Thai Bank Deposits for US Citizens
Thai bak deposits for US citizens can seem a little tricky at first, but there’s a relatively easy way to handle them. If you’re a US bank account holder you can save international transfer fees via the US Automated Clearing House system (USACH) and Bangkok Bank’s New York branch. By stipulating the 9-digit routing number for Bangkok Bank’s New York branch (026008691) in your US transfer instruction, the funds will be transferred via the US ACH system directly to your Bangkok Bank account in Thailand. Your benefits for this extra hassle?
- Fees for funds transfers via the US ACH system and Bangkok Bank’s New York branch are up to USD 20 lower than most other international wire transfer services in the US.
- You can make transfers directly online via the internet banking service provided by your own bank in the US.
- You will enjoy a better exchange rate because the USD amount will be converted to Thai Baht at the daily Bangkok Bank exchange rate in Thailand.
Even if you don’t have a U.S. bank account you can still get Direct Deposit in Thailand. Bangkok Bank – which I use and recommend – will accept U.S. government Direct Deposit. Here’s how to get it:
- Complete Form SF-1199A, especially sections 1 & 2 on all three copies.
- Get a certified copy of your U.S. passport from the Consulate.
- Go to a Bangkok Bank branch and ask to open a Direct Deposit Account. Bring the completed Form SF-1199A, your passport and certified copy, the SSA or VA letter confirming your eligibility, and a small deposit to open the account.
- Tell the bank the account will receive a U.S. government pension only.
- Fill out an application for the bank’s Direct Deposit service.
- Read the application terms and conditions carefully. Note the fees and restrictions
Social Security requires that you do not have an ATM card on the account they pay into, so you will need a second account with an local ATM card that you can transfer funds to from the account your benefits are paid into. The second account is for your normal daily use.
The 1st account, the one that SS pays into shows your incoming deposits as ‘Foreign fund transfers’. You will need that to prove to The Thai Bureau of Immigration that your funds are coming from outside of Thailand when you renew your annual retirement extension. It can take several months for Direct Deposit to kick in. Then, to access each deposit, just update the account at any Bangkok Bank branch office. You can then transfer the funds into your regular working account.