I brought travelers checks to Taiwan when I first came here, and I got screwed. I’ve been told you will get screwed everywhere. You will find most of the banks will take them, but it will probably cost you more than cash will. Unless you are bringing more than 10,000 US, which you shouldn’t be because it’s illegal, just stuff the cash somewhere where no one would dare look! You can get a decent exchange rate at China Trust (中華信託), even without an account and they are everywhere.
Bringing more than US$10,000 is not illegal. It just has to be declared.
It’s ironic that you got a lower exchange rate by cashing travelers checks. I go home twice a year and take money back with me. When I convert from NT$ to US$, the exchange rate is always better if I get the US$ in travelers checks instead of cash.
Hello! I would just like to ask, why is Taiwan’s exchange rates so bad right now? The value of Taiwan’s currency has been declining sharply. Will there be hope that it will recover this November or December? I’m holding out on transferring funds back to my home country because of the extremely bad exchange rate.
One reason are the interest rate differences between the US and Taiwan: Right now, people can get more interest when exchanging their money to USD, so the demand for the USD is high resulting in a strong dollar. Also, if more people sell Taiwanese stocks than who buy (and subsequently convert their gains into USD), this puts further pressure on the NT$.
Forex markets are really difficult to predict accurately. If you want to minimize your risk, do cost averaging and do small, regular exchanges. Then you’ll at least get a good average rate.
I think I will try to follow your advice on doing regular exchanges. At least, if things go south, I wouldn’t go down too bad. I do hope though that this December Taiwan’s economy will get better. I wouldn’t keep my hopes too high though because as an export oriented country, I think Taiwan wouldn’t be finding a lot of opportunities to bounce back during the holiday season.
Be sure to convert NT$ into US$ (whatever currency you want) in Taiwan (you can easily do this after opening a foreign currency account with most Taiwanese banks). Rates for conversion between the NT$ and other currency tends to be much better in Taiwan than outside. Also, this way you don’t need to transfer money (and pay fees) every time you want to convert currency.
Taiwan isn’t raising interest rates because there isn’t inflationary pressure to do so. Taiwan economy is highly managed. They managed to hand out free money out of surplus, no printing of money.
Every western countries had to print money in order to give them away, except they’re giving far more to the rich because of trickle down economics (and they never trickle down, cup gets bigger). As a result there are huge inflationary pressure and hence needs to raise interest rate in order to slow things down. That and economics in the west is almost lassez faire, very little management, and is dictated by the rich.
Weak ntd is good for export which Taiwan does a lot of, and the government generally tries to weaken ntd by buying massive amount of foreign currencies.
Weak ntd is good if you get your income from abroad. Strong ntd is bad. Prices do not come down but any incoming payment is reduced.