Exchanging USD for Thai baht

Mar 2nd, 2011, 07:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
Exchanging USD for Thai baht

I will be traveling to Roit-et for a vision mission in 2 weeks. We will only have a layover for a few hours in Bangkok before heading north for 2 weeks. We will only have 2 days off mid-mission for shopping, sightseeing. Am I better off exchanging USD for Baht here in the states, or at the Bangkok airport? A member of our team indicated that few shops in the outer areas take credit cards. Is this so? Thanks!
kakkue1 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2011, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
You will not get as good a rate here in the states. That's for sure. Exchange at the Bangkok airport, or at walk-up banks. I am in agreement with your team member that credit cards will not be accepted.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
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kakkue1 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 516
You will get your best rate of exchange after you get to Thailand. Just bring large bills, hundreds and fifties get a hair more in exchange than 5's and 10's. Besides you have less bulk.

Thailand is one of the best countries in Asia for changing travelers checks. If your bank or credit union issues them for free even better! The fee to cash a travelers check is 33 baht. A TC even gets a hair more than ordinary cash. If you do bring a few with you just bring the largest sizes so you don't waste fees to cash a $5 check!

You CAN use ATM's in Thailand with credit and debit cards! Keep in mind that there is a 150 baht fee to use an ATM. If you do use an ATM take out the maximum you can so you do not have a big fees for small amounts withdrawn. You should notify your bank that you will be using an ATM in Thailand before you leave home. Without telling your bank that you will be using a credit/debit card in Thailand your withdrawal may not be authorized. When your card shows up in Thailand suddenly they suspect that the card is stolen and the withdrawal is fraudulent. My cards work with a 4 digit pin number. My cards do not have a chip in them.

Stores and hotels usually offer a lower rate when changing money or travelers checks over.

If you are picking up your bags in the Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) Airport there are money bank changers near the baggage carousel. Also, a couple banks outside in the arrivals hall too!

Some out of the way little villages may not have a convenient bank available. But most cities that have frequent tourists usually have banks too.

When you fly home from Bangkok you will have a chance to change your excess Thai baht back to your currency.

Good luck.
SirHalberd is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 516
Although there are some stores and restaurants that will accept credit cards for services my advice is to use cash for cheap purchases. Every time you use your credit card for a cheap purchase you increase your chance pick up some fraudulent charges. In over a dozen years in this area I have never used a credit or debit card for a cheap purchases, especially in restaurants! I do make ATM withdrawals from time to time.

I use Visa and MasterCard. My credit union that sponsors my debit card also pays some of my ATM charges.

Have fun.
SirHalberd is offline  

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