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Credit card payments

Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
125 posts
22 reviews
Credit card payments

The stories on a recent tripadvisor thread are making me rethink the way we will pay for things in Thailand. Usually on vacation I use my credit card to pay for most things, but it appears I should find an alternative for Thailand due to the amount of credit card fraud - some people even suspect that staff at reputable hotels and the airport duty free shop may be the guilty parties. I’m also concerned about skimming at ATM’s. I think I will be buying prepaid visa cards to buy things and obtain cash from ATM’s. We have prepaid Le Meridien through expedia and the hotel at Koh Lanta already has my credit card number to secure the reservation, but I may still pay for that with a prepaid visa card when I am there.

Has anyone ever used a prepaid visa card at hotel check in when they ask for a credit card imprint as security in case of any unpaid items and if so, what balance it would need (what sort of balance do they check authorization for)? I'll try contacting the hotels, but if anyone has any real life experience that would be helpful.

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
135 posts
86 reviews
1. Re: Credit card payments

Hi Britcanuck

Tend to take a mixture of cash and travelers cheques but use card to withdraw extra cash at ATM 's and use credit card to pay Hotel bills and large purchases as it gives insurance. My wife does like her jewelery!

Always advise card company of destination and duration and double check card statements for several months after return.

We payed our bill at Le Meridian by card and have had no dodgy transactions on it.

Prepaid cards are becoming more popular and seem to be getting positive reports and I will consider in the future. Most hotels including Le Meridian seem happy with just an imprint and do not pre authorize a specific amount.

It is always a difficult decision and its a balance of conveinience against risk and cost.

Incidently reports on Bangkok forum that exchange rates at the moment are not quite as good but hopefully this is temporary as ther is no real reason.



Level Contributor
2,979 posts
2. Re: Credit card payments

I tend to pay for everything with cash.

Just my personal opinion, but really you are much safer here than in most of the world and shouldn't worry too much about carrying some cash around with you.

If you are staying at reputable resorts/hotels (your biggest expense here) - then credit cards should be okay. Same thing if you are using a reputable international car rental company.

I have, in the past, refused to give a credit card imprint - and offered to leave a small amount of cash as my deposit - and have had that accepted. Often as little as US$50 will do it.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
3. Re: Credit card payments

Agree entirely with Pete (even about the wife liking the jewlry!)

Used the ATM for cash and only used my CC at Le Meridien to pay for hotel charges without any problem. The only other time I tried to use it was on the way back from Phuket in the hire car when I filled up with gas and realised, having spent up in Otop in Patong, that my next cash reserves were in the hotel safe. The look of amazement on the petrol attenant's face as I proferred my credit card was a joy to behold! "Crazy farang!" or words to that effect. Fortunately a whip round in the car with fellow passengers saved a potentially very embarassing situation! LOL

We used Kuala Lumpur as our "shopover" and used the CC several times there without incident. Testing Bangkok's shopping malls in April, I too am taking notices of the posts on the BKK thread and "cash will be king" there too.

Level Contributor
2,979 posts
4. Re: Credit card payments


Funny - we have had exactly the opposite experiences. I have had my credit cards "cloned" twice in Kuala Lumpur - never in Thailand!

And both times in KL at the airport of all places.

Just goes to show, best be be careful everywhere.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
395 posts
44 reviews
5. Re: Credit card payments

You'll be alright putting the hotel on credit card especially if you don't stay anywhere too dodgy. However with shopping and all that you will get a better price if you bargain right and use cash.

Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
125 posts
22 reviews
6. Re: Credit card payments

Thanks for the tips guys. I have notified my cc company of our travel dates and have given them a contact name in Canada who has my itinerary in case they need to get hold of me and question anything. I also applied for and received a new cc for which I’m going to request a low limit, so that this can be used for emergency funds. I like the idea of prepaid cards for use at ATM’s. For the hotels I may use my main cc – a review at the hotel in Koh Lanta states they have retained 70 of the original 100 staff from when they opened 2 years ago and so it sounds fairly safe – management also seem to be fairly hands on and involved (plus they already have my cc number from the reservation). I regularly reconcile the cc balance to receipts – so would quickly detect any unexpected charges (although that doesn’t prevent the hassle of having to fix the problems).

Good point about the purchase insurance associated with using the cc, although the one time I tried to use that to recover charges for a hotel room in the US that I cancelled I ended up paying the charges despite initially being told by visa that I wouldn’t have to pay anything. I cancelled the reservation upon arrival at the hotel because it was so dodgy looking and I was traveling alone. I wasn’t informed about any cancellation policy at the time but afterwards the hotel claimed they have a 7 day cancellation policy! I was told by the bank/visa that they don’t guarantee services, only products – despite their logo of something about shopping with peace of mind! After that I switched banks, although my current visa card may be no better.

Yikes! about the exchange rate – our hotel in Koh Lanta is priced in Baht not USD – that’s just significantly increased the budgeted cost of our vacation since the last fx rate I used a few weeks ago.

7. Re: Credit card payments

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