With a strong baht, it’s more than ever crucial to find the best place to exchange money in Bangkok.
Even if Thailand remains a cheap country for most westerners, with the dollar and euro falling against the baht, it’s essential to know where to get the best rate in Bangkok.
In addition to the rise of the baht, which increases prices for tourists, Thai banks tend to charge relatively high fees when you use foreign credit cards to withdraw money in the kingdom.
So, to avoid paying huge fees and getting ripped off by bad rates, here is where to exchange money in Bangkok.
The Two Exchange Rates: Buying and Selling
Before we start, and to be clear, we need to remember there are two exchange rates:
- The buying rate: the rate at which you will buy the currency (euros => bahts)
- The Selling rate: the rate at which you will sell the currency (bahts => euros)
For example, the euro exchange rate on 14 January 2020 is :
- Buying: 36.60
- Selling: 37.70
The rate you are interested in is the buying rate. It means that the bank will buy euros from you for 36,60 baht for each euro.
If you change too much, you will have to sell your baht to the bank for euros. But this time you will have to pay 37,70 baht to get one euro…
Note that these two rates do not vary in the same way, and at some currency exchange, they are even different depending on the denominations you hold.
Where NOT to Exchange Money in Thailand?
The short answer is: DO NOT exchange money at the first currency exchange booth you encounter.
Don’t withdraw money in Thailand with your card
ATMs in Thailand will charge you a fee of at least 200 baht (about 6 euros) which will be added to the fees that your bank back home charge (often a fixed amount + a percentage of the withdrawal amount).
When you add both fees, what you’re charged for each withdrawal from an ATM in Bangkok can easily reach 8 to 10 euros per withdrawal.
Tip: keep your credit card in a safe place in case of trouble, or to pay your hotel bill, but avoid using it to withdraw money.
Don’t exchange money at the airport
Exchange booths located in airports often offer a much lower exchange rate than those found in cities.
So avoid changing money at airports as much as possible.
If you still need to change money, don’t change at the first money exchange you find. It’s usually the worst.
At airports, the closer the exchange booths are to the plane’s exit gate, the higher their rates.
Walking 50 or 100 meters will save you several (if not tens of) euros when exchanging money.
At Bangkok’s main airport, Suvarnabhumi, the best exchange rate is on the lowest floor, next to the AirportLink train to Bangkok.
This is where you will find the SuperRich office, among others.
SuperRich also offers a pre-loaded credit card, which can be more convenient than walking around with a lot of cash.
But this card is not on sale at their branch at the airport. It’s only available at the SuperRich branch in Ratchadamri.
SuperRich also offers an app that gives you live exchange rates and shows you the closest branch near you.
An excellent app to have with you if you come with a large amount of cash.
Change as little money as possible
To keep your expenses to a minimum, change the minimum amount of money at the airport – just enough to buy yourself something to eat and pay for the taxi to your hotel.
You should change the rest of your money in the city center, where you will find better exchange rates.
Don’t exchange money back home
You can probably exchange money in your home country. Either at a money exchange near you or at your bank.
In almost every case, and unless you urgently need to carry baht with you, we strongly advise against it.
The exchange rate you will get in your country will be way lower than in Bangkok for two reasons:
- The baht is not necessarily a popular currency across the world, which implies a higher price.
- The costs of structures is more important in other countries (especially in the west).
And that’s why, despite the absence of fees in some banks, their exchange rate is not as competitive as the one you can get in Thailand.
What are the Best Places to Exchange Money in Bangkok?
Once again, you will have a lot of options to exchange currencies in Bangkok, but we’re gonna focus on 3 that we feel are the best options.
For those who don’t know, Super Rich is a popular brand of Foreign Exchange Offices in Thailand.
They have branches all over Bangkok, and they always have very attractive exchange rates.
You can consult their exchange rates directly on their website: www.superrichthailand.com
And if you’re wondering where is the nearest Superrich, their website has a map with all the different branches they have across Bangkok and Thailand.
You can also follow their Facebook page where they post exchange rates daily.
SCB – Siam Commercial Bank
SCB branches have their own currency buying and selling service.
And in most branches, their rate is pretty good.
You can find SCB exchange rates here: SCB exchange rates
And find the nearest SCB branch here: SCB locator
Another major bank in Thailand is Kasikorn Bank.
They also have a very competitive exchange rate service.
To know Kasikorn exchange rates: Kasikorn exchange rates
To find the nearest Kasikorn branch: Kasikorn locator
Last Tips Before you Go
Don’t necessarily run after the best exchange rate and change all your cash at once.
We’ve seen many times people exchanging too much money at once, then losing it.
Yes, Bangkok nightlife can have that effect on you.
So find a place with a good exchange rate, and change a little bit each time.
And for more tips for your first time in Bangkok, don’t forget to read that guide.