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ACCESSING CASH IN THAILAND

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1. Posted by LEARNER 01 (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y

LEARNER 01 has indicated that this thread is about Thailand

HI GUYS,

CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME WHETHER THEY HAVE USED A TRAVELEX CASH PASSPORT CARD TO ACCESS THEIR MONEY IN THAILAND AND IF SO HAVE YOU HAD ANY PROBLEMS REGARDING THIS METHOD OF ACCESSING CASH?

I'M A FIRST TIME TRAVELER AND WOULD LIKE TO GET SOME MUCH NEEDED HELP ON THE BEST POSSIBLE OPTIONS AVAILABLE?

APPARENTLY THIS CARD HAS A BASE RATE OF $3.75AUS PER WITHDRAWAL.
CAN ANYONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHETHER THIS IS A GOOD OPTION FOR THE FIRST TIME TRAVELER OR ARE THERE CHEAPER OPTIONS AVAILABLE.

THANKS!

2. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

You definitely don't want to use Travelex because it's VISA card and all cash withdrawals from Thai ATMs using either a debit or a credit card are now subjected to a 150 Baht surcharge per transaction. This regulation was only introduced a few days ago on April 17.

Just use an ordinary ATM card. Provided it's got either a Cirrus or Maestro logo printed on it, the only charge you'll incur is that which your own bank charges for international transactions. Check with them to ascertain what that is. It'll only be a few cents in most cases.

You can use this site to calculate Thai exchange rates on a daily basis for all world currencies: Thai Currency Exchange Rates

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Apr-2009, at 00:12 by Blinq ]

3. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 7y

I was under the impression that ALL foreign cards used in an ATM - whether Sirrus Maestro OR Visa were subject to this new 150 baht fee.

It is a shining example of Thai Tourism gone mad - they on one hand are introducing all sorts orf discounts and freebies and then decide to do this - a major inconvenience for ALL travellers in Thailand.

4. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting wildfk

I was under the impression that ALL foreign cards used in an ATM - whether Sirrus Maestro OR Visa were subject to this new 150 baht fee.

No, it only applies to debit and credit cards. See ATM Surcharge Announcement

5. Posted by LEARNER 01 (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y

Thanks for the info guys,

Sounds like an ordinary ATM card with the Cirrus or Maestro logo on it might be the best option.
I may even look at getting travelers cheques or a combination of both.
I suppose it's best not to have all your eggs in one basket.

Cheers!

6. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting LEARNER 01

Thanks for the info guys,

Sounds like an ordinary ATM card with the Cirrus or Maestro logo on it might be the best option.
I may even look at getting travelers cheques or a combination of both.
I suppose it's best not to have all your eggs in one basket.

Cheers!

Travellers cheques, while a safe way to carry money around, attract the lowest exchange rate. You'd be better off taking a small amount of cash.

But provided your hotel room has a safety deposit box (most of them do), you can withdraw up to 20,000 Baht a day from an ATM and just take what you need for that particular day with you, leaving the rest in the safety deposit box.

7. Posted by LEARNER 01 (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y

Hi Blinq,

I'll definitely be taking some cash aswell.
Ive already checked with the hotel I'm staying at and the room has a safe.

Cheers!

8. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

Just use an ordinary ATM card. Provided it's got either a Cirrus or Maestro logo printed on it, the only charge you'll incur is that which your own bank charges for international transactions. Check with them to ascertain what that is. It'll only be a few cents in most cases.

I don't think that's correct. You'll be charged a fee by the banks ATM that you use, and a fee from your bank, which is certainly more than a few cents. Having said that using an ATM card is still probably the most convenient and cheapest way to get cash while traveling.

9. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting Dodger

I don't think that's correct. You'll be charged a fee by the banks ATM that you use, and a fee from your bank, which is certainly more than a few cents. Having said that using an ATM card is still probably the most convenient and cheapest way to get cash while traveling.

Well, I can't speak for US banks of course, but Dutch banks charge 0.8% of the sum withdrawn which amounts to just a few cents. But as I mentioned before, you can withdraw large amounts to keep the cost down, placing what you don't need to take with you in the hotel safety deposit box.

The Siam bank (their ATMs are coloured purple) charges 20 Baht per withdrawal, but that's less than 1 cent and hardly worth quibbling about. You can always simply avoid their machines because most resorts are festooned with ATMs. The Siam Bank is owned by the Thai government though which probably explains why they want to screw you. ;)

Some Thai ATMs limit the amount you can withdraw in one go. One of them, and I can't remember which one it is, limits you to a maximum 5,000 Baht and they have the only ATM at Phuket Airport.

As regards actually using a Thai ATM, your money is ejected before the card is returned to you, so bear that it mind before you walk away.

Slightly off-topic, but I wish Thailand would consider introducing higher denomination banknotes. Even withdrawing 10,000 Baht lands you with a big wad of paper to carry around because the largest denomination banknote is 1,000 Baht. A 5,000 Baht banknote would go a long way to reduce the amount paper you have to transport around.

10. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

Quoting Dodger

I don't think that's correct. You'll be charged a fee by the banks ATM that you use, and a fee from your bank, which is certainly more than a few cents. Having said that using an ATM card is still probably the most convenient and cheapest way to get cash while traveling.

Well, I can't speak for US banks of course, but Dutch banks charge 0.8% of the sum withdrawn which amounts to just a few cents.

I still don't think your right. Even at .8% if you took out 10,000 baht that's $2.25 US.

I looked though my old bank statements and the charges I can find are the $8 flat rate charged from a NZ bank account i was using. Plus anywhere from $10 to $13nz from the Thai bank ATM.