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What are Best ways to send money to Thailand?


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January 21, 2010 4:30PM

Subject to the amount being reasonable, the best way is by TT (Telegraphic Transfer) with your bank, to a bank in Thailand.

Most banks charge at least US$30 or equivalent to transfer money via the international money transfer network, which is called "SWIFT". So if you are transferring a large amount of money (more than $1,000), do an inter-bank transfer; in some countries, this is called a "SWIFT Transfer", and in others a "telegraphic transfer". There is usually a sliding scale on the fee, so ask your bank what the fee is if the transfer is more than about $500.

If the amount is less than $1000, then it depends on whether this is a one-time thing or will become a regular event. If it's one time, do a bank transfer or Western Union transfer (in most countries, Western Union has offices that can send and receive funds, but there are, of course, fees to be paid).

If you've got a friend there and want to send money on a regular basis, then there is a much cheaper, but more complex method. Basically, you set up a second bank account at your own bank and get an ATM card (also called a "bank debit card" in some countries). Then you mail the ATM card to your friend by registered mail; it's important that it be registered post so only your friend gets it.

When your friend gets the card, then give her/him the PIN code, so the card can be used in Thailand to withdraw funds in Thai baht.

You need to make sure that the new account is not linked to your own account, to prevent theft in the event the ATM card is lost or stolen.

Also, your bank must be on the CIRRUS or PLUS networks, which are all over Thailand. Practically every Thai ATM can access both networks

Be aware that your bank won't like this; usually the terms of service tell you not to give the card to anyone else. However, I did this with my daughter so she could access money while travelling, and when she lost the card (left it in an ATM and walked away), the bank did not hassle me when I told them the story.

This is by far the cheapest way to get money to Thailand on a regular basis, as it typically costs US$10; $5 fee on your end, and 150 baht in Thailand.

There's a bit more to it than this, you can get the full details at the reference link.

I have used this method successfully for many years without any problems whatsoever, and with half a dozen banks.