There are a lot of options to send money to and from Thailand.
But depending on your situation, the amount to transfer, and if you have a Thai bank account or not, you might have access to only a few of them.
That's why today we go through all the different options you have to send money TO and FROM Thailand to find what's the best one for you.
- What you Need to Consider :
- Transfer Money TO Thailand :
- Transfer Money FROM Thailand :
What you Need to Consider :
Each method has its own pros and cons.
But in order to keep it simple to compare them, I will focus on 3 main factors you need to keep an eye on when you need to send money abroad.
The exchange rate can vary a lot from one service to another.
Not only the market fluctuate all the time but most services and banks use their own exchange rate to make it even more confusing.
So make sure the exchange rate is as close as possible to the market and that you're not paying extra hidden fees because of a bad exchange rate.
It's the jungle out there when it comes to transfer fees so again, pay close attention.
Some services offer a flat fee, other a percentage, and some a combination of both.
But it's not always clear and transparent, so make sure you read the small lines.
Most times, the most expensive is the fastest. But not always.
Services like Western Union or Deemoney offer instant transfers, but they take a big fee for that service.
Depending on when you or the recipient need the money, some solutions can help you save a lot if you're ready to wait a few days.
Transfer Money TO Thailand :
Sending money to Thailand is way easier than getting money out of the country.
That also means you have more options to transfer money to Thailand.
Wise (ex Transferwise)
Wise is my go-to option to transfer money to Thailand.
That's because their service is cheap, fast and easy to use.
They convert money at the mid-market exchange rate, charge a reasonable fee and they also give you an accurate estimation of when the money is gonna arrive on your account.
If you are transferring money to a Thai bank account, from my experience, that's by far the best option.
🤑 Exchange rate: the best you can get (mid-market)
💵 Fee: reasonable fixed fee
🚀 Speed: a day or two for most transfers
👍 : Wise is transparent and easy to use, have the best exchange rate and offer fast transfers
👎 : Only work if you send money TO a Thai bank account
Paypal and Xoom
The main advantage of Paypal is the transfer is done instantly.
Now when you need to transfer the money to a Thai bank account, it usually takes an extra few days but can take up to a week sometimes.
But the biggest problem with Paypal isn't only the time you have to wait to get the money on your bank account.
The exchange rate they have is terrible.
That's where they take a big cut of your money.
Between that, the fee they take if you got a business account and the time it takes to transfer the money to a bank account, I wouldn't recommend it.
Unless you're receiving Thai baht and plan to keep the money on Paypal.
Paypal also launched a service called Xoom for international transfers, similar to what Wise offers.
But like in Paypal, the fees are still high and the exchange rate isn't as good as banks or other methods like Wise.
🤑 Exchange rate: bad
💵 Fee: only for business accounts, no fee to transfer money to your bank account over a few thousand baht.
🚀 Speed: instantly arrive in your Paypal account. Takes a few days to withdraw to a Thai bank account.
👍 : Great for business. Instant transfer to your Paypal account.
👎 : Bad exchange rate, high fees and it takes days to withdraw the money to a Thai bank account.
Western Union, DeeMoney, MoneyGram...
In case you need cash or the recipient doesn't have a Thai bank account, services like Western Union, Deemoney, and Moneygram work great.
The three services are also super fast and you can get your money just minutes after it was sent.
Money can be sent in cash, by credit card or bank transfer and received by bank transfer or withdrawn in cash.
All these services have branches all over Thailand and are really simple to use.
But this service comes at a high cost, including a large fee and a bad exchange rate.
🤑 Exchange rate: bad
💵 Fee: high
🚀 Speed: Instantly for cash. Few days for bank transfers.
👍 : Super convenient. All these services have tons of branches across Thailand, are easy to use, and allow you to send money in cash, credit card, or bank transfer to Thailand.
👎 : There's a high price to pay for this convenience.
Depending on the bank you use, it could be the best or the worst option.
In my case, with BNP Bank in France, it's not such a good idea.
They don't have the best exchange rate and take a fee and a percentage of the transfer on top of that.
It's better to send the money in the same currency (here euros) to a Wise account, convert it there in Baht and send it to your Thai bank account.
But for big amounts, that's the most secure and reliable option you have.
🤑 Exchange rate: depends on the bank you use
💵 Fee: depends on the bank you use
🚀 Speed: usually a few days
👍 : Bank transfers are safe and could be interesting depending on the exchange rate and fees offered by your bank.
👎 : Most banks charge you three times, one time through the exchange rate they fix, another time to convert the money, and a third time by charing a fee for the transfer.
ATMs are always an option.
But even if your credit or debit card doesn't charge any fee to exchange money or to withdraw abroad, Thai ATMs charge around 200฿ for every withdrawal with a foreign card.
It's a good option in case of an emergency or when you visit Thailand for the holidays.
Outside of that, I would avoid it.
🤑 Exchange rate: depends on your bank/credit or debit card
💵 Fee: 200฿ from the ATM + bank / card fee
🚀 Speed: instantly
👍 : You can get cash instantly
👎 : Costly option
Cash is for me the most convenient and cheapest option for small amounts.
Withdraw money before you leave your country and exchange it in Thailand at a Superrich branch to have the best exchange rate.
You can bring up to 20,000 USD into Thailand without declaring it to the customs.
🤑 Exchange rate: good
💵 Fee: small
🚀 Speed: instantly
👍 : Great for "small" amounts.
👎 : You need to be comfortable with having a lot of cash on you.
Transfer Money FROM Thailand :
As you can imagine, it a lot easier to send money to Thailand than is to send money from Thailand.
Some of the options above simply don't work the other way.
So what options do you have to get your money out of Thailand?
Most major Thai banks offer international bank transfers with a really good exchange and charge reasonable fees.
Banks like Kasikorn or Bangkok Bank let you do them directly from the app once you've set up the feature with them.
Western Union, Deemoney, MoneyGram...
It's not the cheapest way to send money from Thailand but it's the easiest.
All you need is money and a passport.
All of them have tons of branches across Thailand and you can even send money directly from their app now.
If you have a Thai PayPal account connected to your Thai credit card or bank account, you can always pay with Paypal and get it to use your money in Thailand.
But again the problem with Paypal is their terrible exchange rate. On top of the fees, you might have to pay on the payment.
The payment will be made almost instantly but then it will take the recipient a few days to transfer the money to his bank account.
But still a good option to pay for things online (shopping, tickets, flights...)
Cash is still a really good option for small and medium amounts.
Unlike a lot of countries, like France, in Thailand, you can withdraw large amounts of money without having to justify why.
To avoid paying transfer fees that's usually my favorite option when I go travel.
I withdraw the amount of cash I need for my trip and go to a Superrich branch to exchange it into the currency of the country I'm going to visit.
In most cases, Transferwise is the cheapest way to send money to Thailand if you're transferring the money to a Thai bank account.
If the recipient doesn't have a Thai bank account, Western Union and Deemoney are the most convenient way to send money instantly in Thailand.
As soon as you've sent the money, the recipient can go get the cash at one of their shop.
The fastest ways to transfer money to Thailand, like Transferwise, only take about a day usually. You can find an estimation of the arrival date of the transfer directly in the app.
There's no limit to how much you can send to Thailand. But passed a certain amount you're gonna need to provide informations about the source of the money you want to send.
At the end of the day, the best option to send money to and from Thailand depends a lot on the amount and how long you can wait.
Personally, these days I always use Wise to send money to Thailand.
As for when I need to send money from Thailand, most of the time for me it's small amounts so I take cash and exchange it before I leave Thailand.
But for bigger amounts, I would use bank transfers from any Thai Bank.
I've got an account at Kasikorn Bank and one at Bangkok Bank and they both have a good exchange rate and the fees are really reasonable (around 200 to 400฿ per transfer).
Thanks for reading till the end, I really appreciate your time.
If you're coming to visit Thailand, check my travel guide here.
And if you're living or moving to Thailand, click here to find more tips and experiences about life as an expat in Thailand.
Now before you leave, let me know :
- What do you use to transfer money to and from Thailand? Why?
- Did you try any of the methods in this post? How did it go?
Tell me in the comments. 🐵