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Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

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posts: 968
reviews: 4
Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?


Is it very common/easy to use Master card or Visa Electron in Bangkok's shops?

I think I will do most of my shoppings in MBK shopping mall since it is the "cheapest" in Bangkok?

And do they take some extra price if I use Master or Visa Electron?

Thanks :)

Arlington, Virginia
posts: 1,000
1. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

Most places in the malls will take them but make sure you keep an eye on your card and don't let them leave your sight. Some shops will charge you 2 or 3% more to cover the cost of using CC.

Bangkok, Thailand
posts: 1,676
2. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

I would agree with shady

NEVER let your ccout of your sight. There are some really crazy stories.

Keep your eyes open and watch your card.

If you think it has been compromised then ring yor CC Company so carry their phone number with you..

Some places, tho not all will put on a service charge.

BTY using CC to pay for goods overseas is normally the worst exchange rate you can get and then there are also the cc charges for using in another country. Dont forget your cc charges per transaction

Sydney, Australia
posts: 324
reviews: 3
3. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

Credit cards and credit card fraud has been extensively covered on this forum, best advice is to leave cc at home.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Mae Hong Son
posts: 360
reviews: 14
4. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

I guess I have a different perspective on the use of credit cards. Having lived and worked in Bangkok for nine years now, I have used both Master Card and Visa at least several times every week. It's not always so easy not to let your card out of your sight. For example, are you going to follow the waiter back to the cashier when you pay for a dinner on your card? Suffice to say that I have never had a problem with fraud, and I have absolutely no qualms using my card here. I could not even imagine carrying lots of cash around and leaving my card at home while in Thailand on holiday. Every card I know of (and in many countries by law) limit your liabiliy to some small sum or nothing at all even if you do get frauded. I have heard the "horror stories" as well, but I believe they are rare. Every expat I know if here in Bangkok uses his or her credit card regularly and no differently than we would at home, and no, we don't all follow the waiter to the cashier so as to not let our cards out of our sights. :-)

You will find that nearly every smaller shop and travel agencies will charge 2 - 3% on credit card purchases. Department stores and restaurants generally do not have a credit card surcharge. Of course if you buy something at the small stalls on the ground floor of MBK, most deal only in cash.

As for exchange rates, check with your bank as not all have the same policy. The bank for my Master Card adds a foreign exchange service fee of about 2% on top of the official exchange rate...not good. On the other hand the bank that issues my Visa gives me the straight official wire transfer rate with no surcharge, and that rate is better than a cash or traveller's cheque exchange rate.

Arlington, Virginia
posts: 1,000
5. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

I've used my cards quite a bit in Bangkok also with no problems, but I've read the horror stories on here . I've bought all my gold with CC. I think maybe it happens more in Phuket or some of the other larger resort areas where people are on holidays etc.

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 295
6. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

I've just received a new Visa card with a small gold chip on the front - similar looking to a sim card in mobile phone - which is for heightened security. It replaces the magnetic strip on the back. Are these in use In Bangkok, as ny bank says it is the first in Australia to issue such a card.

Even if the card is more secure, I still don't know if it is worth using. By the time bank fees for using 'foreign' ATM's are added, plus fees for converting to local currency, I'm sure I'll be better off using cash. In my experience, you usually get a better price for cash anyway.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Mae Hong Son
posts: 360
reviews: 14
7. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

Kathy - if you are talking about using an credit card for cash advances at an ATM, that is different from using them for purchases. Your bank will charge a cash advance fee plus interest from the day you take the advance. And as mentioned above, unless your bank makes a charge for overseas use of a credit card for a purchase, your exchange rate for the transaction will be at a better rate than the exchange rate for a cash exchange into baht.

For debit cards, many banks now have no fee for using the card at an overseas ATM (check with your bank). Thai bank ATMs never add a charge for this. Again, you will receive a better exchange rate using an ATM than you will for exchanging the same foreign currency in banknotes into Thai baht.

8. Re: Using Master/Visa Electron for shopping?

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