Where is the Best Place to Change Money?

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October 4, 2012 By Thaizer

It’s understandable that some visitors to Thailand want the convenience of having Thai Baht in their possession when they first arrive in the country, but if you want to get the best exchange rate you should wait until you arrive in Thailand. Changing money in Thailand is a straight-forward process, but there are a few things you need to be aware of if you want to get the best available rate.

Changing money at Bangkok airport

It’s easy and convenient to change money at Bangkok airport. There are numerous exchange booths, but these are mainly operated by TMB (Thai Military Bank) and SCB (Siam Commercial Bank) and rates here aren’t usually as good as you will get at their branches elsewhere in Bangkok. It’s not a big deal if you are just changing over relatively small amounts of money that you require immediately for taxis, food or accommodation, but if you are changing a large amount you will save money by waiting until you get into downtown Bangkok where you can compare rates at different branches. If you do change money at Bangkok airport and want to get the best rate, you will need to head down to the basement level and find the Kasikorn Bank booth which is located opposite the food court by the entrance to the airport train link. Unlike the TMB and SCB exchange booths which are open 24-hours a day, the Kasikorn counter is open 07.00 to 23.00.

Which bank in Thailand provides the best exchange rate?

Exchange rates can vary so you will have to do your own comparisons when in Thailand, but generally speaking branches of Kasikorn Bank and Bangkok Bank tend to offer competitive rates. Independent money-changers such as Super Rich (cash only no traveller’s cheques) usually provide better rates than those offered by any bank, but there are fewer of these outlets around and you will need to factor in convenience and the cost of getting to the Super Rich outlet. If you have large transactions or are close to one of their outlets, then Super Rich or other similar Forex exchanges are a good option.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)

ATMs are common in Thailand particularly in the main towns, cities and resorts. There are some exceptions on small islands (no ATMs on Ko Lipe for instance), but for most destinations you should have no trouble in finding one. Most (but not all) ATMs in Thailand will accept foreign cards. Just look for the VISA/Mastercard/Cirrus signs on the machines. Instructions are available in English when you insert your card. Just as you would in your home country, be sensible when you are withdrawing money and be aware of who is around you. To be extra cautious, use ATMs in shopping malls or within banks rather than those on the streets. Since April 2009 Thai banks impose a 150 Baht ATM withdrawal fee for foreign cards. One exception at the time of writing is AEON Bank ATMs(see below). Please note the 150 Baht fee is separate to any fees your own card issuer will charge to use your card abroad. Check in advance with your bank or card issuer the fees you will be charged for using your card abroad. Maximum withdrawal may depend on agreements you have with your bank in your home country otherwise Thai ATMs are usually restricted to a maximum withdrawal of 20,000 Baht in any one transaction (i.e. 20 x 1,000 Baht notes).

Much more info here: http://www.thaizer.com/money/where-is-the-best-place-to-change-money-in-thailand/

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