Basics of banking in Thailand



Banks in Thailand

Thai currency is the Baht; one Baht is subdivided into 100 Satang.

There are a number of national and international banks in Thailand such as Bangkok Bank, Citibank or Deutsche Bank. HSBC Thailand, Citibank and Deutsche Bank are popular with expatriates in Thailand. To open an account with major Thai banks like Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank and Sian Commercial Bank you must earn a minimum salary of 50,000 -150,000 Baht per annum. Most banks have English language websites which you should look up before deciding who you would like to bank with.

Normal banking hours are from 08:30 to 15:30, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays. However, some branches may remain open on weekends as well.

Opening a Bank Account in Thailand

Although a work permit is officially required to open an account, it is possible to open an account with just your passport. An initial deposit of at least 500 Baht is also required. Once the account is open and verified, you will usually receive a debit card, which you can use to withdraw money at ATMs/cash machines across Thailand. The initial fee for an ATM card is 300 Baht and a monthly charge of about 50 Baht is applicable if you haven't made any transactions for a while and if the balance of your account is below a certain minimum, you will have to pay. Each bank will have its own rules and restrictions on the amount that can be withdrawn using the ATM card. Your passport will be required to make cash withdrawals over the counter inside a bank.

Procuring an overdraft facility is also practically impossible in Thailand. Though most banks offer internet banking facilities the scope of services is not very wide. 

Credit & Debit Cards in Thailand

Most credit cards, such as Visa or MasterCard, are widely accepted in Thailand subject to a fee of about 3% for Visa or MasterCard and up to 5% for American Express. You can also apply for a Thai credit card if you have a valid work permit, proper visa documentation, good credit history and proof of income. Getting a Thai credit card is not easy for foreigners and most big banks such as Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank will request that you have a minimum monthly income of 50,000 -150,000 Baht before issuing a credit card. Most credit cards have a withdrawal limit of approx. 2,000 - 4,000 Baht per day and a monthly limit which varies between banks.

Once you have opened an account, you will receive your debit card with which you can deposit and withdraw funds from your account at ATMs/cash machines.



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Banking Guide