Finding the best exchange rate in Thailand
Not all currency exchanges are made equal – or even anywhere near equal! But how do you know where to maximise your currency exchange? There are a number of variables, for example whether to do it before you leave, or once you arrive, in a bank or in a currency exchange shop, and specifically where.
The amount involved also matters – for a large sum, you may not mind paying a commission. But if you only want to change a few dollars to cover a taxi to your accommodation when arriving late at night, a commission could be disproportionately expensive.
There is no single right answer. But as an example, HK Travel Blog recently checked out the options for exchanging HK dollars to Thai baht on November 23. The prices were all taken in one forty eight hour period, when the currency was stable, so although the exact price will not be the same now, hopefully you will be able to extract some useful principles when deciding where to exchange.
To summarise, here’s a table. For an easy comparison, we show you how many baht you would get for HK$1,000.
|In Hong Kong||Exchange||Commission||HK$1,000 = baht|
|Bank (Bangkok Bank)||4.6||HK$50||4,370|
|Airport exchange shop (Travelex)||4.18||–||4,175|
|Bank (Siam Commercial Bank)||4.17||–||4,170|
|Airport exchange shop (Super Rich 1965)||4.66||–||4,660|
So, the best exchange to maximise your local currency is the exchange shop in Thailand. We use the airport branch as an example, but Super Rich 1965 has a network of branches intown too. Bear in mind that if you arrive late, possibly without planning, the exchange shops may be closed, so it is often a good idea to arrive with at least some local currency in hand.
A few points to note:
- The best rate is from the exchange shop in Thailand. The most famous one is Super Rich 1965 (not to be confused with Super Rich), which has a branch in Suvarnabhumi airport next to the entrance to the airport rail link. As it is famous for its good rate there is often a small queue. On the day we visited, its competitor Everrich in the same place was offering an identical rate, with no queue.
- In the airport in Bangkok, banks offer the same rate – the above rate is from Siam Commercial Bank, but Kasikorn was the same. The banks currently seem to offer the same as their intown branch rate. But formerly they offered a dramatically worse rate than their intown branches (twenty per cent or more worse, I once saw).
- These rates are for cash. Traveller’s cheques can attract a slightly more favourable exchange rate, although they are less widely accepted than cash.
Guest Blogger: Christopher R.