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Where to exchange dollars for baht?

Where to exchange dollars for baht?

Old Nov 15, 17, 5:31 pm
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Where to exchange dollars for baht?

where do you suggest changing dollars to baht, and what to avoid?
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Old Nov 15, 17, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by bkkth View Post
where do you suggest changing dollars to baht, and what to avoid?
Are you absolutely limited to exchanging bills for bills? I have always had the best luck/convenience/rate simply using my debit card when I arrive at the airport. I have never bothered exchanging bills for bills except one time when I returned and the conversion rate was not ideal at that airport kiosk - but it wasn't much money so I wasn't too concerned.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:46 pm
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Super rich generally has good rates. They have lots of locations around Bangkok including the airport and stations.
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Old Nov 16, 17, 8:55 am
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Go to either Superrich or VASU exchange....the exchange rates are virtually identical and are generally some of the best available in Bangkok. (VASU is at the corner of Sukhumvit and Sukhumvit soi 7/1. Bring your passport.)
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Old Nov 16, 17, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by BrianG86 View Post
Are you absolutely limited to exchanging bills for bills? I have always had the best luck/convenience/rate simply using my debit card when I arrive at the airport. I have never bothered exchanging bills for bills except one time when I returned and the conversion rate was not ideal at that airport kiosk - but it wasn't much money so I wasn't too concerned.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought exchange counters were cheaper unless you're exchanging huge amounts of money. ATM fees are generally ~$6 USD, plus whatever your home bank's exchange fee is, while exchange counters charge about 1%. So unless you're exchanging ~$1000 USD and assuming your home bank's fee is ~$3 USD, it's cheaper to go to an exchange counter versus the ATM.
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Old Nov 16, 17, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by calbear2005 View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought exchange counters were cheaper unless you're exchanging huge amounts of money. ATM fees are generally ~$6 USD, plus whatever your home bank's exchange fee is, while exchange counters charge about 1%. So unless you're exchanging ~$1000 USD and assuming your home bank's fee is ~$3 USD, it's cheaper to go to an exchange counter versus the ATM.
Fidelity rebates my ATM fees in Thailand, and gives me interbank rate on withdrawals using my debit card. The foreign transaction fee I would pay is only on purchases (and I use a different card for purchasing outside the US where that isn't a problem).

https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/fi...e-wordwide-en/

Charles Schwab is similar, plus it doesn't even have the foreign transaction fee.

https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/ch...e-wordwide-en/

Charles Schwab is discussed here on FT:

Charles Schwab ATM/Debit card?

In short, if you're doing overseas travel, it's fairly easy to get banking products that give you access to your cash without being gouged. Not all banks gouge you.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/bank...onal-atm-fees/

I try to do that because I don't want the nuisance of having to go look up currency exchange when I travel. I prefer to just use an ATM and go.
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Old Nov 16, 17, 3:22 pm
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Make sure you have $50/$100 - smaller bills get a lower rate anywhere you go.
Airport rates are lower than anywhere in town. In tourist spots just walk down the street and check all the booths and then take your pick.

ATM gets expensive as most Thai banks now charge a 200 baht fee per withdrawal when you use their ATMs with a foreign card - and thats on top of what your bank may charge.
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Old Nov 16, 17, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Fidelity rebates my ATM fees in Thailand, and gives me interbank rate on withdrawals using my debit card. The foreign transaction fee I would pay is only on purchases (and I use a different card for purchasing outside the US where that isn't a problem).

https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/fi...e-wordwide-en/

Charles Schwab is similar, plus it doesn't even have the foreign transaction fee.

https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/ch...e-wordwide-en/

Charles Schwab is discussed here on FT:

Charles Schwab ATM/Debit card?

In short, if you're doing overseas travel, it's fairly easy to get banking products that give you access to your cash without being gouged. Not all banks gouge you.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/bank...onal-atm-fees/

I try to do that because I don't want the nuisance of having to go look up currency exchange when I travel. I prefer to just use an ATM and go.
Oh yea, forgot about Charles Schwab cards (we use my girlfriend's exclusively on overseas trips for ATM withdrawals). But all things being equal (i.e. no transaction-free cards), I believe exchange counters are the way to go in Thailand.
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Old Nov 17, 17, 8:34 pm
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If you have one of those cards above, you might as well use ATM since you can get the cash you need before leaving the airport.

I will note that I'm increasingly moving away from cash, as more Thai-run businesses (including relatively small non-chain) accept credit cards. It's pretty easy to get a no-foreign transaction fee card that also earns points. The rates from the card matches up well with the cash exchanges.
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Old Nov 18, 17, 3:06 am
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Originally Posted by Plato90s View Post
It's pretty easy to get a no-foreign transaction fee card that also earns points.
Not so easy to get one that earns points or refunds ATM fees from any UK bank. Cash is still the best financially for most people.

I realise the OP appears to be from the USA, but others will read the thread.
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Old Nov 18, 17, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
ATM gets expensive as most Thai banks now charge a 200 baht fee per withdrawal when you use their ATMs with a foreign card - and thats on top of what your bank may charge.
I get reimbursed for ALL ATM fees with Fidelity. Even that one.
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Old Nov 18, 17, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
In tourist spots just walk down the street and check all the booths and then take your pick.
I was once in a European city and took money out of the ATM in the hotel lobby. The next day, I took the same amount out next door in a small locals mall's bank branch's ATM. When I looked at my bank statement once home, the difference in what was charged was staggering. Between the fees and the bad exchange rate, the hotel ATM cost five times as much. Lesson learned: Avoid hotel lobby ATMs.

Originally Posted by Plato90s View Post
I will note that I'm increasingly moving away from cash, as more Thai-run businesses (including relatively small non-chain) accept credit cards. .
You must shop and eat in better places than me. Until the Weekend Market booths, cheap bars and street vendors start taking ccs, I'm stuck with cash.
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Old Nov 18, 17, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by bkkth View Post
where do you suggest changing dollars to baht, and what to avoid?
Where? Bangkok? City? Where in Bangkok? Airport? How much?

This is a bit like asking where to buy Thai food, and what to avoid.

Assuming you're arriving by plane at BKK, you could exchange enough cash at the airport for transportation costs, and then, again assuming you're staying in town, buy THB with USD at a bulk foreign exchange service provider. There is a concentration of providers on Ratchadamri, and these providers offer services at a variety of satellite offices located conveniently throughout the city.

Credit card fraud remains a huge problem here, personally, I use credit cards (U.S. and Thai) here infrequently.

Last edited by transpac; Nov 18, 17 at 7:32 pm
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Old Nov 19, 17, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
I was once in a European city and took money out of the ATM in the hotel lobby. The next day, I took the same amount out next door in a small locals mall's bank branch's ATM. When I looked at my bank statement once home, the difference in what was charged was staggering. Between the fees and the bad exchange rate, the hotel ATM cost five times as much. Lesson learned: Avoid hotel lobby ATMs.
I suspect fees only (assuming you didn't fall for a DCC trap) as the exchange rate is normally set by Visa/Mastercard depending on the card you're using.
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Old Nov 19, 17, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by Hvr View Post
Super rich generally has good rates. They have lots of locations around Bangkok including the airport and stations.
The Super Rich location at BKK airport is in the basement on the way to the rail link. It is a kiosk, which occasionally runs out of baht to sell. It also has limited operating hours (10am to 8pm I believe) so not open for late night and early morning arrivals.

In any case: for the best reception the OP should have *pristine* $50 and $100 bills of the latest issue, as some currency changers can be picky when it comes to condition.


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