Is the exchange rate in Thailand good

Best exchange rate in Thailand: is there more THB in the exchange office or ATM?

Getting money in Thailand is not a problem.

Either at the ATM or at the exchange office you can get Thai Baht (THB) for the trip to Thailand.

But what is the cheapest way to get money? Is it cheaper to withdraw money from ATMs or an exchange office? Are there ATMs without a fee? Where is the best exchange rate?

Two credit cards without foreign fees (travel credit cards from DKB and Revolut) compete and have to compete with the exchange rates, which for many expats is the cheapest way to get Thai baht in Thailand.

Contents at a glance

Best exchange rate in Thailand in practice comparison

Exchange rate basics

Exchange offices set individual, daily updated rates. A distinction is made between ask price and bid price (buy / sell).

Ask and bid prices are often confused. However, it is easy to remember: As a customer, the worse of the two rates is always to be used for the respective transaction šŸ˜‰

If the difference between the ask rate and the bid rate (called the "spread") is particularly high, this is a sign that the exchange office has rather poor rates.

It depends on credit cards and debit cards.

Visa (see here) and MasterCard (see here), for example, have their own reference exchange rates that many banks use.

However, some banks also work with their own exchange rates. Only a look at the small print will help here.

There is no bid or ask price for card transactions. A middle course is used here.

Withdraw money from ATMs in Thailand

Visa, MasterCard, girocard, Maestro / V-Pay - which cards do Thai ATMs accept?

You are on the safe side with a Visa or MasterCard travel credit card.

These credit cards are accepted at practically every ATM in Thailand - be it in Bangkok or in Isaan Province.

Also, a credit card is usually the card of choice for withdrawing money in Thailand.

Because here there are credit card products that do not incur any bank charges for withdrawals abroad or in foreign currencies.

As a rule, however, the girocard (formerly EC card) also works in Thailand.

However: There are usually bank charges for withdrawals with the EC card.

Maestro cards are sometimes also accepted at ATMs in Thailand. V-Pay doesn't play a role at all in Thailand.

Withdraw money with DKB Visa in Thailand

10,000 THB withdrawal amount
+ 220 THB machine operator fee
= 10,220 THB total amount

DKB rate: 39.35651 THB / EUR

Amount debited: EUR 259.68
Thereof vending machine operator fee: 5.59 EUR

Withdraw money with Revolut MasterCard in Thailand

10,000 THB withdrawal amount
+ 220 THB machine operator fee
= 10,220 THB total amount

Revolut rate: 39.2782 THB / EUR

Amount debited: EUR 260.20
Thereof vending machine operator fee: 5.60 EUR

ATM free of charge in Thailand - the annoying foreign fees

(Almost) all banks now charge a fee (so-called third-party fee) at their ATMs.

There are still some (not so secret) ā€œinsider tipsā€ on how it works in Thailand at ATMs without a fee.

But it's probably only a matter of time and the last few ATMs without a fee have disappeared.

Of course, you also have to consider the ā€œopportunity costsā€.

A fee of around 220 THB for withdrawals is not without it. However, you don't want to drive an hour back and forth to be able to withdraw from an ATM at a rather exotic bank free of charge.

Currently, at least I only know of the ways in which it is possible with MasterCard to withdraw money in Thailand without a fee.

If you have a visa, you look down the tube.

Since it is time-consuming and only possible in certain places to find an ATM in Thailand free of charge, the calculation examples are therefore kept with a third-party fee.

Change money in the exchange office

Which is the best currency exchange in Thailand?

When it comes to the best currency exchange, many expats recommend Super Rich.

Super Rich has many branches in Bangkok. These include the two airports Suvarnabhumi and Don Muaeng, the BTS stations Asok and Siam and numerous shopping malls.

And indeed, Super Rich has good courses.

So also on the day of comparison.

Change money at Super Rich

Exchange rate: 39.55000 (EUR - buying)

Fictitious target amount: 10,000 THB

Calculated amount: 252.84 EUR

Evaluation of the practice comparison

Course in the exchange office is best

On the day of the comparison, the most Thai Baht per euro was available at the exchange office.

When withdrawing money at the ATM, the ā€œforced happinessā€ with the machine operator fee (so-called third-party fee / in Thailand 180 - 220 THB) spoils the bill.

(Almost) all banks in Thailand have jumped on the foreign fees train.

Finding an ATM for free is a hassle. That's why I left this avoidance strategy out of the calculation.

Unless you're near a bank branch with an ATM free of charge, you probably don't want to go on a long journey just to save the third-party fee.

Basically, withdrawing small amounts with a foreign credit card / debit card is therefore less advisable.

Because the external fees are incurred per transaction.

The lower the withdrawal amount, the greater the percentage of fees.

If there were no ATM fees in Thailand, the results for withdrawing money / currency exchange would be closer together.

However, on the day of comparison it was cheapest to bring euro bills and change them at the exchange office.

Here, too, there are a few things to consider: rates may vary depending on the exchange office.

Some exchange offices only give good rates for higher amounts. At the Super Rich exchange office used, there is the best rate, e.g. from an exchange amount of ā‚¬ 100.

Perhaps this is a surprising result for some. It is often said that exchange offices always have bad rates.

Different day, different results

Finally, it is important to note that the results from the comparison day are purely a random sample.

It can look different on another day.

And even an exchange office like Super Rich may have a day with bad rates.

For example, I've already had transactions where the rate at Revolut was better than at DKB.

And the exchange rates of Revolut and a "normal" credit card are not directly comparable anyway, since Revolut has "real-time rates", which means that there can be fluctuations over a day.

Beware of Revolut in Thailand, by the way: Thai Baht counts as an "illiquid currency" at Revolut. At the weekend there is a 1.5% surcharge on the closing price on Friday.

More on this at Revolut in Thailand.

Therefore, for those who want the best possible THB exchange rate: at the weekend either not use Revolut or change currency in the app from Euro to Thai Baht before the weekend to avoid the surcharge.