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Going To Asia (Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore), How Should I Get Local Currency

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  • May 13th, 2019 3:37 pm
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Going To Asia (Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore), How Should I Get Local Currency

I'll be going to Asia next month, Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore. Should I exchange for money here in Canada and bring it with me to Asia or should I bring CAD or USD over to Asia and exchange currency over there?

Also if I run out of money, can I use my debit or credit card to withdraw more money at the ATM machine in Asia?
Last edited by laziguy on May 1st, 2019 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
26 replies
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2019
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Can I use my TD debit card to withdraw money at the ATM machines in asia?
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Aug 7, 2014
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laziguy wrote: Can I use my TD debit card to withdraw money at the ATM machines in asia?
Yes, you can. But, there is a 3.5% currency exchange fee for each TD debit card withdrawal.

I believe that an alternative to avoid the 3.5% currency exchane fee is to prepay a credit card that doesnt charge the foreign currency exchange fee, e.g., Rogers Platinum Mastercard, and then withdraw cash with that credit card.
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Apr 19, 2017
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psudolam wrote: Yes, you can. But, there is a 3.5% currency exchange fee for each TD debit card withdrawal.

I believe that an alternative to avoid the 3.5% currency exchane fee is to prepay a credit card that doesnt charge the foreign currency exchange fee, e.g., Rogers Platinum Mastercard, and then withdraw cash with that credit card.
or use the Stack card.
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Aug 7, 2014
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sandeep8g wrote: or use the Stack card.
Yes, the Stack card may have no currency exchange fee, but I do think the Rogers Platinum mastercard is better because,

a) in addition to no foreign currency fee on ATM withdrawals after a prepayment, the Rogers mastercard gives 4% (net 1.5% after 2.5 FX Fee) cash back on purchases made in foreign currencies

b) the Roger mastercard is a very nice card to have all the time (not just for foreign travels), as it can be used with Paytm to pay bills like property taxes, utilities, etc., and get 1.75% cashback.
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Oct 3, 2011
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OTTAWA
I would bring an amount of cash pre exchanged here into your destination currencies. Should be able to use any card you have here just match the logos on the back of the card to the machine you're using. It's not guaranteed though, plus fees. Some places may not take credit cards or you could just be declined for whatever reason, so always have some cash.
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Bring a bit of USD cash, but really, use your debit cards at ATMs in the destination countries. Stack MC is a great choice, but have at least 1 backup.

Be aware, Thailand has some crazy debit card fees (around $9 per transaction) so get a large amount of money out for each withdrawal!
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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why exchange cad to usd and then get dinged again converting to local ??

just bring cad and exchange when you're there. For emergency use your CC or Debit
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apnayloags wrote: why exchange cad to usd and then get dinged again converting to local ??

just bring cad and exchange when you're there. For emergency use your CC or Debit
You can get excellent rates on CAD THB exchange in Thailand. They have money changers all over the place and it's very convenient.

I've read that CAD exchange in Taiwan outside the airport is problematic at best, either they won't offer it or you'll get a bad rate. Money changing in Taiwan (outside the airport) is problematic in general since it's highly regulated and you have to go into a major institution to do it.

Not sure about Singapore.

USD is very liquid in Asia and you will get a lot more general acceptance of it in these countries compared to CAD. (And don't mistake these places for China, you'll have a lot of trouble with anything but RMB in China.)
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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Jucius Maximus wrote: You can get excellent rates on CAD THB exchange in Thailand. They have money changers all over the place and it's very convenient.

I've read that CAD exchange in Taiwan outside the airport is problematic at best, either they won't offer it or you'll get a bad rate. Money changing in Taiwan (outside the airport) is problematic in general since it's highly regulated and you have to go into a major institution to do it.

Not sure about Singapore.

USD is very liquid in Asia and you will get a lot more general acceptance of it in these countries compared to CAD. (And don't mistake these places for China, you'll have a lot of trouble with anything but RMB in China.)
CAD to SGD is commonly available in SIngapore. As usual, rates vary greatly with location.
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laziguy wrote: I'll be going to Asia next month, Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore. Should I exchange for money here in Canada and bring it with me to Asia or should I bring CAD or USD over to Asia and exchange currency over there?

Also if I run out of money, can I use my debit or credit card to withdraw more money at the ATM machine in Asia?
Been to Asia 3x in last 18 months. Learning each time.
Last thing you want is to get those currencies in Canada.
What I would do now is bring USD if you have it or CAD to those countries.
Buy a small amount at those countries' airport, just enough to get you to your hotel.
Once at your hotel, google for best forex near where you are staying.
I would avoid the small local pop & mom street corner money changers. Not worth the risk of getting a fake bill.

I was just in BKK 1.5 month ago. Super Rich had the best forex and they have several locations in BKK.

https://www.superrichthailand.com/#!/en
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Jucius Maximus wrote: Bring a bit of USD cash, but really, use your debit cards at ATMs in the destination countries. Stack MC is a great choice, but have at least 1 backup.

Be aware, Thailand has some crazy debit card fees (around $9 per transaction) so get a large amount of money out for each withdrawal!
Any banks ATM offering lower fees?
Any ATM right at airport like Tokyo?
I’m also going to Thailand this month. Phuket.
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vipjn wrote:
I’m also going to Thailand this month. Phuket.
You couldn't have chosen the worst tourist trap spot on the planet.

You will be enjoying the dirty beaches at Maldives prices.
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vipjn wrote:
Any banks ATM offering lower fees?
Any ATM right at airport like Tokyo?
I’m also going to Thailand this month. Phuket.
I researched this last year and all of those ATMs in Thailand are up to at 220 THB transaction fee. No exceptions. The only way out if it is to bring cash and go to an exchange kiosk, or have a local bank account.

I'm not sure which airport you're going into, but BKK does have ATMs after customs.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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Jucius Maximus wrote: I researched this last year and all of those ATMs in Thailand are up to at 220 THB transaction fee. No exceptions. The only way out if it is to bring cash and go to an exchange kiosk, or have a local bank account.

I'm not sure which airport you're going into, but BKK does have ATMs after customs.
Exceptions are AEON ATM 150 baht and Bank of China 0 baht
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Jucius Maximus wrote: I researched this last year and all of those ATMs in Thailand are up to at 220 THB transaction fee. No exceptions. The only way out if it is to bring cash and go to an exchange kiosk, or have a local bank account.
Reportedly Bank of China ATMs don't charge the fee, but only 4 branches in Bangkok. I read of some other bank that charges a lower fee.

Addenda. Didn't see above about Aeon and BoC as already mentioned.
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