Exchanging Money in Thailand

Dec 30th, 2010, 03:02 PM
  #1  
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Exchanging Money in Thailand

During previous trips to Thailand we have used a Bank Card that has a very minimal fee (1%) for foreign transactions and have used ATMs to withdraw several thousand Bhat at a time. For the most part, this has worked well, and, when we charge on a CC for restaurants, we have used our 1% fee charge card. However, I was reading a post here on the Asia Site and it warned of 150 BHT sevice charge on all or most cc transactions. Question, for those of you who have been there recently, what are you doing to avoid excessive extra fees/charges? Has this been your experience too?
Do you take lots of $s with you and trade them for Bhat? do you withdraw large sums of Bhat on your card at a time to only have the 1X fee.? No one I know of uses Travellers Cheques these days however, I don't want to encounter 150 BHT on each charge, especially if it's not a fancy restaurant and the meal is inexpensive.
We will be getting BHT at the Airport when we land next week but for the remaining part of the month would like your input. Thanks in advance
Sue
SueHuml is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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I do business in Thailand, so travelers checks are the way to go for me. They are very easy to convert, but know that there is a 33b charge for each document. We take the higher amount of checks, which gets higher rates too.
stitchintime is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 04:35 PM
  #3  
CPT
 
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ATM does charge 150BHT per withdrawal. Most places dont take credit cards under 300BHT. And obviously, taxis, tuk tuks do not take CC. In addition, outdoor markets, massage parlors (200BHT in Phuket) and street vendors do not take CC. Some restaurants we have encountered in Phuket where you can pick your seafood and they cook for you, they dont take CC. I find that I used more cash than credit card while I was in Thialand and I think it's is smarter to take more cash out at once than not. The rate at ATM is better than exchange rate.
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Dec 30th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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I've never seen a surcharge for use of a credit card, but the ATMs do now charge 150 baht per foreign transaction. I have an account that refunds ATM charges, so I still use ATMs to get most of my cash in Thailand. I do always bring a few $100 bills "just in case."

I don't use travelers checks as I find them too much of a hassle.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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AEON ATMs don't charge for withdrawals. Unfortunately, they are few and far between, and usually hidden away in obscure locations.

Although many businesses won't accept traveler's checks, TCs can be exchanged at exchange kiosks and most banks. Kiosks are prolific and banks are open 7 days, at least in mall branches.

For the most part, Thailand is a cash business. Credit cards are being promoted more (thanks banks!), but the wise money is cash.
Curt1591 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:33 PM
  #6  
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Thanks all, - after telling DH that I'd asked this question, DH informs me that our card gives us 10 transactions per month at any ATM for free!!!. He does none of the planning or bookings/flight/hotels/cars/timeshares/ so I didn't know that he knew the answer to my BHT exchange question. Appreciate all the info though.
Sue
SueHuml is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 05:07 PM
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That is, most likely, no fee from your bank.

Thai banks will still assess the 150 baht transaction fee. Now, if your bank will reimburse that, you have a great institution.
Curt1591 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 07:34 PM
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Curt, my bank reimburses the ATM fee levied by the Thai ATMs. A number of other banks or credit unions do as well. Hopefully yours does, too, Sue.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 07:51 PM
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I live near an AEON ATM. No Fee!
Curt1591 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 09:18 PM
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i take out about $300 per transaction so it makes the 150 charge not so bad.... just forget about it
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Exactly. For most, that 150 baht is nothing, compared to what is spent elsewhere.
Curt1591 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2011, 07:35 AM
  #12  
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DH informs me that our bank will reimburse the ATM transaction fees up to 10 a month. Also they only levy a 1% foreign transaction fee. (that is mandated by M/C) We only use this card for travel because of the good benefits. For those interested the company is USAA. We have all our insurance through them and do all our stock trading with them they are the best, in fact whenever any insurance company tries to sell us their policy, when I tell them I'm with USAA, they don't even try to quote or compete. We even get $'s back at the end of each year as it's a not for profit.

When dh first joined USAA it was ONLY for Officers on Active Duty who were serving in the US Armed forces. Now it is open to anyone who has served in the US Forces, any rank, past or present, and their families too. They recently launched a big TV ad campaign.
I even have more to be grateful to them for. I actually met my husband because I was their "girl in London" and he came into my office, a few steps from the American Embassy 41 years ago to insure his car and get a Green Card for Driving in Europe and I kid him and say he's still paying the premium! Well, that's more than you needed to know ;-), however, thanks for all the good info. Back to packing.
Sue
SueHuml is offline  
Jan 1st, 2011, 09:41 AM
  #13  
 
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Wonderful story, Sue!
Kathie is offline  

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