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My Elite Visa Application (Day 1 until the End)


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10 minutes ago, JB300 said:

So that's an extra 3,483 per month, add in 8,900 for doing your extension (my Agent charges 7,000 service charge + the 1,900 extension fee which you won't need if you leave Thailand at least once in the 12 month period) and you're up to 4,225 

Interesting.  That narrows the gap by a lot.  As you say it will depend on the individual and how much their lifestyle will benefit from the Thailand elite services.

Also, as @LASportsNut says,  for many people it will be worth paying extra for the convenience.

16 minutes ago, JB300 said:

I do agree with the OP that the 20 (21.5) year 1 Million THB offers better value.

I thought so too,  until I did the calculations in my previous post.   I was very surprised to see that buying the 20 year membership ends up costing more per month than buying the 5 year membership four times.

i.e the 5 year Elite costs 11,152 per month,  and the 20 year Elite costs 13,363 per month.   (because you lose 2800 per month return on the extra half million that you spend.)

Of course,  there's no guarantee that the price won't be higher in five years time, so getting the 20 year option locks in a fixed price (hopefully.)

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The thread is already getting very confused as a result of interjections. It might be better if people wait until the OP finishes his (lengthy) story and then ask questions at the end if necessary!

I got Elite 2 years ago after years of short term visas, and seeing my mate get denied at the airport with a valid tourist(3mo) visa.  I had done the math and for myself flying in/out + hotels for vis

So now it is a waiting game.  I am in step #2 on the chart.   I will update this as I receive any information or have any stumbling blocks. I tried to be thorough so there would be no questi

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leicesterguyuk
18 minutes ago, ocka said:

Interesting.  That narrows the gap by a lot.  As you say it will depend on the individual and how much their lifestyle will benefit from the Thailand elite services.

Also, as @LASportsNut says,  for many people it will be worth paying extra for the convenience.

I thought so too,  until I did the calculations in my previous post.   I was very surprised to see that buying the 20 year membership ends up costing more per month than buying the 5 year membership four times.

i.e the 5 year Elite costs 11,152 per month,  and the 20 year Elite costs 13,363 per month.   (because you lose 2800 per month return on the extra half million that you spend.)

Of course,  there's no guarantee that the price won't be higher in five years time, so getting the 20 year option locks in a fixed price (hopefully.)

In reality, there's no guarantee the Elite visa costs won't change, but there's also no guarantee your investment rates won't change, up or down. And unfortunately there's no guarantee the Elite programme won't be scrapped altogether and all members lose everything. Unlikely I think (and hope) but possible. 

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1 minute ago, leicesterguyuk said:

In reality, there's no guarantee the Elite visa costs won't change, but there's also no guarantee your investment rates won't change, up or down. And unfortunately there's no guarantee the Elite programme won't be scrapped altogether and all members lose everything. Unlikely I think (and hope) but possible. 

Everything is a gamble to some extent.

In my case there's no guarantee that I would live another 20 years to use the visa either.  I'd have to live to age 82, which is pretty rare in my family.

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28 minutes ago, ocka said:

I thought so too,  until I did the calculations in my previous post.   I was very surprised to see that buying the 20 year membership ends up costing more per month than buying the 5 year membership four times.

i.e the 5 year Elite costs 11,152 per month,  and the 20 year Elite costs 13,363 per month.   (because you lose 2800 per month return on the extra half million that you spend.)

Of course,  there's no guarantee that the price won't be higher in five years time, so getting the 20 year option locks in a fixed price (hopefully.)

Very interesting, when you think of it as 4 x 500K Visas you also get the benefits of:-

  1. The 4 visas would be valid for 24.5 years (Initial one would be 6.5 years then the last 3 6 years each)
  2. (Limited) Airport transfers, golf/spa days etc...  

Thailand Elite have been known to offer discounts to existing members to renew (though this might mean you having to extend at the end of the 5th year, thus losing the 6th), as a minimum I'd expect them to offer renewal at the same price...

It would also give you some flexibility in being able to change your mind about staying in Thailand or reverting to an Income based retirement extension (My Pensions start in 5.5 years so the timing would be pretty good for me as I've just extended My Non-O so am good to stay until 26th September 2026... Would also give me a 300K bonus (800K - 500K for the Visa) :) ). 

Edited by JB300
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18 minutes ago, JB300 said:

Very interesting, when you think of it as 4 x 500K Visas you also get the benefits of:-

  1. The 4 visas would be valid for 24.5 years (Initial one would be 6.5 years then the last 3 6 years each)

Those figures I gave depend on the assumption of 6% annual return on the extra half million.  You may want to recalculate for whatever return rate you think is more reasonable.

Also,  it sounds like it would be more correct to do the calculations for six years duration instead of the five that I did.  I think that would result in a lower cost per month.

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4 hours ago, ocka said:

Those figures I gave depend on the assumption of 6% annual return on the extra half million.  You may want to recalculate for whatever return rate you think is more reasonable.

Also,  it sounds like it would be more correct to do the calculations for six years duration instead of the five that I did.  I think that would result in a lower cost per month.

TBH I use 0% as the calculation for what I'd make on the 800K in the bank, I know I get a little over 1% in a Thai bank but figure this just goes to compensate against Inflation.

I know I can get more that that if I invested it "Seriously" but prefer to keep at least 12 months spends (at 80K pm = 960K) on-top of the 800K in country so I'm not worried about liquidating assets or transferring money when rates are bad... If I had the TE Visa I'd probably still keep the 960K in-country so at most would have 300K to invest (800K - 500K for the Visa) but more likely I'd look at it as a bonus on top of my current retirement planning & spend it :) 

Good news is when I did my last top-up I got 45,000 THB more than I'd planned (I assume 2THB less than the going rate for GBP so had pencilled in a little over 36... ended up getting 40.6 on £10,000 after fees with Transferwise so very happy :) 


Edit: Could have got 412K if I’d waited a week or so... [I have £10,500 primed & ready to send if the rate goes above 42)... 

 

 

6B2E90AB-E67F-41AA-A415-A4124DAB11FF.png

Edited by JB300
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8 hours ago, shanleyesq11 said:

when i opened my bank account, i tired to get an investment account.  denied. i was under the impression its not allowed for farangs.  opened on soi bukow in pattaya

I had the complete opposite one time - they wouldnt open a regular account without a fixed term deposit account. Tried another branch,  no hassle.

Always go for the smaller branches.

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Day 27th (August 30)-

I finally received my new Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, as I want to earn the introductory points.

I log on to Thailand Elite to pay with two credit cards, but it appears you cannot pay with multiple cards.

No problem, I already have a Chase Southwest card, so I called Chase to transfer available credit from my Southwest card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

This only took about 3-5 minutes and I am now ready to make my purchase.

I log back into Thailand Elite and go through all the steps to pay.

The very last box before submitting credit card payment indicates the following cost:

I am not happy with this exchange rate.  It is obvious Thailand Elite is passing most if not all their credit card fees to me.'

I log into my TransferWise and get the following results:

So I will save $2,019 (62,831 baht) by using TransferWise

I will need to move more money into my bank and I will use TransferWise instead.

I will have to use my Chase Sapphire Preferred elsewhere to ensure I earn my introductory points.

I anticipate this will take about 5 business days to resolve.

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If you can spend the time, then why not save your money and get to Phuket on the 1st Oct on a STV?

https://www.traveloffpath.com/thailand-reopening-phuket-for-tourism-oct-1-visitors-must-stay-30-days/

It is what I will do to get into the country then will just get a normal non-immigrant O visa afterwards.

Can't see the Elite method being any quicker than that currently given the speed of repatriation flights.

Edited by article22
Wrong visa, thanks JB300!
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1 minute ago, article22 said:

If you can spend the time, then why not save your money and get to Phuket on the 1st Oct on a STV?

https://www.traveloffpath.com/thailand-reopening-phuket-for-tourism-oct-1-visitors-must-stay-30-days/

It is what I will do to get into the country then will just get a normal OA retirement visa afterwards.

Can't see the Elite method being any quicker than that currently given the speed of repatriation flights.

It seems that there is a "Special" programme being introduced for Thailand Elite (it's called something like TEMQ) & they are targeting "Big Spenders" which rightly or wrongly TE members are considered so you may have more chance of getting in easier on a TE than a Tourist Visa, but as you say, this comes at the cost of the visa...   

Not sure if you meant OA (Have to get in the country that you're resident in & need to have approved Health Insurance for the Visa & subsequent extensions, but don't need the money in a Thai bank for the Visa, you do for extensions) OR O (Can convert in-country from a Visa Exempt or Tourist Visa, do not have to have Thai approved insurance but need money in the bank or proof of income for the initial Visa & extensions).... Personally I'd avoid the OA and go for the O, that way you're free to choose whichever Health Insurance best suits you & it's one less thing to worry about at Extension time.  

 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, article22 said:

If you can spend the time, then why not save your money and get to Phuket on the 1st Oct on a STV?

https://www.traveloffpath.com/thailand-reopening-phuket-for-tourism-oct-1-visitors-must-stay-30-days/

It is what I will do to get into the country then will just get a normal OA retirement visa afterwards.

Can't see the Elite method being any quicker than that currently given the speed of repatriation flights.

I would be pleasantly surprised if the USA is included in the countries allowed to travel, without other means.

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1 hour ago, LASportsNut said:

The very last box before submitting credit card payment indicates the following cost:

  • Exchange Rate is 29.093 Baht/ USD
    • USD 34,372
    • Baht 1,000,000

I am not happy with this exchange rate.  It is obvious Thailand Elite is passing most if not all their credit card fees to me.'
...

Odd TE is insisting you pay in USD with your card. Most places they'll default to charging your card in the local currency and leave the credit card company to handle the exchange rate and any other foreign currency transaction charges.

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7 minutes ago, forcebwithu said:

Odd TE is insisting you pay in USD with your card. Most places they'll default to charging your card in the local currency and leave the credit card company to handle the exchange rate and any other foreign currency transaction charges.

I agree. I did the math both ways and it appears they are charging me.

I can make some phone calls but I don't feel like dealing with the time change and language barriers.

I will just use TransferWise.  It is actually very easy.

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leicesterguyuk
4 hours ago, article22 said:

If you can spend the time, then why not save your money and get to Phuket on the 1st Oct on a STV?

https://www.traveloffpath.com/thailand-reopening-phuket-for-tourism-oct-1-visitors-must-stay-30-days/

It is what I will do to get into the country then will just get a normal non-immigrant O visa afterwards.

Can't see the Elite method being any quicker than that currently given the speed of repatriation flights.

The Phuket tourist model is still just an idea, nothing is set in stone. 

There's no guarantee which countries will be allowed to enter, nor where flights will be available from? There were news articles yesterday saying that Australia and New Zealand was being targeting first with flights from Asia and 3 European countries from November. No mention of the USA. 

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43 minutes ago, leicesterguyuk said:

The Phuket tourist model is still just an idea, nothing is set in stone. 

There's no guarantee which countries will be allowed to enter, nor where flights will be available from? There were news articles yesterday saying that Australia and New Zealand was being targeting first with flights from Asia and 3 European countries from November. No mention of the USA. 

Totallt agree but then currently Elite members aren't allowed in either so everything is speculation currently :)

Fingers crossed we can get back in soon though!

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leicesterguyuk
On 31/08/2020 at 09:06, LASportsNut said:

I agree. I did the math both ways and it appears they are charging me.

I can make some phone calls but I don't feel like dealing with the time change and language barriers.

I will just use TransferWise.  It is actually very easy.

Any updates? 

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Day 31th (September 3)-

I set up my transfer with TransferWise..  

It is a Thursday, so I am hoping the funds are transferred by my bank before the weekend, as this is a three day weekend for "Labor Day" an holiday in the USA.

It appears the Transfer will be sent on Friday, September 4, 2020.

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Day 32th (September 4)-

I wake up and notice the funds have not left my bank.

I recall some instructions on the Thailand Elite Visa site about contacting the bank to ensure they approve the transfer, due to the sizeable amount.

I go to my bank late in the afternoon. Due to a business I own, I have a personal banker, but she is busy with a customer.

I get redirected to another gentleman.

I described TransferWise and he has never heard of it. 

He is confused because the Transferwise confirmation does not have a SWIFT code on it.

There seems to be a lot of confusion and we attempt to call TransferWise but they are closed, as they are open 9 am to 5 pm Eastern.

So I make an appointment to be at the bank on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 12:30 pm.

I will make some calls to TransferWise before my meeting with my bank. 

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Day 34th (September 6)-

I received an email from Thailand Elite:

Dear Mr. (LASportsNut)

Greeting from Thailand Elite …

Thank you very much for sending proof of payment. We have forwarded the information to our finance department. As soon as it has been approved, we will proceed with the registration process and then we will send a welcome letter with membership number via email.

Kindly be informed that foreigners still are not allow to enter Thailand at the moment including Thailand Elite members. However, we would like to inform you that at the moment, we are in process of editing our proposal to meet the high standards and suggestions of related ministries such as The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and The Ministries of Public Health. It takes time because we are trying to negotiate for the best and the most convenient for members while the government has many issues to concern and needs us to follow.  However, we still waiting for the official announcement from Thai government for further action. 

 ** For your benefits, we would like to offer you the alternative option to select the activation date from today until December 30, 2020. If you wish to hold your activation date please let me know by return**

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us any time.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

 

Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd.

110/2 North Sathorn Road, Silom,

Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Thailand

Telephone : +66 (0) 2353-4129

Mobile         : +66 (0) 85 123 3099

https://www.thailandelite.com

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So this email raises some concerns.

It appears they are still not guaranteeing me the ability to enter Thailand.

I decide to mull over my options over the holiday weekend.

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Day 35th (September 7)-

Everyday, I monitor Thailand Elite Visa news and also the Thailand Travel Restrictions.

Today, I see a prisoner in a Bangkok jail tested positive for Covid-19.

The Thailand government has announced their may be delays or even cancellation of the Phuket Travel Program.

Not good news. 

I will still monitor the situation and decide what course of action is best for me.

One concern is the last email indicated I can activate my Thailand Elite Visa anytime up to December 30, 2020.

However if I cannot enter Thailand before mid-November, I won't be able to travel to arrive in Thailand until May 1, 2021.

So I would lose about 4 months of Visa access.

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IMO. There are just too many unknowns.    I personally would save the $$ until their are some concrete plans and evidence that they are allowing tourists in..   there are way to many rumors, and thailand officials add fire to rumors with their opinions..    im sure the news of the 1st community case is freaking them out..   I would hold out until next year.   Save your $$$ and then reassess once there is actually news,  and once their are actually scheduled commercial flights. 

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3 minutes ago, HimBadMan said:

IMO. There are just too many unknowns.    I personally would save the $$ until their are some concrete plans and evidence that they are allowing tourists in..   there are way to many rumors, and thailand officials add fire to rumors with their opinions..    im sure the news of the 1st community case is freaking them out..   I would hold out until next year.   Save your $$$ and then reassess once there is actually news,  and once their are actually scheduled commercial flights. 

I agree and I am leaning toward this option.

I will meet with my bank anyway just to see what the issues were so I can not have issues in the future.

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I put in my application 2 weeks ago, but have not heard back.

TE said I can defer paying for 3 months, which they will extend for 6 months. Given the current uncertainty, I will most certainly extend. As I don't plan/hope to move until Jan or Feb 2021, I will bide my time and see what (if any) options present themselves. If TE is the only option, then 8 will do that. If I can get an O-A visa and enter under some version of the "Phuket model", then I will do that instead. Deferring the TE payment may mean I'm further back in the queue, but I'm fine with that.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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9 minutes ago, LASportsNut said:

I agree and I am leaning toward this option.

I will meet with my bank anyway just to see what the issues were so I can not have issues in the future.

I just finished reading the thread on the gentleman who just finished his 15 day quarantine.  It sounds BRUTAL.    That should be taken into consideration as well.       He wasn't even allowed to speak.    They are treating foreigners like prisoners.    

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