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money conversion question

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money conversion question

Postby Gwindor » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:37 pm

Hey guys! I lived and worked in Thailand 12 years ago. Nowadays back for laughs and to see my friends. I have a question that is unrelated to Thai language. (Though I was addicted to this site for years, and you guys are my "go to" for information.)

I will be there for 24 days. I plan on travelling a lot. I know that I can use ATMs, and that is what my question is about. Does anyone know if ATM fees are cheaper than converting cash at a bank or money conversion booth? I am assuming ATMs are cheaper.

It's not that big a deal. I don't plan to carry around lots of cash as long as ATMs are available. But I find ATM fees very irritating, and I have this fantasy that I could save money by just converting a single wad of cash. Views and opinions? I apologize if this is an inappropriate site to ask this question, but the tourism site forums are so chaotic and unhelpful!

Gwindor
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Re: money conversion question

Postby bifftastic » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:48 pm

In country ATM fees are now ฿200 per withdrawal, and then there are your own bank's charges, which obviously vary from bank to bank.
Personally, I would use an exchange company in Thailand. Super Rich usually give the best rates. You will need to make sure that the notes you want to exchange are free from those little pen marks that some people write on them. Some exchange companies won't accept them if they've been written on.
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Re: money conversion question

Postby Pirin » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:09 pm

If you buy things to eat (eapecially fruits) at local markets, they don't cost you a lot; a kilo of oranges cost you 1 US dollar. It is advisable to bring enough money for them.

If you buy things at a store or supermarket, or eat at big restaurants, you can use your credit card.
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Re: money conversion question

Postby Gwindor » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:08 pm

Thank you both. Yes, maybe I will just bring a wad of cash and convert it.
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Re: money conversion question

Postby Gwindor » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:06 pm

I have a follow-up question. Thailand is on my list of places where I need to continually break bills that are large. (This list includes Mexico and Indonesia). Whether at an ATM or a currency exchange, I invariably receive bills in high denominations.

Honestly, except for occasional large transactions I think that even 1000 baht notes are unwieldy for spending. I prefer 100s, 50s and 20s, even if it means that my wallet is stuffed with bills. For instance, I think it is silly to expect a motorcycle taxi driver to break a 1000 baht note for a 40 baht ride.

So my question is this: outside of continual breaking 1000 baht notes at the 7 11 buying water or soda, is there a reliable way to get a large supply of 100s and 50s? Stand in line at a bank? Thanks.
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Re: money conversion question

Postby bifftastic » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:49 am

You can ask the people at the place where you originally exchange your money to break a few 1000 notes for you.
Personally, I either use 1000 notes at the 7-11 or draw out something like ฿900 from an ATM, but that's from my Thai bank account, so no extra charges for that :)
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Re: money conversion question

Postby Pirin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:01 am

I do go to a bank to ask a teller to break a few 1000 notes once or twice a month. Because I never go there at the end of the month, the time to wait there is not different from the time to be in line when I go to buy things at 7-Eleven.

The 100, 50, and 20 notes I get from the bank are not too old.

(In case tellers at any bank gives you some notes that are too old, you can ask them right away to give you the notes that are in a better condition.)

This is just to say that when I used a 1,000 notes at some stores (including 7-Eleven), some of the changes of 100, 50, 20 notes I get from them are sometimes unbearable.

Later, I do need to bring those unbearable notes to exchange at the bank.
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Re: money conversion question

Postby Gwindor » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:10 am

Thanks guys. Asking for small bills when I changed my money is exactly what I did. Hope it lasts a while! :D
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