The Thai Baht has been strong against most major currencies in recent years, so it is becoming more important to shop around to get the best exchange rates. There was an abundance of currency exchange kiosks around in the past, but since the pandemic, they have reduced in number, but you shouldn’t have too many issues finding one. Typically, the kiosks offer a better exchange rate than most banks, although it makes little difference if you are changing relatively small amounts. Here is our brief guide to the options available.
Change Money in Pattaya
Exchange rates in your home country will be around 10% less attractive than the rates you can get in Thailand. We, therefore, suggest that you bring minimal amounts of Thai Baht with you, perhaps enough to last two or three days and change the rest once you are in Thailand. The savings can be pretty significant and allow you to do far more when you get here. We would suggest bringing cash and changing it as and when required.
Banks and Kiosks
Most people who are holidaying in Thailand bring cash with them. Of course, this is a sensible choice, and while you don’t want to spend all your time trying to save a few satang, it is worth making some effort to look for the best rates. At all kiosks and banks, you will be required to produce your passport to prevent money laundering.
Sending Money visa FX Company
If you plan to send significant amounts of money and have a Thai bank account, then the cheapest option is to send money directly to your bank account using an FX company. Companies such as Western Union don’t charge commission on some currencies and give you the option of picking the money up in person. However, the latter offers less favourable rates but is ideal if you need cash quickly in an emergency.
Transfer the Money in Your Own Currency
If you are transferring money electronically, always do it in your home currency such as the dollar, Sterling or Euro. If you send a defined amount in Thai Baht, the rate will be lower and you may also be charged by the receiving bank. When you are transferring larger amounts, this can be quite significant.
All ATMs in Thailand charge a fixed fee when you withdraw cash using a foreign ATM card. Usually, you will also be charged by your own bank, so it can prove to be an expensive way of getting you money. Krungsri ATM machines allow you to withdraw up to THB30,000 at any one time, with other banks having a THB20,000 limit, so this can help make a small saving. Of course, the card limits imposed by your bank need to be taken into account.
We would advise against bringing travellers’ cheques to Thailand as they can be difficult to change. We appreciate that they are safer than carrying large amounts of cash, but they aren’t practical. Also, the exchange rates can be less favourable, so they offer minimal benefit.