What Currency Do They Use In Thailand?

credit: Yay

With its warm hospitality and stunning landscapes, Thailand, charmingly known as “The Land of Smiles,” is a haven for every globetrotter. With each attraction offering its own worth, you’ll need to know more about diving into the Thai world and its currency—where having the baht of knowledge is essential!

Thailand uses the Thai baht (THB) as its national currency, with one baht being divided into 100 satangs. As of June 2019, 30 licensed banks operate throughout the country. Satang coins are hardly used nowadays, but you’ll still encounter 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 baht banknotes.

Also read: Does Thailand Have Internet Restrictions?

How To Exchange Money In Thailand?

Thai banks, currency exchange booths, hotels, and certain stores all accept currency exchange. A popular tourist choice is Super Rich – which is made up of three companies that offer competitive rates.

Thai Baht
Yay Thai Baht

Generally, banks and currency exchange booths offer better rates than hotels and shops, but they may charge a commission or a flat fee per transaction. You can also use online platforms like Wise or Revolut to transfer money to Thailand or get a local bank account.

Many travelers, however, discovered the best way to get Thai Baht at their best rate is to bring some cash in your homebased currency and exchange it at the forex booth once you arrive in Thailand. It just offers a much better exchange rate.

Ways To Get The Best Thai Exchange Rate?

Always try to avoid exchanging all your money at airports, hotels, or tourist areas, as they usually have higher markups and lower rates.

The best way to get the best exchange rate for the Thai baht is to compare different options before you exchange money. You can use online tools like XE or Google to check the current market rate and see how much you can get for your currency.

Stack Of Thai Baht Banknotes
Yay Stack Of Thai Baht Banknotes

You can also shop around and compare the rates and fees offered by different banks, currency exchange booths, online platforms, and travel cards. Here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Cash: Bring Cash (USD, EUR, GBP, AUS, CAD) to exchange at kiosks or banks like SuperRich, Value Plus, Kasikorn Bank. Plan ahead if you’re carrying ample sums. For convenience, use credit cards, but be cautious about fees and dynamic currency conversion (DCC). Pay in Thai Baht to avoid DCC.
  • ATM withdrawals: Safe and convenient but with fees (often up to 220 THB per transaction) and withdrawal limits (10,000 or 20,000 THB). Minimize fees by withdrawing larger amounts less frequently, using a debit card with low foreign withdrawal fees, or with ATM fee reimbursement.
  • Online transfer services: Good for regular or large international transfers with better rates and lower fees (like TransferWise, WorldRemit, and Xoom). Consider transfer times and check regulations and documentation requirements.

How Much Cash Should I Bring With?

The amount of cash to bring depends on your budget, travel style, and plans. Thailand is generally affordable, but costs can vary based on your chosen region, season, and services. Still, Thailand has many budget-friendly markets and food stalls in major cities that attract tourists.

On average, $30 (1040 THB) to $50 (1730 THB) per day covers accommodation, food, transport, and fun. Yet, it might differ based on your preferences. Don’t forget to allocate some extra cash for emergencies, tips, souvenirs, and unexpected expenses.

With that in mind, many solo travelers suggest 1,200 baht daily for comfortable living, considering travel, dining, and shopping. Still, it’s worthwhile not to carry more than 20,000 baht in cash per person to ensure safety.

ATMs in Thailand

Thai ATMs work with various chip-and-pin type cards and with bank cards that have a magnetic stripe at the back. They also accept both four-digit and six-digit PINs. However, Thai ATM keypads don’t have letters, so you’ll need to remember your PIN numerically.

You can withdraw money from ATMs in Thailand using your credit card, debit card, or travel card. However, you should be aware of the fees and charges that may apply when you use an ATM in Thailand.

Most ATMs charge a flat fee of 150 to 220 baht per withdrawal, regardless of the amount. This fee is set by the local bank that operates the ATM and is separate from any costs that your card issuer may charge.

You should also check the exchange rate that the ATM offers and avoid dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which is when the ATM converts your currency at a poor rate.

Avoid ATM Fees In Thailand

There are a few ways to avoid or reduce ATM fees in Thailand. One way is to use a debit, credit, or travel card that reimburses or waives foreign ATM fees. For example, some cards from Charles Schwab, Capital One, Wise, or Revolut offer this feature.

Another way is to withdraw more significant amounts of cash less frequently, so you pay fewer ATM fees overall. But this also means carrying more money, which can be risky.

A third way is to use ATMs that charge lower or no fees. For example, ATMs like Aeon Bank charge a flat rate of 150 THB per withdrawal of any amount and are also considered the best ATM to use for travelers.

Can You Pay By Card In Thailand?

The best part about visiting Thailand is that many facilities accept Visa or Mastercard, making expenditures simple. Keep that card ready for hotels, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, and online marketplaces.

However, smaller stores and street vendors prefer cash. Beware of potential challenges, like surcharges, minimum spend rules, declined transactions, or fraud risks.

Always verify the amount and currency before paying, and keep your receipts as a backup. Notify your card issuer before traveling to Thailand, and stay vigilant by regularly checking your card activity. So you can enjoy the convenience of card payments but keep cash handy too!

Best Ways To Use Cash In Thailand

Cash is still the most widely used and accepted form of payment in Thailand. You will need cash for most of your expenses in Thailand, such as food stalls, markets, taxis, buses, temples, entrance fees, tips, and more.

It would help if you always carried enough cash when traveling around Thailand but not too much that it becomes unsafe or inconvenient. You should also keep your cash securely, like a money belt or lockable bag, and avoid flashing it in public.

You should also familiarize yourself with the Thai baht notes and coins and avoid accepting damaged or counterfeit ones.

Most hotels in Thailand have a safe where you can lock up your valuables, including large sums of money. It’s a pretty convenient and easy way to access your cash when you need it without carrying it around all the time. Just be sure to set a strong passcode!


The payment method can influence your haggling success, especially in Thailand. Vendors generally favor cash, allowing room for easier negotiation at its many day and night markets. Vendors in the informal economy also frequently use cash transactions to conceal revenue or avoid paying taxes.

Cash payment, however, is not necessarily a guarantee of lower prices. Some suppliers could be reluctant to drop their rates if you can pay more or if their items are valuable. Also, certain sellers frequently try to charge tourists more money.

Now cards are a different story, especially a travel card with discounts or rewards, which might give you an advantage in certain situations.

It is safe to say that, as with most other countries, paying attention to the product should always come first, and you should adapt the payment approach while haggling in Thailand to meet your needs and preferences.