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How to Cash an International Check in Thailand

I get checks occasionally from the US and go cash them at the bank here in Thailand. When I first did it I thought it would be a real hassle but it wasn't a hassle at all in fact the whole process was just like cashing a check back home except for one crucial difference, time.

It takes me 45 days to clear a check whereas back home it only took 3 business days. Quite a difference and when you cash a check in Thailand they charge you a fee whereas back home it was free (provided it didn't bounce).

First I went to my main bank Bangkok Bank and asked them about cashing the check. They told me it would take them 45 days to cash the check and 600 baht for their fee. I always Bangkok Bank because they have the added benefit of the visa card. I thought the fee was too steep even though I bank with them so I thought I'd shop around since it's free to open an account.

If you don't already have a Thai bank account you may want to read the article about how to get a bank account in Thailand.

Next I went to Thai Panit or in English Siam Commercial Bank SCB and asked them about it. My PayPal is hooked up to their account so why not. They said it takes 45 days the same but costs only 300 baht for the fee. Bonus just as cheap.

I don't have the ATM hooked up to that account but since I can't see the money for 45 days why not just put it in their anyway I can always go to the bank and use the bank book to withdraw it.

So if you have an International check to cash into your Thai bank account make sure you shop around for the best bank that has the best discounted fee. Their is probably a bank here in town that may cash it cheaper, and if so be sure to let me know.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

13 Responses to How to Cash an International Check in Thailand

  1. Neale @ Living in Thailand January 21, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Thanks Chris that is good to know, I would never have dreamed of even if it was possible, to cash an American check here. At the end of the day $10 is about what I pay for each ATM withdrawal anyway.

    • Chris January 21, 2012 at 7:16 am #

      write yourself a $10,000 check, you’ll wait 45 days to get your money but in the end it’s only $10 right.

  2. Bren January 24, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    How about just mailing it back to a bank in the US? Two weeks transit time, they credit your account right away, and no fee.

    • Chris January 24, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      Cashing a check here is so you can have the money in Thailand. If you cash it in the US the money is there and you still have to transfer the money here somehow. I’d send the checks to the US but i no longer keep accounts there so this is my only way.

      • Bren January 24, 2012 at 7:30 am #

        I was assuming that you would then transfer the funds to Thailand by the Paypal method.

        • Chris January 24, 2012 at 7:36 am #

          Paypal is good for small amounts but the reason why I have to cash checks is because a lot of companies like Amazon send me checks so i have to cash them. Normally I only use Paypal to transfer funds under $1000.

        • Bren January 24, 2012 at 7:46 am #

          Yes, I should have realized you are in the financial big leagues. How about getting Amazon et al to direct deposit (which they probably prefer) and then use a business money transfer service like Custom House (www.online.westernunion.com). The fee to many major countries is free but I think they charge $22 to Thailand. The exchange rate is good though.

  3. Bren January 24, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Oops you need to be registered to use that link. Here is a better one to Custom House: http://business.westernunion.com/corporate/

    • Tony March 4, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      Chase in the US permits on-line wire transfers. Just finished setting it up. Will keep you posted on how long and what costs. UOB used to be the quickest at 14 days but they just changed and it now takes 40 days. One of the problems is that only Bangkok Bank has an ABA routing number in the USA meaning all other banks must use an intermediary bank. UOB now uses Deutsches Savings Bank and I suspect it may be routed thru India. Still working on setting up Chase to Paypal USA to PayPal Thailand to Bangkok Bank Thailand. Bogged down on the final step at present.

  4. Robert July 7, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Hi! I am wondering the same thing. I was wondering if you could set your payment up through Bangkok banks ACH transfer system. I know that eBay will transfer funds through that and it ends up in your Bangkok Bank account here in Thailand. Bangkok Bank has a branch in NY that specifically handles ACH transfers (standard bank routing) from the United States to Thailand. You might want to check it out but I am noticing on the Amazon Affiliates website that you must “LIVE and have bank account in the US” to get paid electronically. Anyway, it might be worth a look. Let me know how you come out on this.

  5. Jan St March 23, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    Wondering if Thai banks still accept US checks in 2016?

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