How to withdraw money in Thailand and where is it cheaper - my experience

Having accumulated the experience of several winters, withdrawing money from various ATMs / banks and from various cards, and also having finally figured out all the conversions, I am writing an article about withdrawing money in Thailand. Yes, and to be honest, there are too many wrong conclusions about commissions and how to save on withdrawals on the Internet. People do not even delve into the topic, and then they say that one card is more profitable than the other..

In this post, we will only talk about where to shoot and how to shoot.. Choosing a bank card for travel leave it for another post, otherwise the article will become too long.

The content of the article

How to withdraw money in Thailand

You can withdraw cash from any card that works abroad. To do this, you only need a pin code (ATM) or a passport (bank). There are only 2 ways to withdraw money from a bank card in Thailand. I'll tell you about each in detail.

  • ATM
  • In the bank itself

How to find an ATM

An ATM in Thailand is called ATM and you need to ask the locals for ATM (hey-um), and not otherwise. By the way, they are also signed everywhere, like ATMs. There are no ATMs, they won't suit you.

ATMs on the streets work around the clock, and those located in shopping centers, of course, close with them. There is no problem finding an ATM in Thailand, they are almost everywhere. They are often located near the entrance to 7-eleven.

Shopping centers are usually open from 8 am to 10 pm. Bank branches located in them are usually closed at about 19:00, but ATMs are located outside terminals and do not depend in any way on the closure of the branch. Although there may be exceptions, in my presence, Aeon ATMs were cut off, as soon as the bank began to close, I barely managed to get the card.

How to withdraw money in Thailand

How to withdraw money in Thailand

What currency can be withdrawn from an ATM

The ATM always gives you only BATS. Neither dollars, nor euros, nor rubles, namely baht, and it does not depend on what is on your card. You remove the baht immediately and you do not need to change anything after removal. They took the money and went with them to the store. But, if the store is large (Tesco, BigCi), then it is better to pay by card, but more on that below.

If you want to make things easier for yourself, then issue a Tinkoff card, open an account in baht and withdraw 1 to 1. Using the link, you will receive 3 months of service as a gift. Just enough to try the card in action. Then you will not need to bother with currency rates at all.. How I took baht off the map.

Apply for a Tinkoff card>

If you need one or another currency, then you will need to find an exchanger. There are no problems with their search either, they are available, both separately and in every bank branch..

The only place in Thailand where you can withdraw dollars is the transit zone of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (Duty Free zone), where there are currency ATMs (dollars, euros, pounds). I checked it on purpose when I flew out of Thailand. Yes, it is during your departure that you will have access to these ATMs. At the time of arrival, while you walk to passport control, I have not seen such ATMs..

Foreign exchange ATM in the transit area of ​​Suvarnabhumi airport

Foreign exchange ATM in the transit area of ​​Suvarnabhumi airport

ATM exchange rate (IMPORTANT!)

The ATM does not change your money, it only gives it out. All exchanges are carried out by your payment system (Mastercard or Visa) and your Russian bank. Therefore, it does not matter which ATM to withdraw money from..

However, there can still be an exchange if you agree to it yourself. Some ATMs offer conversion at the rate of the Thai bank. The question appears on the display - «Like, let's convert, the course is such and such, do you want?». If you see this, you must refuse and choose without conversion! The Thai bank rate is not profitable, and it is worse than that of your payment system. Here my instruction for withdrawing money from specific Thai ATMs, see the photo, how it all looks in practice.

If you agree, the card will not be removed from what you expected. This mistake is often made by people who do not read what the ATM writes, and then swear at poor exchange rates for certain cards..

Commission and maximum amount at ATM

Thai ATMs charge their own flat fee of 220 baht. It does not depend on anything, neither on the withdrawal amount, nor on your card, nor on your citizenship, nor on a Russian bank. The commission is constant. Previously, there was no commission in some ATMs, but now all ATMs take this commission.

Also, all ATMs have a limit on the maximum withdrawal amount of 20-30 thousand baht. In order not to pay a commission several times, you can withdraw immediately to the maximum for a month in advance. And, on the contrary, you should not withdraw small amounts, you will pay an extra 220 baht for each operation..

Commission 220 THB for ATM withdrawal in Thailand

Commission 220 THB for ATM withdrawal in Thailand

ATM says how much maximum can be withdrawn at one time

ATM says how much maximum can be withdrawn at one time

How to withdraw money from a Thai bank

They say that some banks also have commissions and are 180-220 baht. I can't say for all the banks, because the last time at the end of 2018 I removed from Krungsri Bank and there is no commission there. Previously, this commission was definitely nowhere to be found.

Come to the department and speak English «cash advance» or «withdraw from credit card». You can also take out a card, passport, and wave that, they say, I want to withdraw money from the card. Most importantly, don't forget your passport! Without it, the bank will not give you anything, he himself has been pricked several times and had to withdraw from an ATM.

When withdrawing money, a scan of your bank card is often done, so paranoid people may not like it very much, as well as the fact that they do not always ask for a pin code. Although the latter, again, often depends on the settings of your card.

Not all branches will serve you, sometimes Thais say that they do not have an apparatus for a card and send it to an ATM ... Sometimes they pretend that they do not understand, or they advise to go to another bank.

If the ATMs are round-the-clock, then the banks work most often from 8.30-15.30 from Monday to Friday. In shopping centers longer, hours until 19-20.00, including weekends and holidays.

The bank may not allow you to withdraw a small amount, like 2-3 thousand baht, they will say go to the ATM (but you don't need it). There are no restrictions from above, as such, in Siam Bank I was generally told that it was unlimited (unlimited). I shot 60-80 thousand baht a couple of times, did not check it again. For large amounts, the bank is still more profitable, since it is better to withdraw 100 thousand baht from the bank and pay the commission 1 time, than insert the card 5 times into the ATM and pay the commission 5 times.

Important points

Withdrawal fees

The most important thing you need to remember are a few points..

  • The ruble has not been equal to the baht for a long time and there is no need to equate them. 1 baht = 2 rubles and it is necessary «pray», so that it doesn't get worse.
  • Losses on withdrawing cash at an ATM / bank or when paying with a card in a store will be in any case and on any card, since currency conversion occurs, often twice: Baht => Dollars => Rubles. And in that order. If the card is in dollars, then there will be only one conversion: Baht => Dollars. Each conversion can contain its own commission, and you need to look at the tariffs with your bank, and not with the Thai.
  • You have to pay by card in the store! Many Russian banks have their own commission for withdrawing money from an ATM of a third-party bank (in this case, a Thai one), so it is more profitable to pay with a card in a store, instead of withdrawing cash and paying with it later. True, you can pay by card in Thailand in few places, only in large supermarkets (Tesco, BigC, Macro, Tops Market) and shopping centers.

In addition to theory, I specifically checked whether there is a difference in which ATM / bank to withdraw money by withdrawing the same amounts in one day using the same card. No difference. Unless, of course, you agree to convert a Thai ATM. I also analyzed and counted at what rates conversions take place when paying in a store..

If you want to understand in more detail how conversions take place on a specific example, what are the fees for Russian banks, is there a difference if you withdraw money from a dollar card, then read my post How to convert baht to rubles. There I disassembled everything in detail.

It will not be superfluous to read my other post about a selection of maps for travel, including Thailand, this also applies.

Blocking Russian cards

Thailand is at risk, so Russian banks like to block their cards. I often met reviews about Sberbank and Alfabank, but I myself only faced the blocking of Alfa. The question on the call was resolved. Therefore, it is imperative to have several cards..

Before leaving, call the bank and clarify whether it is necessary to add the country of your future stay to the exceptions. Also, be sure to remember the code word for contacting technical support and put money on Skype / Viber. If the card is blocked, you will need to call a bank in Russia. It is also desirable that your Russian SIM card works in roaming, they can call from the bank directly during the transaction, and if you do not pick up the phone, they will block both the transaction and the card (Alpha, hello). More about, how to make cheap calls to Russia from abroad.

Thai bank cards and Webmoney

If you are in Thailand for a long time, then it is advisable to make a Thai bank card. This is usually the green Kasikorn bank, because others refuse to issue cards for tour visas. Actually, the trip to Kasikorn can be unsuccessful. In this case, you just have to try your luck in another department. In general, I have met more than once reviews that if you do not just want to open a card, but also put a certain amount of money (deposit), then they will give the card in almost any bank.

In addition to the fact that no one will block your Thai card, they are also convenient in that you can transfer money to them from a Russian account and they will be stored there in baht, which saves you from frequent monitoring of exchange rates. Although the dollar as a whole is growing (and in Thailand too), so the dollar card is also a good choice now.

And that is not all. Thai cards are suitable for withdrawing Webmoney through this exchanger, there are excellent rates. It will be better only if you agree with a private person, you give him WebMoney, he will give you baht.

How to transfer a large amount from Russia to Thailand

Thai bank cards, or rather a Thai bank account, will also come in handy for transferring a large amount from Russia to Thailand, for example, for buying an apartment. After all, cash is not the case.

You just need to choose the right Russian bank so that the transfer goes through with minimal commissions and at a good rate, with large amounts the losses are especially noticeable. For example, Alfabank is well suited for such transfers, only there you need to take the maximum tariff (Maximum tariff), which costs 3000 rubles / month. Then the commission for the transfer will be only 0.1%, conversion at the rate of the Central Bank and further at the rate of the Thai bank. You can overtake a decent amount in the Internet bank (in several approaches, since there are limits), and then switch to a cheaper tariff or even close the account at Alfabank.

It must be remembered that a transfer to your foreign account is possible only if you have a paper in your hands that you have notified the tax office of opening an account abroad. Otherwise, the bank will refuse to transfer. The way out is to transfer money not to yourself to a foreign account, but to a third party, for example, your wife / husband.

Where to change money in Thailand

You can exchange currency in any exchanger, or in a branch of any bank in separate booths, which are often found in resort areas. The rates differ, but not much (well, for those who change not very large amounts). At airports, the rate is slightly worse than in the city. For large amounts, Superrichthailand is usually recommended, they are in Bangkok.

It also makes a difference how much to change. Usually there are always 3 courses: $ 1-50, $ 50-100 and from $ 100. Accordingly, the best rate for amounts from $ 100.

Typical currency exchange in Thailand

Typical currency exchange in Thailand

P.S. The rest of the information about the tariffs of Russian banks, about the choice of a card, about the conversion scheme, in other articles.