Cost Effective Ways of Making Money Transfers to Thailand

What will this guide cover?

money transfers to ThailandFor many Thai nationals residing in New Zealand, making money transfers to Thailand is an important task. So is getting the best value for money. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a simplified version of the options we think are best in terms of convenience and value.

For a quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees, click here.

This guide will cover reasons why you might be sending money to Thailand and the recommended methods:

  • Personal transfer – sending money to family or friends in Thailand
  • Business transfer
  • Buying or selling a property in Thailand
  • Studying Overseas
  • General costs of sending money to Thailand
  • Your options to send money to Thailand
  • Information you’ll need for the transfer
  • General information

Transferring money to South Africa can be tricky too. We have an article about how to do it here. 

If you are making a trip to Thailand, you read this article for amazing money saving and budgeting tips.

Personal transfer from New Zealand to Thailand

You can set up a personal transfer from New Zealand to Thailand through a number of methods:

Bank:

Not many banks will support Thai Baht (THB) but could transfer your money in US dollars. They will, however, charge you a high international transfer fee, as well as an uncompetitive exchange rate.

Use money transfer companies:

These companies will offer you a better exchange rate and lower fees. Here are some providers that transfer money from New Zealand to Thailand:

All companies have similarities and offer competitive rates. Our recommendation is OFX for great exchange rates for NZD to THB.

Business transfer from New Zealand to Thailand

If your business is sending money to Thailand from New Zealand, there are two critical things you must consider when finding the best option:

  1. The exchange rate margin. This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate (www.xe.com) and the rate you will get.
  2. Business products they offer such as forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders.

You can use any of the money transfer companies listed above if you wish. Our choice for business transfers to Thailand are HiFX. Their exchange rates and zero fee structure will allow you to maximise your overseas receipts or payments.  They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts which are helpful if you would like to hold the funds in a foreign currency and exchange them at a favourable time.

Buying or selling property in Thailand

If you are looking to buy a property in Thailand, or have sold your property in Thailand and need to send the money back to New Zealand, we recommend that you look for a provider that has a strong presence in both countries. This will give you local support either side, as well as the flexibility you may need leading up to the settlement.

Our choice would be TorFX for property settlement transfers. TorFX assign you a local account manager that will be licensed in New Zealand and have a strong global support network to guide you when needed.

Studying overseas

As much as we would like them to, tuition fees aren’t getting any cheaper. Annual payments to universities or other education providers, along with all other expenses, can really add up, particularly abroad. As these payments can be large, you need to know the best method of payment before moving your funds.

  • For larger payments, you should be keeping a keen eye on the exchange rate you’re getting as this will largely affect the amount of money you will get in the foreign currency at the end.
  • For smaller payments, you should keep an eye on the transfer fees.

There are many methods of transferring funds abroad, but we would suggest WorldFirst who have a great online presence and handy app that would allow bill-paying and all other monotonous payments super easy!

General costs for sending money to Thailand

Calculating the costs can be difficult, as nearly all fees, charges and exchange rates are dependent on how much are you sending, the method of sending and method of receiving.

The most common fees are as follows:

  1. A transfer fee
  2. Exchange rate margin. That is the difference between what you pay and the wholesale exchange rate on xe.com and the rate you will actually get
  3. Bank fees that your bank will charge for sending the money to the correct account overseas.
  4. Receiving bank fees for converting into the correct currency.

Your options for sending money to Thailand

There are various methods of sending money to Thailand:

Via your bank

Using your bank is an easy and quick way to transfer money and depending on your bank can normally send the money successfully within 3-5 business days. Generally, banks will have uncompetitive exchange rates which make them unattractive if you’re sending large amounts of money abroad. Check with your bank and research the fees and exchange rates based on the amount you plan to send over.

Paypal

Paypal is a convenient and highly popular way of transferring money abroad, and by far the quickest with transfers being completed within minutes (dependent on the type of transfer). It is great for smaller amounts (under $1000NZD) as although the exchange rate is equal to those of banks, the fees are slightly less. It’s particularly handy if you are paying from your own Paypal account directly into another.

A money transfer company

There is an overwhelming amount of money transfer companies out there – some older but trustworthy, and others newly emerging. In general, these companies are your best option when transferring larger amounts of money (anything between $1000 – $1,000,000NZD). Different companies will have various minimum and maximums set, and the transfer itself will usually take around 1 business day longer than banks or Paypal.

You will need to create an account with the company before sending the money – you can do this online:

  • Register your details on the website – you will likely need I.D handy
  • Account needs to then be approved, and you’ll get your login details
  • Enter the bank details of where you are sending the money i.e. the ‘Beneficiary’ or ‘Recipient’
  • You will get a quote based on the fees and exchange rate for sending the money
  • If you are happy, confirm the details including the given rate.

Information you’ll need for money transfers to Thailand

You’ll need the details of the bank account you are sending the money to i.e. the Beneficiary or Recipient details. These details will be:

  • Account name of your Recipient
  • Their address
  • SWIFT code

SWIFT codes

The Swift codes for the biggest banks in Thailand:

Rabobank : RABONL2U
ING Bank : INGBNL2A
Deutsche Bank Nederland : DEUTNL2N
Amsterdam Trade Bank : ATBANL2A

General Information

There are pros and cons to every method of payment you choose. Paypal and money transfer companies like Western Union (who offer cash pick-up) are your fastest options, with transfers being completed within minutes. Paypal will not offer a competitive exchange rate, like Western Union, but it is arguably a lot more convenient. Banks will take 1-2 business days and other money transfers companies will take roughly 2-3 business days.

Check the details of your chosen method, as all will have their own restrictions, fees and charges. Banks and Paypal will not have a minimum amount, but most money transfer companies will so do. Therefore, check before you send.

Click here to read our in-depth review of Paypal and click here to find out more about Western Union.

Case Study

Dog at the beach in ThailandAlea owns a dog shelter in Thailand with her best friend. As Alea and her friend are from New Zealand, they regularly have to send payments to Thailand to fund the shelter. They decided to go through Western Union due to the flexibility they offered of either sending to their Thai bank account, or in an emergency being able to organise a cash pick-up from the nearest location. What Alea and her friend also found extremely helpful was Western Union being able to accept credit cards when other banks or money transfer companies didn’t. This put both girls’ minds at rest knowing that, if anything ever happened and they needed to transfer an emergency fund to Thailand, they could. Both regularly convert and send their NZD-THB, and with each successful transfer, the girls and more importantly the dogs are kept happy.

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