Before you start transferring money to Thailand, even before you leave home: Beware!… your cable, utility, etc. vendor will tell you that your accounts are cancelled. Don’t believe your vendor! Many accounts I thought were cancelled are not. They just kept billing me – which is really bad if you have auto billing. The rats just help themselves to your money. So make darn sure that those accounts are dead and buried and stay on them until the day you get on the plane. It’s much harder once you’re in Thailand.
My banking advice is to be prepared: keep plenty of reserve funds so you are covered for all the time the process takes. Be prepared for lots of frustration and waiting. The more you can line up ahead of time, the better. Forget about the phone. I made multiple calls to Social Security and nothing helped. Idiots. The Manila Social Security office was also useless. See the embassy immediately you arrive in Thailand. I didn’t get anything taken care of until I made an appointment at the US embassy where they notarized my instructions to Social Security.

After the US embassy I saw my Bangkok Bank manager and he was eager to get going. I finally recieved my first ssi deposit last week, 4 months after I arrived.

I would not advise keeping all your money in one bank. I keep 2 accounts, one US and one in Thailand and I transfer money online once a month. Here’s how you do it:

Go to this Bangkok Bank webpage and open this link. Open an ordinary savings account at a branch of Bangkok Bank in Thailand. You then have an ATM card and you can make withdrawals in Thailand once transfers are completed … usually 2-3 days, allowing for weekends or holidays.

Domestic transfers can be made from your US bank (or other payer) to Bangkok Bank in New York using exactly the same name and account number that you have on your account in Thailand. It is a domestic transfer (no need for an International transfer) from an American bank in dollars.

The dollars you deposit in NY will appear as a baht bank deposit in your account here in a couple of days and your passbook entry will show it is a foreign exchange deposit, which may be useful in future with Immigration, when you want to take money out of Thailand. The fee is $5 for exactly $2,000 transfer; $2,000-4,000 attracts a $10 fee.

Depending on what your payer or transferring bank require, you can use the ABA number or Fed routing number below. No need for an international transfer and no need for a Swift code.

Bangkok Bank New York Branch
Mr. Thitipong Prasertsilp, VP & Branch Manager
29 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York
NY 10006
Business Hours: Mon-Fri (9:00 am to 5:00 pm)
Tel: (1-212) 422-8200
Fax: (1-212) 422-0728
FED Routing No: 026008691

When setting up your home bank use the one way transfers option if they offer it since it cannot be used to withdraw money from Bangkok Bank and any such attempt will lock up the account. Without that option they will send test deposits of a few cents initially and you will have to report back receipt and amount. If you have SMS set up the bank will send notification to you.

I just go to my US bank online account, hit ‘transfer money’, then to ‘external transfer’, hit ‘add account’, put in the routing number for Bangkok Bank NY (#026008691) and ‘Bangkok Bank NY’ pops up. Now I enter my Bangkok bank savings account number and hit ‘submit.’

I have my Social Security ‘direct deposited’ into my Bangkok Bank Account using the RTN of their New York number which is also called ABA number

Important Note: You cannot transfer funds from Bangkok Bank’s account in Thailand to your account with banks or online payment service providers in the US via Bangkok Bank’s New York branch and the ACH system. If you initiate direct debit or ACH debit transactions to Bangkok Bank’s New York branch, banks in the US and online payment service providers may suspend your account.

2 Responses

  1. Hey Godfree
    Have you ever looked into Bangkok Banks Foreign Currency Account to hold your USD awaiting a favorable exchange rate conversion?
    Love to hear your thoughts…

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