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Finance

Accessing Money from U.S. accounts

  • Withdrawing money from a U.S. account is pretty easy as long as you have a debit card. ATMs are abundant in Thailand, and the exchange rates are typically good. Just watch out for fees; you probably want to take out money in one large lump rather than many smaller sums.
  • Depositing Money -- Does anyone know how to?

Money Transfers and Paying for Services

Many PCVs live in rural settings and must travel several hours to get to the capital city of their province. This makes it difficult to reserve bus and train tickets, which usually must be done in person (not over the internet). Some companies have a call center, and through the call center you can reserve a ticket as long as you pay via ATM within 24 hours. The call center reserves the ticket, gives you a transaction code, and you transfer the money to the company using that transaction code. You trade in the ATM receipt for the actual ticket when you go to the bus station. Sometimes hotels might ask you to transfer a deposit to an individual's account. As long as you feel comfortable trusting the hotel, this is another use for reserving things electronically.

Lost ATM Card

Call the bank and cancel your old ATM card. The number can be found on your passbook or any of your friends ATM cards.

Option 1: Replacing the card in Bangkok

For several Thai banks, including Bangkok Bank, a new ATM card can only be issued in the geographic area where the account was opened. For PC volunteers, this means Bangkok, and specifically, a branch near the Peace Corps office. When visiting an office in Bangkok to obtain a new card, you will need your passbook as well as US passport to confirm identification. The actual process at the bank can be done fairly quickly.

Option 2: Opening a new Bangkok Bank Account

It is possible to obtain a new ATM card at a local branch, however this will require you to close your original account, and reopen a new account at another branch of Bangkok Bank. This is a bit more involved than a card replacement in Bangkok, and it is recommended you take a Thai counterpart along to facilitate the process. The same documents are required, along with a Thai address. Peace Corps Thailand requires volunteers to open "savings" accounts.

Option 3: Changing banks

If you are in an area that does not have a Bangkok Bank branch or ATM nearby, you may want to open an account with a bank that does. In this case you would go to the nearest Bangkok Bank with passbook and passport in hand, and withdraw funds with which to open the account at the new bank. You will need a passport and Thai address to open your new account, and again, Peace Corps Thailand administrative staff highly recommends that a Thai counterpart come along to assist the transaction as "you never know what they are going to ask". Peace Corps Thailand requires volunteers to open "savings" accounts.

Once a new account has been created, a photocopy of the front pages of the passbook should be made and sent to Peace Corps Thailand administrative staff with a request to re-route direct deposit to said account. Usually it will take between 1 and 2 VICA cycles for funds to begin deposit to the new account making it a good idea not to close the Bangkok Bank account immediately.

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