Help - Best way to bring money into Taiwan?

I am traveling from the USA to Taiwan very soon and would like to know the best way to get my money over with me. How much is the limit before you have to declare it? Also, do you have to declare travelers checks?

Would it be better to just wire the money from the USA to Taiwan one I get a Taiwan bank account?

This money is our “nest egg” and we need to bring it all with us, or at least have it easily accessible. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all,


Just use an ATM card.

CASH!, probably not the best way, but that’s way I did. It was just with me at all times.

How much money is it? If it is only a few thousand (US) dollars then cash or travellers cheques are probably OK. If it is a larger amount you are probably better to transfer it to a bank account in Taiwan or draw it out (in stages) via an ATM.

btw, is it really necessary for you to bring all your money to Taiwan? It might be a good idea to spread it around rather than risk losing it all if a major disaster or war occurs in Taiwan.

Keep in mind; I’m just talking about bringing it into the country…not what to do with it when I’m there. I’ll hide it up my _ss for all I care when I’m there. I just don’t want there to be any surprises at customs when I arrive with us9000.00 in travelers checks.

Good point about war, and the nt possibly going to hell. Just my luck, the day I make my first deposit, will be the day the bottom drops out.

So, from what I gather, ATM’s in Taiwan work for US bank accounts? That doesn’t seem possible unless the machine dispenses US currency. (hmmmm) - I think what the other poster meant was regarding money already in Taiwan…but I’m not sure.

If we do not declare the travelers checks, will they search us and find it anyways at customs? I’m not talking about a mil or anything, but it will be about us9000.00.

How much of a pain in the rear is a bank xfer from USA to Taiwan? Don’t they charge out the ass? And what about taxes? And what happens if you do declare that much? Do you have to pay taxes…and if so…how much?


I am with gaia on this one, and would also recommend a wire transfer (not all the money but as much as you think you need).
Cash is too easily lost or stolen.

(Not implying here that this will happen or is common in Taiwan!)

So, from what I gather, ATM’s in Taiwan work for US bank accounts? That doesn’t seem possible unless the machine dispenses US currency.

Aeh? Ever heard of currency exchange? You withdraw TWD and get billed in USD, according to the rate on that day.
There are also foreign banks here, so you might actually find an American bank if it makes you feel safer (open account etc.). Citibank for example offers a Multi-Currency account (up to 12).

If I am not mistaken I have seen an ATM which dispenses USD but can’t recall where - or was I dreaming?

Hi Ellioth,

I’m pretty sure you can bring in USD5,000 without needing to declare it (I am sure that is the figure on the customs form, but hopefully someone else can confirm this). Also as you say ‘we’ & ‘us’ i presume there will be two of you, which means you could each carry less than $5,000 and have no worries.


Good point. Confirmation on the amount would be handy from those who are in the know.

At this point I feel as though I need to be asking Popeye Doyle!


That’s about the $ we brought with us, in cash and one check. Like the other poster said, if there are two of you, no problem. I recall $5000 being on the customs declaration form too. Converted to NT when we got here and opened a local bank account.

Recently I opened a foreign currency account (US$) so that I could deposit checks from the US in it and also accept wire transfers. I can withdraw US$ from that account but I think it’s easier for me to transfer to my NT account for ATM withdrawals. At the bank I use (Taipei City Bank) they do not issue ATM cards for foreign currency accounts. Also, to open that account, I needed $100 US (not the equivalent in NT).

Also, I do have a couple of friends of make ATM withdrawals here from US accounts. Lastly, wire transfers shouldn’t be that expensive. Ask your bank in the US what they’ll charge to make the transfer, and ask the bank here what they’ll charge to receive it. Where I’m from, it cost US$25 to receive an int’l wire transfer and the same to send one.

I suggest the ATM route unless you need to SPEND all of the money right away. It has worked well for me for a very long time. If you have a Cirrus or Plus card, you can get Taiwan Dollars from your US account anywhere in Taiwan very easily. You take a bit of a hit (1% or so) on the exchange rate and service fees, but that is more than made up for by the better interest rates you get on your US account. Using ATMs has several other advantages:

  1. Easier and more convenient than using a local bank (especially for a newbie).
  2. You maintain a US account (I suggest you keep your credit cards, too). This is important for future credit, especially if you end up staying here a long time before moving back to the US.
  3. The ROC government is unaware of the transfers.
  4. It limits your spending. (Most US banks only allow 2 to 3 hundred dollars a day to be withdrawn.)
  5. You can earn better interest on your savings.
  6. If you visit other countries, you can get cash there as well.

Arch is 100% on his post. I have accounts in U.S., Australia and now Taiwan. My trusted son has access with duplicate cards in U.S. and can deposit any funds coming to me in the U.S. (real estate contract) into my U.S. account and can withdraw for family gifts, etc. He can also keep my Taiwan account down to a reasonable level and deposit to savings (crappy interest) or deliver funds to my broker to lose even more for me. Just watch for the Plus or Cirrus signs on the ATM machines. My Bank of America account lets me draw up to 15,000 NT per day but once it let me take more. Don’t know why.

Can you use your USA bank card to make deposits from Taiwan ATM’s? (to get money back into your USA bank account) Also, the exchange rate leaves change left over from the conversion from USD to NTD. Do you just loose the change when you use the ATM? I assume the machines round down. (I know that sounds cheap, but every penny helps)