IVL Property answers common tourist questions about money in Thailand
Those arriving in Thailand on a standard tourist visa may be asked by immigration officials to show at least 20 000 THB cash to prove financial independence.
You are allowed to bring up to 50 000 THB or 100 000 THB per family traveling on one passport. If you are bringing in foreign currency exceeding $ 20 000 USD you must note this on the customs and immigration forms upon arrival. This also counts for gold.
The simple answer is, “no”. Only Thai baht can be used in Thailand, though money exchange is easy at airports and in tourist areas, as you will read below.
The Thai baht is the only accepted currency in Thailand. Originally expressed as 15 grams of silver in the Sukhothai period the baht remains the currency to this day. From 1956 until 1973, the baht was pegged to the American dollar but is now a commonly traded and independent currency.
Coins come in denominations of: 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht, as well as 25 and 50 satang, those such small coins are less common. Bills printed before 2018 feature the face of the previous ruler King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Bills printed in 2018 feature the current ruler and son of the former King, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who assumed the title this year. Both sets of currency will be honored indefinitely. The colors and dimensions of the notes remain the same as before and feature the faces of the former Kings of Thailand on the back. The 20, 50 and 100 baht banknotes were issued on Chakri Memorial Day, April 6, 2018. The final two denominations, 500 and 1,000 baht will be issued on the anniversary of the birth of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, July 28, 2018.
As the infrastructure of Thailand is well established for tourism, money exchange services are prolific. It is recommended to exchange international currency for Thai baht in Thailand to get the rate. Each port of entry will have several money exchange counters but please note, the charges will be slightly more than banks.
A convenient and easy option for accessing funds from your foreign bank is from ATMs, which are often located side by side in busy areas. You will see the service charges clearly printed on the machines, though they will be approximately 220 THB. Please note that the cash is dispense before your card in Thailand so remember to collect your card after the transaction and check the receipt.
As IVL Property is a villa rental and sales company we deal with money transfers daily. All major banks in business and tourist areas have the documents necessary for international transfers and staff that is willing to help you. Please note, you will be asked to provide the address and phone number of the person you are sending money to and show your identification. You will often be asked to state the purpose of your transfer, especially if the amount is high.
Almost every Thai bank has a reciprocal relationship with major banks overseas so it is advisable to check with your home bank as working with a partner bank is Thailand will most likely get you favourable rates.
Western Union is also a common method of sending funds, both in Thailand and overseas. Though the service charges are less than banks the exchange rates are slightly higher.
Facts, figures and images for this article from Reuters, The Bank of Thailand and Wikipedia