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credit cards?

  • worldbound

    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2011
    Posts: 23

    I'm from the States and will be in Thailand in 3 weeks (!!!!). Am I more likely to use a credit card or cash while in Thailand?

    I don't own a real credit card (just debit cards which can be run as credit) but was thinking of getting one. I know Capital One charges $0/0% for foreign conversions. But if I am not going to be using it all that much I think I'll just stick with my debit card which charges 1% conversion.

    #1 Posted: 14/3/2011 - 23:32

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  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    Depends on how you travel. If you're going to be eating on the street, taking buses, cabs, boats, and staying in guest houses, you probably won't need a credit card. If you're going to be staying in mid and high range resorts and hotels, eating in restaurants, and flying everywhere, or renting a car and buying gas, then you might need a credit card. You can most certainly get by very well using the ATMs and never using a credit card. I was just there for a month and my credit card never came out of my wallet. ATMs are pretty much everywhere.

    #2 Posted: 15/3/2011 - 02:08

  • boxee

    Joined Travelfish
    26th March, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 127

    tilapia is correct , but it is always handy to have a credit card , or another access to some cash , a few years ago i lost my cash card in phuket ,and it took me 4 weeks to get another one sent from the uk, with out my credit card i would have been in big trouble ,
    also its not such a bad idea to have a small amount of your cash changed into travel cheques just for emergencies

    #3 Posted: 15/3/2011 - 03:39

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Yes, as boxee alludes to, don't rely just on your debit card. If you aren't going to have a credit card with you, bring cash and/or some travelers cheques ... just in case. I also lost my debit card, as well as my credit card, cash, and travelers cheques. But because I had my credit card numbers recorded in my diary I was able to go to the Amex office in Bangkok and had my cheques replaced that same afternoon.

    #4 Posted: 15/3/2011 - 06:30

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1583

    I would dimiss the idea of living off your plastic the way many people do now in the States, just swiping their card for everything. Cash still rules in Thailand and most places won't even accept a credit card for payment of less than 1000 baht ($33) and then charge 3% for Visa or 4% for Mastercard (or other rates for other cards).

    If you're like most budget-minded backpackers staying at guesthouses or beach bungalows, and eating at street stalls or simple roadside cafes you'll need to pay cash most of the time. Use your debit card at the many numerous ATMs to cash-up, but be aware of the 150 baht per transaction fee for overseas cards. If you bring a credit card it should pretty much be as a backup plan.

    #5 Posted: 15/3/2011 - 15:25

  • worldbound

    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2011
    Posts: 23

    Actually my plan was to bring at least two debit cards with me.They, of course, will always be kept in separate secure locations. Both can also be run as credit.

    My primary debit card is with Ally bank. They reimburse me for all ATM fees at the end of the month (that's international too).

    #6 Posted: 15/3/2011 - 20:43

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