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Money Transfer: What Providers Give the Best Exchange Rates

Find out which provider gives you the most favourable exchange rates.

Money Exchange In Thailand

Whether you are living or travelling to Thailand, you will have to deal with money exchange. While you can exchange your money in many places around the country, using numerous different methods, not every provider offers the same exchange rates.

So, if you want to know which provider offers the most favourable exchange rates, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we have compiled the best methods of exchanging money in Thailand, as well as how much each one of them will cost you.

Key Points

  • Exchanging money at Thai banks is a good option if you only need to exchange a small amount of money.
  • You can get decent exchange rates by withdrawing large amounts of money from an ATM in Thailand.
  • You should avoid exchanging money into Thai Bath outside of Thailand.

Thai Banks

One of the main options to exchange your money is bank-owned exchange counters, which can be found in tourist areas, including airports and night markets.

In general, exchanging money at Thai banks is a good option if you only need to exchange a small amount of money.

You will pay the rates below if you exchange cash at one of the Thai bank branches located around Thailand:

  • Kasikorn Bank – 0.97% exchange fee
  • Bangkok Bank – 0.87% exchange fee
  • Siam Commercial Bak (SCB) – 1.05% exchange fee.

To give you a clearer picture of how much you’d get. Let’s say the exchange rate of US Dollars to Thai Baht is 1 USD to 33 THB. This means that:

  • Kasikorn Bank will give you 32,680 THB if you exchange 1,000 USD.
  • Bangkok Bank will give you 32,710 THB if you exchange 1,000 USD.
  • SCB will give you 32,650 THB if you exchange 1,000 USD.

In the end, you end up spending at least 8.8 USD for the exchange fees.

Alternatively, you can use your debit card to exchange your money in Thai Banks if you don’t want to bring cash. To do this, go to an official bank branch and give them your debit card. Ask for a cash withdrawal or cash in advance. Most banks will require you to show your passport, but they won’t charge any additional fees. The only fee you will pay is the fee your bank charges.

ATMs

You can get decent exchange rates by withdrawing large amounts of money from an ATM in Thailand.

On top of any fees your own bank charges, most banks in Thailand charge a 220 THB fee, including fees hidden in inflated exchange rates, between 0.5% and 1% per transaction.

For example, let’s say that the current exchange rate from US Dollars to Thai Baht is 1 USD to 33 THB. So without any fees, you would get 33,000 THB for a 1,000 USD currency exchange. However, if you want to take out 1,000 USD from an ATM in Thailand, using a 1% exchange rate fees, you would only get 32,670 THB. Then, you have to add the 220 THB withdrawal fee, so you will be left with 32,450 THB. In the end, you spend almost 17 USD on ATM fees to withdraw 1,000 USD.

While you can exchange your money in many places around the country, using numerous different methods, not every provider offers the same exchange rates. Make sure to choose wisely.

Exchange Offices and Kiosks

Another great alternative is to exchange your money in major, locally-owned money exchange offices or kiosks scattered around Thailand. They usually offer the best deal. You might be able to save more than 90% on your exchange fees, meaning you only have to pay as little as 0.06% of the transaction amount.

Using the same 1,000 USD example from above, you will get around 32,800 THB for your exchange. This means that the exchange only costs you around 6.06 USD.

Make sure to bring 50 or 100 Dollar bills to get the best rate if you are exchanging US Dollars. Smaller bills tend to get you slightly lower bills.

Exchange offices and kiosks usually offer slightly better rates than ATMs and Thai Banks.

Online Transfers

You can use an online money transfer service to get your money from your home country into Thailand if you have a Thai bank account or you know someone who does. Using online transfers tend to have great exchange rates with minimal fees. However, it varies depending on the online transfer service you use.

What to Keep In Mind

Before exchanging your money, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Change your money to US Dollars – If your country has a small currency and you are forced to bring cash, it will be better to exchange it to US Dollars first. The exchange rates of US Dollars to Thai Baht are better than smaller currencies, giving you higher exchange rates.
  • Never exchange your money outside of Thailand – Always exchange your money into Thai Baht in Thailand. Exchanging your money outside of Thailand is very expensive – you might lose 5% to 10% at the very least.
  • Declare cash at customs – If you bring more than 15,000 USD (or the equivalent in any other currency) into Thailand, you must declare it at the border. You will be asked what you plan to do with the money or where it came from.
  • Avoid using credit cards – Using a credit card to purchase something in Thailand will cause you to pay a high exchange rate fee, usually between 2% to 2.5%.