Money Matters

Money Matters

Postby HammockGuy » March 24th, 2009, 9:24 am

This topic is not to be about the cost for IVF and/or surrogacy with Dr. Patel. As said before, she should be contacted for such info. Due to changes in her service offerings and the economic climate, as well as other factors, this forum is not in the best position to know the current prices for services offered. Dr. Patel can be reached via email at: nayana@ivfsurrogate.com.

Ok, that said, this topic will be able to address everything else with respect to money. While I have a fair amount to add, I'll be doing so a bit later when I have more time...

I imagine this thread including considerations of what form to bring money to India, getting funds while there, exchanging currency, Rupees, tipping, travelers checks, credit cards, ATM's, etc... Also, info on wiring money. This will become particularly important should you get pregnant!

If you haven't noticed already, there is a slick currency converter widget below.

I'll update this post when I have a bit more time. Anyone care to start with a question?
Four cycles with Dr. Nayana Patel, with the first and fourth giving us two beautiful, healthy baby girls! Persistence and determination are often rewarded, so stay the course...
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Re: Money Matters

Postby shash » March 26th, 2009, 7:41 pm

Hi,

I would like to knw the process of payment when visiting Dr. Patel. For example, did you pay her fees in Dollars or Rupees, how did you get the dollars to rupees, was it check or cash, etc.

Thanks.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby HammockGuy » March 26th, 2009, 9:33 pm

Hello shash,

Thanks for making the move from the blog...

As for us, we took $5,500 USD in traveler's checks. I personally did not feel comfortable carrying that much cash on me; and I don't recommend doing so. Traveler's checks have built-in safeguards... Also, we brought about 300 in cash, credit cards and an ATM card (there's an ATM machine very near the clinic).

Dr. Patel's husband, Hitesh, handles all financial affairs for the clinic. I signed the traveler's checks in his office and I got a receipt. Done, simple as that. Also, Hitesh exchanges other currencies into Rupees, and has by far the best rates! Over the course of two and half weeks, we exchanged money three times with him, about $150 USD into Rupees. We used credit cards where we could, like for paying the hotel, but Rupees for most other purchases.

And stuff is cheap there. At 50 Rupees to 1 USD (52 now), 20 Rupees, or less than 50 cents gets a couple to the clinic from the hotel on a motorized rickshaw. 20 Rupees is also quite appropriate for tipping like for room service and luggage assistance. Heck, I got a hair cut near the clinic and it was 20 or 30 Rupees, and I gave him 50 (1 USD), and the guy was ecstatic. I'd recommend having some Rupees prior to arriving in India so you'll be ready for tips, like when your luggage is handled at the hotel, or to buy some water or snacks. We did an exchange, just a few dollars worth, while in Singapore so I'd have some ready... Once we met Hitesh, we exchanged more.

Some folks also wire money for this initial payment while out in Anand during the baby-making process. Wiring becomes a necessity later-on if there is a pregnancy. Given that there might be some issues with wiring, and the time needed to understand and complete your bank's wire transfer form, this might not be best method, at least when out there. It can be an option though...

I hope that helps shash.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby Jackie_pbs » August 11th, 2011, 8:28 pm

I found that bringing around $500-800 USD in cash was more than enough for us during our stay.
I didn't want to have the feeling of always worrying about carrying a large amount of money around. We paid all the clinic fees before we left Anand via 1 wire transfer with our bank fee.

As I mentioned before, blood tests are paid directly in cash rupees to the clinic. Depending on the type of blood tests you need. The tests range from 200-600 rupees each. These blood tests are for checking items such as your LH, E2 levels during the cycle. I think 2-3 blood tests is usually needed.

You should change money with Dr. Hitesh directly as the rates he gets are by far the best. You will recieve a much lower rate if you are exchanging traveller's cheques.

I used a "no foreign transaction fee" card for all my credit card purchases - at hotel, at big bazaar, at some restaurants.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby HammockGuy » August 11th, 2011, 9:24 pm

I also found that the ATM machines give very good exchange rates, equal to Hitesh, and one time, actually better.

Indeed, a credit card with no foreign transaction fee is desirable. I use credit card whenever possible out there, heck, at home too. I'm only aware of Capital One have no transaction fee. Worth getting one or if there is another card like it...
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Money Matters a Canadian perspective 2011

Postby CanadaCouple » September 1st, 2011, 10:37 am

We are currently in Anand and wanted to share the $$ access here. Our travel agent said don't worry New Delhi airport has lots of ATMs. WRONG! When your in the transit lounge there are no ATMS. There is a travellers cheques office only. We were then told ATMS at AMD airport. Half Wrong! ATMs you arrive at the arrivals terminal. No ATMS between deplaning and passing immigration. The ATMS are at the domestic depature a good 5-10min walk. The SBI bank does not use the PLUS system. The citibank ATM was out of money. Welcome to India! The people are nice. The infrastructure is not like Canada. The pre=paid taxi guy was okay when we explained we'd had no rupees and we want to pay when we get to the hotel. They guy said no problem and off we went. Along the way we saw an ICCI bank ATM (have branches in Canada) stopped and got out Rs. 10000. Crisis over. Best Advice order some Rupees about Rs. 5000 from TD bank they give out INR. The exchange is poor but you only need enough to cover the taxi and some refreshments at the transit lounge (although they do take credit card at the lounge).

Once your in Anand forget about what your Debit limit is set at for money withdrawl. My card was set with $3000/ day $5000/week from TD Bank. The Indian ATMs are limited to Rs. 10000 per withdrawl max 2 per day. You can get PLUS system ATM withdrawls from the Bank of Baroda a few doors down from Rama and also from the ICCI bank another 1/2 further way in the same direction from Rama. So you could hit both twice and take out Rs. 40000 max. Plan on paying you clinic fees via travellers cheques (ONLY AMEX) forget Visa or Thomas Cook. Or you can e-bank the Money over into the clinic account. Best get the up to date details from the clinic at the time.

Best recommendation for Canadians (1) Special order AMEX travellers cheques in $1000 and $500 denominations. My local TD told me they don't come higher than $100. WRONG! We got them from RBC in the higher amounts. Otherwise you'll be signing over alot of cheques and carrying a huge wad. If your and RBC customer they are commision free same with TD. (2) get some rupees from TD so you can cover the prepaid taxi to your hotel (3) Switch into an ATM plan with your bank that waives ATM fees. RBC/ CIBC/ TD have these plans. You only need to have the plan during the time your here then switch back. We have this normally on our regular plan. (4) Bank machines only spit out Rs. 500 notes. Really hard to break with local auto rickshaws, small shops. They really can't break those notes. Money here is very soiled. Best to break your notes with Hitish. If you go to the bank for Bundles stack of 100 or Rs. 10/ 20/ 50 notes check them before you leave the teller. I got dirty, torn, taped, soiled, worn notes in the bundle I got and don't recommend trying the bank. You can exchange them at the Bank but you've got better things to do. It is not uncommon for shops, taxis to decline poor looking notes. If you get poor soiled notes as change refuse them like the locals and ask for another, it is a common practice. Carry an ultra small shopping bag to keep your smaller notes which tend to be the worst. You don't want to put them into your wallet or pants pockets without something covering them.

Big Bazzar will take a credit card for any amount no problems, The Granary will take credit cards is the amount is over Rs. 500. The hotels all accept credit cards.

Always ask the fare for an auto before you take it. If they don't speak English you can use your fingers to indicate how much. One finger is Rs 10 two fingers Rs 20 three fingers Rs 30 etc. Most fares are between Rs 30-40. Expect to pay Rs 10 more at night as there are fewer autos. Don't get to hung up if you paid Rs. 10 more for the fare than someone else remember its less than 25 cents. For those returning remember you can always buy something at duty free and give them all your Indian rupees and put the balance on credit card. ****Don't forget to tell the Bank that the Credit card company when you'll be in India so they don't shut your card as fraud prevention.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby Haku » September 1st, 2011, 11:31 am

Using ATMs is a hit-or-miss affair. I had a Citibank ATM that gave me cash one day and rejected my card a few days later. The networks that Indian banks use to connect to overseas banks can be unreliable. If that happens, try another bank's ATM - in Anand it's probably best to try ICICI or Axis Bank. I even managed to use the ATM of a small bank based in the same building as the Rama Residency.

We took some USD cash with us and got Hitesh to convert it into INR. He was happy to accept GBP as well. Not sure about other currencies. And the exchange rates we got were very close to spot rates. This also deals with the withdrawal limit for ATMs.

The smaller shops do not accept credit cards, but most of the restaurants do as do Big Bazaar and D-Mart. I found the better restaurants to be a good place to pay with 500 Rupee notes as they always gave you change. If you have a credit card that requires PIN input to confirm the purchase make sure you tell the person who takes your card as they can get a little confused. And even after the transaction goes through they will ask you to sign the slip (which is not really necessary, but they are unfamiliar with chip & PIN cards).
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Re: Money Matters

Postby redsox » September 4th, 2011, 4:48 am

Hi I will be attending clinic next week and am just wondering how much are the blood tests at the clinic? I read on here somewhere that there were blood tests that are extra to cost of ivf and just want to make sure I have enough cash budgeted for those. Thanks so much
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Re: Money Matters

Postby snv1979 » September 4th, 2011, 10:10 am

Hi Redsox,

That depends on the tests that are required to be done. The minimum we have paid was Rs.300 for a test once and the maximum was Rs.1500.

You could have 3 to 4 blood tests during the 15 day period you are there. The total we have paid for blood tests less than Rs. 3000. It would be safe to say that it should fit within Rs. 5000 per cycle.

Best wishes.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby snv1979 » September 4th, 2011, 10:27 am

ATMs could have problems during long periods of power cut. In the summer, always Sunday mornings until 3pm were a problem with ICICI Bank ATMs. The most reliable ones are ICICI, HDFC Bank and AXIS Bank.

Most of the retailers skip the PIN functionality by pressing *. ICICI bank POS machines doesnt ask for a signature, but most other bank's PoS machines require a signature as well.

You can change all the major currencies like USD, GBP, HK$, SGD, SAR, EUR, CAD, AUD, most Gulf currencies. Having said that the Forex Dealer would change any currency. But, the rates would be slightly lower. For e.g., I asked him for conversion of Scottish Pounds and he advised me not to change as it would be 3 to 5 rupees less than the conversion of English Pounds, though they are at par.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby redsox » September 4th, 2011, 10:31 am

Hi snv1979 thanks so much for your help. That is great to have a rough idea of the cost. I am travelling on my own and just want to make sure that I have enough cash with me just in case prob with ATM's. Thanks again - are you still in Anand? I had seen your post about the rain starting...is it still very wet? I am arriving next Monday morning so just starting the packing. Thanks again so much for your help
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Re: Money Matters

Postby redsox » September 4th, 2011, 10:34 am

Hi Snv1979 - sorry just saw your second post. That is great to know about Hitesh changing Euros. I was afraid I was going to have to try and change to dollars or gbp for travelling over. That is great news - thanks again - you are a wealth of information!!! Thanks again and best wishes on your trip!!!
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Re: Money Matters

Postby snv1979 » September 6th, 2011, 1:20 pm

Dear Redsox,

I am not in Anand right now. But, the monsoon would be over in the next few days or is probably over. Hopefully, when you arrive there, the rains would be over. Having said that you would be really missing the Great Indian Monsoon!

Hitesh charges in USD only. If you are paying in a different currency, it is converted to USD and accounted. I am not sure how they do it, but I guess the USD is converted to INR and the EUR equivalent is charged to you.

If you convert it to GBP / USD at home, you would incur double commission - one for EUR to GBP or USD and the one more for converting EUR to INR. EUR to INR is not a major loss though, may be a few paise as these are very close to spot rates. But EUR to GBP or USD, you would incur atleast 2% charge. Hitesh receives and accounts the money only in INR, but he just faciliatates the conversion through a local FX dealer.

Regards,
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Re: Money Matters

Postby redsox » September 7th, 2011, 8:18 am

Thanks so much snv1979 - really appreciate all the info.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby redsox » September 7th, 2011, 9:41 am

Hi just a quick question -- I know this is not for discussing costs of surrogacy but just wanted to ask if the 750 cost for surrogate is included in the 5000-5500 cost of cycle or is it extra to that.

I took it that it was extra but my husband seems to think from reading email that it is part of the cost ---any help????

I emailed Dr Patel but did not hear from her and hate bothering her but just wondering can anyone shed any light??? Greatly appreciate any assistance thanks so much in advance for any help.
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Re: Money Matters

Postby snv1979 » September 7th, 2011, 11:00 am

I think the IVF Cycle + Surrogate Preparation including egg retrieval, Embryo transfer to surrogate, everything, except blood tests and medication (Rs. 500 maximum) is in the region of USD 6200 - 6500. Usually, it should be in this region unless costs have increased in the recent past.
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