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Cash and ATMs in Thailand: Fees, limits, currency exchange, cards info for your travel

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Thailand entices visitors with its diverse cultural traditions, fascinating history, and breath-taking natural scenery; it is famous for its lavish royal palaces, old ruins, intricate temples decorated with Buddha images, and lively street life. Thailand offers a wide variety of experiences, from the lively markets and nightlife of Bangkok to the peaceful beaches of Phuket and the verdant jungles of Chiang Mai. To have a smooth trip, you must be familiar with the local cash and ATMs in Thailand, and the accepted payment options. Embrace the welcoming Thai people, savour their delectable cuisine, and discover the Land of Smiles with the help of this comprehensive book.

Can I just use my card in Thailand, or do I also need cash?

Although more and more people are using cards, particularly in cities, many still prefer to get cash. Urban locations tend to have more widespread acceptance of cards, whereas rural areas tend to prefer cash. Majority of the tourists (around 60–70%) utilise cash, particularly for minor purchases.

Where can I use cash?
Some museums, temples, and historical sites require cash for entry
Many tour companies, particularly those on a smaller or more regional scale
Fairs and marketplaces in the area
Tips
Mobile food vendors
Regional trains (note that not all ticket machines accept cards).
Numerous motels and hostels
Cuisine prepared by neighbourhood eateries, particularly in less travelled regions
Pedestrians and small vehicles
Mass transportation vehicles
Modest buys
Window shopping

Where can I use card?
Admission to popular landmarks and amusement parks in high-traffic regions.
Spas in popular tourist spots
Elegant sit-down eateries in popular tourist spots
Apps that let you book prepaid taxis (like Grab)
Trips, flights, and hotels may all be reserved online.
Coffee cafes in popular tourist regions that look good
Buying at branded businesses and malls in big cities
Expensive motels
Rental car agencies
Servicing large cities with tailors
Pricey tour companies

So, which currency does Thailand take? Would the US dollar, Euro, or British pound work in Thailand?

“Thai Baht, or ฿ is Thailand’s main and accepted currency. Money can be withdrawn or purchased in amounts of ฿ 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000.

Using USD or EUR is not widespread, but it is possible at some establishments. You should pay in Baht unless you enjoy losing a tonne of money!

Where can I find Thai baht, the national currency?

You can get your hands on the cash in Thailand in 4 primary ways. These are:

ATMs
Currency exchanges
Occasionally, stores selling gold
Money transfer and local pick-up

Where can I locate ATMs in Thailand?

In Thailand, you can find more than 60,000 ATMs. The top 8+ commercial and specialised banks that run these include both domestic and international institutions. If you need cash in Thailand, you’ll find plenty of ATMs in the larger cities and maybe even a couple in the smaller villages. Be prepared to be disappointed if you’re planning to visit remote islands.

ATMs are available at
Important airports
Central plazas and markets
Main thoroughfares of all big cities
Commuter shopping centres
Food routes
Financial institution branches
A few office buildings

You may have trouble locating ATMs in the following locations:
Airports on smaller islands
Bus stations serving various regions
Lots of the islands
Outside of main thoroughfares in smaller towns
Places of worship
Remote resorts and retreats.

What are the best places to find currency exchanges in Thailand?

Exchange offices: Any tourist hotspot worth its salt will have an authorised currency exchange centre. Verify whether they want any paperwork by asking to see their authorization certificate. Loi Kroh Road, the Iron Bridge, the Night Bazaar region of Chiang Mai, and Pattaya’s main street are all great places to find them, as are Bangkok’s Khao San Road, shopping malls, and Skytrain stations. Notable names in the exchange industry include SuperRich and TT Exchange.
Banks: If you want to convert your currency to Baht from another currency, such as the US dollar, Euro, British pounds, Japanese yen, Indian rupees, or Singapore dollars, you may do it easily at any bank branch. The commission you might anticipate is between 0.5% and 2% for every transaction.
Hotels & Airports: Many hotels, both big and small, as well as airports, offer currency exchange services. However, the currency rates are not favourable.
Gold shops: While not as common as in other Asian countries, you can find certain gold shops in Thailand that also offer currency conversion. You should check the rates first; doing so can get you a better deal. Before finalising the purchase, double-check the notes.

Advice from regular travellers:
Stay away from airport exchanges – Poor rates
Avoid the black market – Be wary of being conned.
Get fresh notes – If your notes are damaged or unclean, you should expect to pay more or less.

Can I get my money changed or use an ATM at any time in Thailand?

ATMs – In most cases, yes, they are open around the clock, every day of the year 24×7. You should have no trouble getting to any of them at any hour of the day or night because many of them are self-contained ATMs.
Not all currency exchangers are open at all times. With the exception of airports, their normal business hours are 9 am to 9 pm. The best time to exchange currencies in Thailand is any time before sunset, so plan accordingly if you need cash.

Can I use my debit or card from outside of Thailand at an ATM? At currency exchanges?

Of course! Foreign cards are welcomed by ATMs in Thailand.
Most legitimate currency exchanges also take major debit and cards. But usually there are hefty costs associated with this. Therefore, you should probably just trade it for cash.

What types of cards does Thailand accept?

Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, JCB, and UnionPay are the most commonly accepted payment methods at ATMs in Thailand. Don’t expect a lot of them to accept Amex or Diners or Discover or Rupay or Maestro cards.
Swipe with Visa and Mastercard easily. You should probably have one of each kind on hand, since some machines are accept only 1 type of card. There can be very few establishments that accept American Express.
When exchanging currencies, it is best to use actual cash, particularly in gold shops. Many places take Visa or Mastercard. You should know that there will be fees associated with using your card at currency exchanges.
Also read: Card doesn’t work at ATM abroad and what to do?

When compared to ATMs in other countries, how are the ones in Thailand?

Nearly all ATMs in Thailand are state-of-the-art that are similar to those in other leading countries in Europe, US, UK, India and China – both in design and functionality. After using these ATMs to withdraw cash, be sure to take your card with you because some of them fully insert it during the transaction.

Banks in Thailand that offer ATMs?

Among Thai ATMs, the most common ones are:

Bangkok Bank
Krungsri
Krungthai Bank
Siam Commercial Bank
Kasikorn Bank

Thailand is home to automated teller machines (ATMs) from several foreign banks, including:

HSBC
Standard Chartered

Note: No Global ATM Alliance or All Points Network banks exist in Thailand so do not rely on this.

Can you tell me the Thai name for ATMs?

Just so you’re prepared, most ATMs in Thailand either carry the name of the bank on them or use the word “ATM” interchangeably.

Thai ATMs and PIN formats

Most ATMs in Thailand only accept PINs that are four digits long. A 4-digit PIN is considered typical, though certain ATMs may allow longer ones.

In addition, many stores still employ antiquated technology that can’t process modern chip-and-pin cards without also reading the magnetic stripe. So be prepared.

Thai ATM languages and currency exchanges

There are two default language options for ATMs in Thailand: English and Thai. Chinese and Japanese may be available on occasion.

Not to worry if you can’t understand these languages. Get real-time translations by using Google Translate’s camera feature. Please take your time and not rush through the transaction because these translations are not always 100% accurate.

To get your cash in Thailand at a currency exchange, you can use the 2-4 languages mentioned above too.

Thai ATM fees and withdrawal limitations

The usual limit for withdrawals from ATMs is between ฿20,000 and ฿30,000 per transaction.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a fee-free ATM in Thailand, although you can find one with cheaper rates than others. For Visa and Mastercard, the ATM fee might be anywhere from ฿150 to ฿220 baht. It might range from ฿50 to ฿150 for Amex, JCB cards.

Read: ATM Fees Abroad: All charges detailed

Use ATM Fee Saver to locate free ATMs, currency exchanges, and money transfers in Thailand

Using the ATM Fee Saver app or website, you may find fee-free ATMs in Thailand and learn about currency exchange and money transfer options. You may see the restrictions and fees for foreign cardholders using ATMs in Thailand right here in this app. Additionally, it comes with a calculator that may help you figure out your withdrawal fees precisely. With data for fifty countries, including Thailand, the app also shows you the way to the ATM of your choice.

The best strategies to avoid paying exorbitant fees at ATMs in Thailand and currency exchangers

Use ATMs that charge lower fees than others – using the ATM Fee Saver app, or,
Use ATMs that have higher withdrawal limits
During ATM transactions, choose Decline Conversion or Without Conversion.
Look into get cards from home that do not charge you any fees
Do not deal with a no-fee exchange office in Thailand — If they don’t mention a fee, it implies that they factor it into the exchange rate. In currency exchanges, nothing is ever given for free.
Do not make exchange purchases using a credit or debit card.
If you want to get the best exchange rate when you buy Baht in Thailand, don’t do it in your home country, do it when you are already in Thailand
Return home with only a small amount of Baht. Selling it at your local currency exchange back home, you won’t receive a favourable rate.

Also read: “Withdrawing cash abroad?”

How secure are currency exchanges and ATMs in Thailand?

Typically, yes. A lot of ATMs have cameras and guards stationed outside. Near ATMs, the crime rate is minimal. More people are victims of pickpocketing. In a few rare instances, thieves in Thailand have used hidden cameras near ATM keypads to steal customers’ PINs. When using an ATM in Thailand, be sure to cover the PIN pad.
Avoid safety issues with these tips:
Instead of using freestanding ATMs, use the ATMs located inside bank branches. As a rule, these are safer and harder for skimming devices to crack.
Always Keep an Eye on Your card Purchases: Keep tabs on all of your card purchases by using your bank’s online or mobile banking feature on a regular basis. Write down the details of any suspicious purchases as away.
Do Not Conduct Sensitive Transactions on Public Wi-Fi: Use caution when logging onto public Wi-Fi networks to conduct financial transactions online. For an extra layer of protection, set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Always Have Your Card on You: Keep your card visible at all times when you are making a purchase. Do not give your card to businesses that hide it.
It is recommended to have two cards on hand when travelling. In the event that one of the cards experiences problems, you will have a backup plan.
Never trade currencies at an unlicensed or unregistered exchange.

Also read:
Eight major pitfalls to avoid when travelling internationally: ATM series
Eight major faux pas to avoid on international trips: ATM series

Is it safe to travel with cash in Thailand?

Carrying cash around is always a good idea when travelling in Thailand. However, you shouldn’t take around a lot of cash unless absolutely necessary.
Naturally, you should always have some cash on hand, as you might require it for the aforementioned purposes. Travelling in Thailand? Here are a few ways to protect your cash in Thailand:
Instead than carrying around a large sum of money in just one pocket or wallet, disperse it around.
One option is to wear a fanny pack or safety belt containing some cash.
Refrain from flaunting large sums of money in public.
Be careful not to show too much cash when you pay.
Your front pockets are the safest places to keep your wallet.
Always wear a safety harness and keep your valuables near to your body when travelling via busy public transportation, such as trains, buses, and streets.

FAQs

Am I able to make a free cash withdrawal in Thailand?

Unfortunately, no ATMs in Thailand have zero fees.

Can I use my card from the United States, UK, Europe, or Australia in Thailand?

Without a doubt! If you’re travelling to Thailand and want to use a card, you should be able to do so at most ATMs.

Do Thai locations provide Bitcoin ATMs?

A small number of Bitcoin ATMs are available in Thailand.

Thailand has any ATMs from Bank of America?

In Thailand, you won’t find any ATMs belonging to Bank of America.

Thai Citibank ATMs?

Thailand does have some Citibank ATMs.

Barclays Bank ATMs?

In Thailand, you won’t find any ATMs belonging to Barclays Bank.

HSBC ATMs?

A few HSBC ATMs can be found in Thailand, yes.

ATMs that are owned by Standard Chartered?

Thailand does have a few Standard Chartered ATMs.

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