A handy guide on how Revolut works in Thailand, including info for UK customers on using a Revolut card abroad.
Are you travelling to Thailand from the UK for your dream holiday?
If so, you may be worried about where to get a good deal on Baht (Thai currency). While ATMs are everywhere and will give you the best baht exchange rate possible, fees are high and can in some cases cost you money.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know about where to find ATMs in Thailand and how to avoid paying too much to use them.
And, if you want to avoid exchange rate markups and sneaky transaction fees while shopping in Thailand, then check out the Wise card. You can also use it to spend in 175 countries. Your transactions abroad are automatically converted into British pounds using the fair mid-market exchange rate.
ATMs are extremely common in most major cities and towns. You’ll find them at bank branches, on street corners, at major stores such as Tesco Lotus and 7-Eleven and in shopping malls. You’ll also find them in major airports.
The following are five of Thailand’s best-known banks:
- Aeon Bank ATM locator
- Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) ATM locator
- Bangkok Bank ATM locator
- Krungthai Bank ATM locator
- Siam Commercial Bank ATM locator
You might not find ATMs in rural areas and on some of the lesser-known islands. So, if you plan on venturing somewhere off the beaten track, it’s best to withdraw money beforehand.
Thai ATMs work with MasterCard (Cirrus, Maestro) and Visa (Plus) cards. Your bank can confirm whether your card belongs to one of these networks. ATMs should display the logos of all networks they work with. You can also find a network ATM near you by using:
Thai ATMs work with chip-and-pin type cards and with cards that have just a magnetic stripe at the back. They also accept both four-digit and six-digit PIN numbers. However, Thai ATM keypads don’t have letters, so you’ll need to remember your PIN numerically.
Also, don’t forget to let your bank know when you’ll be in Thailand. Unless your bank is aware you’re abroad, they might consider your transactions suspicious and freeze your card for security reasons.
ATM daily withdrawal limits vary depending on the bank. F.e. Bangkok Bank’s limit is ฿25,000 (~£585).¹ One large withdrawal often works out cheaper than several smaller ones, so you should confirm with your bank whether your card can handle this limit. If it doesn’t, try adjusting it accordingly with them.
ATM withdrawals offer the best deal on the exchange rate, provided you choose to be charged in the local currency - Baht (฿). Withdrawals in Baht are converted using the mid-market rate, a fair exchange rate.
Choose to be charged in British pounds, and the ATM will make up an exchange rate using Dynamic Currency Conversion. This is a bad deal which can cost you money and most ATMs in Thailand are set to automatically offer this option, so be careful. Always press “no”.
Unfortunately, the fees for using an ATM in Thailand are expensive. Most local banks charge ฿300 (around £7) ² per transaction for withdrawals with a foreign bank card. Aeon Bank charges ฿150 per transaction.³ At about £3.50, this is still quite expensive.
Your home bank will also charge fees. Expect to be charged a withdrawal fee and a foreign currency fee per transaction.
If you’re looking for a transparent and safe alternative to manage your money in the UK or when travelling abroad, consider signing up with Wise. You can get a Wise card, a multi-currency card that automatically converts your pounds into local currency in 175 countries at the fair mid-market exchange rate.
There are various ways you can avoid, or at least reduce ATM fees.
To date, no bank in Thailand is part of the Global ATM Alliance.⁴ However, your home bank may still have a correspondent banking relationship with a Thai bank that would allow for free or cheaper ATM fees. So, it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask.
On a related note, Citibank has a number of ATMs around the country.⁵ Its customers can use the bank’s worldwide network of ATMs free of charge. So, it’s worth checking if your bank might also have an arrangement with Citibank that allows you to use their Thai ATMs fee-free or at a reduced cost.
While Krungsri Bank charges ฿220 (~£5.10) per withdrawal,⁶ it has a higher daily withdrawal limit - ฿30000 (~£700). Use this to your advantage by making one large withdrawal instead of several smaller ones.
Aeon Bank’s daily withdrawal limit is ฿20000 (~£470) (. However, at ฿150 (£3.50) per transaction,³ their ATM fee is the cheapest one around.
Don’t let those large numbers shock you, though. Use an online currency converter to find out how much that is in your local money. In Thailand, the cost of living is quite cheap, even in major cities. ฿30000 (~£700) should be more than enough to cover your expenses for a whole month.
While not ideal, using a human bank teller can avoid the Thai ATM fee completely. There’s also the added benefit of no withdrawal limit, which means you can get as much money as you need in one transaction.
However, your home bank may still charge fees, so it’s best to double-check with them before you travel to Thailand.
Some cards may be cheaper to use abroad. If you own more than one card, check your bank’s fee structure to find out which one has the most favourable terms.
It’s usually better to use a debit card rather than a credit card. Credit card companies treat withdrawals as cash advances. They often have higher per transaction fees than debit cards and will also attract interest.
ATM fees for withdrawals made with a Thai bank card are significantly cheaper than those made with a foreign bank card, or even free.⁷ Because you’re using a local card after opening a bank account in Thailand, you’ll also avoid any foreign transaction fees levied by your home bank.
Some ATMs may offer you a ‘service’ of being charged in your pounds. While you may feel relieved to see the figures on terms you’re more familiar with, it’s always best to decline this option. Being charged in the local currency helps you avoid hidden ATM rip-offs by giving you the best possible exchange rate. Choosing to see the transaction shown in British pounds gives the ATM permission to give you an arbitrary (generally much more unfavourable) exchange rate for your withdrawal.
You should now have all the details you need to navigate Thailand’s ATMs. You’ll find many ATMs in large settlements, but take care to withdraw some cash before going into rural areas. Also, fees for using ATMs in Thailand can be high, so use them rarely to avoid racking up costs.
Here is a list of the European countries that charge the highest ATM fees.
- Bangkok Bank – ATMs
- Go to Thailand – Money in Thailand
- Aeon – ATM access fee
- Wikipedia – Global ATM Alliance
- Citibank – Locations
- Krungthai Bank – Rates and fees
- Krungsri – All ATMs
Sources last checked on date: 11-Dec-2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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