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Banking A Cheque


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Am I right in assuming you have a personal check from someone made out to you and the check is drawn on a bank in England?

I believe you can, however, the money is deposited until the check clears. I think this takes about 6 weeks.

Hope someone with more recent experience comes along and gives us the straight dope.

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Can anyone tell me if it is possible to deposit a English cheque made payabble to you into your Thai bank account?

Yes you can, they will tell you to allow around 4-5 weeks tho the longest it has ever taken for me is 3 weeks.

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Most Thai banks will accept a UK cheque drawn on a UK bank, but only on a "for collection" basis. This means that the cheque will be sent to the Thai bank's UK branch (if they have one) or UK correspondent bank for clearance in the UK. You will not receive cleared funds in your Thai account until your Thai bank has received confirmation that the cheque has cleared in the UK. This can take weeks or months depending on the bank. Your Thai bank will also charge a not-insignificant fee for this service, so it isn't practical for small value cheques. I also suspect that most Thai bank branches haven't done this and might tell you that it's not possible --- check with the head office branch before giving up.

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I do this all the time, costs approx 300 baht, it is 10 US dollars so depends on exchange rate and a small tax, usually takes 3 weeks to clear. This is with SCB.

If doing this on a regular basis for living money I guess it's cheaper than SWIFTing money over or using a home country ATM/Debit card which incurs a foreign transaction fee....a person would just need to be regular/periodic about cashing a check....and hopefully have some emergency cash saved in case of immediate need of additional money. But as said, beats the cost of wiring money over in the great majority of cases and if your ATM/Debit card charges a foreign transaction fee.

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Last time I inquired a year or two ago, Siam Commercial had a minimum face amount per check of $50 U.S., and a flat fee service charge of 203 baht per check (perhaps they've increased their fee since then).... Not sure what exchange rate type they use for those kinds of transactions.

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I've also done it often. Just did one a few weeks ago using Bangkok Bank. Took exactly 3 weeks to the day to show in my account. As said above, $10.00 processing charge when you submit the check. When it showed up in the account I calculated the conversion rate and compared it to the listed TT conversion rates for the day it arrived and it was exactly the same which means no surcharges were added for the TT.

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I have wondered about this also as I spend extended lengths of time in Thailand. I am prepared to wait out the 3 or 4 weeks, but being charged a fee for that bothers me. I think my general plan would be to deposit the check in my US (or in your case I assume a UK bank) and then I would arrange a wire tranfser. That certainly would be faster and I think the same or less price.

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I have wondered about this also as I spend extended lengths of time in Thailand. I am prepared to wait out the 3 or 4 weeks, but being charged a fee for that bothers me. I think my general plan would be to deposit the check in my US (or in your case I assume a UK bank) and then I would arrange a wire tranfser. That certainly would be faster and I think the same or less price.

Will depend on the transmitting bank. As I mentioned above, the all inclusive fee is $10.00. For wire transfer the transmitting bank could charge as much as $35.00 for the transfer and the Thai receiving may add around 500 Baht to that. Need to verify with both ends what the wire transfer fees will be.

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I have wondered about this also as I spend extended lengths of time in Thailand. I am prepared to wait out the 3 or 4 weeks, but being charged a fee for that bothers me. I think my general plan would be to deposit the check in my US (or in your case I assume a UK bank) and then I would arrange a wire tranfser. That certainly would be faster and I think the same or less price.

Will depend on the transmitting bank. As I mentioned above, the all inclusive fee is $10.00. For wire transfer the transmitting bank could charge as much as $35.00 for the transfer and the Thai receiving may add around 500 Baht to that. Need to verify with both ends what the wire transfer fees will be.

Yeap, it will definitely depending on your transmitting bank, method used to wire the funds, and flow of the funds.

For example say your transmit $1000 using ACH which is free at many U.S. banks and you use the Bangkok Bank New York routing number and your in-Thailand Bangkok Bank account number. Ok, no ACH charge by the transmitting bank but Bangkok Bank NY will slice off a $5 fee as it flows through them on the way to your in-Thailand bank account (the BKK Bk NY fee varies by amount transmitted...starting at $2000.01 it goes to $10). This mean $995 arrives for conversion to baht and deposit in your account. But before your Thai bank deposits/posts the money to your account they charge a 0.25% (200 baht min, 500 baht max) fee. $1995 converts to Bt59,850......0.25% of 59,850 is Bt149.63 which does not fall within the Bt200 min and Bt500 max fee range, which means you get charged Bt200 to receive/convert the dollars to baht. Bt200 is $6.67....add the $5 BKK Bk NY fee and you are up to $11.67 in total fees for that ACH transmission and Bt59,650 deposited/posted to your account. If the transmitting bank charged something for the ACH transmission (like Bank of America charges $3 for a 3 day ACH transmission and up to $25 for a 1 ACH day transmission) then you would need to add in that fee. And if sending via "SWIFT banks usually charge a high fee in the $20 to $60 range but since you are not using the Bangkok Bank NY ACH routing number but the Bangkok Bank SWIFT code I don't think any flow-through/intermediate fee is applied....only the SWIFT fee on the transmitting end and the receiving fee on the in-Thailand end...unless you are unluckly and the bank SWiFTing you money over must use an intermediatary bank which may also charge a fee.

Now as to what exchange rate the bank gives when the Thailand bank receives the funds from the cleared check and if there is a dollar-to-baht receipt/conversion fee that may be variables also. Tywais said he calculated it when the funds posted to his Bangkok Bank account and it matched the Bangkok Bank TT rate. He didn't mention if there was possibly that 0.25% (Bt 200 min, Bt500 max) fee also applied...maybe there was...maybe there wasn't....maybe the original $10 fee overrode/prevented any additional fees in-Thailand fees.

And it looks like at Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) a person would receive a slight lower exchange rate than the TT rate when cashing a check. See this Link. I expect this lower rate probably occurs at some other Thai banks also. About the only way to be sure whether wiring over funds or using the check method is cheaper for you is to get the best rough estimated costs as possible and give both methods a try at least once....see how they work out fee- and exchange rate-wise....and if doing the two different methods be sure to factor in the different exchange rates which will probably be inplace when the funds post to your account.

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And if a person is looking for the lowest cost and quickest way to get money in hand from the home country bank, switching to a home country bank that provides a Visa debit card with zero percent foreign transaction fee with ATM fee reimbursement is the way to go. With such a debit card (I'm lucky enough to have two such cards from Schwab and State Farm banks) you get the money in hand just as soon as it pops out of the ATM machine....and if using an AEON ATM there is not even that Bt150 foreign card usage fee....and even if you use an ATM that does charge the Bt150 fee the bank issuing the zero percent foreign transaction fee Visa card will probably reimburse the fee up to the full or X-amount per month....Schwab and State Farm Banks do. And the exchange rate provided by Visa oscillates around a little better to a little less than the TT rate given by banks for wire transfers; usually a little better based on my experience/withdrawals.

But as mentioned you'll need to join/use a bank that offers such a debit card. Ex: from looking at the Visa Exchange rate web page and the Bangkok Bank Exchange rate page, if I used my zero percent foreign transaction Visa debit card right now at 9:35am/Monday morning I would get an exchange rate of Bt29.94/USD; if some wired-over money posted to my account at the same time I would get a Bangkok Bank TT exchange rate of Bt29.85/USD...but unfortunately, the bank is going to subtract that 0.25% (Bt 200 min, Bt500 max) fee before posting to my account which will effectively lower the exchange rate below Bt29.85/USD.

If a person is looking for probably the cheapest and quickest method of money transfer for amount up to around $1000 per day, switching to a home country bank that provides a Visa debit card with zero percent foreign transaction fee(s) is the way to go; even such a card with the Mastercard logo is excellent although the Mastercard exchange rate usually averages a little lower than the Visa and TT exchange rates. For example: at 9:35am/Monday morning the Mastercard exchange rate is Bt29.74/USD; but even this rate ends up beating the effective rate you get from a wire transfer when applicable wire transfer fees are added in.

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