Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only




Cash Advance and Money Transfer

When it comes down to banking, cash advance and money transfer pretty well cover it.


Before you leave your home country remember to put some money into a U.S. dollar account from which you can transfer funds to Thailand.

Write down the name and e-mail of the official who setup the account for you and the SWIFT CODE. By having the account in place before you depart you are safe even if you lose your credit cards, or wallet/purse.

Should an emergency occur you can easily email the bank official and ask for x dollars to be transferred to acct no., and swift code. You should receive the money within 2 business days and possibly the following day.

Before you leave you should look up Western Union on the internet and jot down their address in your destination city. This is the fastest way of obtaining money.

Just phone a friend and ask them to transfer funds to you. In a matter of minutes by showing your passport the money is yours. Banks here will charge you anywhere between $8-12 U.S. for a money order and then you have to pay for the postage.

So sending money to someone or receiving money from someone is best done by Western Union. It is the quickest way of sending/receiving cash, simple and also efficient. I recently sent a money order to Canada and asked for it to be returned when I could not place an advertisement as I had planned.
The magazine to which I sent the money unfortunately did not accept wire transfers, one of the few that did not so I had to send them a draft.

Well to my surprise when the draft was taken to the bank where it was purchased I was told that there would be a fee of 1,000 baht or $25 US fee for cancelling the draft and giving me the money. So $11U.S. for the Canadian draft, $10 postage for registered mail, and then there was to be a fee of $25 for cancelling the draft.

My advice: when you need to send or receive money in a hurry use Western Union.

You can bring over money from your home country but in my case I was limited to bringing $10,000 Canadian.

Actually you can bring more but you have to declare it and Customs may want to see it, touch it, and count it which I had happen to me. Also on once occasion I had them count it just before my plane was about to take off.

So best to keep your cash and that includes currency, travelers cheques, and drafts under the allowable limit.

The conversion rates will be identical when you compare one currency dealer with another at the airport.

Best to convert some of your money over to Thai baht when you first arrive in Thailand U.S. dollars are accepted in many establishments but Thai currency is accepted in every establishment.

If you want to buy goods and services more promptly and efficiently then use Thai baht. Best to have some smaller denominations such as 20, 50 and 100 baht notes on hand as you will find that it takes longer to get change for a 1,000 baht note (approx. $25 U.S.)

After you have lived here in Thailand for a while you may be in need of more money. Yes, that can happen even though prices are ridiculously cheap at times we find that we can spend money on one thing or another mainly because we do not know any better when we first arrive.

My advice is after you arrive in your destination city to open up an account with Bangkok Bank if you plan on staying any considerable time, or if you will be in need of money during your stay.

I cannot remember exactly but I will estimate you will pay 200 baht or about $5 US to open the account. When you do that you will get a jacket or a nice bag worth that or more.

There are other banks to choose from but Bangkok Bank seems to have branches conveniently placed at major malls, grocery stores, and shopping districts. My advice is to get two Bangkok Bank cards. Deposit money into the account and then withdraw Thai baht when required using the cards at ATM‘s.

If your card is eaten up or kept by the ATM then you have another card you can use when you get the correct pin number. Best to use your Bangkok Bank card rather than your credit cards which will make money on the foreign exchange rate.

The Bangkok Bank will pay you a very low interest rate on the funds in the account but guess what? That is exactly what the banks do back home.
related pages..
Owning Your Own Website in Thailand


Making Money in Chiang Mai, Thailand


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I have read stories before I left Canada about the ATM’s here eating up credit cards and it did not elaborate.

Well this is what happens if you want the facts. The ATM’s here are numerous and safe. The only difference being is that if you enter the wrong account number on three consecutive occasions which I did, it will keep your card.

The pin number I entered I had written down elsewhere and I did not know of the machines keeping the cards should I enter the pin incorrectly three consecutive times. They will tell you that you can get the card back but I would not count on it.

Cash advances on credit cards are available here also. Directly from the ATM or by going to the bank and showing them your passport. Do not wait in line but go directly to a desk with F/Exchange or Wire Transfers written overhead. And the person at the desk will speak good English.

So things to write down

Before you leave home:

Bank officials name and e-mail address, Swift Code, telephone number of someone you can contact back home, and address of Western Union in your destination city.

After you arrive here:

Account number of bank in destination city

Where you are staying they will probably have a safe you can use and this information would best be kept in the safe.

Chances are you will have a great vacation and nothing will happen but if you want peace of mind then heed my advice. It will only take a few minutes of your time.

Of all the destinations that I have traveled, I consider this to be one of the safest. But all it takes is one undiscovered hole in one’s jacket or pant pockets to turn a memorable vacation into an unforgettable one.


related pages...

Auto Insurance


Driving in Chiang Mai


Best Dentist in Chiang Mai


Health Insurance Options


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