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Thailand forum

credit cards?

Posted by worldbound on 14/3/2011 at 23:32

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 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by Tilapia on 15/3/2011 at 02:08

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 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
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Posted by boxee on 15/3/2011 at 03:39

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 boxee has been a member since 26/3/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 131

Posted by Tilapia on 15/3/2011 at 06:30

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 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 15/3/2011 at 15:25

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 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,903

Posted by worldbound on 15/3/2011 at 20:43

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 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23


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