The official currency of Thailand is the Thai BAHT (Pronounced: "baaht" - International currency code: THB)

One baht is divided into 100 satang.

Coins come in denominations of: 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht, as well as 25 and 50 satang. (You may get some 25 or 50 satang coins in change at a supermarket.)

Banknotes come in denominations of: 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 baht.

The most commonly used coin is the 10 baht and the most commonly used note is the 100 baht. The notes of 20 and 50 baht have changed with a slightly different portrait of the King. 

  • Travellers Cheques are generally accepted only at dedicated foreign exchange shops or banks. There is a fee of 153 baht per cheque cashed.
  • Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are plentiful throughout Thailand, and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.)

Foreign debit and credit card withdrawals from Thai ATMs incur a 150 or 200 baht fee levied by the local ATM owner, in addition to any fees added by your home financial institution. This is set to increase to 250 baht in August 2016.

  • Major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, JCB and American Express, are readily accepted at most hotels, airlines, restaurants and upscale merchants.
  • To prevent your credit/debit card from being declined, it is important to advise your card issuer of your travel plans in advance.
  • Some institutions routinely block/deny unexpected charges from Thai merchants for fear of possible fraudulent use.

Buying Thai Baht outside Thailand

Although theThai baht is widely stocked by currency suppliers outside Thailand, money can usually be exchanged on arrival at much more advantageous rates

Exchanging cash in Thailand is EASY.

FOREX (FOreign EXchange)  booths are very common and clearly post their daily exchange rates on an electronic notice board.

  • Cash exchanges in Thailand incur NO commissions or fees.
  • Do not buy any Thai currency until you arrive in Thailand.
  • The rates offered in Thailand are ALWAYS BETTER than you could get back home *(for "mainstream" currencies).
  • FOREX booths accept ALL MAJOR currencies.
  • DO remember to bring ONLY bank notes in good overall condition.
  • FOREX booths generally WILL NOT accept bank notes that are old, torn, ripped, damaged or are excessively marked/stamped

 


Which is best?

Cash

  • There are NO fees or charges to bring your home currency, and NO fees or charges to exchange it into baht in Thailand.
  • There are no surcharges or commissions when exchanging cash at the airport.
  • It is the easiest to use, and in most cases the cheapest as well, but there's obviously some risk of loss or theft.
  • Make sure you count your money for clerical errors BEFORE you walk away from the exchange counter.
  • Again, you do not need to buy any Thai baht BEFORE arriving in THAILAND.

At Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, there are exchange booths right in the Customs Hall (after clearing Passport Control, in the baggage claim area) as well as in the general arrivals area. ATMs are also readily available in the airport.

Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank operate a virtual duopoly at Suvarnabhumi Airport. The exchange rates at both banks' outlets all over the airport are significantly lower than bank exchange rates across the rest of the country. (However those rates are still more favourable than the rates you would get for buying Thai baht in your own country.)

However, several independant money changers including Super Rich (whose rates are usually among the best in Thailand) and Value Plus (whose rates closely mirror those of Super Rich) now operate exchange outlets on the lowest level of the airport on the territory controlled by the underground Airport Rail Link station. A visit to these booths might prove worthwhile. The rates they offer at the airport are close to or identical with the rates they offer downtown.

Most airport currency exchange services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but the booths on the ARL level follow the hours of the Airport Rail Link: 07:00-23:00.


Travelers Cheques

If you prefer the security offered by travellers cheques, then take them in your home currency if available. i.e. If you are from Britain, do not get USD cheques or you will lose money on that exchange before you have even started. In some cases there is a fee to buy travellers cheques.

  • When you exchange travellers cheques in Thailand there is now a 153 baht fee per cheque (up from the previous 33 baht).
  • To minimise this high fee it is wise to get your cheques in larger denominations (i.e. fewer exchanges).
  • T/Cs actually get a marginally better exchange rate than cash, which will help offset part of the fee.
  • When cashing T/Cs you will be required to present your ID (i.e. Passport).
  • T/Cs provide improved security for you, as they can be replaced if lost/stolen.
  • Only American Express cheques are accepted. Do NOT bring other kinds of cheques such as Thomas Cook.

Rates at FOREX booths/kiosks:
The bank's current buy/sell rates will either be prominently displayed on an electronic display board or by a fax paper attached to the window. These are the banks offical rates in use at that point in time. When rates change-- and they do frequently throughout the day -- the display board and/or fax page will be replaced and updated accordingly.

Rates DO vary between different banks, but NOT within branches of the same bank, with the exception of the Kasikorn and SCM outlets at the airport.  You can use the link below to get a idea of the more competitive banks for your chosen currency. There are no extra fees or commissions if you exchange your cash in Thailand.

Some independent Forex specialists (such as Super Rich) offer more advantageous rates than any of the banks. You must decide if it is worth spending the time and money to get to one of these dealers, in order to gain what may be only a small amount more than at the next bank-owned booth.

THE BEST ONLINE SOURCE FOR UP-TO-THE-MINUTE EXCHANGE RATES IN THAILAND: 

http://daytodaydata.net

To determine the current rate of exchange of your home currency to the Thai baht, you can check this web site which shows the rates offered by all major Thai banks/FOREX specialists.

  • Use the first drop down box to insert your home currency.
  • You can also check ATM rates (option TT), and Travellers Cheque rates (option cheque)
  • These rates are exactly what the banks listed are offering at this moment

 

 


ATM

 

Most Thai banks now charge a 200 baht fee per withdrawal when you use their ATMs with a foreign card. The exception is AEON machines found in many big stores such as Tesco Lotus and major shopping malls like Terminal 21. They charge 150 baht.

  • Your home bank may also levy a fee.
  • Using ATMs is a safer option than cash and more convenient than T/Cs.
  • This may be the way to go if your home bank does not charge high fees.
  • ATMs are plentiful and located just about everywhere.
  • Most Thai ATM machines will deliver a maximum of 20 banknotes per withdrawal, so the effective limit of an ATM withdrawal is 20,000 baht.
  • NOTE that many ATMs may offer to automatically convert the charge to your home currency. Refuse this option. This is Dynamic Currency Conversion and the exchange rate will be considerably lower (on the order of 5-7%) than the rate normally applied by your home bank. So if an ATM asks "Convert to [your home currency]?" just choose "no." See more about Dynamic Currency Conversion below.

*Prepaid Cash Cards - Like debit cards, may also be subject to fees by issuer as well as the Thai bank.

Remember, you DO NOT need any Thai baht before your arrival in the Kingdom. To get baht ahead of time will subject you to a considerably poorer rate of exchange plus probable commission fees.

 


Exchanging Cash or T/Cs at the HOTEL

  • While Hotels DO offer cash and T/C exchange facilities, the rate offered is usually VERY POOR compared to that offered by Banks/Forex booths.

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC): Just say "No"

  • When paying by Credit Card (hotels restaurants shops etc), insist on being billed in Thai baht.
  • Being billed in your home currency, (a practice which has become more prevalent) involves both a hidden surcharge and poor exchange rates and can add 5% to the net cost.
  • The best advice is to insist on paying the local currency amount.
  • If you are charged in your home currency, someone is going to make a profit on the deal, and it won't be you.
  • If DCC is offered at an ATM machine, refuse, allowing the exchange rate to be set by your home bank at international market rates.

BE RESPECTFUL WHEN HANDLING THAI CURRENCY!

All currency in Thailand, paper and coin, bears a portrait of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej or a deceased relative.

Remember that Thailand has harsh lèse majesté laws which are strictly enforced. These laws expressly prohibit any act - verbal, physical or written, that shows insolent or disrespectful behaviour toward the royal family.

With this in mind;

  • DO NOT EVER step on a coin to stop it from rolling away.
  • DO NOT step on a Thai banknote to stop it from blowing away.
  • DO NOT throw a note or coin in anger towards another person. 
  • DO NOT tear, burn or otherwise deface a note or coin.

These acts can easily been perceived as disrespectful toward His Majesty The King, or another member of the royal family (and may be considered highly offensive to any Thai person who witnessed such an occurrence).

Please show respect accordingly.