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currency exchange

san francisco
Level Contributor
41 posts
currency exchange

I keep reading that using ATMs in Thailand is the best way to get money exchanged. I don't know how this could be. My bank will charge $5 per transaction. Then of course you get the 'international transaction fee' (4% per transaction) and the 150 baht fee from the owner of the ATM. Isn't it better to use the FOREX booths and am I correct in understanding that they don't charge a fee?


P.S. Please don't tell me that this has been discussed already and I should have looked a little harder for the info. I don't have time to search through 199 pages of forum topics, but I have done some research.

Hell, Norway
Level Contributor
13,182 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: currency exchange

FAQS on the top right - Currency Options. ATMs are good for some, not for others, depending on the charges you have to pay. Changing cash is free in the banks and forex booths but carrying large amounts of cash is not always safe. Travellers Cheques in high denominations are a cheap alternative as the exchange charge is 33 baht irrespective of the face value.

Silicon Valley
Level Contributor
199 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: currency exchange

I bank at a credit union, so there is no $5 per transaction fee, and if I use machines matching one of my non-Visa network symbols, there is no currency conversion fee. If you do not have these options, then ATMs will be expensive for you.

Regarding foreign exchange booths or local banks, I have only ever changed money (actually traveler's checks) at the airport. They levy a small charge (commission) per check, but the rate is better than cash. There is no commission for cash, but the rate isn't as good. I assume it is similar elsewhere in Thailand.

ATM cards are for people who prefer not to carry loads of cash. If you don't mind, then go for it.

san francisco
Level Contributor
41 posts
3. Re: currency exchange

Thanks for the info, J. And thanks for being nice about it. :)

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
Level Contributor
10,436 posts
59 reviews
4. Re: currency exchange

Hi elly,

We use a debit card - this card has direct access to our savings account. Believe it or not - we pay no fees what so ever (except the 150B ATM fee).

You need to talk to your bank and work out the best way to withdraw cash overseas.

Yes - you can bring currency and just change it.

Many banks now offer debit cards with way lower fees - or they offer an international cash card. These have a VISA or (other) symbol on the card and are intended for use for your specific trip.

I think you'll get more answers by talking to your own bank and seeing what they can offer you.


Edited: 23 July 2010, 14:38
san francisco
Level Contributor
41 posts
5. Re: currency exchange

Good idea, Caroline. Thank you, I'll check it out.

6. Re: currency exchange

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