The Thai unit of currency is the Baht (฿). In Thai the symbol is บาท, the currency sign is ฿ and the currency code is THB. Thai baht is divided into 100 satang however the old 1, 5, and 10 satang coins are very rarely seen in circulation now. Even though the satang denominated coins are legal tender, small shops usually don't accept them anymore due to their very low value. More commonly seen and accepted coins include denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht which is very similar to a 2 Euro coin in size, shape and weight. Banknotes include the green 20 baht note, the blue 50 baht note, the reddish 100 baht note, the purple 500 baht note and the brown 1,000 baht note.
Major international credit cards, like American Express, Diners, Master Card and VISA are of course accepted by major banks, restaurants, hotels and shops in all the major cities and towns in Thailand. Generally however, hotel exchange rates will be lower than those offered by banks and authorised money exchangers. Also worth noting that when using credit cards your bank might charge you a handling fee on each transaction too. Travellers cheques can be conveniently cashed at all provincial banks and authorised money exchangers which can be found in most larger towns and cities. If you are heading somewhere a little more remote then we would suggest you ensure you have sufficient local currency with you as using credit cards and exchanging foreign currency and/or travellers cheques can be more difficult.
Thai and foreign banks provide standard services nationwide, Monday through Friday, except public and bank holidays, between 8.30AM and 3.30PM. Major banks operate currency exchange services in most tourist areas from 7.00AM to 9.00PM, seven days a week, including holidays. Many first-class hotels provide 24 hour money exchange services too, but only for major currencies like USD, GBP, EUR, YEN, AUD. Travellers cheques are generally accepted only from registered hotel guests.
Foreigners can freely bring foreign banknotes or other types of foreign currency into Thailand. If your are in possession of the equivalent of US $20,000 or more when entering Thailand then you are required to report this to a Thai Customs official. Upon leaving Thailand, a foreigner can leave with any foreign currency which they brought in with them, with the exception that foreign notes or coins are limited to a maximum equivalent of US $20,000 or the amount declared in writing to customs upon arrival. Failure to do so may lead to arrest, confiscation of the excess amount involved and/or prosecution. When leaving Thailand, the maximum amount of local currency you can take out of Thailand without prior authorisation is 50,000 THB per person.
Foreigners are permitted to bring personal effects and other goods into Thailand provided they are not prohibited by current customs regulations. Departing visitors are allowed to leave Thailand with any merchandise they may have bought in Thailand including, but not limited, to precious stones, gold and platinum ornaments.
Foreigners in Thailand, in our experience, can’t open a Thai bank account unless they can produce their passport, a work permit and a current visa which was issued for at least 1 year. I have also been advised by various major banks in Thailand that internet access to personal Thai bank accounts is restricted to use from within Thailand only i.e. they can not be accessed from abroad via the internet. That said, we have have heard of exceptions and everyone's circumstances vary so it’s best to talk to your preferred Thai bank if you need banking in Thailand.
Disclaimer: This information is for guidance only. While we try to review these articles from time to time, the regulations might change at any time and without prior notice. Please contact your nearest Thai Consulate for confirmation.
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