With most international ATM cards, you can withdraw money from all major banks in Thailand, at some costs, depending on your own bank and the Thai bank.
To save costs, you can witdraw a larger amount per each time. Most bank ATMs typically allow for a maximum withdrawal of THB 20,000, however some (in particular Bangkok Bank or Krungsri) allow for THB 25,000 or THB 30,000 withdrawal per each time. So that saves you on fees per money withdrawn.
Another important thing to pay attention to when withdrawing money by ATM from your foreign bank account is the exchange rate use for conversion.
In general, it is better not to accept the proposed exchange rate (I) by the Thai bank but rather to choose the other option (II) offered, which is the exchange rate of the day.
Typically, the ATM machine will show a message stating: your THB xxx will be converted from USD xxx (or in the currency from the bank account of your card). Normally, this rate is not very beneficial and the second rate (the official rate of the day, which you cannot see at that time!) is a few percentage points better for you.
Many foreigners choose to accept the proposed rate by the bank because what you see is what you get, the second rate is unknown.
If you choose the first rate (I) you could be about 3-5% better off.
Finally, never use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM because that will cost you a few percentage points more.
Thai ATMs first issue the money before returning the ATM pass. The risk of this sequence is that you walk away after taking the money and forget to take back your ATM pass. You won't be the first person to forget this, this happens to both foreigners and Thai, probably on a daily basis. After you have taken the money (and have left) the machine ask if you want to continue with another transaction. If you're not there to answer but someone else is, this person is able to empty your complete bank account.
Another way to get Thai baht is to exchange your foreign currency in cash at a bank or an exchange office.
The exchange rates you get at the major banks are similar and are typically a bit less good than those at specific exchange offices.
The best exchange rates in Chiang Mai you can get at S.K. Money exchange and Super Rich.
Banking in Thailand
If you stay in Thailand longer than a few months, it is easier and cheaper to work with a local bank account.
Official rules and regulations that allow a foreigner to open a bank account differ amongst banks, often a work permit or a non-immigrant (retirement) visa is required, but in the end like everything in Thailand, it doesn't really matter what the rules are, it matters who enforces the rules and so you may be rejected in one branch and be accepted in another (even within the same bank).
Your best chances to open a bank account in a certain branch are when:
ad 1. Banks and branches in Chiang Mai known to be easier on foreigners are: Bangkok Bank in Central Kad Suan Kaew and Kasikorn Bank on Moon Muang.
ad 2. If you don't have a work permit, it may be useful to show a recommendation letter by your Embassy, your house book registration (if you have any), a Thai driving license, or a marriage certificate with a Thai spouse.
If you're American, it's more difficult to open a bank account, due to requirements from the American side.
Simple strategy: if you get rejected in one bank / branch, simply try another until eventually you will get approved somewhere. Although there are general rules, every application is evaluated by a manager on a case-to-case basis.
The overabundance of ATM machines in Thailand seems an advantage to customers
but it is actually a sign of total inefficiency
Especially Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank are preferred by many foreigners.
Bangkok Bank because it has a large international network and you can send money at very low costs from the USA to Thailand, using a special service in their New York branch.
This is also a great tool if you get income through Paypal in the US, it will get your money here at the lowest costs possible.
Bangkok Bank has staff trained to deal with foreigners and is more focused on foreigners. You can also easily open a FCY (foreign currency) account here in USD or EUR. Finally, Bangkok Bank has a very attractive accident insurance.
SCB is probably Thailand's best bank, with professional services and more advanced than other banks, however it it not always easy to open a bank account here.
Other major Thai banks are: Krung Thai Bank, Krungsri, Thanachart Bank, TMB Bank and CIMB Thai.
You can also consider an international bank such as Standard Chartered or IBCC.
You can apply for a credit card in Thailand with all major banks. Conditions differ, often you need a minimum of THB 200,000 or so in your savings account (tied up). In other cases, you can apply for a credit card that officially charges if you spend less than a minimum amount per year (say about THB 200,000 or so), but after you call the call center these fees can often be waived, so practically it can be free.
Some companies, such as HomePro and AirAsia, also have promotions that offer you a credit card.
The advantage of using a Thai credit card compared to using a foreign credict card is obviously that there are no exchange rate charges. In addition, many bigger shops have ongoing promotional offers with creditcards, so that you will get some discounts or money back when you pay with a specific credit card.
Banking in Thailand is in fact very inefficient. Banks don't cooperate and every bank has it's own system.
Thai banks are rather old-fashioned and inefficient in their operations and not as up-to-date as international banks, so expect some surprises when you deal with banks in Thailand. Things may take longer than you expect, or you need a ton of signatures.
On the positive side, there are nearly no main streets in Chiang Mai without an ATM machine, and often in front of malls or main shops you'll find several ATMs right next to each other. Though convenient for you as a customer, this is actually is a clear sign of inefficiency between the banks, and will simply be paid by all customers in higher bank fees.
Thai bank accounts still work with bank books that you put in a machine to update the balance. If you don't update it regularly and there are more than about 15 or 20 transactions pending, all the transactions that are above the maximum number that the system can store will be added in one single line, so you won't be able to see the individual transactions above a certain number (say number 16, 17 etc.).
It's advisable to keep the bank books in a plastic folder so as to protect the barcode strip, else you may get barcode reading errors sometimes.
Banking in Thailand still happens with bank books. Keep them in a plastic folder to protect the barcode strip.
Also, due to privacy laws in Thailand, you cannot see the account number of the sender, so when someone sends you money through your bank account, you cannot verify the source. The sender will have to inform you rightaway that exactly so and so much was sent, to identify the payment.
Some Thai businesses therefore add 01 or 02 satang to the balance to be transferred, so as to more easily identify the payment.
All this makes doing business in Thailand much more inefficient, but as a long-term resident or tourist it should be okay.
|Mark Posted on September 03, 2015 at 17:40:27|
Dose it work to transfer to Thai bank if my paypal account is not Thai account? My paypal is signed up in UK and has UK address.
|Simon G Posted on September 03, 2015 at 13:08:45|
Never ever convert foreign currency into Thai baht before sending it here. You'll loose about 10% on the normal rate!
|Katie Posted on August 29, 2015 at 07:23:06|
Very useful information. Thank you!
|Darrin F Posted on August 29, 2015 at 07:00:16|
Banking in Thailand is hopelessly outdated. They lost my cheque and couldn't find it for weeks. Finally they had to ask the sender to send a new one
|Lost love spells caster / psychic healer +27737053600|
World’s no.1 female lost love spells caster Mama Shamie +2
|African traditional healer with black magic +27737053600 lost love spells caster|
Lost Love Spells Caster /Spells Caster In Johannesburg,Canad
|Chiang Mai Toastmasters Club|
Speak English, Build confidence, Conquer your fear, Master t
|Chiang Mai Social Group Of Friends|
Do you want to meet up with fellow peers in Chiang Mai? Are
Mahasiddha Yoga (tantrayogathailand.com) - Just north of the
Free of costs language exchange between farang and Thai
|Couchsurfing Chiang Mai|
Weekly meet up with local Thai and Couchsurfers, long stayer
|Chiang Mai Fencing Club|
Dedicated to the sport of Fencing, playing Foil, Epee, and S
|Latin Tunes @Meridien|
Salsa lovers gather at the Meridien, salsa in style, every l
Salsa dance lovers swing it out on Thursday at Sahara, Nimma
Regular outings for bird lovers
|Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transsexual group (LGBT)|
Our LGBT group aims to allow friendships between both Thai a
|Monday Jam night @ Boy Blues Bar|
Every Monday night is Jam night at Boy Blues Bar Bar. Many f
|First Northern Thailand Toastmasters Club The Confidence Builders|
Meets the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month at 6pm. 053-21
Saturday mornings 10 am. Contact Ruth at 085-615-1413
|Hash House Harriers: CSH3 (Saturday mixed Hash)|
Mixed family hash runs every Saturday. Pick up point is The
Support group open to those affected by alcoholism in a rela
|OA (Overeaters Anonymous)|
Every Saturday from 4-5 p.m. Please ask the guards or nurses
Every Saturday night screening at 07.00 pm (Free Admission!)
|Expat Club |
General Meetings on the 4th Saturday of the month, except De
|Open night @ Sangdee|
All are welcome to perform. Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 from 8 PM
|Meditate with the Green Papaya Sangha|
In the tradition of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. T
Every Friday at 9pm at participating bars in a home and away
|Chiang Mai Expats Club Coffee Morning|
Coffee meetings are on 1st and 3rd Friday of each month Frid
|Alliance Francaise Films|
Alliance Francaise Films: Every Friday at 8 PM
|Trinity Baptist Church|
Meeting for old-time worship and fellowship with Dr. Jack L.
|Traditional 2nd hand market|
A Traditional 2nd hand market - Every Saturday morning from
|Big Day Out|
1st Sunday of every month. Live music and BBQ, 080 1222561
|New Beginnings group of Alcoholics Anonymous|
Open meetings at 10:00am on Sundays.
|International Group of Alcoholics Anonymous|
Chiang Mai International Group of AA meets every morning at
|Classic Cars of Lanna|
Meets the last Sunday of every month
Every Sunday 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm We have bats and gloves… ju
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. Info: 084-485-0100, chi
Salsa dance lovers swing it out on Tuesday at Coffee Monster
|“Informal” Expats Ladies Lunch|
“Informal” Expats Ladies Lunch: The lunch buffet at the
|“Formal” Expats Ladies Lunch|
“Formal” Expats Ladies Lunch: First Thursday of every mo
Nicotine Anonymous: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 1 p.m., 086-19
|Quiz Night @ Garden Bar Lotus Hotel|
Quiz Night at the Garden Bar Lotus Hotel Chang Puak. Teams o
|Chiang Mai Photographic Group|
Chiang Mai Photographic Group: meets every other Wednesday a
|Open Microphone Night|
Open Mike Night at the UN Irish Pub every Wednesday, from 8.
Co-dependants Anonymous: Support group for those having prob
|Friends of Bill|
Friends of Bill meeting (General 12 Step meeting, all addict
|Swiss Lanna Society|
Swiss Lanna Society weekly informal gatherings, 6:30 p.m. ev
|Royal British Legion|
Royal British Legion meeting has moved to Basic Line Hotel S
Badminton group meets every Tuesday from 2-4 PM at the Munic
Judo group meets at the MMA club near the Railways station o
CM Money Club meets last Thursday of every month. Info: Don
The Chiang Mai Computer Club meets every Tuesday. It is open
|Chiang Mai International Rotary Club|
The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays a
|On-location Sketching Group|
On-location sketching group: Monday mornings from 8:00-10:30
Karatedo Federation Wado-kaj organises free Karate practise
|Tai Chi - Chi Kung|
Every Monday and Wednesday 8am at Suan Buak Hat Public Park
|Women's Book Club|
CM's International Women's Book Club meets every last Monday
The Gentleman's Club for real gentlemen and males approachin
|Back to Basics Group of AA|
Back to Basics Group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets Monday to
|Hash House Harriers CH3 (male only)|
Male runs every alternate week on Mon/Tue. Pick up from The
|Jam night @ Boy Blues Bar|
Swinging music with live jam, every Monday from 9pm
|Ball hockey by CM Highlanders|
CM Highlanders plays ball hockey every Monday.
|CM Travel Club|
Chiang Mai Travel Club gathers at Sangdee every 2nd Monday o
|Upstairs at Sangdee|
Performing artists every Monday at Sangdee. For those intere
|Hash House Harriers CSH3|
Mixed family hash runs every Saturday. Pick up point is the
|Sri Sathya Sai Baba Group|
Study and discussion group for CM devotees of spiritual mast
|Gay and Lesbian Club|
|Readers & Book discussion group|
Monthly over lunch to discuss a previously agreed book, cmre
|Dining Out Group|
Once a fortnight, alternating between Asian and Western food
Though there isn't a proper racquet ball court in Chiang Mai
|Circle of Light|
The Circle of Light Group is a reading & discussion group fo
|Chiang Mai Beach Volleyball Club|
Welcome to CMBVC! We are one of Chiang Mai's most active spo
|Urban Sketchers Chiang Mai|
Urban Sketchers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rai
Maum meditation is throwing away the false mind,and is Chan
|New Life Foundation Thailand|
New Life Thai Foundation is a unique international, mindfuln
|WED ZOUK BAREFOOT at Birds Nest Cafe|
We would like to invite you all for our regular zouk meet up
|Tons of Time!|
Weight being a problem for us all these days, but truly bein
|Tai Chi Chuan|
Tai Chi Chuan step by step.. Daily weekday classes every
|Yin Yoga with Claudio|
Price: 200B - Contact Claudio: 0847 744705
This movement meditation practice is for anyone that is insp
|Esoteric Integral Yoga|
The Esoteric Integral Yoga course is an in-depth course prov
Football Chiang Mai - Football fan in Chiang Mai
|Chiangmai AutoCAD Training|
AutoCAD for Engineering and Architecture drawing training
|Documentary Arts Asia Monday & Thursday Showings|
The Documentary Arts Asia Theater has regular screenings of
|Income Tax discussion|
How to legally claim tax rebate as a foreigner working in Th
|Chiang Mai Backgammon|
Anyone interested in forming a group?
|Tantra Yoga Community|
A unique course about the extraordinary spiritual adventure
|Chiang Mai Improv Theatre|
We are all about PLAY! Come and regress to being 5 years old
A laughter yoga class and circle at the Yoga Tree Chiang Mai
Think you're funny? We're looking for people who'd like to
|Chiang Mai Jugglers and Prop Enthusiasts|
Wanna meet and play with other Prop Manipulation geeks? Lear
|Chiang Mai Chess Club|
Welcome to Chiang Mai Chess Club
|Squash Players Chiang Mai|
There are 2 main groups of squash players in Chiang Mai.
There are a few groups in Chiang Mai that gather for salsa,
|Writers without Borders|
If you're an expat in Chiang Mai, Thailand, or, more specifi
An exploration of dance and movment, the BIODANZA way, of ho
|Green Papaya Sangha|
Meditation in the tradition of Vietnamese Zen Monk Thich Nha
|Bridge Chiang Mai|
Welcome to Bridge Club of Chiang Mai