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Shit-Spattered Dog

Best Ways To Manage Your Traveling Money.

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What is the best method these days for paying in Thailand?

 

I will list the problems as I see them.

 

1) Credit cards. Easy to swipe ( tap?) but the cc companies tack on charges ,when converting, with exchange rates that benefit them. You get screwed when you find that 100 baht charge is actually 5 - 10 % above the actual fair exchange rate at the time. Multiply that by what you spend over a 3 week trip.

 

2) TravelerCheques. Remember that jingle " Never leave home without it ?" That was for the American Express cc commercial but I always traveled with their Travelers Cheques. The last time I took them with me was for my trip to Cambodia in 2005. This time I am staying in Phuket. If I pay with CC than I get wacked with inflated exchange rates but with Travelers Cheques you only pay the actual rack exchange rate. Because of my relationship with my bank, I don't pay a tt service charge.

Is it safer to pay with local script but keep the payroll back in the hotel safe?

 

3) ATMs. I remember at the old Bangkok Airport when I tried a ATM : it printed out a receipt but no cash was dropped into the cash drawer. I found someone at the info desk. She actually opened the ATM and told me the machine ran out of money. The receipt showed a withdrawal but when I checked at home ( I actually remembered ) I could not find a debt showing on my monthly bank statement

I wonder if ATMs are the way to go. No line ups to cash Traverler's Cheques, available any time. Some banks at home refund the surcharge if you keep a minimum balance or pay a monthly " convenience charge.

 

3) Pay for everything up front, before you leave, in your local currency than stay in your room, never leave the hotel and spend no money. Keep the curtains closed, tv on and watch net flics on your laptop using a VPN service. Your internet is included in your pre trip costs so you never have to fork over your cc. Buy a VPN service before you leave and watch/surf from the country of your choice.

 

4) All of the above?

 

What do others find is the most cost efficient way to do business these day?

 

 

Shit.

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Shit,

 

(It is nice to say shit and be polite) can’t say about your home country and Thailand sinc Thailand has been my home country for over 25 years now but I can describe how I do it between my home (Thai) banks and Vietnam where I have been working for the past 5 years.

 

Major Payments such as Hotel I put on my Credit Card, same with online purchases such as airline tickets for R’n’R back to Bangkok. Security on Thai CC’s is second to none, whenever I make a purchase at “Point of Sale†receive a confirmation SMS near enough instantaneously, not sure what would happen if I got an SMS telling me of a purchase I did not make, never happened (yet)

 

For online purchases need both CC and Mobile phone since once CC details are entered you then apply for an OTP (One Time Password) which is sent via SMS to proceed with transaction.

 

For day to day expenditure I just withdraw from ATM, again Thai banks send an SMS every time a withdrawal is made.

 

Also when I log onto my Thai account online I revieve an email wishing 10 seconds

 

As I said neigh on 5 years now and no problem. Now I don’t have main accounts in Thailand, not that fucking stupid, but rather handy for day to day banking, just log onto my offshore account and make a transaction when the exchange rate is in my favour.

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Pay for flights and hotels with credit card from home. Paying for these with any decent credit card will automatically activate travel insurance.

 

Take currency from your homeland to Thailand and exchange it at Vasu or Super Rich where the rates are excellent.

 

Have a credit card or two as a backup.

 

That's the way I do it and never a problem.

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It dates me but yes, I believe travelers cheques are still available. I always felt safe using them. When I went from country to country, moving around every few days. Carrying traveler cheques was more durable and safer than carrying around a wad of my own script. Someone would have to drag you into a bank to cash your stolen cheques. Of course, they could always force you to sign them than dump you into a trash can if they have inside connections. Cash was the king of thief's booty.

 

Now days I tend to stay in one place more often. I venture out only in short, planned expeditions. For instances going to the gym. When I do a day trip, I only carry enough cash to cover what I think I need. This also helps maintaining the budget but it sucks paying with bills soaked in sweat. I hated digging hands into my sweating pockets and pulling everything out because the sweat had caused everything to stick into a single mass then peeling the layers to find the bills.

 

Card cards are easier but I hate the inflated bank exchange rates. When I read that the banks make ( after taxes, costs, etc ) a billion dollars per quarter in profits my mood sinks. I think Stickman hit it on the head : carry cash . Keep it locked up in the hotel safe. Exchange it at the 2 places he gave and keep the credit cards as backup.

 

 

Can a foreigner open a bank account, deposit 3 weeks vacation money than apply for a thai credit card and use the credit card. This way you are only exchanging you money once. And even better way. why not apply for a thai credit card. load it up with your vacation money ? No problem if you lose it because it is pin protected ( tap disabled.)

 

Shit.

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Yes, you should be able to open a Thai bank account. Get an ATM card with the account. Kasikorn Bank is usually a good bank.

 

No, you most likely will not be able to get a Thai credit card. I live and work here, with a proper work permit, but could not get Thai

credit cards with the Thai banks. Aeon (Japanese) and Citibank (USA) would provide me with CC. The Citibank card has proved to be the best, as I charge enough with the CC and they do not charge any annual fees.

 

With the Thai bank CC, they do not want to issue you a CC if you are over 60 years old.

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Due to local sources I pay all Thai-based cost in cash, including hotel. Since credit card companies charge extra for foreign transactions and often use bad exchange rates I take cash and change either at Super Rich Rachadamri or the Chinese shop at Sukhumvit near Soi 7. Not a huge advantage but I don´t want the CC-companies to cheat me. Super Rich rates are brilliant. Previously I used to buy tickets in BKK due to better price but now they are cheaper from Europe and paid in €. I bought tickets far into 2019 and sometimes get them for 1760 € return.

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Yes, you should be able to open a Thai bank account.

 

Easy but they send you to your embassy to get your passport confirmed. ( Bangkok Bank as per 2017 )

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I use Capital One credit card overseas, as they do not charge the 3% FTF (Foreign Transaction Fee). Some other banks (Chase?) and credit unions in the USA do not charge the FTF.

YMMV

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Open a Thai bank account ( they might steer you towards one that has dubious benefits attached and has a yearly fee - usually not worth it ) then money can be transferred using internet banking - saves having to carry cash .You also get free ATM withdrawals from your local branch ( small fee at other ATM s ).

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