Thailand: money, currency and currencies?
To answer a recurring question, do not change in France before leaving it is overpriced.
Then the second question is: "Should I take cash with me or simply use my bank card?" I think we have to have both: maps and species.
We will avoid mentioning traveler's checks because many secure solutions exist today and this means is overpriced ultimatel
You withdraw, by notifying your bank in advance, the cash necessary to settle everything on the spot. You carry them on you at all times, travel wallets are very well made and allow you to have them permanently on you, with all means of other payments and your remaining identity documents, whatever happens, your sesame.
You carry your card in case of budget overrun or an unexpected purchase or even an unfortunate incident because it will be necessary for a deposit of bail, in the hospital for example, before your travel insurance takes over. But we will see that adapted "map" solutions also exist.
Let's also start from the premise that you have booked your hotels in advance which is also a way to save money. On-site settlement of hotel nights by card can prove costly in the long term between fixed charges, prohibitive exchange rates and other taxes that banks and card providers will not fail to charge to your account.
The advantage is that you only have to budget your life on the spot outside hotels allowing you to better fit the latter.
Exchange at your arrival in Thailand at Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok):
The best exchange offices are located in the basement of the airport, on the boarding floor of CITY LINK. The chain "SUPER RICH" is there. Wherever you are in Thailand, it will be a favorite place to stay as they offer the best rates. Check on their website (link below) where they are located.
You change the bare necessities to the airport to reach Bangkok.
If you go to Thailand, to the north, to the south and if you see a good rate, change more, because the good opportunities will not always be found at every street corner and even less where you you return.
Which bank or agency offer the best exchange rate in Thailand?
First of all, plan to have your passport with you, you will very often be claimed. It has become an obligation and fewer and fewer agencies will accept to change you cash without this coin. The rule is more or less respected but it is systematically by the bank branches.
The exchange rates vary continuously and it is good to have on your phone the app XE.
This will be your "meter stallion" to know if you are doing a good or a bad deal.
Without knowing the actual rate at the moment you change, changing continuously, you will not know if you are doing a good deal.
Anyway, an exchange rate with a delta of -0.25 ThB / € compared to the official rate XE is an excellent rate and go.
Note that the big cuts will offer you a better rate per € / $ / £ in the order of 0.05 ThB / €. More convenient to carry, consider applying to your bank when you withdraw the cash to the agency.
Finally, last advice, refuse the notes that would have marks or damaged, you have every chance that the agencies of exchange refuse you them.
WITHDRAWAL in ATM (DAB) with your card
The first thing to do is to notify your bank that you are going to Thailand so that it does not block your card due to suspicious transactions. it could (perhaps) allow you to splurge a few follies by breaking the ceiling of your spending or in case of worries.
You will find ATMs (ATMs) all over Thailand even in the most remote but inhabited corners ... but sometimes not always supplied so plan when you go to the islands most to the south or in the remote corners of the north or the east.
Most cards are accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus ... You enter your code and you're done. Attention foreign language instructions are only in English (and Thai of course).
The shrinkage limit is variable but it turns around THB 20 000.
The problem is that a commission is levied by the Thai bank (fixed at 220 ThB in general, ie 5.5 € or 6.6 $ or 5.0 £) but also by your bank which will charge a foreign exchange commission with, on the way, a exchange rate.
New solutions exist with online banks. N26 which, for example, offers a black Mastercard offering withdrawals (and payments) without fixed transaction fees and a rather interesting exchange rate.
To access this service, it is nevertheless necessary to pay 5.90 € per month so it is rather reserved for those who often go abroad. You open an online account (SEPA), it sends you your card that you activate at your place. All you have to do is fill in your N26 account before you leave and at no charge because it is a SEPA zone transfer (check with your bank anyway because it does not like this system too much).
I will test it in vivo quickly and I would keep you informed of the final result.
A security point: it is better to withdraw ATM (ATM) from bank agencies. Otherwise, before entering your card, check that the card reader is ok, no doubt (no green or red light flashing = not good ...) in order not to be the victim of a hacking or a fraudulent use of your card. If the ATM (DAB) "swallows" your card and if it is not a Thai card, the bank agents will not be able to retrieve it immediately. In addition, it will be automatically deactivated. you will need to contact your supplier to have it blocked and send a new one. Take the numbers (free) abroad before you leave, you never know. It happened to me, card swallowed in Dubai, a week later I received a provisional map in Thailand.
You will understand that the use of bank cards will always be less interesting than changing the species on the spot.
Cards should only be used for troubleshooting or emergency purposes.