Banking in Thailand

Thailand BankingBanking

Once you are settled in, you will need to open up a local bank account.  Opening a Thai bank account is easy, as long as you have the required documents.  At most banks, you will need your work permit, your passport, and a minimum deposit.  This deposit can range from 500 baht to 15,000 baht.

ATMs and Credit Cards

ATM machines are all over Thailand, in both urban and rural areas.  Unless you are traveling well off the beaten track, you should have no problem accessing your bank accounts.  If you are going to a very rural location, make sure to plan accordingly and bring enough cash.

You can use some international debit cards in Thailand.  Cirrus and Plus are the two networks that have ATM coverage in Thailand, so check for these logos on your card.

Once you open a bank account in Thailand, it will cost around 150 baht to get a Thai ATM card.  This card can be used at ATMs throughout the country.  There may be fees for using the ATM card at machines from a different bank, but these fees are not too large.

Credit cards are widely accepted at shopping centers, restaurants, and hotels.  Be aware of international fees, though, as these can sometimes be quite expensive.

Currency

The currency used in Thailand is the Thai baht.  Banknotes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 baht.

Coins are used for denominations smaller than 20 baht.  10, 5, 2, and 1 baht coins are commonly used.

The baht is divided into satang, with 100 satang equaling 1 baht.  Coins with a value of 50, 25, 10, 5, and 1 satang are currently in circulation.

As of December 2011, $1USD is equal to about 30.75 Thai baht.

Because Bangkok is a major hub for international travel, you can easily change your money there.  The international airport offers competitive exchange rates, and there are plenty of exchange counters throughout the city as well.  In other parts of Thailand, you can exchange money at banks or some tourist locations.  If you are exchanging currency in tourist areas or in hotels, you should check the exchange rate and the service charges carefully, as these places often don’t give you the best deals.

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