Many Americans living or traveling in Thailand, at one time or another, need money to be sent from their family or friends back home. Lost travelers checks, stolen bags, mislaid credit cards or too much spending can mean you’ll need a quick donation or loan from someone back home to make sure you’ll survive. Sending money to an American in Thailand is easy. There are several ways to do it, some with low fees and some with higher ones, a couple that only take a few minutes, a couple that take longer. If you need to send money to an American friend or family member currently in Thailand, read up on the various ways of doing it before making up your mind.
Bank Deposit – The easiest and cheapest way, if your friend or family member still has an ATM card from an American bank is to pop down to your local branch of the bank and make a quick cash deposit (cash, not a check, as checks take days to clear) into your friend’s account. Once the deposit has cleared, often just a matter of an hour or less, your friend or family member can then go to any ATM machine in Thailand and withdraw the money with his/her ATM card. Up to $600 a day can be pulled through this way with most US banks.
Western Union – Another popular way to send money to an American friend or family member traveling or living in Thailand is via Western Union at a local Western Union branch – but it is THE most expensive way (a transfer of $2,000 will cost around $125). You can even transfer money to Western Union on the internet without leaving your house by using your credit card (don’t forget the high fees though as it’s treated the same as a cash advance on your card).
As for the fee to use Western Union, it will be deducted from the amount sent. So, for instance, if your friend or family member needs $1,000 make sure you send more to include the Western Union fee. In Thailand, several of the major banks deal with Western Union so the money transferred can be picked up there. Either that or at any Central department store branch.
Money Transfer to a Thai Bank Account – If you’re sending a large amount and your friend or family member has a Thai bank account, another cheap way is to send a money transfer from your bank account to theirs.
All you need is your friend or family member’s Thai bank account number and the routing number of the bank to make the transfer. Money will automatically appear in the Thai bank account within minutes and your American friend/family member can go to the bank to get it. This can be done by using his/her ATM card or by requesting money from the bank teller and showing his/her American passport.
Send Money to Thailand by MoneyGram – Sending money to a friend in Thailand by MoneyGram is a bit old-fashioned but still can be done. Just go to either a MoneyGram office or to the MoneyGram website and do it online. Then let your friend/family member know the reference code so he can pick up the money. The American picking up the money can do so at a Siam Commercial Bank branch, TMB bank branch or a CIMB Thai Bank. Usually open Monday thru Saturday during banking hours. $1,000 can be sent for as low a fee as $19.99.
Sending money to an American living or traveling in Thailand is easy. Any of these four ways of doing so is fast, efficient and, other than Western Union, not too expensive.