Changing $$ to Baht in Bangkok

Aug 11th, 2008, 04:11 PM
  #1  
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Changing $$ to Baht in Bangkok

Hi All,

I'll be traveling to Bangkok shortly and need to exchange a couple of thousand USD to Thai Baht. Can you advise me on the best way to go about this. Best in this case means safest, most convenient, best exchange rate, in approximately that order.

I'll be flying in from the U.S. and staying near one of the Skytrain stations.

I'm a little concerned about transacting this at the airport -- from my last trip to Bangkok I vaguely remember long lines and not much privacy at the exchange windows. I don't think ATM's will work due to the amount of money.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

matt817 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 04:58 PM
  #2  
 
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Do you need all the money at once?

If not, plan to exchange it as you need it. You can exchange some at the airport... inside baggage claim. Yes, there is often a line there, but everyone is exchanging money. I don't think it's a problem.

In the city, exchange at any bank or exchange office. Rates vary only a tiny bit, not a significant difference, in may experience - except for hotels. Do not exchange at hotels.

Check with your bank about whether an ATM would work for you. What kind of fees does your bank charge for use of a foreign ATM? (they range from 0-$5). What foreign exchange premium does your bank charge? (range 1-3%) At 1%, you'll do as well or better at an ATM, as you get the bank rate. What limits do you have on how much you can withdraw from you bank account per day? Even if the Bangkok bank ATM has lower limits, you can simply make more than one withdrawal in a day.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Most Thai banks limit ATM withdrawals to a maximum of 40,000 Baht per day. That's barely over $1,000.

Many banks have currency exchange services inside the bank, so you can do your changes there rather than at the more public exchange booths outside.

One more thing to note is that, I think, you will run into extra paperwork changing more than the equivalent of 50,000 Baht. This is due to anti-money laundering laws.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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The best f/x rate can be found at a money changer call "Super Rich". You can also transfer money out from here but most Western banks will not accept money from such a money changer.

I've exchanged over $100k at a time here so there's no worry about limits. Be warn that it might not be 100% legal but the notes are all real.

http://www.superrich1965.com/Eng/location.aspx
Hanuman is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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Hanuman, I tried to see what super rich's current exchange rate is, but you have to log in. Can you give us the current rate and the current bank rate?

I've found that in Thailand the various exchanges seem to vary by a negligible amount... of course, if you are exchanging $100k, then what would be negligible for $100 would be enough for some VERY good wine on $100k.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Matt
I second Super Rich, although I have to admit I've not exchanged there. I have used Siam Exchange, which is close to MBK mall (National Stadium skytrain station is nearby). I would not want to exchange 2k at the airport. But you will need to get your hands on a small amount of baht to pay for your taxi into the city.

Hanuman, I've never exchanged THAT much, but I have done maybe $1,500 at a time...

Another option is cashing a check at American Express if you have a platinum card. You can cash a check for up to $10,000, which I have done before. AmEx is very close to the Ari skytrain station.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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Kathie,

Here's the latest rate for USD($100 note) from Super Rich compared to Bangkok Bank.

Super Rich: buy = 33.65 sell = 33.72
BBL: buy = 33.53 sell = 33.63

Not much as you've said but no questions ask!
Hanuman is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Thanks for the info, Hanuman. For my purposes, there is no reason to go out of my way to use them. But when I bring a bag full of cash over to pay for my condo, it would be worth it! LOL
Kathie is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 05:19 AM
  #9  
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All,

These are terrifically helpful replies. I do need to exchange it all at once so these suggestions are spot on.

Again, much thanks,

Matt
matt817 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Kathie, I know you're joking, but please note that, in order to legally register as a foreign owner of a condo, the money must be transfered through an accredited bank, and you'll need to show proof that the money came from outside Thailand in order to register the ownership.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 07:02 PM
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Michael, I do know that. But it's good for you to clarify that for people who don't know I'm joking.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 07:49 PM
  #12  
 
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since i change a tad under what hanuman does, its worth it for me to go to sr. if you are changing just a few thousand, then your friendly neighborhood money change like vasu on suk is your best bet.

when i leave sr, my pockets are bulging. i can imagine hanuman wheeling 22" behind him. .
kuranosuke is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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Psss... Kuranosuke $100K will fit nicely in a 35cm Hermes Birkin.
Hanuman is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 10:31 PM
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The Hermes alone is worth 10K or more....I love Hanuman's style, lol
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 10:43 PM
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h-man, how naive of me. ht, spot on.
kuranosuke is offline  
Aug 13th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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But you can buy a really good Birkin copy bag at MBK. Much less than 10k!!!

Matt, I see that Vasu on Sukhumvit was mentioned. I've exchanged US$ there a number of times. It's very close to my apartment hotel. Good rates, no questions.

simpsonc510 is offline  
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