Best Methods to Transferring Funds
If you’re like many, you’re getting yourself established here in Thailand and learning how to get around, find places, and save some money on transferring funds to/from US accounts. The best way to transfer currency from the US is either through Paypal and a Bangkok Bank account, or MoneyGram Transfer. Both can be done on mobile devices (very convenient) and once you get through the setup work, it works extremely well .
It is free and easy to setup a PayPal account. You want to setup a free business account and be sure to use only your name for both the User and Company setup. This is important, as PayPal will ask you for company information (documentation) if you decide to put a Company name in. After you’ve confirmed email, you can add your mobile phone, and add in bank account(s) information. PayPal will verify your bank account connection(s) with a series of deposits that you will verify. They sometimes allow you to confirm accounts with a mobile phone, but this has never worked for me. I was an early adopter of PayPal back when it started and it has been a very good tool for me to transfer money to friends and family, etc.
Set Up a Bangkok Bank Account
So the down and dirty of getting a bank account is this:
- Retirement Visa or a Work Visa
- Notarized letter of income from the US Embassy (fairly easy)
- Original and copy of your condo lease
- A local drivers license doesn’t hurt, but not required. It seems once Thai personnel see my drivers license, I get the ‘aha’ as they perhaps consider me ‘established’ here
You will want a savings account and an ATM card. There are several options for ATM cards, one of which was the Be1st Smart card, which includes medical insurance if you get into an auto wreck (a concern I’ve had with my motorcycle), as well as many card discounts (a 70% discount off of golf green fees until March 2017 just popped up on their website!
). After you get your account setup and ATM, kindly ask the assistant to help you confirm your ATM card for online use (mobile device/transfers, etc) as it was a little daunting when I saw my assistant rifling through the screens on the ATM machine.
Now that you have your PayPal setup, you can connect both accounts to your PayPal, and use PayPal as the intermediary. You will have to have confirmed both addresses (in US and in Thailand) to be able to transfer funds from your bank to PayPal; this used to be a lot easier, but due to (understandable) national security concerns, they require more verification. If you receive payments via PayPal, you can easily transfer them to either account.
In the cases where an account is difficult, you can wire transfer funds into Thailand very affordably. Create an online account and tie it to your bank or credit card account(s) and the rest is very easy to figure out online or on your mobile device. Transfers cost very low comparative to Western Union or Bank Transfers.
I found the best way to transfer money from the US is the PayPal/BBL method. Please feel free to share your own experience(s) so others may benefit.
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