Cash is normally used wherever possible, such as in shops and restaurants. When you do run out of cash and need to withdraw more, you will find that ATM machines are widely available and operate on a 24 hour basis. You can use a card from back home to withdraw money, but you will be charged for the transaction. Major credit cards that are accepted around Taiwan are: American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Diners Club.
Even if you hold a Taiwanese bank account, you will be charged around 7 NT$ (New Taiwan Dollars) when withdrawing money from an ATM from any bank other than the bank which issued you the card.
ATMs will provide various language options, such as English, in case your Mandarin isn’t up to scratch and you don’t fancy playing around with your money.
Bank opening hours
If you prefer to go to the bank and speak directly with a cashier or representative, you will find that bank opening hours are more limited than your local banks back home. In general, banks are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 until 15:30 and are closed on both Saturdays and Sundays.
If you have stayed in Taiwan for less than 183 days, most banks will charge a 20% tax rate on the interest or income that you have earned. A rate of 10% will be charged for any time you stay over 183 days, and you will be owed a tax rebate with regards to the first 183 days.
If you have a residential status, Citibank and ABN AMRO will charge you an interest rate of 10% and 20% if you do not have residential status.
Cathay United and Taiwan Bank will deduct 20% on interest from your income regardless of whether you are a resident or nonresident.
A value added tax refund will allow a visitor with a foreign passport, or with certain Republic of China documents, to receive refunds of 5% on Taiwan’s VAT. These may be used in department stores or other shops that display the Tax Refund Shopping (TRS) symbol.
To receive tax refunds, you must spend NT$3,000 in a single transaction in the same shop on the same day. You must then present your goods when leaving Taiwan with the receipt and your passport to the ‘Foreign Passenger VAT Refund Service Counter’ at the airport or seaport to receive your 5% tax refund. You can claim your refund from Taoyuan International Airport, Keelung Harbour, Hualien (airport or harbour) or Kaohsiung (airport or harbour).