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Travellers Cheques or ATM?

wales
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Travellers Cheques or ATM?

Hi there.

We are coming to Khao Lak in March from the UK.

I was just about to order some traveller cheques when I read a post from 2014 stating that ATM withdrawal charges are much the same as exchanging traveller cheques.

My husband has spoken to his bank today who strongly advised against T/Cs.

Can you possibly advise me which is better and how easy is it to find a bank that will exchange T/Cs.

Would greatly appreciate any advise.

Thanks

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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1. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

In terms of cost, each TC cashed costs 153 baht, so the larger the denomination the better. Only obtain American Express TCs. Each withdrawal from an ATM costs 180 baht plus your bank's charges. The largest TC is usually £100 which is approx. 5000 baht and would cost 153 baht to exchange whereas you can draw upto 15,000 or 20,000 baht at a time depending on the limit of your and the Thai bank. So you can draw potentially up to 4 x the amount of a TC for 180 baht plus your bank charges. So TCs are safe but not as cost effective anymore.

In terms of cashing TCs there are certainly reports of them being refused by Thai banks in different holiday locations. Whilst I'm not aware of any such reports in Khao Lak it is a risk perhaps best avoided.

Because of cost of ATMs the most frequently given advice is bring a mixture of cash (best rate and keep in your room or hotel safe until you need to exchange) and debit card for use at ATMs (most convenient).

If you do on line banking you may consider a Halifax Clarity Credit Card (Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis top recommendation). You still pay 180 baht per withdrawal but no charges on the card. Interest as with all cash withdrawals from Day 1 but if you pay off asap on line and all withdrawals before settlement date the interest is not significant. So more cost effective than a debit card.

Hope this helps.

However, since maximum TC is

wales
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2. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

WOW. That is so helpull. Thank you very much!

los alcazares
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3. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

Hi

I got 200 pound denominations from Barclays in the UK, if you bank with them they don't charge commission for buying them. I am travelling to Khao Lak next week, so will try to use my Travellers Cheques, in Bang La On. I will update the Forum as to what happens. I am taking cash as well just in case. I wouldn't bother with Travellers Cheques in future.

It seems Travellers Cheques are a thing of the past, I went to my Bank in Spain yesterday, when asking for cash without damage or writing, she asked what I wanted it for, I explained about, the Travellers Cheques situation she said they don't take them anymore.

I had a problem in Bangkok a few years ago, with cash, they refused to take notes that were damaged and had writing on them. So make sure you get Notes that are clean and not damaged.

UK
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4. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

we usually take as much cash as we feel comfortable carrying, to thailand. Sometimes a bank will refuse to take notes that are not 'perfect'. so we just go along to the next bank with the rejected notes and they are usually accepted. Have never been unable to exchange all of our british money (even if not at the first attempt!)

los alcazares
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5. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

I just assumed if one bank refused, then they would all do the same. I will try a few banks with my Travellers Cheques if I get refused at one

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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6. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

O've found the Siam Commercial Bank, near Smile Restaurant and the Bangkok Bank just up from the Kasikorn Bank most amenable to customers and Kasikorn the least, even though I have an account there!

los alcazares
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7. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

Arandora

Thanks for the bank info. I will give it a try and see how I get on.

lincoln, UK
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8. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

That's really interesting about the Halifax card. We usually now only bring cash but I might look into this...we are a month off coming so still have time.

Just out of interest, are Credit cards happily taken in restaurants and on trips or do people prefer cash?

lincoln, UK
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9. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

sorry, couldn't edit in time - think the Halifax card is definitely the way to go - far safer than cash - can I ask - is it possible to"pre-load" the card with sterling before we go? So, in a way, I'm not starting from zero

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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10. Re: Travellers Cheques or ATM?

Khao Lak is very much a cash economy with few local restaurants and shops accepting card payments. Some tour agents now do for tours but usually at a charge. Most resorts accept cards.

The Clarity card is not a pre-load able card and it is against the T&Cs to do that on ordinary credit cards. Check the ones for the Clarity card or contact the Halifax to confirm.

Edited: 23 February 2015, 03:17
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