Currency: Baht (THB / ฿)
(1 Baht is made up of 100 Satang)
What's the best way to take money to Thailand?
You'll get more for your money if you take Australian dollars in cash then exchange them for Thai Baht once you're in the country.
Avoid the money changers at the airport though, as they'll have worse exchange rates.
Important: Tell your bank about your travel plans at least two weeks before you leave. Card activity in a foreign country could be mistaken for fraud and you could find your account frozen.
Cash machines are easy to find in Thai cities and tourist areas, but remember you'll be charged a transaction fee and a conversion fee for using your Australian card. And the Thai bank will usually tack on an extra charge too. Some ATMs may not recognise foreign cards. If you're going off the beaten track, ATMs may be hard to come by so take some extra cash.
Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, high-end restaurants and tourist shops (again, you'll be charged a conversion fee) but cash is still king on the street.
Money changers charge no fees or commissions in Thailand, so you'll almost always get a better rate if you change your Australian dollars once you're in the country (although you may want to take a few Baht just to cover your first few hours in the country). Exchange rates will likely be higher at the airport than in banks or booths in towns.
Only American Express travellers' cheques are accepted in Thailand, and even then you'll have trouble finding many places that can cash them. Foreign exchange booths and banks are your best bet.
Travel money cards
Travel money cards work in a similar way to travellers' cheques, only they're more versatile and are used just like debit cards. They can be pre-loaded with foreign currency and cancelled if lost. If you're planning on doing a lot of shopping, they can work out cheaper than using your credit card.
Check our travel money card reviews to be sure you're getting the right one (for example, the Australia Post card doesn't accept Thai Baht).
Carry at least two credit/debit cards and more than one cash currency (Australian and Thai). Split your money and cards between separate bags. That way if
you lose one, you have a back-up.
Taxes may come as a surprise on some bills. A 7% VAT is applied to all goods and services, and will sometimes not be included in the advertised price. Many
hotels and restaurants will also add a 'service charge' or 'hotel tax'. You may be able to reclaim VAT (see below) when you leave the country.
For more advice, check the CHOICE travel money guide.