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  1. #1
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    Transfer Money from U.S. to Bangkok

    This topic should have been "done to death" already....but I see many people stil asking questions about it on "the other Thai chat forum".
    So for all, once again, here's how I transfer my money from my U.S. bamk to Thailand.
    I have two Bangkok Bank accounts...one in my name alone and one joint account with my Thai girlfriend. The account in my name is for my retirement visa extension, the joint account is for monthly family expenses.
    My U.S. bank transfers an amount monthly to the Bangkok Bank branch in New York by SWIFT transfer. Bangkok Bank in New York then forwards the money to my joint Bangkok Bank account. Normally the money shows up in my joint Bangkok Bank acount 2 or 3 WORKING days after the transfer is started by my U.S. bank. If it is over a weekend or spans a holiday in either Thailand or the U.S., and the banks in either place are closed, you have to add that into the processing time. I have previously set up a "recurring transfer request" with my U.S. bank so I can initiate a transfer by an email to my U.S. bank.
    There is NO CHARGE for this on the Thai (Bangkok Bank) end. My U.S. bank charges a $20 service fee on ANY outgoing ACH or SWIFT transaction...I can't avoid that fee at present. That's the only fee I have to pay.
    When my money arrives in Thailand the Bangkok Bank credits my joint account with the the funds depending on their daily dollar/baht rate effective on the day they recieve the funds. Once again, there is NO CHARGE here in Thailand or by Bangkok Bank for the transfer. (That may NOT be true if the funds are not deposited in a Bangkok Bank account, I'm not sure of that point.) The rate I get is exactly the same as I would get if I walked into a Bangkok Bank branch here in Bangkok with dollars in my pocket to exchange for Thai baht (actually it is slightly better...the rate is what I would get if I had $100 bills to exchange for baht, the rate is slightly less for smaller bills).
    I've used this system for years...and it works fine for me. My Thai girlfiend accesses the funds with her Bangkok Bank accout ATM card for the household expenses.
    For those U.S. retirees with Bangkok Bank accounts, there is a method of having your U.S. Social Security check (pension) sent directly from the U.S. government to YOUR Bangkok Bank account. The account must be in your name, not a joint account. First you have to instruct your U.S. Social Security office to send your pension direct to your Bangkok Bank account. Once the Social Security has verified and approved your Thai address they will start forwarding your money to Bangkok Bank in New York for deposit to your Bangkok bank account in Thailand. In order for you to collect the money, you need to complete and sign some forms at your local Bangkok Bank branch. You can NOT collect the funds via an ATM...you must go in person to your local Bangkok Bank branch with valid I.D. ... your passport will do for that purpose. I have not yet tried this procedure, I am in the process of setting it up at the present. Once it is established I'll let you all know how well it works (or doesn't work if that's the case).
    Last edited by BigBaBoo; 02-05-2011 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Exactly what I am planning to do next year when I retire. It seems to be the most cost effective way to move SS money to Thailand, unless someone else has a better and cheaper way of doing it.

  3. #3
    Member ThaiAm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    Exactly what I am planning to do next year when I retire. It seems to be the most cost effective way to move SS money to Thailand, unless someone else has a better and cheaper way of doing it.
    I have been using the direct deposit of SSA into local account with Bangkok Bank for years. It works very well and some months the transfer from the New York Branch happens same day as it is deposited and you are able to follow it online if you have online account with Bangkok Bank.

    This is important since you can verify that the deposit has indeed been transferred to your account before making the trip to the bank to withdraw what you wish. It is essential that you go in person to collect the withdrawl but this is a requirement of SSA since they do not want funds dispersed to someone that is no longer "available".

    Good Luck

  4. #4
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    Damn, that eliminates plan B. Maybe I can have my lady find a double when I am gone to collect the SS money in person.

  5. #5
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    "For those U.S. retirees with Bangkok Bank accounts, there is a method of having your U.S. Social Security check (pension) sent directly from the U.S. government to YOUR Bangkok Bank account."

    If you open a BKK acct specifically for direct deposit, you open a can of worms needlessly.

    If you don't want to make the trip to your bank branch and show your passport every month, etc, etc, do this:

    Have your funds deposited to a US bank account, then online transfer from there to your regular BKK acct number through BKK NY. It all works the same as the OP says. You can access it with atm, not going to the bank.

    USAA bank does not charge for domestic transfers (and BKK NY is domestic to the US) and you can open an account online and manage transfers online. BKK does charge a fee for transfers, but it is negligible (maybe $5 for $2,000).

    It's all on the web. BKK NY, USAA, SSA. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    I have tried to open a Bangkok Bank account in New York on line, but no deal. You need to have a BB account in Thailand first. Is there a way to do it all on line?

  7. #7
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    Social Security check thrugh Bangkok Bank

    Reading through some of the replies to my original post I have one comment. As someone correctly posted due to the rules of a direct deposit from the Social Security to a foriegn account you CAN NOT use your ATM card or debit card to draw money from that account. The reason is that the Social Security requires actual physical verification that it is actually YOU who withdraws the money, not someone else acting for you.
    This means that Bangkok Bank will require you to appear in the bank branch where you have your account and verify with your passport or other valid I.D. your idenity for each withdrawal you make. Yes that's a bit of a hassle, but it is the requirement of the U.S. Social Security.
    This is NOT true for deposits to your account other than deposits from the Social Security...not associated with the Social Security pension/retirement deposits.
    That fact is precisely why I will have two Thai bank accounts...one for my transfers to my Thai family from my U.S. bank and used for family expenses...and a seperate account in my name only where my Social Security checks will be sent which will be under my control only. I am assured by Bangkok Bank that there will be no problem in transferring money from my personal bank account to the joint account with my Thai family...as long as I appear at the bank to make that transfer from my Social Security retirement account in person. But it can not be done by an ATM transfer, it must be done in person at the bank branch only.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    I have tried to open a Bangkok Bank account in New York on line, but no deal. You need to have a BB account in Thailand first. Is there a way to do it all on line?
    You don't need to open a BKK NY account. When you transfer funds, you use the SWIFT code (or ACH) for Bangkok Bank NY and the account number for your regular Bangkok Bank savings account that you open here. When you transfer funds, it works the same as if you had deposited cash with a local branch or ATM.

    You will have to appear in person to open a local account but that may be the last time you have to go to the bank. Do not say the account is for direct deposit. It isn't. You will control the frequency and amount of transfers.

  9. #9
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    Knew I did't have to have a New York Bankok Bank account, but my thought process was to transfer funds from that account to another Bangkok Bank account in Thailand.
    So, if I have an account in the US and set up automatic deposit, could I have that money transfered without me being physically at that branch every time? I can set up this automatically each month at my bank for a set amount. I am just trying to get the system set up that will allow me to have access to my SS money without going into a bank each time.

  10. #10
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    Bingo! Bangkok Bank of New York is a branch like a Bangkok Bank in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, etc. You can access your account from any of them. See?

    So you have your SS deposited to a US bank (I hope you have one that doesn't charge for domestic transfers) then you can sign on to that bank and set up automatic transfers to BKK NY or transfer whenever you like. You use the BKKNY swift code and the account number you already have.

    You get a good exchange rate and pay a tiny fee to Bangkok Bank. About 3 days later the funds are available for ATM withdrawal, etc.

    It's really that easy. Don't read more into it and you will be fine. I've been doing it this way for years.

  11. #11
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    Great, thanks for the information. I will set this up once I apply for SS which should be next January.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBaBoo View Post
    ......
    For those U.S. retirees with Bangkok Bank accounts, there is a method of having your U.S. Social Security check (pension) sent directly from the U.S. government to YOUR Bangkok Bank account. The account must be in your name, not a joint account. First you have to instruct your U.S. Social Security office to send your pension direct to your Bangkok Bank account. Once the Social Security has verified and approved your Thai address they will start forwarding your money to Bangkok Bank in New York for deposit to your Bangkok bank account in Thailand. In order for you to collect the money, you need to complete and sign some forms at your local Bangkok Bank branch. You can NOT collect the funds via an ATM...you must go in person to your local Bangkok Bank branch with valid I.D. ... your passport will do for that purpose. I have not yet tried this procedure, I am in the process of setting it up at the present. Once it is established I'll let you all know how well it works (or doesn't work if that's the case).
    You never reported back as to how the SS 'system' worked out for you. Did you experience any problems, and/or have suggestions as to how to best use a system??

    Oops, I'm sorry, I only saw your very first posting and no subsequent discussions (it was blocked by a big advertiesment). I will have to read the rest of the subject thread. My bad

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