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Thailand forum

Best bang for our buck

Posted by dlewingt on 25/10/2007 at 07:26

We are from Canada and are planning a trip to Thailand in Feb/08. My wife read that it is best to take US traveler cheques. I'm wandering if it wouldn't be better to just take Canadian traveler cheques and then exchange them at a Bank for Bahts. Do you forsee any problem? I know American is more widely accepted internationally but the way the US dollar is falling I think I might get a better rate on CAD.

#1 dlewingt has been a member since 24/10/2007. Posts: 4

Posted by korndamned on 25/10/2007 at 07:54

You probably won't have any problems trying to exchange. But you may not get good rates. USD may be falling, but is it falling relative to Baht? And how about CAD rate against Baht?

I personally suggest USD for convenience sake, especially when you're in smaller towns.

Have fun.

#2 korndamned has been a member since 23/10/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by goo_stewart on 25/10/2007 at 11:00

In Thailand all the banks seem to exchange at the national rates, smaller towns will take US and CAD just as well. Take whatever is easiest - only smaller world currencies are not wanted/less advantageous.

#3 goo_stewart has been a member since 10/10/2007. Posts: 69

Posted by ChangFai on 25/10/2007 at 15:23

I cant see a problem in taking Canadian T.C.'s , depending on what company issues them.

I use Sterling £ Travellers Cheques regularly but they are issued by American Express , so are accepted everywhere .

And yes the $ is falling against the baht , and continues to . Just ask US Expats in Thailand.

#4 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by MysticRiver on 26/10/2007 at 09:57

I see no reason to bring Traveler's Checks. Why not just use your ATM? Most ATMs support Cirrus (among others) and they work almost anywhere in the world (excepting Taiwan, where few machines take foreign ATM cards).

Traveler's checks charge a fee to buy, and often a fee and sometimes unfavorable rates to redeem them. Realistically, you are unlikely to get robbed. They are making money on your fear.

ATMs will involve some kind of fee - typically a fixed charge plus perhaps a % of the amount - but I get as good a rate as I think is available, and they are convenient. If you take out larger amounts, you pay the fixed fee fewer times. And if you are a preferred customer at your bank, they may waive the fixed fee.

One hint: you might want to notify your bank that you will be using your ATM in whatever countries and dates you travel. They may see a withdrawal in Thailand as irregular activity, suspect theft of your card, and shut off your access, if you don't tell them.

#5 MysticRiver has been a member since 26/10/2007. Posts: 2

Posted by ChangFai on 26/10/2007 at 16:24

Mystic River
Maybe I am stuck in the past , but I dont get this negatives that are always pointed at Travellers Cheques.

I actually take a mix of TC's , atm card (a Nationwide Card that has no charge to use in Thailand), and cash.

But I buy Travellers Cheques in the UK from Lloyds/TSB at 0% commission , and cashing them in Thailand gives me a much better rate than cash or atm's , and yes there is the safety aspects of TC's.

After seeing friends who cant get a bank to accept their atm card , lose their card/cash , Travellers Cheques will always be the main way of funding my travels.


#6 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by MysticRiver on 27/10/2007 at 14:19


Thanks very much for your comments. I have not used TC's in years - since ATMs started working everywhere - and I remember having to pay fees on both ends. My negativity is a reaction to feeling ripped off. But it sounds like you get a favorable deal.

Clearly one should find out the costs of each, and a strategy of some of each is a sound idea.

I have travelled many times to several countries (a lot of it while working) and never had a problem with theft. I suppose the risk of theft is higher outside of major cities, but I do go there too sometimes.

Only in Taiwan was it hard to find an ATM that would take my card (but I did). I think using ATMs is relatively easy in the countries covered on this site.

#7 MysticRiver has been a member since 26/10/2007. Posts: 2

Posted by EmjayReet on 2/11/2007 at 06:34

I highly recommend travellers cheques. It depends on what your bank offers on ATM fees, but here in Australia I was able to get travellers cheques for free (in Oz dollars) and it was costing me 33 baht to cash (approx $1.20) each one... When I used the ATM it was costing me $5 + 2.5% of the amount I was withdrawing (say a minimum of $7.50 per $100 withdrawn)

Backpacking around that saved me alot of money over 6 weeks .... HOWEVER just get them in your own currency... there is no difference.. you will just probably lose money by exchanging currency twice when its not necessary!

Reet xx

#8 EmjayReet has been a member since 4/7/2006. Location: Australia. Posts: 156

Posted by EmjayReet on 2/11/2007 at 06:37

PS I ALWAYS got a better rate for travellers cheques than I did using the ATM's and exchange booths are EVERYWHERE so you will have no problem cashing them (do it at the exchange booths and not the hotels - better rates that way too!)

#9 EmjayReet has been a member since 4/7/2006. Location: Australia. Posts: 156

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