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Beware new ATM charges in Thailand for foreigners

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1. Posted by sushi_ (Budding Member, 49 posts) 20 Apr '09 20:00

sushi_ has indicated that this thread is about Thailand

Hi just to give people a heads up the Thai Bankers Association have decided to place a 150 Bhat charge (£3) on every withdrawal from ATM's - this is separate and on top of any charge your bank at home may or may not levy.

I have tried pretty much all of the bank machines where I live and the only one I have found that isn't charging yet is Kasikorn Bank (green red and white ATM's) however they may start soon as they are members of the association, it could be that they just haven't implimented the policy yet. No matter what bank you are with you won't be exempt from this I hold an internation citibank account and have never been charged any fees for ATM transactions up until now.

You do get a warning before you proceed with the transaction but this worth bearing in mind if you are in Thailand or about the head to Thailand, as this could add quite a bit to the cost of your travels as most people don't want to be carrying large amounts of money around when backpacking.

I 'think' you can still take money out via a cash advance at the bank with your card and passport failing that travellers cheques may be the best option.

Seems to me to be another good way to damage the already desimated tourist industry!

2. Posted by Curt1591 (Respected Member, 230 posts) 20 Apr '09 20:17

I made a withdrawal yesterday and, indeed, Kasikorn hasn't applied the fee... yet.

Thais always seem to think that the prudent move is to squeeze as much baht as they can out of a dwindling market. The old "penny wise, pound foolish" syndrome!

They tried it about a decade ago and it was short lived.

3. Posted by KevinRB (Inactive, 76 posts) 20 Apr '09 20:20

Hi Sushi

Great post, I only read about these new charges a few minutes ago on Twitter !!.

I have added an old thread that I contributed to a month or so ago, and as you can see typically the UK bank / CC Company are already "extracting" 5%-6% for the privelege of using an ATM machine abroad, so this new charge from the Thai banks is just compounding the problem of costs even further.

But to be honest the Thai banks have been slow to cotton onto what the Western Banks do, so its only to be expected.

Adding all this up, typically the ATM user could be faced with up to 7%-8% ADDITIONAL costs !!

Grim

http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=59171

Regards

Kevin:)

4. Posted by sushi_ (Budding Member, 49 posts) 20 Apr '09 20:32

Citibank are really good as they charge nothing and I get a decent exchange rate, they only have a handful of branches in the UK and one branch here in Bangkok, despite there being stands all over the local mall trying to get people to sign up for credit cards! They are worth a try as they are still fee free (on thier end at least!)

I know Nationwide used to be free for overseas ATM transactions but I heard that this was due to change.

Kasikorn Bank is going to get lots of custom from foreigners if they stay free so lets hope everyone starts using them:)

If you're a member of another travel/Thailand forum spread the word becasue there is nothing in life that annoys me more than excessive bank charges!!

5. Posted by Blinq (Inactive, 341 posts) 21 Apr '09 00:24

Quoting sushi_

Hi just to give people a heads up the Thai Bankers Association have decided to place a 150 Bhat charge (£3) on every withdrawal from ATM's - this is separate and on top of any charge your bank at home may or may not levy.

This fee is only applicable to cash withdrawals using a credit card. Normal cash withdrawals remain free of charge with few exceptions.

For more info, see: "24-hour banking service right across Thailand" @
http://www.bangkokbank.com/Bangkok+Bank/Personal+Banking/ATMs+and+Self+Service/Default.htm

6. Posted by murphc09 (Budding Member, 57 posts) 21 Apr '09 02:37

It doesn't mention credit cards, just visa and mastercard.

So if you have a nationwide visa debit card you're still going to get charged 3%.

Man, I can't believe these banks charge you for withdrawing your OWN money.

7. Posted by KevinRB (Inactive, 76 posts) 21 Apr '09 02:44

Hi

This is how the banks make their profits, you not only pay for the privelege of keeping YOUR money with them, they also employ STEALTH tactics when you want to access secure funds abroad.

Its all there in the SMALL PRINT neatly hidden so that it takes time & patience to find.

I know all this first hand, as I have been using the ATM's this way for over 5 years continuosly now in Thailand, so not only are we being screwed in charges, but exchange rate has also gone down over 30% in the last 18 months, so the cost of withdrawing this was has gone up dramatically !!.

Regards

Kevin:)

8. Posted by Blinq (Inactive, 341 posts) 21 Apr '09 08:00

Quoting murphc09

It doesn't mention credit cards, just visa and mastercard.

So if you have a nationwide visa debit card you're still going to get charged 3%.

Last time I looked, both Visa and Mastercard were credit cards. ;)

I don't know what a Visa debit card is: we don't have those in the Netherlands (where I live), but you may be right about that. But surely you can obtain a standard ATM card from your bank to withdraw funds abroad with which doesn't incur any charges?

Quoting KevinRB

I know all this first hand, as I have been using the ATM's this way for over 5 years continuosly now in Thailand, so not only are we being screwed in charges, but exchange rate has also gone down over 30% in the last 18 months, so the cost of withdrawing this was has gone up dramatically !!.

Are you an expatriate? If you are, can you not open a Thai bank account? The same bank I posted a link to above, also allows foreigners to open an account I believe, details @
http://www.bangkokbank.com/Bangkok+Bank/Personal+Banking/Foreign+Customers/Bangkok+Bank+Accounts.htm#1

The only time I've come across an ATM charge in Thailand was with the Siam bank and even then it was only 20-Baht. After that, I simply avoided their ATMs.

But to reiterate, only debit and credit card holders will be charged a 150-Baht fee when withdrawing cash using either of those cards. It doesn't apply to ordinary ATM cards. Here's another Thai bank with the same info: https://www.thanachartbank.co.th/CDS/THANACHART/NBank_En/pdf/feeatm032009_en.pdf

9. Posted by KevinRB (Inactive, 76 posts) 21 Apr '09 10:54

Hi Blinq

Yes, I am an Expat,but my information & comments relate to foreigners withdrawing funds from their source banks via ATM machines in foreign countries, it has got nothing to do with how I might access funds in a Thai bank account !.

ALL of my previous posts follow the same thread regarding TRAVELLERS using ATM machines outside THEIR OWN COUNTRIES, and are based upon my bank statements, and are all factual.

The original poster is from the U.K., and will therefore face exactly the same issues as I have faced.

If we were all from the Netherlands then we would not be on this forum harping on about the outrageous bank charges we face abroad would we ?.

Regards to all.

Kevin:)

10. Posted by Blinq (Inactive, 341 posts) 21 Apr '09 11:18

Quoting KevinRB

Hi Blinq

Yes, I am an Expat,but my information & comments relate to foreigners withdrawing funds from their source banks via ATM machines in foreign countries, it has got nothing to do with how I might access funds in a Thai bank account !.

ALL of my previous posts follow the same thread regarding TRAVELLERS using ATM machines outside THEIR OWN COUNTRIES, and are based upon my bank statements, and are all factual.

The original poster is from the U.K., and will therefore face exactly the same issues as I have faced.

If we were all from the Netherlands then we would not be on this forum harping on about the outrageous bank charges we face abroad would we ?.

Regards to all.

Kevin:)

Hi Kevin,

What I suggest you do here is to get it from the horse's mouth so to speak i.e. send a mail to the Thai Bankers Association which introduced the fees and get them to clarify the position: http://www.tba.or.th/contactus.htm

But I've already been in touch with my own bank and have been assured that no charges will be levied for any transactions made using a standard ATM card. If I withdraw cash using my Mastercard credit card, then it's a different story, but that's to be expected bearing in mind the exhorbitant fees credit card companies impose these days. ;)