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Thailand forum

Money worries in Thailand ?

Posted by henricartier on 16/3/2008 at 22:00

I see credit cards, traveller's cheques, and ATM's are all options in Thailand. Cash is risky as insurance will not cover it. Any thoughts on the 'best' mix of the aforementioned variables to take?
(one hotel I saw advertised online - in Chiang Mai - only accepts cash - necessitating cash advance ATM's with their very expensive fees - or wads of hard cash - very risky).
What's your take on travels with the cards/cash?

#1 henricartier has been a member since 14/3/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by jplumlee on 17/3/2008 at 02:13

I've been to Thailand five times in twenty years. In '04 I spent ten months and rented a room in Chiang Mai for three months. I've never used anything except my ATM card and have never paid a fee. You should check with your bank and avoid stand-alone ATM's in 7-11's etc. I don't think I have ever paid for a room, bus fare, train etc. except cash.

#2 jplumlee has been a member since 3/3/2008. Location: United States. Posts: 3

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Posted by khunwilko on 17/3/2008 at 10:32

Yep - check with your bank...different for all, but I've used Thai ATMs for 10 worries.

Most shops hotels gas stations you can use it too.

#3 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by ChangFai on 17/3/2008 at 10:44

Have said this on here many times , but imo , travellers cheques win out every time .

In the UK , 0% to buy , a better exchange rate , and security .

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

Posted by khunwilko on 17/3/2008 at 11:05

In my opinion...and i've said this heaps of times...TTs are a hassle and only for back-up. Ive even witnessed them being refused.

#5 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by ChangFai on 17/3/2008 at 18:18

Khun Wilko
I wonder how many times we have debated this ;-)

In over 20 years I have never had a Travellers Cheque refused .

But I have seen plenty of people have their cash , ATM card / CC card refused , eaten , stolen , with much hassle to follow , that could have been pevented .

I do actually take a mixture of all of the above but Travellers Cheques is my main sorce of holiday funding.

I know in this modern world , they are so old fashioned , but there is NOTHING better in my book .


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

Posted by exacto on 17/3/2008 at 20:20

hiya henri,

if you haven't yet, read the article and the accompanying comments in the features section on how to manage your money while travelling in southeast asia. there are heaps of hints and suggestions that you'll find useful.

for my own two cents on this topic, i typically travel with a mix of 80 percent ATM, 10 percent travellers check, and 10 percent cash, with a higher percentage of TC's and cash if i'm spending significant time in Laos.

i go with 80 percent ATM because of the real convenience of that option. they are located nearly everywhere in the places i tend to visit, they are always open, and my bank here in the states charges little or no fees for me to pull local cash out of my checking account here in the states. it is important, however, for you to check with your local bank to see if this is a financially reasaonably way for you to go. from what people on this board say, Nationwide is a solid choice in the UK.

i go with 10 percent traveller's checks because there have been times when an ATM is not available or the network is not working or just in case my ATM card is lost or stolen. i like to have that backup, which is no cost since i get fee-free TC's from my bank here.

finally, i round this out with 10 percent cash, which is quick and easy to use, very flexible, particularly if you need to get just a bit more local current, and a small enough amount that i'll be okay if it gets stolen.

i see that wilko and CF come in on opposite sides of the ATM vs. TC debate, and in my opinion, neither of them are wrong. both suggestions are viable methods and I've had successful trips to Thailand and elsewhere using each of their methods as well. it's largely a function of which option is more comfortable to you and which option results in the lowest fees given what your local bank charges. cheers.

#7 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by khunwilko on 18/3/2008 at 09:43

Actually I'm with Exacto on this...I HAVE witnessed TTs refused and of course they are inconvenient...AND I've been coming to Thailand for over 20 years...but I've kept apace of the times!!??

#8 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

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