How bats (tugriks) are converted into rubles - a specific example

Once I wrote an article on the topic How to withdraw money in Thailand, to which I periodically add something new or remove outdated data. However, I would like to draw your attention to how to correctly convert baht to rubles. However, the conversion scheme applies not only to baht, but to any tugrik currency, that is, those countries whose local currency is not dollars or euros.

This article is for those who do not know and do not understand the conversion scheme and are upset because of the allegedly high commissions. There, more often not commissions, but simply exchange rate differences play a role. Although the choice of a bank should be taken seriously, especially if you are traveling for a long time, because even 1-2% of losses over a long period of time (for example, six months) is already a significant amount.

The content of the article

General scheme for converting baht (tugriks) to rubles

There is no direct exchange rate of rubles for Thai baht. This refers to the one that is posted everywhere on the Internet (cross-rate), and according to which people are used to converting the ruble to baht. And when it comes to figuring out the order of prices in the store for yourself, you can use the cross-rate. Once the ruble and the baht were approximately equal, but now the ruble has dropped a lot and 1 baht = 2 rubles, that is, all prices in Thailand must be multiplied by two.

When money is withdrawn from the card, you can also use a cross rate, but this is a rough calculation. It would be more correct to count through the dollar: convert baht into dollars at the exchange rate, and then dollars into rubles. It is in this order that THB => USD => RUB. Only then will the real exchange rate be obtained.

The cross-rate of the Thai baht to the ruble, the baht has risen noticeably

The cross-rate of the Thai baht to the ruble, the baht has risen noticeably

The conversion scheme using the example of Thailand and the ruble card is as follows: we remove baht from an ATM, the ATM sends a request to the payment system (Mastercard or Visa) in baht, the payment system converts it into dollars (depending on your bank, maybe euros), and after that converting dollars into rubles. That is, the scheme in most cases is THB => USD => RUB.

Let's take a closer look at what commissions can be when transferring rubles to Thai baht using a bank card (cash withdrawal or payment in a store). Naturally, all commissions differ depending on the specific Russian bank and they need to be clarified with your bank in the tariffs, or use summary plates from the forum.

  • Commission for withdrawal from an ATM of a third-party bank (usually 1-2%, but less often 0%). There is no such commission when paying with a card in a store, so I advise you to pay with cards, instead of withdrawing cash from them.
  • Loss on conversion THB => USD (rate of Mastercard or Visa payment system). We cannot influence this course in any way, it is the same for all cards..
  • Commission for cross-border payment Visa or Mastercard (from 0% to 2%). To put it quite simply, such a commission occurs when a payment is made in another currency. You need to choose Russian banks that do not take this commission.
  • Loss on conversion USD => RUB. This conversion is done by your Russian bank. The exchange rates are different for everyone, the best is the Central Bank rate, but often another 1-3% is added to the Central Bank rate..
  • Also, if you withdraw from an ATM of a Thai bank, then he will take his fixed commission of 200 baht, which does not depend on anything..

This scheme is applicable, as I said above, for any country that has its own currency. Only the ATM commission will differ depending on the country and the maximum withdrawal amount. For example, in Russia, ATMs do not take a commission and often you can withdraw a maximum of 7-10 thousand rubles using a foreign card. Let me remind you that Thai ATMs issue 20-30 thousand baht at a time.

A concrete example of a translation in numbers

Ruble card

Let's take an example from last winter. I paid for purchases in the supermarket for 10,000 baht (if I rented from an ATM, there would have been another 200 baht commission). About 17,500 rubles were withdrawn from my ruble debit Tinkoff. Let's calculate how it happened.

  • The rate of THB => USD from the Mastercard on the day of withdrawal is 33.56 (on the Mastercard website, you need to select «Base currency» USD, and then look at the baht rate in the table), then 10,000 baht is $ 297.97.
  • Next, we look at the card rate TCS USD => RUB at the time of the operation (usually after 2 days) - 58.72, that is, 297.97 dollars is ~ 17,500 rubles.
  • Tinkoff has no commission for a cross-border payment.

Total 17,500 rubles, that's right.

Dollar card

Now let's estimate if the card was a dollar one. It would have been removed then just $ 297.97, because the first conversion of THB => USD is exactly the same. But the dollars had to be deposited in the dollar account beforehand. And, if you have income in dollars, then everything is cool - only one conversion. However, the majority of Russians have income in rubles, so they have to either throw in a large amount in advance before the trip, or periodically make an online exchange. Let's take a closer look, because not everyone understands that buying dollars in advance does not always save the situation..

For example, I bought bucks a couple of weeks before my trip to Thailand at the rate of 54 rubles. That is, the 297.97 bucks, which we talked about above (purchase in the supermarket), cost me 54 * 297.97 = 16100 rubles, and not 58.72 * 297.97 = 17500 rubles if I paid with a ruble card. Saving 1400 rubles, great!

But! I could buy bucks on any other day, not the best for the course ... For example, at 62 rubles, and then the course would go down. And then I would have cost me 62 * 297.97 = 18474 rubles, 1000 rubles more. Unpleasant.

See how the course jumps all the time. He once grew very strongly, and now he is thrown in the corridor by 10-20 rubles. By the way, then I really bought dollars, and at 62 rubles, and at 72 rubles, and not just at 54. You must understand and take this into account. Thus, tossing dollars into a dollar account while in Russia may or may not be profitable, it all depends on the exchange rate. Ideally, you need to monitor the course and calculate all the options, this is the question what money to take to Thailand.

Bank calculator and rates

Perhaps it will seem too complicated to someone, but if you visit Thailand for a long time (and indeed abroad) and often withdraw money or pay for purchases, then it makes sense to understand this topic a little so as not to pay too much for all these currency conversions. ... I voiced specific examples of bank cards for travel in the article Which bank card to choose, and there you can find out more specifically about the commissions of different banks.

  • Currency calculator from Google, there is just a cross rate, to which you can add about 3% and get something more or less similar to the total commission when withdrawing from the card, unless of course your bank has not completely brutal commissions.
  • Bangkok Bank's rate of direct exchange of rubles for baht is not at all profitable. But in general, some exchangers in Thailand accept rubles and the rate is better there..
  • An updated list of banks with all commissions. A useful sign where you can quickly find out what the commission will be for the payment system, depending on your bank, as well as at what rate your bank will convert dollars to rubles.

P.S. The rates given in the post are already outdated, but the conversion scheme itself remains the same!