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OneZero

OPM Direct Deposit BKK Bk Admin Fees & FX

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In the past my OPM pension was direct deposited to USAA & on occasion I SWIFT wire transferred (about once every 6-9 months or unless otherwise needed) to Thailand at a USAA cost of $45 (ie, approx 1.5K Thai Baht) & then of course incurred the Thai bank admin cost to get the moneyed relayed from Bangkok Bk (NYC-BKK HQ-Chiang Mai) to my branch in Chiang Mai.

 

I just recently started having my OPM retirement direct deposit to Bangkok Bank Chiang Mai acct.  When I set it up on OPM website the routing address listed the Bangkok Bk branch in NYC.  Ok, my Bangkok Bk Chiang Mai branch acct received my first OPM direct deposit & I am certain about the $ amt of the pension sent.  Since I assume that Bangkok Bank would have given the direct deposit the official FX rate on the day of transfer (I checked websites), I am a bit disappointed about the amount of baht received in the Chiang Mai acct.  

 

If the Bangkok Bank monthly relay admin costs (NYC to Bangkok HQ to Chiang Mai branch) are substantial perhaps I would be better off going back to the old routine (USAA SWIFT wire transfer every 6+ months) and annually save 5+ months of those relay admin costs.

 

Ok, so here finally is my question:

Can somebody with experience please advise me what the Bangkok Bank admin costs are to relay an OPM direct deposit (NYC-Bkk HQ-Chiang Mai).

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Did you deduct the fee Bangkok Bank Bank in New York deducts from the  transfer. It is $5 up $2000 and $10 for higher amounts. And then Bangkok Bank here takes .25% with a minimum of 200 baht.

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Ubanjoe, thanks for that.  I believe you've provided the information I was looking for.

Quote"Did you deduct the fee Bangkok Bank Bank in New York deducts from the  transfer. It is $5 up $2000 and $10 for higher amounts. And then Bangkok Bank here takes .25% with a minimum of 200 baht.

 

"1. For me the 0.25% portion of the admin cost is going to be the same (for an equal total dollar amt) whether I do it in smaller monthly direct deposits or less frequent larger SWIFT transfer amts.

2. Also for me, the NYC $10 each month for 6 months is $60, and the SWIFT fee of $45 once every 6 months is only a $15 difference not worth worrying about.

 

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1 hour ago, OneZero said:

Ubanjoe, thanks for that.  I believe you've provided the information I was looking for.

Quote"Did you deduct the fee Bangkok Bank Bank in New York deducts from the  transfer. It is $5 up $2000 and $10 for higher amounts. And then Bangkok Bank here takes .25% with a minimum of 200 baht.

 

"1. For me the 0.25% portion of the admin cost is going to be the same (for an equal total dollar amt) whether I do it in smaller monthly direct deposits or less frequent larger SWIFT transfer amts.

2. Also for me, the NYC $10 each month for 6 months is $60, and the SWIFT fee of $45 once every 6 months is only a $15 difference not worth worrying about.

 

And it may be better than that as the .25% is limited to 500 baht per transaction (200 min to 500 max).  There is a 3rd option that many people use and that is Transferwise - fee is higher for larger amounts but exchange rate is better and there is no .25% deduction.

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Posted (edited)

Here's how the fees are applied.  OPM sends the pension to Bangkok Bank NY via ACH for relay to your in-Thailand Bangkok Bank acct.   Bangkok Bank NY slices off their pass-thru fee and then forwards the remaining amount to your in-Thailand branch.   So, let's say your OPM pension is $2,200. 

 

Bkk Bk NY will slice off $10 as their pass-thru/relay fee ($5 for most amounts $2,000 or less) and relay $2,190 to your in-Thailand branch where they accomplish the exchange using  their "TT Buying Rate" which is used for incoming ACH/SWIFT transfers....and it will most likely be their opening day/0830 TT Buying Rate rate as their rates do quite often change a couple times throughout the day as FX markets rates go up and down.    

 

Let's say the  Bangkok Bank TT Buying Rate is 31 baht per USD.  31 times $2,190 gives Bt67,890.  "Then" the branch applies their receiving fee of 0.25% (Bt200 min, Bt500 max).  0.25% of Bt67,890 is Bt169.725....since its below the min Bt200 fee amount the fee ends up being Bt200.  Subtract Bt200 from Bt67,890 equals Bt67,690 which then posts to your acct.  

 

The two Bangkok Bank fees (the NY and in-Thailand branch fees) will "not" appear anywhere on your acct as they are applied before posting to your acct which fools a lot of people into thinking no fees were applied but indeed they were...they are kinda like hidden fees.   This is another reason some people can never get their personal math to match an exchange rate on the Bangkok Bangkok Bank exchange rate page if they didn't use these fees in their math and also applied the fees in the correct order.  

 

 

Edited by Pib
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1 hour ago, lopburi3 said:

 

Thanks everybody for the great explanations.

Now perhaps I should dig thru prior thaivisa discussions of Transferwise to revisit those admin fee explanations, if for no other reason than comparison / refresh my understanding.  I thought I had done that once before & concluded I preferred USAA SWIFT 2 times per year, but I think I should relook it.

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10 hours ago, OneZero said:

Thanks everybody for the great explanations.

Now perhaps I should dig thru prior thaivisa discussions of Transferwise to revisit those admin fee explanations, if for no other reason than comparison / refresh my understanding.  I thought I had done that once before & concluded I preferred USAA SWIFT 2 times per year, but I think I should relook it.

Believe you can go directly to Transferwise and plug in the amounts to get the fees - expect you are right if transferring large amounts each time that the SWIFT method will be less expensive - transferwise is often better for monthly transfers.

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Posted (edited)

Unless you need to satisfy the monthly FTT (ext stay/ret) income method, it's probably best to direct deposit to a bank in the U.S. and then do one or two Transferwise or SWIFT transfers per year. This ignores FX fluctuations throughout the year. Transferwise will be better I think, maybe ~ 500-ish baht per $2,500 per month, given the BBL/TT rate (lower) and SWIFT fees. If one gets free SWIFT services then this route yields a plus 300-ish baht per transfer. 

 

Plus, if you return to the U.S. it can be more challenging to get the money from your Thai bank. And more difficult for your executor/survivor.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mtls2005
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39 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

Believe you can go directly to Transferwise and plug in the amounts to get the fees - expect you are right if transferring large amounts each time that the SWIFT method will be less expensive - transferwise is often better for monthly transfers.

Thanks for advice on where to get Transferwise info.  Ya, that's what I remember.  

Ref the discussions of monthly transfers with Transferwise: I also remember people stating that there was occasional lack of evidence the Transferwise transfer came from overseas.

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1 minute ago, OneZero said:

Ref the discussions of monthly transfers with Transferwise: I also remember people stating that there was occasional lack of evidence the Transferwise transfer came from overseas.

 

This is resolved by choosing the reason for the transfer being something like "Funds required for long stay" at the bottom of the pull down menu.

 

 

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Just now, OneZero said:

I also remember people stating that there was occasional lack of evidence the Transferwise transfer came from overseas.

If using Bangkok Bank and selecting 'stay in Thailand' as the reason for transfer do not believe this has been an issue - if just put other reasons for transfer it can be routed to another Thai bank first so appears a local transfer - but believe people have not had serious issues proving either with transferwise receipts or bank credit statements in such a case.

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5 minutes ago, OneZero said:

I also remember people stating that there was occasional lack of evidence the Transferwise transfer came from overseas.

 

Unless you are trying to satisfy the monthly income method, there is no reason to be concerned about documenting the foreign source of the funds.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, OneZero said:

In the past my OPM pension was direct deposited to USAA & on occasion I SWIFT wire transferred (about once every 6-9 months or unless otherwise needed) to Thailand at a USAA cost of $45 (ie, approx 1.5K Thai Baht) & then of course incurred the Thai bank admin cost to get the moneyed relayed from Bangkok Bk (NYC-BKK HQ-Chiang Mai) to my branch in Chiang Mai.

 

I don't think a SWIFT transfer gets routed via BBL/NYC, unless I guess you specifically requested it. I'll admit I haven't stayed up to date on the BBL NYC route for a few years as I stopped using it.

 

It might be better to leave the routing bank up to USAA, where you'll save the BBL/NYC skim? My monthly SWIFT gets routed through Chase JPMorgan (no skim), as I leave that up to my bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mtls2005

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

I don't think a SWIFT transfer gets routed via BBL/NYC, unless I guess you specifically requested it. I'll admit I haven't stayed up to date on the BBL NYC route for a few years as I stopped using it.

 

It might be better to leave the routing bank up to USAA, where you'll save the BBL/NYC skim? My monthly SWIFT gets routed through Chase JPMorgan (no skim), as I leave that up to my bank.

 

You are probably correct, I don't know if SWIFT to BKK Bk goes thru NYC.  But the OPM direct deposit does because when I set BKK Bk up on OPM website the NYC identification immediately came up on the screen.

 

FYI, the annual admin fees breakeven point (for my specific OPM pension) between OPM monthly direct deposit to BKK Bk and occasional USAA SWIFT transfer (USAA $45 per) is 3.5 SWIFT transfers.  In other words if I do two SWIFT per year (ie, every 6 months) then SWIFT is cheaper annually.  But if I do four SWIFT per year (ie, every 3 months) then the monthly direct deposits is cheaper annually.  Not a big deal either way until one starts to increase the number of SWIFT transfers annually (assuming a USAA $45/SWIFT).

 

Edited by OneZero

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OP,   

   Below threads that relate to OPM and Transferwise may be of interest.  

 

 

 

 

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