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Can Expats Get a Credit Card in Thailand

What you need to know about Thai credit cards and how to get one.

Can Expats Get a Credit Card in Thailand?

Many expats are surprised to learn that they can apply for and receive a credit card in Thailand through a Thai bank. There are, of course, different requirements for expats compared to Thais. However, it shouldn’t be challenging to obtain a credit card in this country.

In this article, we’re going to talk more about credit cards in Thailand, the banks you can choose, and the requirements you need to prepare.

Key Highlights

  • Foreigners can apply for a credit card in Thailand. However, the requirements are different when compared to Thais.
  • There are numerous benefits you can enjoy by having a Thai credit card, such as saving money on foreign currency surcharges.
  • The three most popular banks for expats to apply for credit cards are K Bank, Bangkok Bank, and SCB.

What Are the Benefits of Thai Credit Cards For Expats?

Although a credit card is not strictly required to live in Thailand, having one can be extremely beneficial and make life much easier. Here’s how it can benefit you:

  • Having a local credit card will help you save money on foreign currency surcharges.
  • A local credit card gives you access to extra benefits such as discounts at restaurants, hotels, and on airline tickets.
  • Since bills such as electric, phone, and internet can be automatically deducted from your credit card account, you can avoid missed bills and save your time from having to queue.
  • Ordering items online is much easier with a local credit card. In fact, various online stores in the country only accept local cards and accounts as payment.
  • Many restaurants will give you a discount or cashback if you pay with your credit card. These discounts are only valid for locally issued cards. They are often based on the institution that issued the card rather than the type of credit card. Discounts typically range from 5% to20%, with greater discounts available in exceptional circumstances.
  • Airlines such as Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways work with credit card companies to provide free upgrades and flights in exchange for points.

How Can Expats Apply for a credit card in Thailand?

If you have started your research, you might notice that many bank websites don’t use English. This may make the application process harder. However, there’s nothing to worry about because there are numerous services that can help you with the application process and even help you compare your options.

The rules and regulations are different at each bank. That’s why you should always check the specific bank you want to choose to ascertain what they require.

In general, the rules for foreigners applying for Thai credit cards are as follows:

Income
All Thai banks are strict about the income of their foreign customers who want to apply for a credit card. Most banks require you to earn at least 50,000 baht a month. However, there are banks offering lower income requirements.

Lenght of Employment
You’re most likely need to have at least one year’s experience at the same job in Thailand. Some banks even require you to be employed at the same job for two years.

Documents
If you don’t have a valid passport and a work permit, you cannot apply for a credit card in Thailand. Make sure that your work permit is valid for at least six months following the date of the application.

Bank statements
Thai banks want to know that you’ve had money in your account in the last six months. Therefore, you usually need to produce six months’ worth of monthly income.

Make sure to meet all the requirements before applying for a Thai credit card so the process can be faster and easier.

Which Banks Offer Credit Card For Expats and What Are the Requirements?

There are numerous banks in Thailand offering credit cards for expats. Note that you may have more chance of getting a credit card with a bank you already have an account with.

Here are some of the most popular banks that issue credit cards for foreigners:

K Bank

K Bank, or Kasikorn Bank, is one of the top choices for expats to obtain credit cards. Different forms of credit cards are provided by K Bank, such as The Wisdom (for deposits and investments beyond 10 million baht) and KBank Visa/MasterCard Classic (for earners income beyond 15,000 baht per month).

The bank requires foreign customers to have at least a year of work experience in Thailand and a 50,000 baht minimum monthly income. Therefore, make sure to bring your income statement with you. In addition, you must provide a copy of your passport, visa, and work permit that is valid for at least six months after the application date.

Make your life in Thailand easier with a Thai credit card.

Bangkok Bank

Bangkok Bank is one of the easiest Thai banks to get an account with. All they require is a Thai residency or a work permit, a monthly income of at least 25,000 baht, monthly income proof, and a copy of savings account at the bank for the last six months. You need to have had your work permit for at least one year to apply.

Bangkok Bank also has a range of credit cards to suit all lifestyles. For example, you can get the Visa Platinum Credit Card if you have an income of at least 180,000 baht per year and enjoy shopping discounts. If you want to enjoy an exclusive lifestyle with airport lounge service, you can opt for the Visa Infinite Card.

SCB Bank

The requirement to apply for a Thai credit card in Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is much stricter than the other two banks. You have to present your passport, work permit, and bank statement from the last three months. Also, you need to earn at least 100,000 baht per month. Due to this salary requirement, credit cards from SCB are mostly recommended for expats with a true expat salary.