one of them -- and when it is, it's no better than what's already out there. Wave of the future? BS.

 

Why? N26 gives the daily MasterCard FX rate (don't know what the h... the Google rate is, as they don't run an FX operation -- but the pop up seems to replicate the mid/market rate, which will always be shy of the MasterCard rate, since that spread is how MC makes money). Anyway, the N26 card, like others mentioned in this thread as "fee free", is the best you're ever going to get -- i.e., you get the near mid/market rate -- and without fees. But, as has been discussed, there are already fee free cards out there that will accomplish the same savings at the counter as the N26 card. Yes, debit cards are seemingly less available in the fee free model than credit cards -- but they are available, with more coming onboard, same as N26.

 

So, not sure where donnacha is coming from.... The OP wanted current availability, but donnacha argued to wait -- but wait for what -- a new capability that replicates and existing capability? What crap.

 

Anyway, John, thanks for the cerebral explanation. I'm sure the OP is grateful for your wading thru the BS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, JimGant said:

Gosh, what an arrogant SOB; John, you've done well keeping your cool, and explaining what's what. For the OP, he wants the available information for what's currently available to him. N26 ain't one of them -- and when it is, it's no better than what's already out there.

 

Thanks Jim... I'm not looking to have arguments on TVF... No point to be served...

 

But as for N26, one of the interesting things I noticed in reading up on them in past news reports is they publicly announced in spring 2018 (a year ago) that they would be opening in the U.S. by mid 2018. And then, nothing happened for all of 2018.  And now in spring 2019, they're again announcing they're coming to the U.S. by mid 2019... So, let's wait and see.

 

The other thing is, with all kinds of banking and international transfer stuff, the devil is always in the details. And right now, we have no idea what kind of commissions and other detail account provisions are going to apply to their U.S. based accounts, if and when those are opened.

 

So, if and when I get an email from them telling me I'm now eligible to open a U.S. account, I'll look with great interest into just what's on offer and exactly how it's going to work.  Until then, I really don't care.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@donnacha
N26 has limits for using their cards on ATM.

After that limit is exceeded, N26 charges a fee.

Does that also apply to your proposed transaction at the bank counter which is a cash advance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although they may try to discourage you, Bangkok Bank will do OTC withdrawals, using Stateside VISA debit cards, at their exchange windows. It used to be no fee, although I have read that some branches now charge 200 baht. If we're only looking at 20,000 baht, any ATM will do.

The rate and limit is from your home bank and they may have their own fees.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...