How to pay for the surgery in Korea? Bring cash, traveller check or credit card?

magnoliams

Member
Sep 29, 2015
17
1
I am leaving to Korea in two weeks. Please help me with basic questions How do I pay? Do I bring credit card with high limit? or Cash ( deck of $100 bills? should I worry about security?)? Do I need Korean money to pay tax or buy food?

Please share your experience and give advice generously. I am nervous about the PS trip.
 
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Jeet Dhindsa

Member
Sep 2, 2015
66
16
I am leaving to Korea in two weeks. Please help me with basic questions How do I pay? Do I bring credit card with high limit? or Cash ( deck of $100 bills? should I worry about security?)? Do I need Korean money to pay tax or buy food?

Please share your experience and give advice generously. I am nervous about the PS trip.

You can pay in cash. But I would check what currency you are quoted in, and it depends what your own home currency is.

Some clinics do not go by the actual exchange rate, but for the sake of closing a sale ASAP, may just use $1 USD = 1,000 KRW.

Say if you are quoted $10,000. You could say to the clinic, "OK, so.... 10 million won?" If they say yes. TAKE IT.

It would be wiser to pay 10,000,000 won because this converts to $8,457 (today's rate). Meaning you can save close to $1,600 by simply switching the currency on the fly, assuming they a use a simple 1:1000 rate.

Now if the clinic follows the actual rate, this won't work.

Paying by cash can also provide discounts. This is because clinics will not report 10% VAT. When you use cards, it automatically reports the transaction to the National Tax office. That's why the government is offering that VAT refund system, it's to stop clinics from under reporting cash income.

If you don't mind paying with a card and passing up on the cash discount, it's the safest. Again if their machine has the option to charge in multiple currencies, pick the most favorable currency.

Please stay in a hotel with a safe. Do not tell anyone you are here for PS if you are staying in a guest house or airbnb.

EXCHANGE

Don't exchange currency at the airport, it's better to do it at banks in Korea. To buy goods in Korea you have to pay in Korean currency or pay by a credit card.
 
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Jeet Dhindsa

Member
Sep 2, 2015
66
16
Does anyone know if I need to pay by cash to take the subway or bus from the airport? Wonder if I need to exchange a bit of krw at the airport since by time I get into the city the banks will be closed.

I recommend taking the Airport Limo Bus. It's costs around 14,000 Korean Won.

You can buy tickets at a ticket box right outside the airport, and can pay with cash or card.

This bus drops you in front of several hotels and main areas in Seoul. Tell the ticket counter person where you are going and he/she will tell you the route number you need.

TIPS:

- Be sure to tell the driver which stop you’re going to get off at.

- Start paying attention when you hit Seoul city (the bus gets off the freeway/highway/motorway)

- Bus stops will be announced by speaker in Korean and English, when you hear your stop coming, press the red button located on the window sills.

- It will announce both the upcoming and the next stop after that. Press the button when you are the upcoming stop, not the stop after the upcoming stop.

- Sit near the driver if you can, so he’s mindful of you.

- Don’t throw away your luggage tags the driver gives you, this is so he can match your luggage when he’s unloading it.
 
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Yaku

YouTuber
Dec 14, 2015
40
5
Haha! You sound like how I was when I was planning on getting surgery in Korea. Your best bet is to come here through a medical tourism agency that can assist with all that stuff.

To answer your question, you can pay in any major credit/debit card, but make sure that your limit on the card is increased. You can call your bank to do so. If you're paying a large lump sum, it's best to increase your card limit on your debit card. If you want a discount, you can pay in USD$$$ or Korean won. Most clinics don't care because USD is valued over here, too.

Now, if you visit www.docfinderkorea.com , you will find tourism services for free. You just fill out their online consultation form, or email them directly at docfinder@naver.com and they should reply quickly.

I use them, and the coordinator helps me so much by translating for me, and even bargaining for me. They have a free shuttle service and will pick you up from the airport to drop you off at your hotel. They will also take you to your appointments. I'm so glad I found out about them because if I didn't I'd be so lost and would end up not getting my surgery. I'm currently in Gangnam right now, and the service that DocFinderKorea has done for me is excellent! Give it some consideration, but if you'd rather do everything on your own, that's fine too.

I hope this helps. Good luck!:P
 

Lavender16

Member
Nov 16, 2015
11
0
Yaku - I already have a clinic I want to go to so prob won't use an agency this time. It sure does help alleviate all the stress though. Glad that you are having a great experience with your agency.

How long will you stay? I'll arrive on Monday and will be there for a bit over a week. If you're still there and want to go shopping/ sightseeing let me know :smile:
 
Mar 8, 2017
36
33
I used wire transfer. There's a delay while you wait for the payment to be processed but, depending on your bank, the exchange rates are really good! I'd recommend doing that, or paying by credit card, although do ask the clinic beforehand to see if they have any extra charges for taking payment that way.
 

CrimsonSeoul

Member
Apr 30, 2017
16
9
What's the most common way of bringing/paying? Are people just bringing $10,000+ in cash and then exchanging it in Korea and handing it over to the clinic, or can you just withdraw from an ATM (I feel like there's probably a limit). Or as mentioned in the title, are most people just bringing traveler's checks or paying with card? It feels a bit unsafe to just bring that much cash and carry it, but it sounds like that that's pretty common?
 
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chelleyp

Member
May 9, 2015
63
153
You can pay in cash. But I would check what currency you are quoted in, and it depends what your own home currency is.

Some clinics do not go by the actual exchange rate, but for the sake of closing a sale ASAP, may just use $1 USD = 1,000 KRW.

Say if you are quoted $10,000. You could say to the clinic, "OK, so.... 10 million won?" If they say yes. TAKE IT.

It would be wiser to pay 10,000,000 won because this converts to $8,457 (today's rate). Meaning you can save close to $1,600 by simply switching the currency on the fly, assuming they a use a simple 1:1000 rate.

Now if the clinic follows the actual rate, this won't work.

Paying by cash can also provide discounts. This is because clinics will not report 10% VAT. When you use cards, it automatically reports the transaction to the National Tax office. That's why the government is offering that VAT refund system, it's to stop clinics from under reporting cash income.

If you don't mind paying with a card and passing up on the cash discount, it's the safest. Again if their machine has the option to charge in multiple currencies, pick the most favorable currency.

Please stay in a hotel with a safe. Do not tell anyone you are here for PS if you are staying in a guest house or airbnb.

EXCHANGE

Don't exchange currency at the airport, it's better to do it at banks in Korea. To buy goods in Korea you have to pay in Korean currency or pay by a credit card.

Hey! Why can't we tell people we are here for PS if we're staying in an airbnb? Just asking bc I'm planning to book an airbnb in Apgujeong while I get my double jaw surgery done and should I not disclose that to my host?
 

chelleyp

Member
May 9, 2015
63
153
What's the most common way of bringing/paying? Are people just bringing $10,000+ in cash and then exchanging it in Korea and handing it over to the clinic, or can you just withdraw from an ATM (I feel like there's probably a limit). Or as mentioned in the title, are most people just bringing traveler's checks or paying with card? It feels a bit unsafe to just bring that much cash and carry it, but it sounds like that that's pretty common?

I'm planning to bring $10,000 in cash, exchange it in Myeongdong and for the remaining surgery fee I'll just withdraw it in Korea. ATM limits are 700,000-1,000,000 won per day. Anything for the 10% discount lol.
 
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