What to take cash/card/ traveller cheques
Replies: 22 - Last Post: Feb 7, 2013 12:59 AM Last Post By: PhiMeow
Feb 1, 2013 7:17 AM
Feb 1, 2013 7:17 AM
Feb 1, 2013 11:43 AM
2After reading other posts, I thought ATM and Visa cards were the way to go but ran into a couple of problems.
1. The ATM's that I used would only give me a maximum of 10000 or 15000 baht (even though it said 20000 baht max)
2. Visa also grabs 1% no matter who your bank is (your bank might take a cut too).
A 10000 baht withdrawal would give me about $330 US then after paying the 150 baht ATM fee ($5 US) and Visa's share ($3.30). That's $8.50 or 2.5% on every withdrawal OUCH! It added up.
I thought traveler's checks were old and outdated too but there were exchange kiosks everywhere and from reading other posts, it sounds like they only charge a small fee (1 baht?). Of course you have to look at the exchange rate, that's how they make their money but it doesn't seem near as bad at the ATMs. I'm bringing some cash and travelers checks next time with Visa / ATM as an emergency backup.
Feb 1, 2013 11:43 AM
Feb 1, 2013 12:21 PM
4@mcharguenw - its 33 baht fee per TC so if you want to carry TCs get large values like $200 and not $20 or $50.
Visa - cash advance means you start paying interests (very high) straight away. No interest free period. It's best for paying for hotels and purchases in dept stores.
ATMs - AEON ATMs don't charge the 150baht fee. You can find them in Big C or Lotus shopping malls. If you google there is a list of all AEON ATMs in Thailand. Make ATM withdrawal to cover you for 4-7 days. This minimises any bank transaction and foreign exchange fees.
Feb 1, 2013 1:17 PM
5TC's are only "obsolete" if you are on the younger side of 40. They are still widely accepted and any bank in any country in SEA will cash them, As stated, 33 baht per TC in Thailand so better to have larger value cheques. Lose cash and it's gone. Lose TC's and they can be replaced. Cards can have very high charges - you need to research with your own card providers just what those charges will be.
It's sensible to have a mix of TC's, cash and cards though many rely just on cards these days
Feb 1, 2013 2:31 PM
6I am lucky I have had a bank account for the last couple of years.
However before that it was just the card.i normally take out 10 thousand baht and in chiang rai that can last along time.
I think it's the best way to go.Dont cash any money at you local airport as there are plenty of places when you arrive
To get some Thai baht say around $500
Don't streets to much about exchange rates as in only varies a little and if your not making any major purchases then just cop the 150 baht fee even though it's a
Feb 1, 2013 7:37 PM
7traveller's checks being obsolete or not obsolete has nothing to do with age.
it just depends on whether you can sensibly use them, or not, in whatever country you are in. In Thailand they are among the least expensive and easier ways to get your hands on baht that there is, therefore it makes sense to use travellers checks in Thailand. In other countries though, the situation is unlike Thailand and traveller's checks are hardly accepted anywhere and even if they are accepted, they are relatively expensive therefore don't use them in those countries. In Thailand, they're fine though and especially good value if you use higher denomination checks.
Feb 1, 2013 9:18 PM
8Travelers checks are archaic in the age of the ATM...
ATM is by far the best way to get cash...
But if you want a cash stash to fall back on... I'd divide it up physically so you don't lose it all...
That said I don't like leaving cash in my room... I might leave my extra ATM card in a locked bag...
If there is a safe on the premises that might work ...
Credit and Debit cards are also worth having go with major banks...and are essential for online reservations...
If you carry cash...ie US Dollars...make sure they are the newest issues...not the old ones...and are flawless...no rips anywhere...not even a small tear... Only leave on a trip with the crispest bank notes you can get...
Feb 1, 2013 9:38 PM
9travellers checks are not archaic in Thailand, archaic means something that is not used as in unusable and travellers checks are very usuable in Thailand. Every single bank in the entire country as well as the big majority of moneychangers in tourist areas, accepts them for the low fee of 33 baht ro each one, no matter how high denomination the check is this is usually cheaper than the ATM fees charged. After everybody introduced ATM fees for foreign cards after the 2008 financial crisis, travellers checks became more attractive again, although in Thailand there was never anything much wrong with them in the first place, as they were always an inexpensive and convenient way of getting hold of foreign exchange. They're also easy to use in Laos and Cambodia, however not as good as Thailand as foreign exchange places charge 2%, this means to change a 500 dollar check costs 10 dollars in Phnom Penh whereas in Bangkok it costs less than 1 dollar. Malaysia charges a fixed fee like Thailand, however it is much higher than the 33 baht the Thais charge. Philippines is the country to forget about using travellers checks,completely as they are unusable except in just a handful of the most touristed parts of the country and also expensive.
Feb 1, 2013 11:04 PM
10I have read posts here previously where people have said there are some brand ATMs that don't charge a fee. Is that still the case??
I've never managed to find a fee-free one. 150 baht is a lot, but it is a flat rate, so I always take out the maximum. I'm lazy so just pay it for the convenience, but I agree it is extortionate, and it does add up!
Feb 2, 2013 12:13 AM
Feb 2, 2013 3:13 AM
Feb 2, 2013 7:49 AM
14Acorn, back in July Citibank weren't charging for withdrawals either. I'm not sure if this has changed as we didn't have the opportunity to use a Citibank machine in December when we were there. We are back in Thailand in 4 weeks, so may give Citibank a go to see if they still don't charge.
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