What Bank are most Foreigners using?

Is there a international bank for foreigners?
I want to be able to transfer my money back home and also have online banking in english
as well as workers at that Bank speaking english to me… err… too much to ask?

[quote=“xBlissfulx”]Is there a international bank for foreigners?
I want to be able to transfer my money back home and also have online banking in english
as well as workers at that Bank speaking english to me… err… too much to ask?[/quote]
Most people have their bank account(s) at whatever bank their employer deposits paychecks with: I’ve had to get a new bank account with pretty much every new job. The main criteria for whether or not a bank is “international” seems to be whether or not you’re allowed to use their ATM card overseas (Fubon, yes; Post Office bank, no, although maybe I just haven’t tried hard enough).

I haven’t transferred money recently, but when I did, I went to a Bank of Taiwan branch and arranged a wire transfer. Easy enough, even though minimal English was spoken.

I haven’t seen useful online banking in English here, but I haven’t looked too hard. At the bank, especially if you go into Taipei city, you can usually find someone with enough English to handle whatever issue you have.

i usually try to use my bank (credit union actually) back home for anything international. to transfer funds, you probably cant do it online to an international bank, might be wrong but mine cant. to transfer funds you go in person, which you dont need an account to do and is pretty straight forward.

i find bank of taiwan pretty easy. they have English but their online banking is in chinese. if you have someone to walk you through it its pretty easy to figure it out not knowing any chinese if all you want to do is very simple tasks.

I use my post office account more than my bank account. More branches, less complicated, I’ve found.

I like them too, but do they do international banking there?

I jsut realized that taiwan bank does have English online banking, i jus thadnt tried in a while i guess. not great english, but workable.

I use First Bank as my employer forces me, it is a pretty old fashioned bank but they do give international visa debit cards to foreigners which is a plus and I tried and they do work online. They will not entertain credit cards for foreigners unless you are on a top 500 company list in Taiwan. But for everyday use they are ok.

Sinopac is also good where I live but they don’t have a visa debit card, just atm and not many branches.

I just checked, Sinopac only has Chinese online banking, but First Bank appears to have English but I have never used it as I always just walk in when I need something.

I use Mega-ICBC. They have online banking in English and I do my monthly wire transfer back home online, which costs NTD 300 per transaction.

[quote=“xBlissfulx”]Is there a international bank for foreigners?
I want to be able to transfer my money back home and also have online banking in english
as well as workers at that Bank speaking english to me… err… too much to ask?[/quote]

Difficult ! I use HSBC…not a brilliant bank… but there is a a premier account which is free and has good online banking services…the downside is they ask either for a high monthly salary…like 300,000 or a capital deposit of 2 million NTD…those numbers may be wrong…but they are high!

Good luck.

HSBC . Online English did it for me. Foreign currency accounts (UK, US) and local. Transfers between them are an ease. I think you need 500K to get you started though.

I’ve been reasonably pleased with Cathay United so far. (Their logo is a green tree on a yellow background.) Lots of ATMs at the MRT stations.

I’ve used or am currently using:

Huanan
Mega
Fubon
Bank of Taiwan
Sinopac
Standard Chartered
and the one with the same color scheme as Huanan but whose name escapes me.

Only change money at Mega or BoT however.

I should do a list too :slight_smile:
First Bank - old fashioned bank, wont give credit cards to foreigners ever, you can get a debit card
Sinopac - service is great at my branch, no debit cards however
HSBC - need to have a minimum deposit for advance or premier service which is quite high. English service online and at branch is good
Esun - seem to be friendly enough
Post Office - good to stash money but no overseas remittance or internet use of debit card.
Mega - service seems good, they only offer secured credit cards to foreigners, they do offer debit cards, remittances to other countries are cheap and fast

Has anyone connected their Megabank account to Paypal.tw successfully? I tried but Megabank bounced Paypal’s test payment back, despite all the details being correct.

I really don’t use China Trust much because of so many problems in the past. However, after they got to know me, I was approved for a credit card. Only 100,000 NT but it’s a Platinum Card and after 5 years of stellar record, I think I could get an upgrade but I don’t. I don’t buy unless I have the money in the bank to afford. Always pay before due and always have a small payment. This builds your credit in Taiwan and such a history will help us all.
I know I mentioned this on another thread but I will do so again. A few years ago, we heard from a past poster that had gone back home. She was under the belief that if she took some technology items charged on her credit card, she could make a profit and thus pay off her imbalanced credit card, pay off the debt and live happily ever after. Of course this was pure foolishness and I believe she left a debt in Taiwan that hurt us all.
It is not easy to get a credit card here but purchases for travel, accommodations, Amazon and other online retailers often require a credit card so please don’t take it lightly if you get one.

China Trust for day to day banking as they have ATMs in all the 7/11’s.

Cathay for receiving international transfers as they don’t charge me when it goes via the intermediary and they gave the best (incoming) exchange rate.

I’m with First Bank for a little over a year and have no complaints so far. The service in my branch is very good - they are always very patient with me given the fact that I’m not overly familiar with banking procedures, let alone the respective Chinese vocabulary. :smiley:

I’m not sure whether they speak English, though. I never tried…

So, to answer the OP, First Bank might not be your best choice if you are looking for English services, because even their English website is not really up to par. I don’t use e-banking, so I don’t know whether they provide English there.

I’m seeking to verify if the minimum deposit required to open an account an HSBC is indeed 500K as an earlier poster thought. I do have an HSBC account in England as well, and wonder if anyone here from the UK has linked theirs. Thank you.

The quote from HSBC Premier Taiwan is as follows:

You qualify for HSBC Premier if you maintain a minimum account
average balance of
TWD 3,000,000 or more
www.hsbc.com.tw

In the UK i think its 50,000 GBP balance to start, surprising because normally Taiwan is more lenient.
I am reading this and surmise you must start with a 300,000 Balance in Taiwan.

HSBC also have a lower requirement Advance account,where you can still use internet banking overseas worth checking this on their website also.

Hope this helps

[quote=“2Enigma”]I really don’t use China Trust much because of so many problems in the past. However, after they got to know me, I was approved for a credit card. Only 100,000 NT but it’s a Platinum Card and after 5 years of stellar record, I think I could get an upgrade but I don’t. I don’t buy unless I have the money in the bank to afford. Always pay before due and always have a small payment. This builds your credit in Taiwan and such a history will help us all.
I know I mentioned this on another thread but I will do so again. A few years ago, we heard from a past poster that had gone back home. She was under the belief that if she took some technology items charged on her credit card, she could make a profit and thus pay off her imbalanced credit card, pay off the debt and live happily ever after. Of course this was pure foolishness and I believe she left a debt in Taiwan that hurt us all.
It is not easy to get a credit card here but purchases for travel, accommodations, Amazon and other online retailers often require a credit card so please don’t take it lightly if you get one.[/quote]

I have 4 cards now… 2 were easy to get, and 2 I had to argue with them.
Chinatrust was one that declined me :slight_smile:… They now require foreigners to have $1million NT on deposit before they will issue a card. And they said it must be in the account for 3 months first.

100000 limit isnt too shabby. My first card they only issued at 20,000NT. I figure this bank didn’t want to issue one at all, but figured they will “try me out” with a small limit where I can’t do any damage. Fair enough.

I completely concur with your recommendation for people not to play with around with credit here. From previous posts on this site, it seems it used to be a lot easier to get an unsecured card, but I guess with people just running when they went home, a stop was put to it by guarantor requirements. At least that is what the banks told me. However I would really love to see the stats to see if foreigners are actually more likely to run as I personally suspect not.

In Taiwan I use Chang Hwa Bank and Shin Kong Commercial Bank. Never had any problems.