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International Money Transfer

Lethbridge, Canada
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19 posts
17 reviews
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International Money Transfer

We are booking hotels for our upcoming trip to Thailand and one of the hotels is a private hotel that is not equipped with bill payment on their website. They asked us to transfer the money to their Thai account. Now, what website or service have people used to perform this transfer? Any safe reliable suggestions?

Thanks,

Taralyn

Berlin/Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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18,299 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: International Money Transfer

SWIFT transfer from your home bank is safest.

Bangkok, Thailand
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9,854 posts
93 reviews
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2. Re: International Money Transfer

If they are asking for the whole amount in advance I would choose another hotel; using a bank transfer you have no recourse if there is any problem. If they are asking just for a deposit for the first night I might be willing to risk it, though.

Are you sure that this hotel is not available on some reputable local booking site like www.sawadee.com? Paying by bank transfer in advance looks like a bad deal when there are sites like booking.com that often do not charge your credit card at all unless you are a no show for the first night. I would prefer using a reputable booking site even if the nightly rate is a bit higher. What makes this hotel so special that you cannot book somewhere else?

As far as bank transfers go, you could start with your own bank. Normally banks should be able to handle international money transfers. You need to get the SWIFT code of the receiver's bank because often banks charge a lot more for transfers that cannot be handled without human intervention using the SWIFT network.

You should also agree with the hotel that they will pay for their local bank expenses. At least my bank lets you choose if you pay only your own costs or all the costs. If you choose to pay everything my bank charges a large lump sump that should cover everything whatever the charges of the receiving bank are. Unfortunately I have heard that sometimes Thai banks charge the receiver even if you choose to you pay all costs. I have always chosen to pay only my own bank's charges when I have transferred money to my wife in Thailand and the local charges have always been much smaller than what my bank would have taken to cover them.

Lethbridge, Canada
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19 posts
17 reviews
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3. Re: International Money Transfer

Thanks for your suggestions. Yeah, we did a lot of research first. The hotel is a private family operated hotel; Lakeview Bungalows in Khao Lak and there is nothing else like it in the area. We fell in love with it right away, (it is the top rated hotel in Khao Lak as well), They are only asking for the first night's deposit (1200baht) just to reserve the spot. We feel comfortable in transferring the money as we have emailed back and forth and the reviews are excellent. Just unsure of how to go about transferring the money. I live in Canada and my Canadian bank only allows Canadian bank transfers (I will look into it and see if SWIFT is available). Just wondering what the safe alternatives are.

Thank you!

Taralyn

Bangkok, Thailand
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9,854 posts
93 reviews
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4. Re: International Money Transfer

SWIFT transfers are really the thing if you want to transfer money securely from a bank account to a bank account across borders. Your bank is quite lame if it cannot handle those. My bank handles it in its Internet banking service as a matter of course. Maybe you need to contact another bank in your home town. However, my bank has quite high SWIFT transaction fees. I would pay at least 400 baht in fees for transferring 1200 baht, so I transfer only amounts exceeding 40000 baht at which point the charges are a minor expense. Btw. do the transfer in CAD since the receiving Thai bank will give you a better CAD/THB exchange rate than your own bank.

The other reputable alternatives would not allow you to transfer directly to the receiver's account. If this is acceptable, PayPal would be an option. Western Union would allow the receiver to pick up the cash from one of their agents, but the fees are quite high.

new brunswick
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543 posts
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5. Re: International Money Transfer

Had done the money transfer from bank account to bank account 10+ years ago. I used TD for this service. You can expect bank service fee about same of that amount you pay to the hotel. ( TD charged $30 CAD back then ) Plus very bad exchange rate in converting CAD to THB

Had also done Western Union so they collect cash over there. Again not cheap due to the minimum fee.

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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18,299 posts
34 reviews
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6. Re: International Money Transfer

To transfer a small amount from Canada to Thailand use Moneygram, which is available at Canada Post, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobey's or Stubbs Pharmacy in Lethbridge. It will only cost you a fee of $10 but the exchange rate isn't so good. The cost for getting 1200 baht to Thailand would be $55. They would have to pick up the money at a branch of Siam Commercial Bank or TMB.

Edited: 25 February 2014, 22:42
Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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18,299 posts
34 reviews
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7. Re: International Money Transfer

By the way, do NOT use Oanda to send money to Thailand. I used their money transfer service once in order to help out a friend with a small business loan (since repaid) and they hung it up for WEEKS while their US bank checked it for "money laundering" and asked all sorts of intrusive questions. Apparently any transfer from a "third country" to Thailand rang their alarm bells. I found this infuriating because I have nothing to do with the US, couldn't care less about their laws or their banking system, AND it was really not a large amount. I would assume that XE is similar.

Canadian banks offer a "Remittance Service" for sending small sums abroad. I've found this to be rather expensive compared to Moneygram. You can use it to transfer directly into their account, but their bank will also levy a fee. With Moneygram, the $10 is all you -- or they -- pay.

8. Re: International Money Transfer

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