I need some help and advice with the whole transferring money from the UK to Thailand business.
I have been living here for nearly three months now and I have been getting by using a pre-paid debit card issued by STA Travel.
It is a system that I found convenient but the more I try and understand exchange rates and fluctuations, the more I find myself confused.
The STA card works like this;
1. Setup a bank transfer from my Halifax account online
2. It takes 2-3 days to go through but it is free, as opposed to a same day transfer cost of 4%
3. Draw money from an ATM in Thailand and I get charged 150 Baht ATM Fee and £2.25 service fee.
So that's about £5.50 (?) all in to withdraw money. 'Great' I thought, having read and been told by many people that they pay anything from £20 to £30 to transfer their money from the UK into a Thai account.
It was only after me bragging to a bloke in the pub that I only pay about £5.50 to transfer, and how it's so easy with the STA card that he told me the exchange rate I get is most likely terrible; and that he was better off in the long run.
I admit up until now I have been pretty ignorant to exchange rates and basically anything to do with foreign currency, which is why I am now pleading for advice from the smart and savvy people of the forums :-)
The first thing I wanted to know is what exchange rate the STA card offers.
This STA card is issued by Mastercard but after reading the terms and conditions, the exchange rate is not set by Mastercard and is actually set by STA with a 'Daily Rate'.
This 'Daily Rate' can be checked on their website and is guaranteed to stay the same for that day.
From the Terms and Conditions:
" The rate which we apply to spend outside of the card’s currency is fixed at the start of the day and we guarantee that rate, regardless of market fluctuations – you always know exactly what you will be charged in advance. Exchange rates change on a daily basis and you can check the rates on our website"
Here is the link;
Travel Cashcard | STA Travel | Cashcard
I checked it today and the rate they are offering is 1 GBP = 45.9603 Baht
To compare, I also checked out XE.com to see what they showed as the exchange rate;
1 GBP = 49.9882 Baht
The maximum I can withdraw from an ATM here in Thailand is 20,000 Baht at one time. So based on that I worked out from the STA 'Daily Rate' link;
20,000 Baht = 435.158 GBP
The same calculation on XE.com is;
20,000 Baht = 400.095 GBP
As I'm a little bit stupid, does this mean that including the £5.50 of fees that STA charge, I am actually about £40 down on every ATM withdrawal (based on these figures)?
If this is the case, can anyone advise me of a better way of shifting my money around?
I have recently opened a Thai account with Bangkok Bank and in the UK I am with the Halifax if that is of any benefit to my situation.
I would massively appreciate plain and simple advice as like I said earlier, I'm not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to all this foreign money lark.
I just feel a bit of a prat now for all the times I've bragged about my great STA card :-)
Sorry this is a bit long winded!
Western Union is easy
Can't argue with that. What's your secret then, how do you get around these idiot scams?
I have a UK debit card and simply use it for as many purchases here as possible. I get a good rate with no thai ATM fee, since that applies only to cash.
HSBC in the UK do a premium account... for about 10 quid a month you can always withdraw from any ATMs free and at their instore exchange rates.
Lol he certainly doesn't mince his words does heHe doesn't. He just posts nonsense on this forum.
Anyway cheers for all the advice and suggestions. For anyone else as laid back about this subject here is the solution I come up with;
Use Halifax online to send pounds sterling to my Bangkok bank account. This normally costs £9.50 but they have a promotion on at the moment and for the first three transactions it costs only £7.50!
It takes 2-3 days to go through but then once it has gone through I can withdraw money from an ATM here for no fee and will get a much better exchange rate
All quite easy actually, I don't know what all the fuss was about lol
moneybookers.com cheap as chips.
The post was deleted and he was banned for it.