Bank Fees for international SWIFT transfers

Obviously you’d take it with a grain of salt. But it can be a helpful quick way to know where to look.

I personally use Cathay now. But I’m not going to call every bank to check their fees and find if they really are the cheapest

If someone posts a bank that’s cheaper… then that’s something that I could look into…

In any case if it’s an amount of less than say 1000 USD (or 500 if the fee is lower), paypal is cheaper and quicker. You can use paypal for larger amounts but since the fees are percentage, it will get higher as the amount goes way up. But it’s a good and safe way of making payment for commercial reasons (such as buying something, as you get paypal protection).

I know there’s western union but I have no idea what the fees are.

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How about the bank teller going into the back and asking the older lady for the exchange rate? And then she comes back and shows me and says ‘可以嗎’ ?

Any ideas on how to get better rates except having premier accounts?

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Cathay offers a flat rate of 300 (no added postage fees) that seems to be the best so far

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So @comfy123 after all the research, which bank do you think is cheapest for international transfers? Still Cathay or did you find any cheaper ones? More important than the flat fee is the conversion rate really, as that’s where you’ll lose most the money

Seems with Cathay, buying USD from the bank you’d lose 0.22 NTD for every 1 USD (30.02 NTD) you buy, so that’s 0.73% lost on the conversion.

Then you also have the 300 NT flat fee.

So if you converted 100,000 NTD to USD and sent it abroad, you’d lose $1030 which is 1.03%.

Not to mention you might be charged a fee to receive the money on the other side.

Still seems not great :confused:

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Your upper circle is the non-cash rate. 1 USD costs 30.02 TWD
The lower circle is the cash rate, which is usually worse. 1 USD costs you 30.24 TWD
This thread is about a SWIFT transfer, not cash forex, right? You need to compare with the market rate on google or yahoo, not with the cash rate.

Btw. Megabank sells you USD for 30.00 TWD right now

There would be a bigger discrepancy on weekends as banks only update their conversion rates during business hours

Generally conversion rates change often and it’s a difficult thing compare due to it changing so often.

But in general Cathay offers competitive conversion rates.

I agree though. It is a big factor

This app here will help you compare them across all the banks :slight_smile:台灣匯率通-最即時銀行匯率到價提醒/id990911041?l=en


Exactly right! But I wasn’t sure as my Chinese is still developing :sweat_smile:

Generally you’d look at the conversion rate that isn’t so terrible for swift transfers. (Because banks have time to delay and wait for a better rate for themselves) The other is for day traders (as it’s an instant trade)

Cathay doesn’t rank too badly there

That is the google rate.

I think if you are “VIP” you get discount on exchange rate. At least I know for sure at Bank of Taiwan. Cathay does give discount but only 3 exchanges during lifetime of the account, which sucks.

The google rate is actually exactly the same right now…

Anyone know if there’s any way Cathay bank can offer better exchange rate permanently?

You could just send the money to the account abroad in TWD and let them convert it at hopefully a better rate than what the Taiwan bank offers.

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That seems quite unlikely, at least for major currencies. The rates at Taiwanese banks are pretty good.


I doubt that any bank abroad will give you a better rate to convert an obscure currency like the TWD.


That is very, very dangerous. TWD is a restricted currency basically, it can’t be cleared abroad. So the conversion will be made by the correspondent bank of the receiving bank, which is still in Taiwan, and then sent to the destination country if it is the domestic currency of the beneficiary jurisdiction, otherwise then routed through the clearing of the currency in its home jurisdiction and then sent to the receiving bank (it can be as many as even 5 different corresponding banks here, everyone with their own processing fee deducted). I still find Cathay the best for FX so far. I have HSBC, Cathay and CTBC here, whilst HSBC doesn’t make me pay the transfer fees (I am Premier thanks to my still open HK account), the exchange rate is much worse. HSBC HK much better for that, but can’t send and hold TWD abroad as said. CTBC is quite close to Cathay, and they app is much better (and in English, although with limited functions). It seems most of local big banks have also some premier status depending on the amount of funds deposited with them, and these status confer preferential FX rates and a quota of free transactions per month, like gold status with cathay gives 10 free transfers (both domestic and crossborder) per month and 20 free withdrawals at any ATM, platinum increases them to 15 and 30, diamond to 50 and 50. Also some credit cards gives FX preferential rates to account holders at the same bank (can’t remember which one, but I saw one at least).

Hello, for Cathay, do you have to apply for these premium status? The free transfer applies for SWIFT? Thanks in advance.

The gold status is if you have at least 3M TWD in deposits, it seems you need to apply once you reach the threshold. They discount refer to any online transfer, no mention of distinction between domestic and crossborder.

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