How to Avoid ATM Fees in Bangkok, Thailand
Banks are such good businesses. Not only do they charge interest on money they don't own, but they also charge the people who own the money that they charge interest on. Yes... I'm talking about bank fees!
Here in Thailand the banks have caught on pretty fast that foreigners are kind of desperate when it comes to accessing their cash. I mean, who wouldn't pay a measly 150 Baht to access their cash when there are no alternatives? Well, I know someone who wouldn't. Me.
Actually, I'm not just being a cheapskate. Bank fees add up pretty quickly when you're overseas - especially when both your home bank and the foreign bank are charging for withdrawals. So, what to do? Well, in Thailand you can simply to use Aeon ATM machines. There is some confusion on Internet forums about which banks charge what fees. Some of the yellow Bank of Ayudhya ATMs have no fees, but use Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) on MasterCard transactions to set their own exchange rate.How to Avoid ATM Fees in Bangkok, Thailand
|Aeon ATM at Carrefour, On Nut. Aeon targets lower income groups, so look for them near the budget superstores.||Bank of Ayudhya ATM. Some have no withdrawal fee, but will set their own exchange rate for MasterCard transactions.|
Bank of Ayudhya fine print, not shown on most of their ATMs.
Your home bank will still charge you their normal fees of course. There are cards with no overseas transaction fees, such as the Wizard Clear Advantage MasterCard, so it is possible to access your money for free if you are real savvy.
The good news is this works. When I used Aeon ATMs I was not charged the regular 150 Baht fee, and the exchange rate was determined by MasterCard (about 1.5% more than the interbank exchange rate).
The bad news is last time the ATM swallowed my card because I took too long checking my money. Aeon wouldn't retrieve it for me either, so now I have to get a new card sent from Australia.
Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. Since he left Australia in 2009, he has been living as a digital nomad in over 40 different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, and finding good food.