What's the cheapest way to send a large amount of money (now in the form of Japanese yen)from Thailand to America?
August 1, 2006 10:48 PM   Subscribe

What's the cheapest way to send a large amount of money (now in the form of Japanese yen) from Thailand to America?

My boyfriend and I have just started a backpacking trip after teaching in Japan for two years--unfortunately, in all the stress of moving out we didn't have time to send our money home before we left. We are now carrying about a year's worth of pay--still in Japanese yen--through the streets of Bangkok. I knew of cheap ways to send money home from Japan, but I know very little about doing it from Thailand. The US embassy recommended Western Union, but the rates are a little steep for us. We don't care if it's slow, we just need to get it off our person and securely on its way home. We also would love it if we didn't have to convert from yen to baht before sending, as that would also take a large chunk of our money. Any advice? We are lost without you!
posted by ialwayscryatendings to Work & Money (5 answers total)
I probably can't help you but I can say I really really hope you didn't type that in an internet café with someone looking over your shoulder. Or if you're astro-turfing some kind of story in the vein of The Beach, good one. But surely nobody would be that foolhardy in real life.

Get yourself to some big banking institution as fast as you can. In a cab. How about the Bangkok branch of American Express? They can probably help you even if it's just renting you a safe-deposit box or something.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:05 AM on August 2, 2006

Gem Stones?

Or fly back to Japan and use your super duper cheap way.
posted by the cuban at 2:44 AM on August 2, 2006

Best answer: I tend to send my money back to my bank account in Australia using SWIFT. Any bank branch at just about any reputable bank (Bangkok Bank, Siam Commerical Bank etc) will do it ... I must admit I am not sending vast amounts home (usually $AUD3-500 at a time) but the fees seem reasonable (about $AUD12 and seem to be fixed at least for the small amounts I am sending). I am guess though to do this you would have to exchange yen to baht first (not 100% though, the bank may allow for yen -> US$ SWIFT transfers, it is theoretically possible to do that but this is Thailand and the possible cannot always be accomplished by farungs :-/). It takes about a week to seven business days for the money to show up in Australia (and unless you are using an ATM to withdraw funds it will take the same amount of time to transfer money into a bank account in Thailand).

They will probably also want to know why you are sending money out of the country and have a special form for this. I expect doubly so as it would be a large amount of money.

Have fun down south. :-)
posted by Gilgad at 3:08 AM on August 2, 2006

I suspect you're going to have some problems. Because of money laundering issues, Thai banking officers are very suspicious about people trying to send large amounts of money overseas. I would first check at the Citibank branch on Sathorn. They deal with a lot of foreigners, their staff speak good English and I've found them very helpful. If that doesn't work, then maybe placing it in a safe-deposit box as AmbroseChapel suggested might be your best bet.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:05 PM on August 2, 2006

I see from that link that the Sathorn Citibank branch also has safe deposit boxes.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:07 PM on August 2, 2006

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