The currency used in Thailand is the ‘Thai Baht’, of both coin and note denomination. The Baht is sub-divided into 100 ‘Satang’.
Coins in common circulation are 25 Satang, 50 Satang, 1 Baht, 2 Baht, 5 Baht and 10 Baht. 1, 5 and 10 Satang coins are in circulation, but rarely seen and not accepted by most retailers.
Notes in circulation are 20 Baht, 50 Baht, 100 Baht, 500 Baht and 1,000 Baht.
There are money exchange booths all over Thailand. They can be found in all banks, in shopping malls, and throughout tourist resorts such as Patong Beach. Bank branches in shopping malls are usually open until 10pm in the evening. Traveller’s cheques can also be exchanged at banks but a passport must be presented. It is better to exchange your money at banks and authorised dealers rather than hotels, to ensure you get the best rate.
We advise TEFL trainees to bring limited cash with them, but rather use an ATM card as much as possible. You will be carrying less cash and get the best rate when you make withdrawals.
Most banks have websites in English and it’s advisable to study their details before deciding which bank to use.
Major banks in Thailand:
The two most common types of bank account are current and savings account. A non-resident may be able to open an account without a work permit but they will need to provide their passport and a letter of recommendation from their Embassy in Thailand. Please note that not all branches and banks will allow this. Try several banks/branches, or use the head office branch. If no work permit is held then it is not possible to get internet or telephone banking but an ATM card and passbook will be issued.
The following documents are required to open an account, but may vary from bank to bank:
The minimum amount of money required to open a Thai Baht bank account is usually around 500 Baht.
You will receive a bank debit card allowing you to deposit and withdraw funds from the account at ATM machines. You may also request a bank credit card. Typically, a credit card is only issued if you have a valid work permit, proper visa documentation and history and proof of income.