Sending money home and local credit cards

I know there were a bunch of threads on this before, but I can’t seem to find them, so before you flame me for no searching the archives, I did! I really did!!! :blush:

Anyway, I’ve been here a few months, and it’s time to start sending money home. I’m not sure what the best way to go about doing it is though. I remember reading once that buying US travellers checks and sending them through the regular mail was a good (aka cheap) way to go, but that seems a little risky to me. Oh, “home” is the USA by the way. I have a brand new shiney ARC, if that makes a difference. Oh, and I’m in Taichung, not Taipei!

Also, has anyone gotten a credit card here in Taiwan? Do they work the same as at home? What do you have to show to get one?

Thanks again!



If you have a bank account in Taiwan, then you can send the money by telegraphic transfer (T/T). The transaction fee is about 300-400 NT per T/T and the money will reach your other account in America within 1-2 days.

If you do not have an acount in any bank in Taiwan, you can always go to any bank and open an account (which is really easy) or you can send the money by International Money Order (IMO). I believe IMO is safe since only the person with the name printed on the check will be able to cash the check (e.g.: your parents’, etc.). The transaction fee is somewhat higher, though, about 200 NT more.

Multinational banks seem to offer credit cards to foreigners in Taiwan (except for Citibank, I guess…bad experience!!). I got mine from HSBC and ABN AMRO, never really tried local banks since most local banks require “Chinese (Taiwanese in this case) Nationals only”. Prepare your ARC, proof that you have “enough” money to pay your balance (usually your pass book/bank book), Copy of your pay slip for the last 3 months, passport, and a letter from your guarantor (better be your employer, or a Taiwanese friend) with his/her copy of ID card.

OK, I hope this helps…, good luck! :wink:

When you wire money, there are service charges at both ends. So in addition to the service charge from the bank in Taiwan (which is about 300 NT + 0.5% of the amount of the transaction if I remember correctly), there is also a charge at the other end, which is usually about US$20. So for example, if you send US$1000, then you’ll get an e-mail from your friend saying “I just received $980 that you wired to my bank account. But you said you were going to send $1000. What happened to the other $20?” Well, the missing $20 is the service charge that their bank subtracts.

I used to wire money to my bank account in the States once a month, but I got tired of losing about 1000 NT (US$30) each time, so then I started sending cash in the mail. You can buy US dollars at any bank in Taiwan, and then you just wrap them in black paper and mail it to a trusted friend or family member by registered mail. I have done this several times, and no money has ever been stolen. (Of course, I never tell the post office what’s inside the envelope.)

But the best way to send money is to get a credit card at a bank in Taiwan and request two identical cards. Then you keep one card, and you send the other card to your parents in the States. (I wouldn’t send my credit card to a friend, though. My parents are the only people I trust enough to send my credit card to.)

Then every time you want to send money, just go to the bank who issued the credit card to add money to the balance of the credit card, and then send an e-mail to your parents, telling them that you’ve deposited the money into your credit card account, and then they can withdraw the money from any ATM machine that accepts credit cards. This way there is no service charge on either end. But unfortunately, I have never been able to do this because every time I have applied for a credit card in Taiwan, the bank has always said “We only issue credit cards to Taiwanese citizens!”. Even a PARC isn’t good enough! The policy seems extremely racially biased and illegal, but what can you do about it?

There’s another method, but I’ve never tried it. It’s called “Pay Pal”. It’s a way to pay money through the internet. Your friend or relative in the States sets up a Pay Pal account by going to Then you can send them money by using a credit card, and then the money is automatically deposited into the bank account of your friend or relative in the States.

But if you don’t have a credit card, then you can’t use Pay Pal, of course. Well, Pay Pal also lets you pay by check, but in Taiwan, banks never issue personal checks. You could get an International Money Order (IMO), but then that would defeat the purpose of Pay Pal because if you get an IMO, then you might as well just mail the IMO directly to your friend or relative in the States instead of mailing it to Pay Pal.


Also, has anyone gotten a credit card here in Taiwan?

Do they work the same as at home?

What do you have to show to get one?
Borutesu_Faibu summed it up correctly. I rekon to use HSBC, they only require you to have NT$150,000 in your account as compared to CitiBank which requires NT$250,000.
This is equavilent to the figure you should have in your current / savings account without a monthly fee being charged.
(Citibank rejected my application first because I did not fullfil that condition but they didn’t tell me before :x ).

The Foreign banks are the place to go, although it can be done through a local bank, but it normally requires a lot of work both in terms of time and effort. I have two cards here, one from Chinatrust and one from Citibank.
I disagree with Rascal thoughin regards to Citibank, as i applied personally, and do not even have a bank account with them, never mind one that has 250,000 NT$ in it.

I ALWAYS use the TT option to send money home. Yes, there are charges both ends, should be 300 NT here it costs me about 15 US$ the other end (UK), but i normally get a slightly better exchange rate this way, so that some of the extra cost is offset, but it is the easiest and most efficient way of doing the transfer.
Any bank here can do it.

I’m sure it doesn’t exist, but… does anyone know of a bank in Taiwan (int’l or local) that does NOT require a guarantor? I know we’re all losers waiting to skip out on big debts as soon as we can, but I don’t really want to cast the burden of being my mommy to any of my local friends. I can prove solid income and all of that…

Apparently I need a guarantor even for DEBIT cards! :unamused: (Those ‘credit’ cards which automatically deduct the transaction amount from your bank account at the time of purchase) It’s MY money, and it’s already IN THE BANK! Don’t know what they’re afraid of on that one… I don’t think I can screw the bank over if there’s no money being borrowed from them…

I think this is the thread you’re looking for:

Thanks Maoman; I was looking for that, but the search function doesn’t seem to be working for me yet… Or maybe I’m just too demanding with those keywords.

Standard Chartered, here we come…

[quote=“littleiron”]Standard Chartered, here we come…[/quote]Just for the record, when I applied, I submitted a credit record for my AMEX card in Taiwan, as well as for my past VISA cards in Canada. I don’t know if this contributed to my success, but it sure didn’t hurt. I believe that American Express is still the easiest card for foreigners to get here, and it’s being accepted at more and more places.

I disagree with Rascal thoughin regards to Citibank, as i applied personally, …

So did I (apply personally) but they gave me a hard time, nearly closed down the new account and was about to withdraw my application because of that.
First they tell me I don’t need an ARC (that’s why I went for CB instead of HSBC) to open an account and apply for a CC, once the paper work was done they insisted on it.
Not a problem as I had applied already and got it a week later.
So I asked when I get my CC (after a month or two waiting) and they told me my application was rejected due to the reason mentioned above. Don’t think they contacted me to let me know. Grmbl.
In the end it took 4 month to get the CC and after that they screwed up the auto-billing (deduction from my current account) but now it all seems to be sorted …

Maoman, how long did it take you to receive your card?

By the way, I was in a bank the other day, it’s Chung??? (it’s a yellow bank) and they told me they would give a credit card to a foreigner.

  • ARC and Passport
  • pay slips
  • if you don’t have an account with them, they require another bank’s deposit book, providing that’s where it your pay is deposited

Also, they mentioned they have Visa Debit cards, as well. And yes, foreigners can apply for them, too. They will close your account down, before your ARC expires. If you re-new your ARC, just let them know, and they will keep your account active.

Now, I haven’t tried it, yet. We will be doing that sometime soon.

Does anybody know how much CASH you are allowed to take back to Canada/US at one time? I’ve also been wondering how I’m going to get my money back to Canada…without looking too suspicious to those Canadian tax officers! :wink:
How about exchanging NT to CDN/US here and just taking a wad of cash back with you (if/when) you go back home? Would that work?

I believe it’s around $10,000. Also, I think you can take another $10,000 back on personal goods.

I’ll see if I can find a website…



I’ve been dying to get a Taiwanese credit card for years, but every bank I have asked so far has either flatly refused me just because I’m a foreigner (even though I have an ARC card and I’m married to a Taiwanese), or otherwise they require a Taiwanese “guarantor”. I know that my wife can be my “guarantor”, but I refuse to deal with anyone who is that prejudiced. I expect to be treated the same as a Taiwanese, and I won’t accept anyone treating me any worse than they would treat a Taiwanese.

Please tell me the name of the bank that issued you a credit card without requiring a Taiwanese “guarantor”. You don’t have to type the Chinese characters. Just write the spelling of the name using Hanyu Pinyin. Or if you don’t know Hanyu Pinyin, then just try to sound it out. Or just tell me the English name, if they have one.

Also, do you know what the minimum amount is that I have to have in my bank balance to qualify? And is there a minimum monthly salary as well?

Thanks in advance!


thanks Crbkstiles for your info…

but i’m canadian, not american…but i found this site. I couldn’t find the exact amount (cash) but I’ll keep looking. perhaps it might help for any other canadian’s out there! :wink:

Sypanda, here’s a website for you. … 044-e.html

Mark, we haven’t applied for a credit card at that bank. It’s Chiao Tung, the yellow one, with an ‘X’ on it. We just applied for a credit card at Grand Commercial Bank. They didn’t realize he needed a guarantor until we were finished with the application. I am his guarantor, but they were very wary, as I don’t speak Chinese, but I have a ROC ID card. He didn’t need anything but his ARC and his passport. The school we work for has an account at that bank and requires each teacher to open one there, as well. That must have been good enough for their “Proof of Income” requirement.

Do they even check a guarantor’s credit history or do they just want someone to take the financial burden, if the account holder flees? Being a foreign spouse should have some benefits when it comes to credit cards. Maybe Richard Hartzell can lobby an issue about it.

I guess if all else fails, you can try Standard Chartered.

Mark, as I mentioned before, GCB didn’t realize they needed a guarantor, until we finished the application. Chiao Tung bank may be the same way.