How to open a bank account in Thailand – Our experience
When we moved to Chiang Mai, one of the first things on our list to do was open a bank account.
We weren’t sure of the processes to begin with but as it turns out, opening a bank account in Thailand as a foreigner was easy for us.
There are numerous banks to choose from but we chose to open our account with Kasikorn Bank. (or rather we were standing in a mall with 3 banks next to each other, and not knowing one from the other we just walked into the closet to us!)
These are the requirements to open a bank account in Thailand:
1. Proof of permanent address
We had to show our lease agreement on our rented house, you won’t be able to open an account without this or alternatively you can show a certificate of residence from the Thai immigration (which you also need a signed lease for)
You will need to show your passport which they will then make photocopies of.
We also needed a minimum of 500 baht to open the account plus we were charged 150 baht fee to get a cash card to use at ATM’s.
4. Contact Details
They ask for an email address and a Thai phone number as well as the address. You are also able to set up online banking at the ATM by following the onscreen options.
TIP: If you know that you are going to be doing a lot of bank transfers, e.g to a landlord. Make sure that you choose the same bank as they are with, this way you won’t have to pay the 25 baht Inter-bank transfer fee with each transaction that you do.
Withdrawing money from your UK or Overseas account is possible at almost any ATM in Thailand. However the cash points charge 150 baht fee to do this, on top of the charges applied by the bank that you are withdrawing from, e.g your UK account.
Forums and traveler’s will tell you that the Aeon cash machines do not charge the 150 baht fee, which is true, but these machines are temperamental and don’t always dispense the cash after the transaction has been made, which results in a lot of paper work and wasted time to get your money back.
Also they are few and far between making it difficult to find one.
The only Aeon ATM cash machine in Chiang Mai that we have found so far was in the upstairs of Siam TV Electronic Plaza on the South side of the moat.
We were told that there was an Aeon ATM in the Central Airport Plaza, but that is no longer the case.
You are able to withdraw money from a non Thai account, for example a UK account, by going into the branch with your passport and signing for it. You are still charged by your UK account, but you don’t have to pay the 150 baht Thai ATM fee by going into branch.
Bank to Bank transfers can also be done at ATM points as well as mobile phone top ups.
Sacha El-Haj – 8 Miles from Home
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