About the Elite Card program

About the Elite Card program - The Standard, October 23-24, 2004
Interesting explanation of the reasoning behind the Elite Card program and a scathing critique of what it became: "Friends of mine liked the ease of getting through the airport. But the real thing was the right to own land.'' Not so. Thai law still prohibits the ownership of Thai land by foreigners, so this promise of the Elite Card was flawed from the first.
...VIPs or not, Elite Card members have to follow the same laws in the end. The only difference is that when a card holder eventually chooses to sell the land, that sale will be seen as a sale by an individual rather than by a corporation, making it liable for lower tax.
The five-year tourist visa also sounds good too - except that again, Thai law interferes and requires Elite Card members, just like any other foreigner in Thailand, to report to an Immigration office every 90 days.
As for the golf courses, news reports say TPC has cancelled its golf course-building and expansion plans around the country. Card holders do get privileged access to some existing courses, however.
A key card benefit remains having just one number to call to arrange everything one wants in Thailand, from cars to roses to dinners and appointments.
Additional scepticism exists in some quarters about some of these promises because any rich person staying at a top hotel in Thailand can enjoy such benefits through the concierge and guest services. Even non-rich people can have their own cars and drivers, and can hire fixers of many kinds...
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