How to withdraw money in Thailand and where it is cheaper – my experience
Having accumulated the experience of several winters, withdrawing money from different ATMs / banks and from different cards, as well as finally figured out all the conversions, I am writing an article about withdrawing money in Thailand. Yes, and to be honest, too many misconceptions on the Internet about fees and how to save money on withdrawals. People don’t even get into the subject, and then say that one card is more profitable than another.
In this post, we’ll talk only about where to withdraw and how to withdraw. We’ll leave the choice of bank card for travel for another post, otherwise the article will become too long.
How to withdraw money in Thailand
You can withdraw cash from any card that works abroad. You only need a pin code (ATM) or a passport (bank) to do this. There are only 2 ways to withdraw money from a bank card in Thailand. I will tell you about each in detail.
- At an ATM
- At the bank
How to find an ATM
An ATM in Thailand is called an ATM and you have to ask the locals for an ATM (a.t.m.) and not something else. By the way, they are also signed everywhere as ATM. There are ATMs that are not ATMs, they will not suit you.
ATMs on the streets are open 24 hours a day, and those located in shopping malls naturally close with them. There is no problem to find an ATM in Thailand, they are almost everywhere. They are often located near the entrance of the 7-eleven.
Shopping malls are usually open from 8am to 10pm. The bank branches in them usually close around 7pm, but the ATMs are located with the terminals facing outward and are in no way dependent on the branch closing. Although there may be exceptions, in my case Aeon ATMs were cut off as soon as the bank started closing, barely had time to get the card.
What currency can be withdrawn from an ATM
Always an ATM gives you only BATS. It does not give out dollars, euros or rubles. You withdraw baht at once and do not need to change anything after withdrawal. You withdraw the money and go to the store with it. But if the store is large (Tesco, BigSi), then it’s better to pay by card, but about this below.
If you want to make things easier, then make out a card Tinkoff, open an account in baht and withdraw 1 to 1. The link will give you an extra bonus as a gift. Then you won’t have to worry about currency exchange rates at all. How I withdrew baht from my card.
If you need one or the other currency, then you will need to find an exchanger. With their search, too, there is no problem, they are both freestanding, and in every bank branch.
The only place in Thailand where you can withdraw dollars from the card is the transit area of Bangkok airport Suvarnabhumi (Duty Free Zone), there are currency ATMs (dollars, euros, pounds). I specifically checked when I flew out of Thailand. Yes, it is during departure that you will have access to these ATMs. During arrival, as you walk to passport control, I saw no such ATMs.
ATM exchange rate (IMPORTANT!)
An ATM does not exchange money for you, it only gives it out. All exchanges are made 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. Some ATMs offer conversion at the rate of the Thai bank. On the display question appears – “Like, let’s convert, the rate is so-and-so, you want? If you saw it, you should refuse and choose not to convert! The exchange rate of the Thai bank is not profitable, and it is worse than your payment system. Here are my instructions for the withdrawal of money at specific Thai ATMs, see photos how it looks in reality.
If you accept, however, the card will not be charged at all what you expected. This mistake is often made by people who do not read what the ATM says, and then swear at the poor rates of exchange for certain cards.
Fees and maximum amount at the ATM
Thai ATMs always take their own fixed fee. It depends only on the Thai bank which owns the ATM. And it is the Thai bank that sets the amount of this fee. As a rule:
Visa, Mastercard and Maestro cards – 220 baht. Unionpay cards – 150 Baht. American Express cards – 50 Baht.
All ATMs have a limit on the maximum withdrawal amount of 20-30 thousand baht per transaction. One can withdraw maximum amounts at once for a month in advance so as not to pay the fee for several times. You should not withdraw small amounts of money as you may pay extra 220 baht for each transaction.
How to withdraw money in a Thai bank
They say that in some banks the commission is 180-220 Baht. As far as I know, it all depends on the bank/branch. I withdrew in the yellow bank Krungsri and Bangkok Bank, they had no commission, but there was a minimum amount to withdraw.
Go into the branch and say “cash advance” or “withdraw from credit card” in English. You can also take out a card and a passport and wave that they say I want to withdraw money from the card. The most important thing is not to forget your passport! The most important thing is not to forget your passport. You will not get anything at a bank without it; I have been caught several times and had to withdraw money from ATMs.
For 10 years I spent 16 hours a day making guidebooks for travelers. 1.5 years ago I was almost killed by a stroke. I survived, but am struggling with paralysis.
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When withdrawing money often make a scan of your bank card, so that the paranoid may not like it, as well as the fact that not always ask for a pin code. Although the latter again often depends on your card settings.
Not all branches will serve you, sometimes Thais say they do not have a machine for the card and send it to an ATM … Sometimes they pretend not to understand, or advise to go to another bank.
If ATMs are around the clock, the banks are mostly open from 8.30-15.30 Monday through Friday. In shopping malls longer, until 19-20.00, including weekends and holidays.
The bank will not allow you to withdraw a small amount, such as 2-3 thousand baht, say go to an ATM (but it is not necessary). The bank will allow you to withdraw a small amount of money from the ATM, but you should not. There are no limitations as such in Siam Bank. I have withdrawn a couple of times 60-80 thousand baht, did not check more. It is better to withdraw 100 thousand baht and pay only once than to insert the card 5 times to an ATM and pay the fee 5 times.
The most important thing you need to remember a few things.
- The ruble is not equal to the baht and there is no need to equate them. Conventionally, 1 baht = 2 rubles and you should “pray” that it’s not worse.
- Потери на снятии налички в банкомате/банке или при оплате картой в магазине будут в любом случае и по любой карте, так как происходит конвертация валют, зачастую два раза: Баты => Доллары => Рубли. И именно в таком порядке. Если карта долларовая, то скорей всего будет только одна конвертация: Баты =>Dollars. Each conversion may have its own fee, and the rates should check with your bank, not the Thai.
- In the store should pay with a card, if it is normal! Many Russian banks have their own fee for ATM withdrawal of money from a third-party bank (in this case the Thai), so it is more advantageous to pay with a card in the store, rather than withdraw cash and pay then with it. However, you can pay by card in Thailand only in large supermarkets (Tesco, BigC, Macro, Tops Market) and shopping malls.
In addition to the theory, I specifically checked whether there is a difference at which ATM/bank to withdraw money, having withdrawn the same amount on the same day with the same card. There is no difference. Unless, of course, you accept the Thai ATM conversion. Also analyzed and counted what the conversion rates are for in-store payments.
If you want to understand in more detail how to convert on a specific example, what the commission at Russian banks, there is a difference if you withdraw money from the dollar card, then read my post How to correctly translate baht to rubles. There I explained everything in detail.
Not superfluous would be to read my other post about a selection of cards for travel, including Thailand is also relevant.
Blocking of Russian cards
Thailand is in the risk zone, so Russian banks like to block their cards. Often encountered reviews about Sberbank and Alfa Bank, but myself only encountered blocking Alfa. The problem was solved with a call. If you have a large number of cards, you will need to have several.
Before you leave, call the bank and find out if you need to add your country of future stay to the exclusions. Also be sure to remember the code word to contact tech support and put money on skype/weber. If the card is blocked, you will need to call the bank in Russia. It is also desirable that your Russian sim is working in roaming, the bank may call you right in the transaction, and if you do not pick up the phone, they will block the transaction and the card (Alfa, hello). Learn 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, you can make a Thai bank card. Usually it’s a green bank Kasikorn, because others refuse to issue cards for tour visas. Actually, and a trip to Kasikorn can be unsuccessful. In this case, you should just try your luck at another branch. In general, more than once I met feedback that if you do not just want to open a card, but also put a certain amount of money (deposit), then the card will give almost any bank.
In addition to the fact that no one will not block your Thai card, they are also convenient in that they can be transferred to them from the Russian account and they will be stored there in baht, which saves you from frequent monitoring of exchange rates. Although the dollar in general is growing (and in Thailand too), so the dollar card is also a good choice now.
How to transfer a large amount of money from Russia to Thailand
Thai bank cards, or rather an account in a Thai bank, will come in handy for transferring a large amount from Russia to Thailand, for example, to buy an apartment. After all, it is not a cash transaction.
Only it is necessary to choose the right Russian bank to make the transfer with minimal commissions and at a good exchange rate, the losses are especially noticeable for large sums. For example, Alfabank is good for such transfers, but you have to take the maximum tariff there (tariff Maximum), which is 3000 rubles/month. In this case the commission will be only 0.1%, conversion at the Central Bank rate and then at the rate of the Thai bank. It is possible to transfer a considerable sum in the Internet bank (for several approaches since there are limits), and then to switch to the cheaper tariff or to close the account in Alphabank at all.
You should remember that a transfer for your foreign account is possible only if you have a paper in your hands that you have notified the tax office about opening an account abroad. Otherwise the bank will refuse the transfer. The way out is not to transfer money to a foreign account, but to a third person, for example, your wife/husband.
Where to change money in Thailand
You can exchange currency in any exchange office, or at any bank office in a separate booth, which are often found in the resort areas. Exchange rates are different, but not much (well, for those who change not a lot of money). In airports the rate is a little worse than in the city. For large sums usually advise Superrichthailand, they are in Bangkok.
There is also a difference in how much to change. Usually there are always 3 rates: $1-$50, $50-$100 and from $100. Accordingly, the best rate is for amounts from $100.
P.S. The rest of the information about the rates of Russian banks, the choice of card, the scheme of conversion, in other articles.
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ATMs in Thailand
Get cash in Thailand – baht, you can not only exchange currency in the bank, but also with a plastic card issued in any other country. There are a lot of familiar to all ATMs, located throughout the popular resorts. In terms of commission will not make any difference which bank to withdraw. You should be careful when using ATMs outside malls and banks – there are cases of fraud.
It is advisable to follow this instruction if you do not know English or do not speak English at all. All ATMs are required to have 2 languages – Thai and English. You can use them to withdraw cash from a card, put money on it, transfer it to another person.
They come in two basic types: ATM and ADM. Each bank in Thailand has its own ATMs. Despite this the procedure of withdrawal or transfer of money is similar and differs only in some details and sequence of actions. We will consider the work on the example of the ATM Krungthai Bank.
Plastic cards in Thailand
In Thailand you can use payment systems Visa, Mastercard and some others. It is best to make no lower than Visa Classic and Mastercard Standart. Just in case, call and warn your bank that you will be using the card in Thailand. Some banks will block the card after the first withdrawal attempt, as the country is not considered trustworthy in terms of security.
You can only withdraw money from ATMs in the local currency, baht. Almost all ATMs allow you to withdraw not more than 20,000 baht at a time, only Bangkok Bank ATM can withdraw 25,000 baht and TMB Bank can withdraw 30,000 baht (although the latter is transferred at an unfavorable exchange rate of the bank itself). If you need more cash, then withdraw it in several steps. ATMs of any bank charge 220 baht per transaction. Plus the fee to your bank (Sberbank, Alfa Bank, VTB, etc. – the exact amount can be found at the bank or its website, usually 1-2%, but not below a certain amount at a time). In addition there will be losses on conversion from rubles to bank currency (dollars or euros) and the subsequent of them in baht. You can read everything in more detail in the article
Fees at ATMs in Thailand can be avoided by going directly to the office. You will need your passport, which will be copied (the card will also be copied). But sometimes there are lines.
How to transfer money to Thailand
Situations in life are different – someone spent all the money on a fun vacation, someone was robbed or had an accident on a motorcycle, and sometimes there is a need to transfer money to Thailand for relatives or friends. The easiest way is to transfer money from a plastic card to a card through your bank’s online banking service or at one of its branches. It should have a ruble account, because all transfers from card to card are only possible in the national currency of the Russian Federation, i.e. ruble. If it will be in dollars or euros, no one will be able to recharge the card, except you, your closest relatives, and your employer.
If you do not have a plastic card, and you need the money urgently, you can use the system Western Union or look for something else. This is quite an expensive way and requires your appearance at the point of issue (if at all, there is one nearby).
ATMs – ATMs for cash withdrawal
ATMs are for withdrawing cash and checking balances (some ATMs charge for this check). ATMs are all over the place – in the streets, in shopping malls, near the 7/11 mini-markets and especially in tourist locations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Bangkok. It is desirable to use those that are near banks. Firstly it is a great guarantee that there are no additional cameras and readers with which you can get all the money from the card. Second, if you do something wrong and the card gets stuck in the ATM, you can ask the bank staff to remove it.
By the way, banks are usually open until 5-8 pm, Saturday and Sunday are days off. Only bank offices in shopping malls, such as Central Festival (both in Pattaya and Phuket), Big C, Tesco Lotus are open without weekends.
So you walk up to an ATM and stick your card in. It says, “Please enter your pin. To be on the safe side, it is better to cover the keyboard with one hand (so that no one could see what you type, including a video camera hanging several meters away from you on the bank building), and with the other hand you enter. Then press “Enter” either on the keyboard or on the screen under the arrow (you have done it many times in Russian ATMs, only there were inscriptions in our own words). Afterwards you will see different variants of the sums you can withdraw – from 500 to 20 000 Baht. The variants are usually: 500, 1000, 3000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000. If one of them suits you, then click on the button next to the amount. However, it will not give you cash immediately but after a couple of questions in Thai: “The fee is 220 Baht. Would you like to continue withdrawing money?”, “Shall I print the check?”.
It is better to switch to English to be sure (except for the amounts, next to one button on the screen will say “ENGLISH LANGUAGE”).
How to use ATM in English
Let’s see how to withdraw money from ATMs in Thailand in English on the example of Krungthai Bank
1) Enter a PIN code.
2) You will see three inscriptions: WITHDRAWAL, ENQUIRY, TRANSFER. To withdraw cash, select WITHDRAWAL, then SAVINGS.
3) Then on keyboard choose from the offered or enter the amount, it must be a multiple of 100 baht. That is, you can withdraw 10 100, but can not 10 050. If the amount is correct, then press the button CORRECT, if not, then press INCORRECT and enter the amount again.
4) After pressing CORRECT the ATM will tell you that the fee is 220 Baht and if you are ready to withdraw your money under these conditions (the phrase is rather long in English, but you will understand what you are talking about when you see the number 220 in it). Press YES.
5) Then there are two options. If you have enough money on the card to withdraw your amount (including all fees), the ATM will give you the cash and ask whether to print a check. In principle, you won’t need the receipt after taking the money out of the window, but you can get one just in case. The second option – the amount in the account is not enough (TRANSACTION AMOUNT OVER AVAILABLE BALANCE). Keep in mind that if you have 10,000 rubles on your card, they will be converted into baht at the current exchange rate. Sometimes it could be 9,900, sometimes 10,100. Plus another commission to the banks. So if you wrote that you want to withdraw 9,700, then there is not enough money on the card. Just withdraw 9,600 or 9,500.
6) At the end the ATM will give the card back to you automatically, no need to press any keys.
ADM – ATMs for withdrawals and transfers within Thailand
ADM-ATM is needed to transfer money in Thailand to another person. This is possible only to the card of Thai banks. But it is realistic to write off money from a Russian card. The required amount can be withdrawn from your card, or you can transfer cash (put the money into the ATM window). For the operation to be successful, you need to know the name of the bank where your friend’s account is located and the numeric code (usually 10 digits). Consider a cash transfer.
How to transfer cash at an ATM of Krungthai Bank with the English language
1) At the bottom of the ATM screen (remember that we are considering Krungthai Bank ATM, in others the inscription can be in another place) will be written Without Card Press This Button. Press the button next to the inscription.
2) Then select “ENGLISH LANGUAGE”.
3) Then DEPOSIT.
4) Two options will appear: KRUNG THAI BANK and INTERBANK. If the account of your friend is in Krungthai Bank choose the first option, if in another bank – the second.
5) In the first option you will need to enter the 10-digit numeric code (card number) and press the button CORRECT. In the second option you will be offered a list of Thai banks. Also on the screen you will see two fields. Choose the desired bank and in the upper field enter two digits in front of the bank name. To the right of the upper field you will see the inscription PRESS CORRECT. Press the button next to the inscription, and then enter the 10-digit numeric code in the second field. Then press the button at the bottom of the CORRECT screen.
6) The ATM will then automatically detect the name of the person you are sending the money to (it will write their first and last name on the screen). Then put the money into the window at the bottom of the ATM (it will automatically open). The machine will tell you how much money you have deposited and how much commission you will receive (the commission will be deducted from the amount of money you deposited). If you have deposited 1000 baht the commission will be 50 baht and the addressee will receive 950 baht. After that it is better to print the receipt so there will be no misunderstanding.