For many Thai nationals residing in USA, having to send money to Thailand is important for personal and professional reasons. Whatever the reason, it is necessary to understand the costs that comes with transferring money overseas and how to reduce those charges.
Research is crucial. Regardless of the country you are transferring money to – make a comparison of transfer providers to get the best deal that suits your needs.
Here are our top picks for likely money transfer situations. If you’re in a hurry, our quick comparison table will give you an overview of the best currency exchange rates and fees right now.
The Best Ways to Transfer Thai Baht
Moving to or from USA
All banks in the USA process money transfers from and to Thailand, and are a faster option. This is especially if you’re transferring between bank accounts. Sadly though, not every bank accepts Thai Baht (THB). Also, your expectations for the best possible exchange rate will be dashed if you consider using banks. And that doesn’t exempt the exorbitant money transfer charges.
If you wish to avoid or reduce these transfer costs, then online money transfer services are the best alternative. This will also offer you the opportunity to choose a provider that suits your needs or preferences.
Business from USA to Thailand
If your business requires transaction between the two countries, consider these 2 important things:
- The exchange rate margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- The business products they offer – like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders
Our Verdict: HIFX. Why? The exchange rate offered by HiFX and $0 fee structure enables you to make the best out overseas payment or receipts. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts which allow you to keep the funds in foreign currency and convert them whenever you feel like.
To find out more about Foreign Currency Accounts, watch this video.
Buying a Property
Thailand has a strong policy concerning property purchases. Foreigners are generally not allowed to buy properties in Thailand. They can, however, buy a condominium anywhere in Thailand. Paying for the property can be difficult, and it is suggested that you seek specialist advice before transferring money to effect the purchase.
Our Verdict: TorFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers. A local account manager will be appointed to guide you through each step. They are fully licensed in the USA and also offer a global support network.
Sending Money Home
Spending extended periods of time away from home can be a struggle. This is especially true when you are missing out on important events with your friends and family. If you are looking to send a small amount of money home, Western Union is a great choice. With a larger amount on hand, you should reach out to other providers that can offer you a fee waiver for your transfer
This is the main reason why it is of the utmost importance for you to search out providers that suit your needs, and discuss your options with a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.
Tuition fees is constantly increasing and many international students are faced with a massive amount of fees that can range between $15 000 to $50 000 annually, depending on the course. Then add living expenses, accommodation and bills to the equation and you’re looking at an amount that’s almost too rude to agree with.
For large full time tuition payments, make sure you take note of the best exchange rate. Taking a part time course? With smaller payments, take note of the charges on transfers.
Best Ways to Send Money to Thailand
The Costs of Sending Money between USA and Thailand
Calculating the cost of your transfer can be tricky. Depending on how you send the money, the fees, charges and margins aren’t always obvious. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another
- A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
- Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- Correspondent Bank Fees – The fee your bank will take out for getting the money to the right account. It’s deducted from the amount that finally arrives in the account and is almost impossible to estimate or reverse
- Receiving Bank Fee– If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send Euros to your US bank account, your US bank will charge you to convert it.
What are your options?
Banks in the USA have higher fees and uncompetitive exchange rates but this is not a good reason to shun them. Banks in Thailand tend to have more competitive exchange rates. Using a bank is the quickest way to transfer between bank accounts.
This is a great option for anyone sending smaller amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you’ll get are comparable to a bank but the fees are significantly lower. It is particularly handy when the person you are paying has a PayPal account.
A Money Transfer Company
Money transfer companies like OFX and HiFX are often the cheapest option when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you’ll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes to 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.
How to use a money transfer company (instead of a bank)
Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online
Setting things up (only has to be done once)
- Log on to their website and register your details. You’ll need to have some I.D ready.
- Once your account has been approved, you’ll get a login and password
- Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Beneficiary” or “Recipient”
- Get a quote for the amount you want to send
- Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in US dollars
- You’ll get a deal confirmation. Finally you’ll need to pay them the US dollars before the money is sent to Thailand.
Information you’ll need before you make your transfer
To send money overseas, you’ll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money too. These are commonly known as Beneficiary or Recipient Details.
- The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
- Their address
- The SWIFT Code of their bank
A note about sending money to Thailand
It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Banks are picky and will reject a payment even if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is out of place.
Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in Thailand:
How long does it take to send money to Thailand?
PayPal, HSBC and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes. If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank; or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company.
Is there a minimum transfer amount?
The banks and PayPal don’t have a minimum transfer amount but most money transfer companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to Thailand and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.