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Banking in Asia

Travel Forums Asia Banking in Asia

1. Posted by saragrayce (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Im a traveller who's planning on taking a VERY long trip or maybe living and working in Asia. I want to travel many places for fun and work.

Last time I lived in Nepal for a while, I got hit hard on ATM fees because my bank was American and I wasn't banking in Nepal. I have no clue when it comes to finances and I need any help I can get.

Does anyone have ANY suggestions on who to bank with in Western Asia? India, Jakarta, China and Nepal are the places I plan to visit the longest...

Or if i should just bank with someone in the US who has ATMS in asia??
What kind of account should I open?
and should I bank with someone in the US and just use fund transfers?

Thanks so much,
Kali Biralow

2. Posted by olo (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y

You could try ICICI bank. It's an indian bank but has a presence in the US and Canada and obviously Nepal and then an extensive network of branches in India. When I last checked they even offered free money transfers. The rest you can always check on their website.

olo

3. Posted by SuperBrat (Full Member 107 posts) 8y

I have never had a problem with banking in Asia, and have always used the same-bank ATM machines with my UK bank cards with no problem at all. My husband though has a bit of a hassle with trying to get money out from the ATMs in Asia (KL and Indonesia) with his UK based bank card, but all we do then is walk in to the counter of any main branch of any local bank, fill a withdrawal form up with his bank details, show his passport and walah! We get money OTC at no charge.

For your sanity, I would recommend banking with one of the main banks like Citibank or HSBC who have a big presence in Asia.

4. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1656 posts) 8y

Quoting saragrayce

Im a traveller who's planning on taking a VERY long trip or maybe living and working in Asia. I want to travel many places for fun and work.

Last time I lived in Nepal for a while, I got hit hard on ATM fees because my bank was American and I wasn't banking in Nepal.
I have no clue when it comes to finances and I need any help I can get.

Does anyone have ANY suggestions on who to bank with in Western Asia? India, Jakarta, China and Nepal are the places I plan to visit the longest...

Or if i should just bank with someone in the US who has ATMS in asia??
What kind of account should I open?
and should I bank with someone in the US and just use fund transfers?

Here is one method that works for me. I opened up a checking account in a U.S. credit union that is tied to my debit card. My credit union pays the ATM fees for me even from overseas ATMs. You could find a credit union near your home town that offers the same benefits. I do have a 5 transaction limit but after that amount is used up the price per ATM use is only around $2 or $3. If you take out the maximum you can that amount comes to over $300 per withdrawal! Credit unions also sell travelers checks without any commissions too!

You can bring cash with you and open up a local account in a bank. You can have more than one credit union membership that would give you probably double the amount of withdrawals you can get - providing you feed enough money to your account! I move money from my bank account to my credit union account to cover my anticipated expenses on my trips.

My credit union debit card (so far) has worked in Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. No interest and no fees works for me with my CU debit card! I suppose if you do use credit cards that you could use the iternet to "borrow" from your credit card and transfer that money directly to a CU account and cut down on the higher credit card (overseas) ATM fees.

Your biggest problem may be getting a year long visa for some countries. I do a lot of transactions via the internet. I have friends that live in Thailand (retiree visa, over 50 yrs. old) for years and rely solely on the ATMs for money! Probably best to have more than one debit card source for money when you are out of the country in case your "sole" card becomes mangled or lost!

Good luck.

[ Edit: Fixed quote ]

5. Posted by saragrayce (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Wow thank you guys so much.
I really appreciate your help.
I like the credit union idea.
Think I'll try that.

Thanks again!
-sara