Card withdrawal, banks and ATMs in Thailand
You can get cash in Thailand using any card that works abroad. To do this, you only need a passport (at a bank branch) or a PIN code (at an ATM). We will discuss these two methods in more detail.
The largest banks in Thailand are Bangkok Bank, Bank of Ayuttaya, Kasikorn bank, TMB bank, SIAM CITY bank, Siam commercial bank, CIMB Thai.
Representative offices of international banks:
- UOB bank (representations throughout Thailand);
- Citibank - one branch in Bangkok (BTS ASOK station);
- HSBC - there are branches and ATMs in almost all major settlements;
- Deutsche Bank - there is a branch only in Bangkok.
How to withdraw money from an ATM
In Thailand, street ATMs are open around the clock. In those terminals that are located in shopping centers, money can be withdrawn only during the operation of the store. Their schedule is mainly from 8.00 to 22.00. Bank branches that are located in the shopping center close at about 7 pm. The banks themselves usually work from 8.30 to 15.30, this is on weekdays from Monday to Friday.
Closed on weekends and holidays, except for branches in shopping centers, which are open every day until 7-8 pm.
Those ATMs that are in the store and go outside do not depend on the routine of the establishment. Still, there are exceptions when the ATM is turned off when the store closes. But this happens in small shops in small towns. In these cases, be careful not to insert your card into the ATM close to closing time.
On a note: in Thailand, all ATMs are signed with the abbreviation ATM, so when searching, you need to ask where the ATM is located, and not in any other way.
What currency can be withdrawn
In Thailand, ATMs dispense only one currency - baht. And this is regardless of what currency is currently on your account. Neither rubles, nor euros, nor dollars, nor any other currency - only baht. If the point of sale where you entered has a technical possibility of paying with a bank card, then it is better to pay with a card. In the event that you need another currency other than baht, then you need to find an exchange office. There are no problems with this in Thailand either: these are usually stand-alone facilities or you can exchange money by going to any bank in Thailand.
Exchange rates for exchange
We do not recommend exchanging currency using an ATM, use it only to receive baht. Exchange money through your Visa, Mastercard or your bank.
Therefore, it does not matter which ATM to withdraw cash from. If the ATM offered you the baht / dollar conversion, with the question: “Would you like to convert $ at such and such a rate? Want to?" - refuse by selecting the value "without conversion" on the screen. Such a course is not always profitable.
Commission and maximum amount
A fixed commission at ATMs is constant - 180-200 baht (5-6$) and does not depend on the withdrawal amount or anything else. To avoid paying this money, go to the bank. Sometimes you can hear from tourists that you can withdraw money from Aeon ATMs without a commission - that's right, only this was before 2014. Today, the commission is charged everywhere.
Thai ATMs have a maximum cash limit. Usually it is within 20-30 thousand baht (570-850$). Withdrawing cash each time you will have to pay all times and a commission of 200 baht (6$) . Therefore, it is better to immediately withdraw the maximum amount of cash that you need.
Banks in Thailand do not charge a commission of 200 baht (6$), although you can often hear that they charge it there too. Perhaps this is a misunderstanding. Keep in mind that if no commission is charged for purchases with a card and cash withdrawals from a bank, then your bank may charge a commission fee.
Cash withdrawal at a bank branch
You need to go to the Bank of Thailand only with a passport. When entering the branch, speak English “withdraw from credit card” or, more simply, “cash advance”, while showing a bank card; they will scan it.
It happens that in small bank branches, Thais do not bother with the procedure for issuing cash, explaining this by the lack of an apparatus and sending them to an ATM smiling. And sometimes they pretend that they do not understand you at all.
From the experience of tourists: without such problems and unnecessary questions, you will be served at Siam Bank and Bangkok Bank.
But, even in decent banks, you may be refused to cash out a small amount. Usually, if you request less than 3,000 baht (86$), you will be sent to an ATM. Withdrawing large amounts from the bank is not a problem. When asked what maximum you can receive in cash, you will be answered “unlimited”, i.e. not limited. But, when withdrawing cash from an ATM in the amount of 80,000 baht (2285$), you will have to pay a commission of 200 baht (6$) four times.
Thailand is on the list of countries at risk. Sometimes banks block cards working in Thailand. According to reviews, for example in Russia, these are Sberbank and Alfa. If you are going to visit Thailand, prepare cards of several banks and check with all of them whether it is necessary to add the country of future residence to the exceptions. You need to remember the code word for contacting the technical support of your bank. Deposit money into your skype account.
In case of agreeing questions on blocking a card or something else, you will have to call from another country, so it will be much more profitable to do it via Skype. If you have mastered another IP-telephony (Roamer, MailRuagent, Sipnet, etc.), then use it.
The ruble and baht have not been equal for a long time. And starting from 2015, you can even forget about a similar course - one to two, and then it is better to count on more. Due to the fact that there is a double conversion of Baht => Dollar => Ruble and vice versa, when paying for purchases or cashing out, there will still be losses. If the card is in dollars, then there will be only one conversion - Baht => Dollar. Each conversion has its own commission. Specify its tariff not in Thai, but in your bank.
Try to pay by card wherever possible. In addition to large supermarkets (Big C, Tesco, Tops Market, Macro), card payments are accepted in shopping centers and many more or less decent shops, especially in popular tourist areas in Thailand.
We hope our recommendations will help you make your trip to Thailand more enjoyable.