This is a very brief one-topic post but I thought it was worth adding as it relates to a discussion one often reads about. I will repeat a recent post I made to my Facebook page rather than rewrite the same thing and here it is:

One of the regular topics that pops up on every expat forum from time to time is the best way to transfer money from one’s ‘home’ country to Thailand.

Recently Ken Coates recommended TransferWise as a better option than the banks so I thought I would test the theory, which I have yet to see anyone else bothering with; although I don’t widely read expat forums. If you knew that my last Australian job was in a senior finance position you’d roll your eyes and wait for the spreadsheet – and I won’t disappoint 

I had a small amount of money to transfer this week so on Monday I sent equal amounts using my Commonwealth Bank international transfer option with the conversion to happen this end (never use the home bank rate which is woeful), and TransferWise. The fees for both (Commonwealth a flat A$22.00 and TransferWise 0.6% + A$3.75) were deducted from the gross withdrawal amounts of $1,350. Both of the transfer exchange rates were locked in on the same day so I think this is a realistic comparison.

WARNING: Of interest only to other finance types…TransferWise calculate their fees based on the gross amount ($1,350 in this example) less fees based on that gross amount ($11.85) resulting in a net $1,338.15 and then recalculate the actual fees applied based on this lower amount, which equals $11.78 not the original $11.85. Normal people wouldn’t care about the $0.07 difference I couldn’t sleep wondering why the discrepancy 😂🤣😴😴😴😴😴

The spreadsheet below (YES – oh joy) details my understanding of how the comparison should work and it shows TransferWise ahead in all instances. In my situation I got an extra $754 baht – hardly world shattering but it is a case of beer and a large bottle of lao khao! Had I transferred $20,000 I would be ahead by around 5,500 baht.

On the matter of timing my bank transfer arrived yesterday and Transferwise say theirs will arrive today but it hasn’t yet. My bank here is Bangkok Bank, who are reputed to have one of the best exchange rates for farang.

Isn’t it pretty! Do let me know if I have stuffed up somewhere. It’s been a while 🙂

I can provide anyone who wants it a ‘live’ version of my spreadsheet. Exciting times indeed.

Please leave feedback in the comments section on your solution to the topic because others will find them very useful. I am sure there are many alternatives but do back it up with facts. In my case I didn’t just take the online declarations that TransferWise were better but actually did the comparison. Obviously my example is very limited being one Australian Bank and TransferWise but maybe it sets the bar for others to replicate using whatever combination of financial institutions they prefer.

Thanks for reading.

Tony