More currency ?'s re:BKK

Aug 16th, 2004, 03:43 PM
  #1  
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More currency ?'s re:BKK

I'll be arriving late in BKK, does anyone know what the hours are for the currency exchange window? I understand there is a ATM in the airport but does it operate the same way as in the US? Traveler Checks, what types are accepted in Thailand? Is there more than 1 type? What is the process of cashing TC for Baht? Do you just walk into any bank and give them the TC and the teller gives me the Baht! To get the best rate do I go to a bank or go back to the airport currency exchange window?
skapadz is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 05:21 PM
  #2  
 
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there are atms everywhere...at one spot as you exit the airport after customs, near to the taxi stand, but still inside the terminal (way to the left as you exit customs) there are four machines...
they work exactly as in america and are written in english...you have a language choice...

it is best to keep your money in your checking account as machines do not always recognize savings accounts..

i think you could use any of the standard trav. cks...i have used both american express and visa in thailand...i do not botther going to a bank but rather use one of the hole in the wall exchange desks which are all around the city in the tourist areas...the one i use the most often is near the corner of soi 4 and sukhumvit rd, just to the right of the gas station...many convenience stores have atms as well...some work with american cards some not....look for the cirrus, visa, etc logo on it...many banks have atms outside also...
at banks you go to the exchange (cambio) window to exchange money... i never go to banks, but there may be a service charge....money changers rarely have a service charge...the rate of exchange varies slightly from one place to another, but it is so small that you do not need to worry about it...hotels on the other hand give a fairly substantially lower rate as you would expect...
the last time i changed trav. cks at the local bank---$300 worth...i saved about $25 over what i would have received from the marriott hotel on whose property the bank was located...

this last trip i took no trav checks and had no problem with atms..

ONE CAUTION....MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CARD OR DO NOT RELY ON ATMS TOTALLY....i had my card swallowed at one atm on a sunday...i got it back a few days later, but thank god i had another card from another bank to use...my wife also had her cards which we used....you can use many, but not all cards as debit cards in thailand as well....one of my banks prohibits debit usage in thailand and some other 3rd world countries so check that out before you go with your bank...while i cannot use that card as a debit card, it can be used for atm transactions...go figure....

a least one or two currency exchange places are open at mid-night outside of the customs hall...there are usually lines so it is a good time to use an atm...plus i can tell you that you are going to be so tired after that trans pacific flight that you won't want to wait for anything...you will need some cash for tips and taxi, etc immediately i should think...

as i said i usually change about $300 at a time, so i am not going to the atm all the time...you may have a per transaction fee from your bank as well...no atms in thailand, that i saw, charge a service charge...

credit cards are widely accepted in thailand in most places...not most street vendors and not some shops, but hotels, restaurants and most shops take cards as do grocery stores---grocery stores also have atm and take debit cards ...grocery stores are usually in the basement of buildings, by the way...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 06:16 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 190
Another suggestion:

MasterCard and American Express (I think) have the "prepaid cards".

MasterCard you can buy any amount up to $2500 for $3.50 (at my bank "Key Bank") Use just like credit card, good at ATM. (I would check with bank to assure they are useable in Thailand.)

Good to buy several in $300 to $500 amounts...Take only one at a time, leave others in the hotel safe (or safe in your room).

Of course, there are pros and cons of using this type card. Just passing on an idea.
circa2 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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not a bad idea...prepaid cards..
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:43 AM
  #5  
 
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If you would like to see a list of American Express ATM's in any country
(where you can use the pre-paid card the previous posters spoke about)
go to americanexpress.com/expresscash
dperry is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 04:16 AM
  #6  
 
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There are one or two currency exchange counters in the main arrivals hall at the airport, after you exit with your bags from customs, go left and the counters are along the left wall. In my epxerience, they are always open as long as there are flights arriving.

You will probably get a slighly better rate at a bank, but if you arrive with no cash, it is worth exchaning a small amount at the airport to pay for a taxi, etc and some walking around money until you find a bank. You can probably also get Thai Baht at most airport exchange counters in the US and at larger US banks, albeit at not the best rate, but for the convenience of getting a small amount of money before you leave, it is probably worth it.
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 06:01 AM
  #7  
 
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The exchange rates at the exchange counters in the Bangkok airport are very close to the bank exchange rates in Thailand. The exchange counter rates for Baht at the international airports in the US are simply terrible. Wait until you get to Thailand.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 06:42 AM
  #8  
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Thanks everyone for all your helpful advice
skapadz is offline  
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