Important: Always exchange your money to USD or Euros prior to traveling to Thailand in case you are carrying cash. Coming from Kenya this really saved me a lot.
- Remember that if you carry more than $1500 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, you'll have to declare this at customs. Btw it's not considered illegal to be carrying more than $1500, but you have to state how the money was acquired and how you intend to use it in Thailand.
Pros and cons of various currency exchange methods in Thailand
Credit card payments and ATM withdrawals
- Paying for items using your foreign credit card while in Thailand will end up being very expensive since most businesses will charge you in your local currency rather than Thai Baht. The end result is that you pay an extra approximately 5% commission on every purchase you pay for using your credit card.
- With ATM withdrawals you lose so much money because of the following reasons:
- Most banks in Thailand will charge a withdrawal fee of $7 approx 220 baht for every withdrawal using a foreign credit card. ( withdrawal fee)
- The withdrawal fee does not include the fees charged by your bank.
- With ATMs its common to find the exchange rate inflated.
Banks and currency bureaus
- I'd highly recommend exchanging currency at either banks or currency bureaus. Exchange fees differ per bank, search around for the bank with the best rate. You can easily compare exchange rates and fees in various banks across Thailand using Thailand exchanges
- At the time I was in Thailand Bangkok bank had the best rates.
- Independent forex dealers such as super Rich may also give you better deals than what banks can give
The disadvantage of carrying traveller's cheques to Thailand:
- Only American express cheques are accepted in Thailand
- There is a 153 Baht fee for every cheque you exchange in Thailand.