It’s no problem to access your money while bike touring in Thailand.
ATMs are everywhere, even in reasonably small towns. You can cash travellers cheques or foreign currency at banks or private exchange booths.
In the bigger centres like Chiang Mai, you’ll even find rolling exchange booths in vans. They’re run by the banks and tend to set up near popular spots like the night market outside of normal business hours.
The only problem is that getting your cash is going to be expensive. As of 2009, all Thai banks are charging a hefty 150 Baht fee (about $5 U.S. dollars!) when you use a foreign card in ATMs. Also, we found that a few Thai banks didn’t accept our UK-issued card so we had to keep trying machines until we discovered which ones did work.
Finally, if you’re coming from Cambodia or Laos, you won’t be able to officially change the Lao Kip or the Cambodian Riel into Thai baht once you get past the border, so better to spend it before you leave the country. International currencies like Dollars, Euros and Yen are easily changed.
29th December 2010 at 4:03 am #
As of November 2010 – We visited 5 different Thai banks and each one charges a 150 baht transaction fee for withdrawing money from their ATM.
29th May 2011 at 11:14 am #
Thanks to both. It seems a fee was introduced since we were last there. I’ve updated the page.
29th May 2011 at 6:25 am #
All Thai banks charge 150 Baht per transaction on ATM withdrawals using non-Thai issued cards.
7th April 2014 at 6:52 pm #
It’s still 150 THB and IMHO, it’s an unnecessary cost.
Try Siam Bank or some other banks and talk to the officers to see if you can open a savings account there. They’ll likely require a work permit but try the next bank in that case.
They’ll provide you with an ATM card (mine was a Visa) to pull money when you need. Less risky and it’ll be a good use to beat dual pricing in Thailand.
I don’t live there right now but planning to move on there in a few months.
8th January 2016 at 6:34 am #
The fee has now been increased to THB 200.
The cheapest way to exchange money in Thailand is one of the Chinese-Thai exchange shops. Their exchange rates are as little as 0.06% (no typo) above the forex rates (e.g. the green SuperRich in Bangkok). Other ‘local’ exchange shops have similar rates (between 0.06% and 0.17%). Banks tend to be at at least 0.5% (e..g Bangkok Bank) or even 1% (SCB).
If you rely on ATM cards, you can try Citibank – their ATMs in Bangkok do not charge the withdrawal fee.