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All about ATMs in Thailand (Plus How to Avoid Their Charges)

All about ATMs in Thailand (Plus How to Avoid Their Charges)

We all can’t help but feel like we’ve been ripped off every time we have to pay for ATM and foreign exchange fees when using our debit cards abroad. That’s exactly how we felt when we saw that each ATM transaction here in Thailand cost us around 200 THB!

Thailand has around 60,000 ATMs spread across the country. Yes, you can use these cash machines if you have to but there are ways to avoid being charged ATM Fees such as using a correspondent bank or withdrawing over the counter.

So if you want to use your ATMs in Thailand and avoid paying an exorbitant amount of withdrawal fees, we’re here to help with this handy guide on how to avoid ATM fees when using your bank cards here in Thailand.

What ATM cards are accepted when transacting in Thailand?

What ATM cards are accepted when transacting in Thailand

If you want to use your atm cards in Thailand, we’ve got good news for you! Here, major credit cards and ATM debit cards are accepted for most transactions.

ATM Cards Accepted in ThailandUnionPay
American Express
Mastercard
Visa

These include bank cards issued by UnionPay, American Express, Mastercard, and Visa. If your bank card isn’t on this list, then we recommend that you first check the ATM cards supported by specific ATM machines based on the displayed logos.

We also recommend that if you’re travelling to Thailand and are planning to use a bank card issued by a foreign bank, call the issuing bank in advance to inform them of your planned trip. 

This will let your bank know that your card will be used in a different country and prevent transactions from being blocked or tagged as possible “fraud”.

Where can I find ATMs in Thailand?

Where can I find ATMs in Thailand

You can find ATMs in most towns and cities all over Thailand.  Your best bet to find them is by visiting shopping malls, 7- Elevens, bank branches, and select street corners. 

In Thailand, we have five well-known banks that cater to our banking needs. These include Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Bangkok Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, and Aeon Bank.

A word of advice– it may be difficult to find ATMs in the lesser-known islands and rural areas of Thailand. 

If you have plans to go on a more “unconventional” or “less touristy” adventure here, we suggest that you withdraw some cash before embarking on your journey. 

How much are ATM fees in Thailand?

How much are ATM fees in Thailand

Over the past decade, ATM fees here in Thailand have increased.

At present, the lowest ATM fee is that of Aeon which only charges a rate of 150.00 THB. If you’re using a Mastercard or a Visa card, then the ATM for those currently stands at 220.00 THB per transaction.

Local BankATM Fee
Aeon Bank150.00 THB per transaction
Other Thai Banks220.00 THB per transaction

Before accepting or rejecting the transaction, you will be prompted by the ATM screen regarding these ATM charges. Do note though, that aside from ATM fees, your bank may charge you an additional foreign transaction fee for using your ATM overseas. 

If you opt to do currency conversion in one of the ATMs here, a conversion fee may also be charged to your account.

From WOW THAT’S JAPAN 2

Is it safe to use ATMs in Thailand?

Is it safe to use ATMs in Thailand

Generally, it’s safe for you to use ATMs in Thailand. However, we strongly advise that you remain mindful whenever you transact in any of the cash machines here to avoid any possible scams, especially when in tourist spots.

As a first line of precaution, never reveal your PIN number to anyone, and always cover your PIN number when punching it into the keypad. 

It’s also safer to use ATMs located in bank branches or those located inside brick-and-mortar establishments such as malls and minimarts where there are security personnel or guards on duty.

ATMs located in bank branches or with security cameras

We also highly recommend that you keep your ATM card on your person at all times. If this isn’t doable, then you should at least secure it using your hotel room’s safe.

You should also always be mindful of the ATM charges and foreign exchange rates when using your ATM here in Thailand as different banks can apply different fees and charges. 

As such, it’s best that you always confirm the ATM fees to be charged before rejecting or accepting a transaction.

If you have to prepare for the worst-case scenario, it’s also a good idea for you to bring some emergency cash and a backup ATM card just in case. Also, don’t keep your backup and primary ATM card all in one place (for obvious reasons!).

Lastly, if you believe that your PIN number has been compromised or if your card has been stolen or misplaced, coordinate with your issuing bank immediately to have the card blocked or cancelled.

How much money can you take out of a Thailand ATM?

ATMs in Thailand commonly have a standard withdrawal limit of 20,000.00 THB. However, the limits can be different based on your own bank’s withdrawal limits and the bank ATM you are withdrawing from.

If you want to get the maximum withdrawal limit allowed on your card, we suggest that you do an over-the-counter cash advance or withdrawal from a banking branch. This should help you go beyond the maximum ATM withdrawal limit mentioned earlier.

Thailand ATM Exchange Rates

Depending on your ATM card (either UnionPay, Mastercard, or Visa), certain ATM exchange rates may be applied. 

On top of this, the ATM of the local bank may charge you an extra exchange rate fee along with your issuing bank’s foreign transaction fee plus an ATM withdrawal fee.

Should you go with or without currency conversion?

Should you go with or without currency conversion

Once you use your ATM card here in Thailand, the machine may prompt you to choose without conversion (cash in the local currency) or with conversion (cash in your home currency).

We recommend that you choose the option of getting cash in the local currency or the option WITHOUT conversion. This will enable your issuing bank to use market rates that are much more competitive for the said ATM transaction.

On the other hand, if you choose the option to withdraw with DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion) or with local currency conversion, the local bank will process your transaction but with added fees and at a less competitive exchange rate. 

What are the best ATMs to use when in Thailand?

Aeon Bank's Homepage

If you find yourself strapped for cash in Thailand, you can get some cash from ATMs here but you shouldn’t just withdraw from any cash machine. Instead, we recommend that you use an AEON ATM for your cash withdrawal needs.

AEON ATMs will only charge you 150.00 THB for every transaction which is cheaper compared to other banks– around $2.20 (or 70.00 THB) cheaper to be exact.

Do note, though, that AEON ATMs are not that common compared to other local banks such as KBank or SCB. If you’re looking for an AEON ATM, we recommend that you check out the one located in Central World (4th floor) near Chidlom station.

This is the most convenient AEON machine to access when in and around Bangkok plus you get the advantage of reduced ATM fees!

On the other hand, if you need to get more than 20,000 THB, we suggest that you use Krungsri which will only charge you 220.00 THB per transaction and allows a daily withdrawal limit of 30,000.00 THB.

BankATM FeeATM Withdrawal Limit
Aeon Bank150.00 THB per transaction20,000.00 THB
Krungsri Bank220.00 THB per transaction30,000.00 THB
Krungsri Bank's Homepage

— From jonnyny2053

How do you avoid ATM fees in Thailand?

How do you avoid ATM fees in Thailand

Having to pay around $5.00 to $7.00 per cash withdrawal here in Thailand can certainly add up especially if you plan to stay here long-term or travel around the country for an extended period.

We listed some tips for you below on how to avoid (or at the very least reduce) the ATM fees you may have to pay when withdrawing cash here in Thailand:

1. Use a local correspondent bank.

1. Use a local correspondent bank.

As of this writing, the local banks here in Thailand have not yet joined the Global ATM Alliance. 

However, your issuing bank may still have some form of “correspondent” relationship with a local bank that would grant you cheaper fees or ATM transactions that are free of charge. 

The key here is that you inquire or ask if your home bank does have a correspondent bank in Thailand.

You can also check if your issuing bank has any correspondent relationship with Citibank. They have a number of ATMs across Thailand that their customers can use free of charge.

 2. Use Aeon or Krungsri Bank ATMs.

 2. Use Aeon or Krungsri Bank ATMs.

As we stated earlier, these two banks have an advantage over other local banks in Thailand in terms of ATM fees and withdrawal limits.

AEON ATMs will allow you to withdraw up to a maximum of 20,000.00 THB per day and will only charge 150.00 THB per transaction. In all of Thailand, we can attest that this is the cheapest ATM charge among local banks.

On the other hand, you can rely on Krungsri Bank ATMs if you need to withdraw up to 30,000.00 THB. The ATM fee for this withdrawal amount is 220.00 THB, similar to what you’ll get charged if you withdraw a lesser amount from other banks.

These large numbers may seem shocking but you also have to remember that the cost of living here is quite cheap compared to other Western countries. In fact, 30,000.00 THB which is equivalent to $900.00, is enough to live comfortably here for a month!

3. Withdraw funds over the counter.

3. Withdraw funds over the counter.

You can also try withdrawing funds over-the-counter to completely avoid any Thai ATM fees–although we must admit this isn’t the most ideal solution. 

Another benefit to doing this is that you can withdraw as much as you want without having to bother with ATM limits.

Keep in mind though, that your issuing bank can still apply fees even if you withdraw funds over the counter. We recommend that you check with them first prior to your trip to Thailand.

Local Tip: 

If you do decide to withdraw via a human teller, then just be prepared to present a valid debit or credit card under your name (with your signature) and your passport which should match the name indicated on your card.

4. Check the terms and conditions of your ATM card.

4. Check the terms and conditions of your ATM card.

Certain ATM cards don’t cost as much when used abroad. If you have multiple ATM cards, you can check the fees of each card to figure out which one will provide you with the most advantageous terms. 

Using a debit card in Thailand is usually better than using a credit card. This is because your credit cards will classify withdrawals as cash advances which commonly invite additional interest charges and higher fees per transaction

Lastly, you should always keep in mind that using a foreign card here in Thailand will result in higher transaction fees compared to using an ATM card issued by a local bank.  

5. Choose the option of being charged in the local currency.

5. Choose the option of being charged in the local currency.

There will be some cash machines here that will give you the option of being charged in your home currency (such as USD). Despite the comfort of seeing your own home currency flashing in front of you, we strongly advise against this option.

If you choose to get charged using the local currency, you can get the best exchange rate for your money. On the other hand, if you choose to get charged in your home currency, you might not get the best foreign exchange rate.

6. Open a local bank account.

You can also just open a bank account here in Thailand. This way, you won’t be charged with excessively high ATM fees and avoid pricey foreign transaction fees applied by foreign banks.

Remember, though, that a majority of the local banks here may require you to present a local work permit before allowing you to open an account with them. 

However, there are some banks that will just ask for your proof of local residence and passport to sign you up. Look for those banks instead if you’re not gainfully employed here and are just opening a local bank account mostly for convenience.

FAQs on How to Avoid ATM Fees in Thailand

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