Getting USD with Taiwan bank card in the US

I missed the damn banks today and need to get some USD for Sunday.

I have 2 options:

  1. Use my Taiwna bank card in the US (Cirrus, Fiscard logos)
  2. Use the airport sharks

Which is cheaper? And if its the bank card option… does the card need to be set up or is it good to go? My Australian cards work just fine overseas without prior setup… but Taiwan IS special, so…


You need to make sure you have the international PIN set up. The recent IC chip-based cards have two PINS, four and six digits respectively. Four is for international usage and six is for local, I believe. I think the cards lacking the IC were phased out a couple months ago, so that probably means the card you are using now is ready to go.


i have the IC with a 6 digit PIN but no 4 digit

Banks still open Saturday morning?


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Banks still open Saturday morning?


nah… bastards

looks like over a barrel time with the airport clowns

You can do a cash advance at the airport. I don’t think CKS is that bad . . compared to say, HK . . or Sydney (uuurrrgggh, Sydney, those pricks still hit you for commission, as well as a shitty rate!!!).


cash advance? whats that and how is it different to NT$ for US$?

I’m confused. You’re in Taiwan, headed to the US, and need USD? Why not withdraw TWD at an ATM, and convert it to USD at the airport banks (CKS)? Unless you’re converting a huge amount, the rates aren’t that bad there, are they?

Cash advance means you pop your VISA or other credit card on the bank counter and ask for cash.

thats exactly what i am asking advice on

see orginal post

which is going to cost me more - CKS sharks or using my card IN the US to withdraw

You say your PIN isn’t set up, so that means you can’t take direct from an ATM, so you have to go the cash advance; either in the US or at CKS. I don’t know about the US, but CKS money grubbers are preferable to almost any in any airport I’ve ever been to.


maybe it is setup - i dont know… i assumed it would be… grr. screw it - airport sharks it is

thanks all

If you’re still in Taiwan, you have two options:

Take your ATM card and get NTD cash at a local ATM, since you do have your 6-digit PIN; then exchange it at the airport (CKS, not US). The rate may be up to half an NT worse (acc. to a money trader I just spoke to at a large foreign bank) than at a local bank, but if you’re not changing much money that’s not a big deal. For example, the mid-market rate at is 32.9370. You might get 33.352 or something at CKS. If you’re changing NT$20,000, you get US$607.21 at a local bank, but only 599.66 from the ‘sharks’. That’s not a lot of money, compared to the risk of not being able to get money at all from a US ATM with your TWN ATM card (or some similar, unforseen problem with your VISA card in the US). Now, your VISA card cash advance either at the airport or at a bank upon landing will (acc. to that trader) give you an interest rate worse than the local bank but somewhat better than the shark. However, the risk you run there is that the exchange rate could tank between now and when you get to a US bank on Monday, or as I say, you could have some problem with your card on arrival. So if I were you I’d go with the shark this time, and next time prepare in advance.

thx tigerman… as for prepare in advance, well one would assume when going on a biz trip the office would prepare for me, espeically after asking me how much i need.

:laughing: Well, we are both short and balding, I guess. :stuck_out_tongue:

Should I put up my new tigerbones avatar?

shit sorry - i am a little busy and missed who posted… my apologies!

:laughing: No problem – have a good trip!

I’ve just been through this in excruciating detail in Taipei this week.

I went to the Bank of Taiwan with a fistful of cash in NT to change it into USD traveler’s checks. No problem – even without an ARC. Just a simple passport, and no one asked where the heck I’d gotten that large an amount of NT dollars.

There was an ad on the desk where I was buying TCs about their new Internet ATM service and foreign withdrawals with the chipped ATM cards, etc. I asked about it. Hoping Branch Xiaojie told me earnestly that yes, that was possible, and if I didn’t have a currently valid ARC, all I needed to do was to get the “Foreign Affairs Police Number for Foreigners Without an ARC” thing to open a BOT account. Since I already had a BOT account, I asked could I simply use my existing account. She said, yes, but I would have to go to the Da’an branch, where the account had been opened. (Obviously we couldn’t issue an ATM card at a branch over a mile away:noway: )

Having been through this sort of thing before, I took a taxi to said branch (as opposed to bicycling). When I got there, I filled out voluminous forms, and had my picture taken (digital). They also took a picture of my passport front page for their files. Then someone piped up and said, no, you can’t have an ATM card that will work outside of Taiwan because you’re a foreigner. Being in a jolly mood that morning, I raised my voice just slightly (to give the seven managers sitting at their desks within 10 feet something to listen to) and politely explained that this was a racist policy, and particularly inappropriate if the government of Taiwan expected the US and other nations to step in and help out with problems with the Mainland, etc. etc., inconsistent with Taiwan seeking greater space on the international stage, membership in international organizations, concept of reciprocity, etc. etc. (I had nothing better to do, mind you, and it was kind of fun.) The xiaojie at the counter was embarassed (of course I frequently interjected the “I know this is not your fault personally, the service you are providing is excellent, but your bank is simply unreasonable…etc. etc.” for her benefit). After a short time, she stepped back 5 feet to consult with “Manager Wang”, a nice lady who of course had heard the whole thing.

A slew of phone calls ensued, during which they figured out that they really had no idea whether foreigners could have one or not, and – most key to them – whether a valid ARC was required for their database. After a refreshing round of “database input values are set by programmers, not by God, and can be changed to accomodate customer requirements”, we left it (surprisingly cordially on both sides, really) that they would make further inquiries and call me with the results. I had little hope of hearing anything meaningful from them (usually this is code for “can we get the troublesome foreigner to go away?”)

Surprisingly, I got not one but two calls from Ms. Wang. The end result was that the Central Bank says they issued an order in 2004 saying that all foreigners who get bank cards with ATM functions usable abroad must have a valid ARC.

This was not good news for me, without an ARC, but should stand as evidence that it SHOULD be possible to legally obtain such a card if you DO have an ARC.

Personally, however, I think Taiwan has a hell of a nerve. It’s evidently okay if I legally earn money from the Taiwanese government, and they have no problem with my paying tax (20%, non-refundable) on that money. But when it comes time to get my own money out of the bank, it’s a different story. If I thought it would do any good, and if I wanted the matter to be examined in more detail (both of which I really don’t), I might be tempted to inquire farther up the food chain, but I’ve got other means of getting the money out at present, so screw 'em, says I.

Actually, the 4 digit pin is for mag-stripe use and 6 digit pin is for smart-card use. Currently most foreign ATMs can only use mag stripes but I understand some European banks can use the smart card access. All Taiwan ATMs are supposed to support smart cards now to increase card security.

FYI - the rate was better at the airport