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Old Jan 4, 12, 9:09 am   #1
 
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Changing Money in BKK - Swampy

Hi All,

We usually change our Canadian $ to baht before we leave (3 weeks from now). This time I was going to try to do it at BKK in the hopes of getting a better exchange rate as we are only getting 27.7 baht per CDN dollar here in Calgary. We'll be arriving on TG F from FRA and will be waiting in the F lounge for our flight to Hat Yai where we go through customs (as it's an international airport and the first time we see our luggage). Can anyone recommend a place to change money without the need to go through customs at BKK? I imagine we could get a better rate downtown but as long as it's better than what we'd get here in Calgary, we'd prefer not to be rushing around in between flights.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 4, 12, 5:06 pm   #2
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BKK bank branches all give the same rate -- at 1 THB/USD less than in town. Right now you're looking at 30.2 THB/USD. Sorry, I do not know the rate for CAD.

There is a branch (of unknown origin - SCB?) right opposite the outlet of the East Transfer security area and there are others spaced around the international area.

My recommendation would be only to get a minor amount at the airport and fill in the rest of your cash later. Of course if you're only planning on spending a minimal amount of the cash the poor exchange rate won't be as problematic.

Edit: you're not going through transfer security. Oi. Anyway, you'll find myriad bank outlets in the domestic area with the exact same rate. Unless you're attempting to catch a 7AM flight in which case the branches might not yet be open.

Last edited by dsquared37; Jan 4, 12 at 5:08 pm.. Reason: stupidity
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Old Jan 4, 12, 5:10 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
BKK bank branches all give the same rate -- at 1 THB/USD less than in town. Right now you're looking at 30.2 THB/USD. Sorry, I do not know the rate for CAD.

There is a branch (of unknown origin - SCB?) right opposite the outlet of the East Transfer security area and there are others spaced around the international area.

My recommendation would be only to get a minor amount at the airport and fill in the rest of your cash later. Of course if you're only planning on spending a minimal amount of the cash the poor exchange rate won't be as problematic.
Unfortunately we are immediately going to a little Island with no access to ATM's and with surcharges on credit cards. Cash is king there so we need to get it all in BKK and/or Hat Yai in the small amount of time we have.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 5:32 pm   #4
 
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I believe SCB (Siam Commercial Bank) and TMB (Thai Military Bank) still have exclusive rights for financial services at SBIA. You can check current exchange rates on their web-sites.

And the AOT (Airports of Thailand) web-site, for SBIA, shows the locations of the outlets. I am honestly not sure which have ATMs.

http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/i...ap_bank_en.php

There are facilities in the secure area (international airside). I think you arrive on level 2, so you can see the locations. It looks like the intersections of concourses ABCD and DEFG have a concentration of services.

You will have to pay a 150 baht surcharge, in addition to any fees your home bank may add on.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 7:09 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
I believe SCB (Siam Commercial Bank) and TMB (Thai Military Bank) still have exclusive rights for financial services at SBIA. You can check current exchange rates on their web-sites.

And the AOT (Airports of Thailand) web-site, for SBIA, shows the locations of the outlets. I am honestly not sure which have ATMs.

http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/i...ap_bank_en.php

There are facilities in the secure area (international airside). I think you arrive on level 2, so you can see the locations. It looks like the intersections of concourses ABCD and DEFG have a concentration of services.

You will have to pay a 150 baht surcharge, in addition to any fees your home bank may add on.
I read OP's comments to mean they'd be exchanging money, not using an ATM, in which case every exchange booth offers the exact same rate.

There are several exchange booths (and ATMs) in the D concourse stretch of the domestic area about 50 meters west of the A/B/C/D confluence.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 7:30 pm   #6
 
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We can do ATM's, exchanges and/or both. Couldn't just be ATM's as we are there for a month and will need more than the daily ATM allowance. Trying to find out what would be the best bang for the buck from the available options on the pre-customs side of Swampy.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 8:12 pm   #7
 
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In my frequent travel in SE Asia (BKK in Sept 2011) I find the best rate is for USD $100 bills. The rate is not as good for smaller denominations.
The rate offered for CDN$ is worse than changing CDN$ to US$ and then Baht.

I always have a collection of B. Franklin portraits when I travel around SE Asia.

Swampy ATM charges 150Baht fees on top of what your home bank charges. There might also be daily maximum imposed by the ATM or you bank.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 8:18 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
In my frequent travel in SE Asia (BKK in Sept 2011) I find the best rate is for USD $100 bills. The rate is not as good for smaller denominations.
The rate offered for CDN$ is worse than changing CDN$ to US$ and then Baht.

I always have a collection of B. Franklin portraits when I travel around SE Asia.

Swampy ATM charges 150Baht fees on top of what your home bank charges. There might also be daily maximum imposed by the ATM or you bank.
Yep, we definitely need more than the daily ATM allowance. So the question becomes is the rate better from the ATM (with all the fees) vs. a money exchange place on the concourse before going through customs into Thailand (we'll be doing that in Hat Yai)? If it is, we max out our ATM allowances and get the rest from the exchange shop otherwise we get it all from the exchange shop as it sounds like the rates there are much better than the ~28Baht per CDN dollar we can get here.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 8:42 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoninTech View Post
We can do ATM's, exchanges and/or both. Couldn't just be ATM's as we are there for a month and will need more than the daily ATM allowance. Trying to find out what would be the best bang for the buck from the available options on the pre-customs side of Swampy.
Many ATMs have a limit of 10K THB per withdrawal, each of which you'll be charged 150 THB, which means you're paying a 1.5% penalty before your bank assesses their fees. With an exchange (again, in USD) you're looking at a 3% discrepancy versus the exchange in town.

What you'll need to figure out is this: Do the BKK ATMs also give a lower rate than in town?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
In my frequent travel in SE Asia (BKK in Sept 2011) I find the best rate is for USD $100 bills. The rate is not as good for smaller denominations.
The rate offered for CDN$ is worse than changing CDN$ to US$ and then Baht.

I always have a collection of B. Franklin portraits when I travel around SE Asia.
The best rates are for $100/$50. Both denominations will receive the same rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
Swampy ATM charges 150Baht fees on top of what your home bank charges. There might also be daily maximum imposed by the ATM or you bank.
It's not just in BKK, it's at every Thai based banks' ATMs except for Aeon Bank.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 8:46 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
What you'll need to figure out is this: Do the BKK ATMs also give a lower rate than in town?
Since I don't have access to town I think I just need to figure out whether the currency exchange booths give better deals than the ATMs accessible in our pre-customs situation. Hopefully someone has experience with this and will pipe up.

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
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Old Jan 4, 12, 10:51 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoninTech View Post
Since I don't have access to town I think I just need to figure out whether the currency exchange booths give better deals than the ATMs accessible in our pre-customs situation. Hopefully someone has experience with this and will pipe up.

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
What i intended to say, poorly, was that since the airport bank mini-branches give a worse rate than in town, and you'll also pay 150 THB per transaction, the key question is: Do the associated ATMs also give the same low rate... and that's what you've posed above.

If the ATMs will also give you the 'normal rate minus 1.0 THB' then I'd recommend bringing as much cash as you feel comfortable carrying. It will be a better deal than using the ATM.

You keep mentioning 'pre-customs' but that has no bearing on your scenario. All banks in the airport, whether in the international or domestic areas, give exactly the same rate.

In fact, even having not gone through customs (which you'll do upon picking up your bags in HDY) you will go through immigration in BKK and then can wander anywhere in the airport or outisde.

Your best bet for exchange is, in order:
1) bank exchange off BKK grounds
2) bank exchange in Hat Yai
3) ATM in Hat Yai
3) exchange at BKK
4) ATM in BKK

Here is a very informative site

http://bankexchangerates.daytodaydata.net/default.aspx
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Old Jan 5, 12, 1:23 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoninTech View Post
Since I don't have access to town I think I just need to figure out whether the currency exchange booths give better deals than the ATMs accessible in our pre-customs situation. Hopefully someone has experience with this and will pipe up.

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
Ooops. I overlooked the requirement for forex vs. ATM, but there are forex booths in the locations indicated on the map. Generally SCB gves slightly better rates than TMB but the difference is miniscule.

I have never been to Had Yai so am not sure what facilities are at the airport there? http://www.airportthai.co.th/hat_yai...ative_map.html

My best estimate, as of today at the airport (BKK), would be 30.8 (baht per CAD) for an ATM transaction before any fees (150 THB here plus anything your bank adds), and 30.3 for a forex transaction.

I have limited ATM experience here but my limit is imposed by my U.S. financial institution, $500, so I've been getting 15,000 THB. I use AEON so no 150 baht ATM fee. Yesterday (1/4/12) my effective rate was 31.29 THB per USD.

Anyway, much better rates than exchanging in Canada.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 2:25 am   #13
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Ooops. I overlooked the requirement for forex vs. ATM, but there are forex booths in the locations indicated on the map. Generally SCB gves slightly better rates than TMB but the difference is miniscule.
Each and every branch at the airport gives exactly the same rates. AoT sets the rates and the banks adhere. Shopping the various exchange booths is a waste of time in BKK.



Quote:
Originally Posted by transpac View Post
My best estimate, as of today at the airport (BKK), would be 30.8 (baht per CAD) for an ATM transaction before any fees (150 THB here plus anything your bank adds), and 30.3 for a forex transaction.
Rates were 30.2 THB/1 USD on Tuesday. I'm guessing they haven't changed at all so far.

Whereas, Superich is giving 31.48.


Quote:
Originally Posted by transpac View Post
Anyway, much better rates than exchanging in Canada.
Yes, of that you've no argument here.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 5:37 am   #14
 
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Rates were 30.2 THB/1 USD on Tuesday. I'm guessing they haven't changed at all so far.
FWIW, I was referencing CAD<-->THB rates, and what the OP might expect with his CAD.

I am not familiar with forex alignment at SBIA via AoT; I was referencing SCB - TMB rates from their respective web-sites, along with some historical experiences. Honestly there is not much to shop as only two banks operate at SBIA.

Yes, Superrich at Ratchadamri ( and not their other outlets ) did close today at 31.40 for USD, and 30.55 for CAD. These rates do vary throughout the day, but are hardly useful for the OP who has neither USD nor the time, and associated cost, to head into town.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 6:06 am   #15
 
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You'll also do better with travelers checks, if you are able to get them before you leave. For example, just checked Kasikornbank's rates for CAD. 30.34 for cash, but 30.69 for travelers checks.
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