If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is how to handle your currency. Should you exchange money before traveling, or wait until you arrive in Thailand? It’s a question that’s on every traveler’s mind, and for good reason.

Thailand is a country that largely operates on cash-based transactions, and having local currency on hand is essential. In this section, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of exchanging money before going to Thailand versus upon arrival. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

So, let’s dive in and explore your options for exchanging money in Thailand!

Currency in Thailand

Thailand’s official currency is the Thai baht (THB), which is divided into 100 satang. Currently, the baht’s exchange rate is approximately 1 USD to 31 THB, but this fluctuates daily based on foreign exchange rates.

When it comes to paper money, the baht notes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000. Additionally, there are coins for denominations of 25 and 50 satang and 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht.

ATMs in Thailand

ATMs are widely available in Thailand, with most accepting international debit and credit cards. However, it is important to note that there may be fees associated with ATM withdrawals, especially for international cards. Additionally, most ATMs have a daily withdrawal limit, which can vary depending on the bank and location.

It’s a good idea to check with your bank before traveling to Thailand to see if they have partnerships with any local banks that waive ATM fees. Alternatively, you can also exchange cash or traveler’s checks at banks and money exchange services.

Overall, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the Thai currency and exchange rates before traveling to Thailand to ensure a smooth and stress-free trip.

Advantages of Exchanging Money Before Traveling

Exchanging money before traveling to Thailand has several advantages that can make your trip more convenient and cost-effective. Here are some key benefits:


One of the main advantages of exchanging money before traveling is convenience. You can avoid the hassle of trying to find a currency exchange counter upon arrival, which can be especially challenging if you arrive late at night or at a smaller airport. By exchanging money in advance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have Thai baht ready to use as soon as you land.

Potential Savings on Exchange Rates

Another advantage of exchanging money before traveling is the potential savings on exchange rates. Exchange rates at airports can be higher due to the convenience factor, and you may end up paying more for your Thai baht. By exchanging money before leaving, you can compare rates and potentially find a better deal.

Avoiding Long Queues at Airports

Exchanging money at airports can also mean long queues, especially during peak travel times. By exchanging money beforehand, you can skip the queues and avoid wasting precious time at the airport.

Overall, exchanging money before traveling to Thailand can be a smart choice for those seeking convenience, potential cost savings, and a hassle-free arrival experience. However, it’s important to consider your individual circumstances and preferences before making a final decision.

Considerations for Exchanging Money Upon Arrival

Although exchanging money upon arrival in Thailand may seem convenient, there are several considerations to keep in mind.

Exchange Counters

Exchange counters in airports and tourist areas may offer unfavorable exchange rates and high transaction fees. It is recommended to compare rates between different counters before making a transaction.


In addition to transaction fees, some exchange counters may charge hidden fees that can significantly impact the amount of money received. It is advisable to inquire about all fees before making an exchange.

Availability of Local Currencies

Exchange counters may not always have local currencies available, especially in smaller towns or off-the-beaten-path destinations. It is best to have smaller denominations of US dollars or Euros as a backup in case local currency is not available.

Consider Alternative Options

There are alternative options for exchanging money in Thailand, including local banks and reputable money exchange services. These options may offer more favorable exchange rates and lower transaction fees.

Before making a decision, consider the exchange rate, transaction fees, and the availability of local currencies. It is recommended to plan ahead and research all options to make an informed decision.

Local Banks and Money Exchange Services

If you prefer using local banks or money exchange services to exchange money in Thailand, there are plenty of options available. Local banks such as Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank have branches located throughout the country and offer currency exchange services. Many also have ATMs that accept international cards.

Money exchange services are also prevalent in Thailand, particularly in tourist areas. Be sure to choose a reputable service with a competitive exchange rate, as some locations may charge high fees or have unfavorable rates.

Things to consider when using local banks or money exchange services

While local banks and money exchange services can be reliable and convenient options for exchanging money, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Some banks and exchange services may have limited hours or be closed on weekends, so be sure to plan ahead.
  • When exchanging money at a bank, you may be required to show identification, such as a passport.
  • Exchange rates may vary between banks and services, so it’s worth comparing rates to ensure you get the best deal.

Overall, using local banks or money exchange services can be a good option for exchanging money in Thailand, particularly if you are looking for a reliable and convenient option. Just be sure to do your research and compare rates to get the best deal.

Using ATMs in Thailand

ATMs are a popular method for obtaining Thai baht in Thailand. They are widely available in many areas, including tourist destinations, shopping malls, and local markets. However, it’s essential to be aware of a few key things before using ATMs in Thailand.

Daily Withdrawal Limits

Most ATMs in Thailand have a daily withdrawal limit of ฿20,000 to ฿30,000. It’s crucial to check with your bank before traveling to ensure that your card’s daily withdrawal limit is sufficient for your needs.

ATM Fees

While using an ATM in Thailand is convenient, it can come with fees. Foreign transaction fees are assessed by most banks and can be as high as 3% to 5% of the amount withdrawn. Additionally, Thai banks charge a withdrawal fee of ฿200 per transaction.

Availability of International Card Networks

ATMs in Thailand usually support international card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, and Cirrus. However, it’s always best to verify with your bank if your card is accepted in Thailand before traveling.

Overall, using ATMs in Thailand can be a convenient and accessible way to obtain local currency. Make sure to be aware of daily withdrawal limits, potential fees, and check with your bank regarding your card’s compatibility with Thai ATMs.

Tips for Getting the Best Exchange Rates

If you’re planning to exchange money in Thailand, it’s important to know how to get the best exchange rates. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Compare Rates

Don’t settle for the first exchange rate you see. Shop around and compare rates at different exchange counters and banks to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

Avoid Airport Exchange Counters

Exchange counters at airports often have higher fees and lower exchange rates than other locations. Try to avoid them if possible and exchange money elsewhere.

Use Reputable Money Exchange Services

Choose a reputable money exchange service that has a good reputation and reliable service. This way, you can ensure that you’re getting a fair exchange rate without worrying about scams or fraud.

Withdraw Larger Amounts of Money

ATM fees can add up quickly, so consider withdrawing larger amounts of money at once to reduce the number of transactions and fees.

Check for Special Promotions

Some exchange counters and banks may offer special promotions for exchanging money. Keep an eye out for these deals to save money on exchange rates.

By following these tips, you can get the best exchange rates when exchanging money in Thailand. Keep in mind that exchange rates can fluctuate, so it’s important to stay informed and be patient when searching for the best rates.


After exploring the options for exchanging money when traveling to Thailand, it’s clear that there are pros and cons to both exchanging money before departure or upon arrival.

Exchanging money before traveling to Thailand provides convenience and can help you avoid long queues at the airport. It may also offer potential savings on exchange rates. On the other hand, exchanging money upon arrival may provide a better rate, but it also involves additional fees and risks.

If you do decide to exchange money upon arrival, be sure to compare rates between exchange counters and use reputable services. Additionally, consider using ATMs or local banks as alternatives to exchanging currency.

In conclusion, the decision on whether to exchange money before leaving or upon arrival ultimately depends on individual circumstances and preferences. We encourage you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make an informed decision.