Any US banks particularly better in Taiwan?

Yeah, I’m sure. I tried more than once. Unless the cashiers were wrong. (Tried twice).

I’d love to be told I’m wrong, but pretty sure its been refused in other places where domestic cards were accepted. (I don’t recall exactly where else it was refused… maybe certain department stores?)

Let me know what your mom did. Thanks.

Edited to add: And it was a credit card, not debit card, right?

Edited once more: For sure there were certain stores where the cashier could speak English and they clearly stated that they do not accept international cc’s. (I don’t remember the places, though).

@JMcNeill If you can maintain the minimum balances (NT$ 3M? That’s US$ 100,000), you can set up HSBC Premier Accounts in the US and Taiwan then link them using their Global Transfer service, which does not charge a fee for cross-border transfers. I think the only benefit is that you do not have to report the purpose or origin of the transfer

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I’m not sure I’d like to keep that much in an account doing pretty much nothing for me. Thanks for the idea though.

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I just used my US Costco Visa at the Carrefour in Tianmu this afternoon. Being doing this since last May 2020. And it also worked at Wellcome before they became Carrefour.


HSBC Premier still requires this to be reported as it is required by banking regulations.

There are other ways of qualifying for Premier in the US without maintaining a minimum balance, i.e. $5000 USD in monthly direct deposits (via ACH push) from certain banks.

However, with the sale of most of HSBC’s retail assets, only select Premier customers will be retained, so the monthly direct deposit method may not work in the long run.

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HSBC Premier will retain certain Premier customers after the retail banking sale.

Thanks for that.

I’ve got a US Costco Visa too. I will definitely try it once Taiwan opens again. (Hopefully relatively soon!)

Personally, I use Capital One 360 - no minimum balance, no foreign transaction fees or ATM fees. However, the daily limit of ATM withdrawals is $1000 USD (ATMs in Taiwan will only let you withdraw NT$20K/transaction). Lots of people recommend Charles Schwab - they will reimburse foreign ATMs fees each month. I’d recommend having multiple accounts in case you need to withdraw more than $1000 a day.

Paying your credit card is super convenient in Taiwan. The online payment system will depend on the bank, but if you don’t want to deal with learning ID/Amount and CC info in Chinese then you could also pay at any convenient store or transfer directly to the credit card via ATM or your preferred online banking app.

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(re: Fidelity) Their credit card, unfortunately, charges a foreign transaction fee (I have that card)… don’t recall what % they charge but it’ll cancel out/offset that 2% cash back

Think the reason is that the fees are higher for international transactions…

(re: HSBC) On the US side, you need $80k for Premier status. It doesn’t have to be in a plain vanilla checking/savings account though. You can open an investment account (brokerage) there and that qualifies towards Premier status.

The brokerage services sort of suck relative to other online brokerage options in the US (Fidelity, Schwab, etc), but it’s ok if you’re just going to buy and hold forever/very long time.

I basically used HSBC my entire time in Asia (both HK and Taiwan) as a means of moving money across borders. It’s not just the lower cost (vs wire transfers)… it’s just so much more convenient. Do it via click of a few buttons online vs looking up SWIFT codes, submitting wire transfer requests, etc

EDIT: Would also add, as a Premier member at HSBC, they do treat you better than the typical local bank. I didn’t really notice/care… but my (Taiwanese) wife commented on this, made it sound like a REALLY big difference


What’s a good US bank that offers free checking and ATM w/debit card with.

Also, what’s the best way of getting money into it. I have a US credit union but they are less than helpful.

I’m just looking to keep less than $200 in it. I would like to use it as an alternative to buying a bank check from Taiwan Bank or to make small internet purchases with places I’d rather not have my real credit card numbers.

I use BBT (becoming Truist). On my debit card they refund all of my atm fees, and don’t seem to charge any spread on the currency conversion. For the credit card through them, no foreign transaction fees , and they still even give me 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

But I have some sort of higher tier account that has a high balance requirement (at least at first, I’ve since pulled most my money from them, but still have the benefits).

In addition, can also qualify for US HSBC premier through 5,000 USD of monthly direct deposits from certain banks. You can cycle the direct deposit out of the account each month, it’s not a minimum balance requirement.

The banks that qualify as direct deposit are documented here:

List Of Methods Banks Count As Direct Deposits - Doctor Of Credit

I believe they charge 1% unless you are a wealth management client.
The net reward is still 1% after fee.

  1. Capital One 360.
  2. Ally