Using an American bank account in Taiwan

Logistical question:

Is there any way to make a cash withdrawal from a U.S. checkings bank account when you are in Taiwan? I’m pretty sure ATMs wouldn’t work like that, but is there any way to get actual cash withdrawal from such an account?

Likewise, is there any way you could deposit money into a U.S. checkings bank account when in Taiwan?

If you have an ATM/debit card, you can withdraw from a US account at most ATMs here. I’ve had mixed luck with some, but ChinaTrust (the ones in 7-Eleven) has always been fine. There is an interbank service fee as well as a foreign currency translation fee, so when I was transacting that way I would take out as much as possible at once.

Putting money back into a US account is the hard part, and I’m still trying to figure out what the most effecient way to do that is.

Only way I can think of is do a wire transfer to your bank account in the US. Most banks will take your cash and do a wire transfer however the fees are high, however that is regardless of amount so it’s the same whether you’re transferring $1 or $10,000,000,000,000 dollars. Another way is open an account here, use it to open a paypal account and paypal yourself.

International wire transfer works for sending money to/from Taiwan although the fees can be significant if you are sending small amounts. You will need to initiate the wire transfer (from a US bank) with your US bank probably by fax.

Interesting, thanks. I’m assuming the ATM does a US-to-NT conversion and gives you, say, 3,000 NT in Taiwanese currency bills when you withdraw 100 USD?

[quote=“PeregrineFalcon”]
Interesting, thanks. I’m assuming the ATM does a US-to-NT conversion and gives you, say, 3,000 NT in Taiwanese currency bills when you withdraw 100 USD?[/quote]
Exactly.

EDIT: Uh, I mean yeah, what he said. Also, make sure your PIN can be used internationally; sometimes there are restrictions as to number of digits, etc.

No the way it works is you withdraw 3000nt, and the bank deducts however much 3000nt converts to in USD, in addition to the usual fees.

Or you could buy things here with an American credit card, and pay the credit card bills online from your US bank account.

That’s not really that practical since very few places even accept credit cards including your monthly big ticket item (rent). My credit card also has high fees for using it internationally.

if you must live without a bank account then you either keep a big wad of cash around, or if you earn money here somehow, and need to deposit it back home the only option is wire it. Banks will take your cash and wire it to an account overseas. If you can’t open a bank account here and are earning income then you’re most likely working illegally.