Paying and ATMs in Thailand


#1

Hi,
What the situation in Thailand with Revolut. Which ATMs are best. Can you still use ATM without any fee?
Do anyone can describe best practices in use of Revolut card in Thailand?

Ive read this posts:

Is there any update to it?

Thanks in advance!


Fees in Thailand
#2

Hey @chytry

I just came back from Bangkok last week, so I will give you the very fresh information :slight_smile:

In Thailand there are no ATMs left, that would be free to use. Every ATM charges 200 THB to make a withdrawal, including the Citibank ATMs in Bangkok that used to be free until about August 2016.
I have heard that Aeon ATMS (very rarely you can find them in Bangkok) charge 150 THB instead of the standard 200 THB. But saving 50 THB is a very small saving considering they are difficult to find.

On top of that, you have a currency conversion situation with Revolut, where you have to keep in mind that during the weekends and during the Forex exchange (London) is closed, there is a surcharge on the exchange rate, which means you will be loosing out on exchange unless you are careful with the time difference (Bangkok vs. London).

There is however a nice workaround option to buy THB cheaply in advance. It does however require having Thai Bank account.
If you or your friend have Thai Bank account, you can use Revolut to send THB to that account at the optimal time with the optimal conversion rate, and receive funds to Thai Bank within 3-5 days. After that, you can easily withdraw from ATM locally (with Thai ATM card) without a fee.
This is a solution that works beautifully for me, as I am married to a Thai and travel there extensively. I do realise if you don’t have Thai bank account however, you will not be able to use this “free” service.

In that case, paying the local ATM fee and trying to make withdrawals during Forex opening hours is best.

There are also two other good options for getting a good currency exchange rate.

  • cash option (siamexchange.co.th) best rate in Thailand (only one office in Bangkok)
  • N26 Black card (but you cannot avoid Thai ATM fee this way so in the end, this option is not really that much better than Revolut.

Combination of Revolut and Thai bank account is still a winner ! :slight_smile:


#3

I used Revolut in Thailand and found that the ATM’s I used automatically did the conversion for me rather than letting Revolut convert. However this worked out in my favor as the rate was actually a bit better than the Revolut rate. All ATM’s that I used had a 200THB fee. I found myself using card where possible and splitting the bill with my friends using Revolut. The local rate for GBP to THB was also better than the rate I could get for cash here. I would consider taking some cash in GBP and converting to THB over there. Maybe split your spending money 50% cash and 50% on Revolut card.


#4

Thank you Mike and Matt for sharing your knowledge.
Its my first time i wanted to use Revolut Card and i thought this is exactly the situation where it will be perfect. My good i’m disappointed right now! They should do something with it

But thank you for all your advices, appreciated.
cheers


#5

Two things to keep in mind.
First, cash is gold in asia, and Thailand is a classic example. Yes, there are many places where you can pay with a card, but it depends what do you do on your holidays. Hotels, high end restaurants, shops are hustle free when paying by card. Just make sure you don’t use the conversion they offer.
If you eat street food, enjoy night life, use taxi, rent a scooter, shop at local moms&pops shops, don’t expect to use a card. Even if some of those places have POS terminals, they will charge you between 2-5% in order to use them…

Secondly
Be careful when using a card in back alley hotels, because what happened to me (1 time in Pattaya and 1 time in Laos), that when paying for the room with a card, their POS terminal was actually set in a way that withdrawals counted towards “money withdrawal”. If I used Revolut that would not make much of a difference, but since I used my home bank card that charges 12 EUR minimum for Visa credit card withdrawals, I was charged more for a fee, than the room costed. I did not even notice it until I got home. When I checked the payment slip again, it did actually say “withdrawal” in some small print.

I got use to always saying to cashiers in Thailand when paying with credit card “charge me in Thai Baht please” and it always works fine…

Have fun.


Revolut and Thailand and 7/11 and...
#6

Just got back from Bangkok and here are my observations:

  • Several airport ATMs I tried charged 220 THB fee
  • They all offer conversion to GBP , did not check if it was better that way
  • withdrawal was limited to 20000 THB
  • End rate for about 230 EUR with the fee was about 36 THB per EUR, street FX quoted 36.8

#7

mac1fan, some ATM allow 30000THB withdrawals. But as Revolut charges after 200 euros… add to this the 220 baht fixed fees by thai bank… Add to this the 1.5% margin Revolut makes on THB while Mastercard interbank margin is only 0.3%… Revolut is useless in Thailand


Fees in Thailand
#8

I’m living in Thailand and I have an account at the Bangkok Bank. So, I’m interested to use Revolut to send money to this Bangkok Bank account. However, I’m still charged 20 bahts at the ATM, even when using my Bangkok Bank card at Bangkok Bank ATM (of course, is by far better than the 200 or even 230 fee charged on foreing Visa + racket by my foreing bank).

About cash option : yes, siamexchange.co.th has the best rate… but the day I made change, a man asked for my passport (ok, that’s normal) and in the same time was drinking a coffee, right on the top of my passport ! I know the coffee should never end on my passport, but I also know it could happen…

Now, since few months, there is also https://www.superrichthailand.com : their exchange rate is very close to siam exchange and you can find them in many places


#9

Hey

Regarding your Bangkok Bank charging 20 THB fee for withdrawals…
This should not happen, unless you use different bank ATM’s or you use Bangkok Bank ATM’s outside your “province” - meaning that if you opened Bangkok Bank account in Pattaya and you use the card in Phuket, you will be charged this surcharge for “long-distance”

To avoid that, simply open bank account in the province you spend most time in, or open account with bank that does not charge for this “cross-province” withdrawals eg. Citibank.

Regarding the Siamexchange…they are quite good in my opinion, but what I like to do is keep several copies of my passport, and when I exchange money with them, I just hand them the copy, not the physical passport. I am just asked to write my Bangkok address on the copy, and thats it.

Superrich exchange is good, and they do have several branches, but keep in mind, that each branch has different rate, and only the “main branch” I believe on Silom rd. has the best rate. Siamexchange however has the best rate all the time, and National Stadium area has proven to be quite convenient for me…


#10

Hello Mike,

Many thanks for your full answer. Yes, you’re right, I have opened my Bangkok Bank account in Chiang Mai, so I’m charged in Bangkok. But I’m travelling a lot around Thailand, so…

I’m aware Superrich doesn’t have the same rate on each branch. I’m using this link to check the rates :
http://daytodaydata.net/

Using a photocopy and not the original for the passport seems the good way, but it was the first time I got a coffee on the top of my passport at an exchange desk. Anyway, for “big” change, Siamexchange is still the best.


#11

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your feedback on best practices in Thailand !

Regarding paying by card, what do you recommand ? Is it interesting to pay with my Revolut card (for example, when hotels directly accept MasterCard paiements) ? Are there any charges ? @Mike, you said recommanded to ask “charge me in Thai Baht” to cashiers, what does it mean exactly/what is the difference ?

Thank you very much for your answer !


#12

Hi, @fcoq
The reason I said “charge me in Thai Baht” is because what usually happens with overseas cards is,…that Thai POS terminals offer you a currency exchange under their own terms, and you actually pay with EUR, GBP, USD on a POS terminal there. Normally this currency conversion offered by POS is always very bad. In most cases I noticed a surcharge between 3 and 7 % which is significant.

On the other hand, if its a weekend, and you use your Revolut in Thailand, Revolut charges you around 3% fee on exchange.

My recommendation would be to use Revolut during the week, and some other mastercard/visa during the weekends. That is unless 3% doesn’t really bother you that much over weekends…

Cash is still gold in Thailand, and try to bring some hard currency with you there, and change it in one of the best currency exchange offices like SiamExchange.co.th or Superrich… This way you will really get the best possible rate, and you will have cash on hand.


#13

Hello, my wife is thai so I have a thai bank account (kasikorn). What I want to know is what bank do you use because my wife told me that thai bank in general charge money transfer from the receiver side (even if the sender paid some charge, the receiver get some charge too).
And did you use the swift account number? Because it seems that swift is not free.
For short, can you tell me more details about your money transfer from revolut to a thai bank account.


#14

Hey. It kind of depends where you are from. The best and cheapest way to do it is if you come from a country with Citibank, and then open a Citibank account in Thailand as well.
I unfortunately dont. So for me the cheapest way is to transfer from Revolut to bank account in Thailand. I have two. Bangkok bank and Citibank. Bangkok bank is slightly more expensive to receive funds. Its like 500 THB for Bangkok bank and around 400 THB for Citibank. It used to be free up until about a year ago to receive to Citibank, but then Revolut started using a different system, and since then, I have been charged around 400 THB every time. Because this is a flat fee, It makes sense to transfer a large amount at once.
As far as I know, banks like Kasikorn and SCB charge even more for receiving funds, because they are much less “global”. I still think Citibank is the best, but you have to keep at least 200.000 THB on it to have free account. You do however get free withdrawals all over Thailand with that, which is cool. All other thai banks have some sort of ATM charges even if you just go to your own bank in a different province.
Good luck !


#15

Thank you for the update.
So it seems that there is no cheap way to transfer money to thailand and it’s seems normal.
My wife told me about transferwise, which is a way to transfer money but they seems to take less money than Western Union for example (but the later can be used without bank account so it’s not really the same).
It seems to take less than 9euro so it’s a little less than citybank to thai citybank. With that, even the 200b ATM fee seems cheaper to me…
Now it’s much simplier to understand, thank you for the information.


#16

Depends on the amount of money you plan to transfer. If you are OK with lets say 50k THB, than the cheapest is, to go to Citibank ATM in Bangkok and take out all the money at once.
But if you want to transfer a few hundred thousand, than bank transfers are much cheaper. Forget about Western union, because that is ridiculously expensive. Transferwise, however is quite good, but perhaps not the very best.


#17

“if its a weekend, and you use your Revolut in Thailand, Revolut charges you around 3% fee on exchange.”
Can I confirm that this is correct? So Revolut charges 1.5% extra during the week and an extra 1.5% on top of this at the weekend, meaning 3%, (or is it 1.5% extra 7 days a week?).
(Revolut’s FAQs don’t make the distinction at all clear!)


#18

Hi guys, I’m looking for some tips.
I have a family member in Thailand who I regularly send money to. I usually send it via my bank on an international transfer with a poor rate and large fee. I’d like to find a better way.

I did a test transfer of 1000b but when they received it, there was only 540b so there’s been a 460b charge.

Revolut Customer service said it wasn’t them who took it but more probably a SWIFT intermediary or the recipient’s bank.

If I made my family member a revolut account, the transfer should be instant and free. Will they have to pay 200b to withdraw from an atm each time? Are there any other pitfalls or better ideas out there?

Thanks in advance.


#19

Because you only sent a small test amount, any fixed fees will take a huge chunk out of the receiver’s amount. The Thai bank will have probably charged 200 baht. There may have been a SWIFT fee as well, and if an intermediary bank was used, they may have charged a fee too.

With a Revolut card, they would have to pay 200b each time they used the ATM.

I think Transferwise might be the best option for transferring money to Thailand.
They only charge 0.35% of the transfer amount plus a fixed fee, which is better than Revolut. Not sure whether they will face the same problems as SWIFT though as I’ve not tried to make a transfer with them yet.


#20

I suppose another option is to top up your family member’s account with your local currency. Then they can watch the currency fluctuations between that currency and the Thai baht and exchange it in the Revolut app when the exchange rate is good (i.e. when the Thai baht is strong or the other currency is weak). Then they can use the Revolut card’s Thai baht balance at ATMs and for making card purchases.