Best Way to Send Money to Thailand (Without Transfer Fees & Currency Ripoffs)
There are a few ways that you may send money to Thailand. The method you choose will depend on the amount of money you wish to transfer, how quickly you need it, and how you intend to use the money while you are in Thailand. If you spend a lot of time in Thailand, then it is a little easier and cheaper to exchange and send money. If you are going on vacation, then things may be slightly more expensive, but still fairly convenient. Here is a quick explanation on how you send money to Thailand.
Use Transferwise To Convert Your Money
There are quite a few currency conversion companies out there, which mean that if you want to send money to Thailand, then you are spoilt for choice.
One of the most famous and fast growing companies is Transferwise, and they do send money to Thailand from wherever you are (US, Canda, Europe, Australia).
They are becoming more and more popular because they show all of their fees at the very beginning. They have the most transparent transactions of all the currency conversion services and they are trying to disrupt the currency exchange market by giving you a flat, low fee.
Transferwise Currency Conversion – See the exact amount you get below
I’ve lived in Thailand a while myself and I use Transferwise to send money from the US to Thailand at just about the lowest rate possible. I recently sent over 23,000 USD and I saved nearly 1000 bucks in currency exchange fees due to the better rate you get with Transferwise vs using a bank to wire transfer. So for large sums, Transferwise is one of the best, cheapest options to transfer money to Thailand from Abroad.
If every conversion company were as transparent at Transferwise (see our Transferwise review), then people would be able to see each company’s transactions and the value therein. People would easily be able to judge the value of each conversion company’s exchanges.
Depending where you live, you might be able to use CurrencyFair to transfer money over into Thailand, an alternative to Transferwise. You can read our CurrencyFair review.
Converting To Send To Yourself
If you are at home, you may send money to Transferwise, convert it, and then send it back to one of your domestic accounts until you need it. You may place it in a third-party account, or into a bank that allows you to keep a dollar balance and a Thailand Baht balance.
Converting To Withdraw In Thailand
You may have an account in Thailand, such as in a bank or financial company. If that is the case, you may withdraw your money into your Thailand account from Transferwise. Once it is in your account, you may use your bankcard to purchase things or you may make withdrawals if you wish.
Create A Bank Account In Thailand
If you wish to send money to Thailand, then you should consider getting a bank account in Thailand. It is not easy, but it is not as difficult as getting a bank account in Hong Kong or the United Emirates.
If you have a bank account in Bangkok (Thailand), then you may create a wire transfer from your US bank account to your bank account in Thailand. The wire transfer from your US account to your Thailand account will prompt a currency exchange.
Your money will be moved from your account and changed according to the bank’s exchange rates. Due to the fact that this is no ordinary bank transfer, you can expect a better rate than what the bank gives you.
There is one little trick you can do. If you create an account with Bangkok Bank (one of the major banks in Thailand), they company does have a branch in New York. It’s possible to wire money from the NY Bangkok Bank branch in New York to your Bangkok Bank in Thailand to save on the regular wire transfer fee you’d normally pay.
Try The PayPal Credit Card
Their credit card replaced their PayPal pre-pay MasterCard, yet their credit card does essentially the same thing as their pre-pay card did with the exception of not having to load the card with cash.
PayPal are great at currency conversion, so all you have to do is convert your money after you have spent it. Go over to Thailand and spend on the card (it will pay with Baht in Thailand). When you get home, pay off what you spent (plus any interest) with your US dollars.
Convert Your Dollars With PayPal
You may send money with the PayPal website and app. You may send money with PayPal to your bank account or to other people’s accounts, or you may convert your PayPal balance into Thai Baht, so that you may use or send the money as and when you wish.
Withdraw from your US PayPal Account to Bangkok Bank, using the New York Bangkok Banch Branch
This is a good one for those who want to send paypal from the US directly into Thailand, to a Bangkok Bank account in Thailand. It does require you to open a Bangkok Bank account in Thailand, which you can do pretty easily in Thailand, even as a tourist! One trick some foreigners do is to use a US Paypal account, put the New York Bangkok Bank account number in for your paypal payment details, then withdraw from your paypal account.
This will basically directly send from your Paypal to the Bangkok Bank in the US, then transfer that over into your Thai Bangkok Bank account in thailand. The end result is you get your US Paypal amounts put into your Thai bank account with a very good rate.
Buy Prior To Going To Thailand
You may lower the amount of money you send to Thailand if you do a little buying prior to your trip. Don’t send money to Thailand until you have done things such as booked your hotel, booked and paid for your hire car, and bought any extras while at home. Doing this will lower your need to use your Thai Baht while you are over there.
Create A Regular Wire Transfer
If you have an account in Thailand to transfer your money to, then your bank will probably be happy to convert your money during the transfer. The fees they charge are typically higher than what currency conversion companies charge, but they are often very transparent and clear in that you are shown all the fees prior to making your transaction. They may also offer a good (but not perfect) exchange rate. Wire transfers are convenient, which is why some people do not mind paying a little extra for them.
Could You Bring Cash?
How much do you think you will need? Do you have to send money to Thailand? Maybe, you can take the money with you. How much can you take into Thailand? According to the Thai Embassy, you can take USD20,000 or its equivalent into or out of Thailand without having to tell the Customs Officer. If you are bringing Baht into the country, then you may not bring more than THB500,000, and you may not bring more than THB50,000 to any destination countries.
That is all well and good, but if you are leaving the USA, you are only allowed to take $10,000 with you. If you take more, then you will have to inform the custom’s agents, who will probably insist that you cannot take more than $10,000. You are legally allowed to carry as much cash as you like out of the country, but you still have to declare it so that you may be investigated and/or flagged for investigation and observation.
Conclusion – What Should You Do?
I cannot recommend that you try converting your cash into Baht and then carrying the equivalent of $10,000 onto the plane. However, some of your cash should be in physical form, especially if you are stopped at customs on the other side because it goes a long way to proving you are a tourist who is out to spend money. Getting a bank account in Thailand is a little extreme for a vacation, but is very handy if you spend a lot of time in Thailand (especially since you get free ATM use with a bank account).
Your best bet, albeit not the cheapest, may be to take a credit card that offers a good conversion rate and spend your money on that. If you would like to use a transfer company or use a wire transfer, then that is okay too, but you need a way of withdrawing the money from your bankcard and/or a way of spending on your bankcard when you are in Thailand.