the best bank for foreigner

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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby ceevee369 » 03 May 2012, 12:00

Just a late advice when setting up your account here in TW:

The bank uses your passport as sole ID to open an account. Not the ARC which might have a "different" name on it seen the limited space.
They will copy each character of your last, middle and surname which will be used for ANY transaction - especially cashing Checks and receiving overseas transfers.

What is important:
Your bank at home should use the IDENTICAL name as you use here. It happened many times that some forgot to include my middle name which in one bank resulted in NOT accepting the transaction (losing International wire fee of 500 NTD) , or if you got lucky - a set of documents to sign upfront before receiving the money (obviously with the same extra costs).
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby TWBound » 21 May 2012, 19:22

I tried to open an account at ChinaTrust, they required me to have a landline phone number such as (02).... in Taipei. Does anyone this is true for all banks?
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby Abacus » 21 May 2012, 22:51

TWBound wrote:I tried to open an account at ChinaTrust, they required me to have a landline phone number such as (02).... in Taipei. Does anyone this is true for all banks?


I doubt it. I have opened two bank accounts and I've never had a landline.
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby ceevee369 » 22 May 2012, 00:07

TWBound wrote:I tried to open an account at ChinaTrust, they required me to have a landline phone number such as (02).... in Taipei. Does anyone this is true for all banks?


Not true AFAIK. Ask them the terms and conditions page regarding applications.
Me think you went in at 11.55 AM to open an account :D
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby Mr He » 22 May 2012, 13:00

I have used Chang Hwa and Union bank for foreign transfers.

No main difference, however Union bank gave me a credit and debit card, so that's a plus.

For incoming and outgoing transfers Union Bank charges NT$400. I find incoming easy, outgoing harder due to the paperwork.

Note that I do a lot of international bank transfers, once they know you things in general become easier.
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby ceeeeej » 21 Jul 2012, 01:22

I'll be relocating to Taiwan from the USA for my company. Even though I am moving, I will still have bills to cover (student loans, :fume: ) in the USA. I'm looking for the best possible bank or setup where I can transfer a large amount of NTD to a US account and then use the US account to pay the loan payments.

I'm assuming I can't pay directly out of the Taiwan bank account directly to the loan in USD. I think I need to transfer first and then pay.

I'm look at Citibank and having a US account and a TW account (or do I open both accounts in Taiwan and open both an NTD account and USD account?). I also read that Mega bank can allow USD and NTD accounts there. I think I have come to the conclusion that smaller local banks in TW are probably not a good answer for me. Anyone in a similar situation?
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby Steve4nLanguage » 22 Jul 2012, 02:23

ceeeeej wrote:I'll be relocating to Taiwan from the USA for my company. Even though I am moving, I will still have bills to cover (student loans, :fume: ) in the USA. I'm looking for the best possible bank or setup where I can transfer a large amount of NTD to a US account and then use the US account to pay the loan payments.

I'm assuming I can't pay directly out of the Taiwan bank account directly to the loan in USD. I think I need to transfer first and then pay.

I'm look at Citibank and having a US account and a TW account (or do I open both accounts in Taiwan and open both an NTD account and USD account?). I also read that Mega bank can allow USD and NTD accounts there. I think I have come to the conclusion that smaller local banks in TW are probably not a good answer for me. Anyone in a similar situation?


Like you, I needed to cover bills in the US, which I paid online through my US bank account. I opened an account at Bank of Taiwan 4 years ago, and have been sending money back to the US every month since then with never a problem. The wire fee is NT$400 (plus whatever your US bank may charge).

Although the staff's English at my branch was limited, they were always very helpful and patient with my Newbie Chinese (10% Chinese, 30% English, and 60% pantomime). This is the Taoyuan City branch; I imagine your experience could differ at another branch.
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby ceeeeej » 23 Jul 2012, 13:20

Thanks.

$400 NTD seems like the standard fee for international transfer in Taiwan; a number of banks listed here charge that (China Trust, Mega Bank, Bank of Taiwan, ...). I might also look into Citi but I wonder about access to Citi ATMs in Taipei and how the visa debit card is. Anyone using the Citi Visa / debit card there?
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby Icon » 23 Jul 2012, 14:38

ceeeeej wrote:I'll be relocating to Taiwan from the USA for my company. Even though I am moving, I will still have bills to cover (student loans, :fume: ) in the USA. I'm looking for the best possible bank or setup where I can transfer a large amount of NTD to a US account and then use the US account to pay the loan payments.

I'm assuming I can't pay directly out of the Taiwan bank account directly to the loan in USD. I think I need to transfer first and then pay.

I'm look at Citibank and having a US account and a TW account (or do I open both accounts in Taiwan and open both an NTD account and USD account?). I also read that Mega bank can allow USD and NTD accounts there. I think I have come to the conclusion that smaller local banks in TW are probably not a good answer for me. Anyone in a similar situation?


Ceeeej, welcome to the 'mosa.

Please take note that the Citibank in Taiwan is in no way affiliated with the one in the US, or at least in any way helpful to you. It's service is quite deplorable and its charges outrageous. It is not a foreigner friendly bank and I would not reccomend you to use it for usual transactions, unless you like ulcers.

It is advisable to have several bank accounts, meaning not keeping your money in just one place. Aside froj the usual reasons, for example, there is a limit to the transactions that can be done from an ATM, and when you reach that limit, you need to swipe the passbook. Many people forget this detail and can spend peniless hours. As per Murphy's Law, this may happen when you need cash the most.

I also support having an account with the Post Office -the safest and most estable- but since they cannot do international transactions, using a bank like Mega or Fubon or Chinatrust, is also required.

Just avoid small fly by night, just entered the market places, like Bowa or SKG, that have very few service outlets. Somebody on the boards just had a really bad experience with Zhanghua Bank, so ask around and inform yourself. In your case, compare the charges related to international money transfers.
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Re: the best bank for foreigner

Postby dan2006 » 23 Jul 2012, 15:17

Icon, I was very soon going to open an account with Citi because of the good service of a local branch when I made inquiries, which was a lot different 3 years ago when I went to a different branch and they told me that they dont allow foreigners to apply for a bank account.

You mentioned that they provide deplorable service and high fees. Is this related to transfers of money from a foreign country only, or do they have a lot of traps to charge someone fees from?

I know Citibank in USA is known as a subprime lender, and before the crisis would give a credit card to anything that breathed.
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