Before you go on your water-soaked Songkran adventure, you may want to consider how you will access your money and carry your money around with you, that way you won’t have money troubles while you’re away.
Wealth of Options to Access Money
With a number of options out there to access money, many travellers are not sure how they will carry money around in Thailand. In an increasingly connected and convenient world, there are many ways to access funds for your trip, but some may cost you more than others. Although ATMs are the best way to get money in Thailand, the networks on islands (e.g. Phuket) can go down for days at a time, so you need backup forms of currency.
Use the ATMs to Get Your Baht
Today, there are ATMs connected on all major Western networks available in most Thai tourist hotspots. Accessing your money via an ATM means that you don’t need to carry as much cash, which is a good safety measure as you can just get money out as needed.
But before taking your savings card to Thailand, check with your bank as many charge a small transaction fee (which is around 3 per or less) each time you withdraw cash. We suggest you get a travel card and load up Baht before you leave so you can negate the fee.
Tips for Using Your ATM Card In Thailand
- Let your bank know that you’ll be using your card overseas so that they don’t flag the card and deactivate the card when charges pop up from Thailand!
- If you’re going to pay transaction fees, the fee in Thailand is around AUS $5 per transaction.
- Remember that card skimmers are just as clever and opportunistic in Thailand as they are at home. They can attach card readers over the card slot or a hidden camera in the mounting to read your card number as your card goes in. So inspect the ATM before using, and stick to using ATMs in banks or busy places.
- When choosing how much to withdraw, choose an amount that will make the machine spit out smaller notes rather than the harder-to-break large notes, similar to how you get out $60 in 3x$20 notes from an ATM back home rather than $50 in one note.
Exchanging Money in Thailand
Many people still exchange cash after they land in Thailand. While it’s reliable, it’s not always favourable for you.
- Have an idea of the exchange rate before you land. Currently AUS $1 buys 30 Baht. Install the xe app on your phone so you can check whenever making a transaction.
- Although airport exchange kiosks are safe, they often have the worst exchange rates.
- When you’re wandering the streets, stick to trading your dollars for Baht in banks. Counterfeiting is common and as are illegal random street kiosks.
- Count your money before walking away from the kiosk and check the receipt.
Using Credit Cards in Thailand
Although carrying a credit card for your trip is a good idea should the worst happen, don’t take it expecting to use it as your main source of money. A number of shops and vendors in Thailand will not accept credit cards, and the ones who do accept often shove on a 10 per cent surcharge.