How to Send Money from and to Thailand: The Fast, Cheap, Reliable Way

Sending money to Thailand can be a tricky matter.

Between international transfer fees and hidden fees in exchange rates, you face a lot of challenges when transferring money from abroad into Thailand.

Aside from traditional forms of banking, you have a few options to send money from overseas to Thailand.

Each offers its own benefits, from lower fees to easier payments, but they also come with their own drawbacks.

This guide shows you how to transfer money from your home country to Thailand while getting the best exchange rates and avoiding the largest transfer fees. You’ll also find out the best way to send money from Thailand back to your home country. 

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A Quick Summary of This Post

There are three things you should consider when sending money to Thailand:

  • exchange rates
  • transfer fees
  • delivery speed

Considering all these factors, Wise and Remitly are usually the two best ways to send money to Thailand. However, for transfers over US$10,000, a bank transfer might be cheaper. 

Since transfer fees and exchange rates are subject to change, you can use Monito to compare the current rate and find out the best money transfer service for your situation.

When it comes to sending money to Thailand, you have much more limited options since most money transfer services don’t support this. 

So, you can do it by using a traditional bank transfer or a Thai money transfer service such as DeeMoney. 

For more information about sending money to and from Thailand, read on. 

What to Watch Out For

When you send money to Thailand from your home country you should pay attention to:

  • transfer fees
  • exchange rates
  • transfer speeds
  • accessibility

Transfer Fees

No matter which method you use to send money to Thailand, you have to pay transfer fees. Transfer fees come in three forms:

  • fixed amount fees
  • percentage fees
  • combination fees

These fees are decided by the banks that you transfer money from. 

Normally, fixed fees are good if you want to transfer large amounts to Thailand, but they aren’t great if you only transfer a small amount. This is because, no matter how much money you want to transfer to Thailand, you pay the same fee. 

This is likely the most prominent part of the fees you’ll notice (though it’s usually not the biggest – more about that later). Many banks used the fixed fee method. 

Secondly, you can pay transfer fees based on the percentage of money you transfer. This happens when you use your home country credit card while in Thailand.

Sometimes you pay transfer fees in a combination of ways, such as when you use PayPal. With PayPal you pay a small fixed fee but a high percentage fee.

The transfer method you use should be suitable to the amount of money you send to Thailand. 

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If not, you end up paying expensive transfer fees for a small transfer.

Exchange Rates

The lion’s share of international transfers fees lies in hidden exchange rates.

This means besides the fees charged by your bank, PayPal, or other service providers, you have to pay another fee of up to 4 percent of the transfer amount.

Sometimes companies call it a hedging fee (e.g. in the fine print of credit cards and PayPal), other times they don’t mention it at all. But like airlines’ fuel surcharges, it’s just an extra fee you end up paying.

Even services that claim to not have a separate fee or allow you to set your own exchange fees often hide an extra fee in the exchange rate.

This difference can be bigger than any transfer fee shown on your receipt or quote.

One example: If you send British Pounds to Thailand, Kasikorn Bank keeps 3.4 percent of the entire transfer amount in the form of exchange rates on top of any fixed fees you pay to the bank.

This exchange rate ‘fee’ is rarely mentioned anywhere outside of the fine print, and for larger amounts it can add up.

If you transfer 100,000 baht, that’s up to 3,400 baht in hidden fees. For a 2,000,000 baht condo purchase, that’s 68,000 baht in transfer fees. That’s a lot for a fee your bank usually doesn’t consider worth pointing out.

If you want to uncover hidden exchange rate fees, you can check the historical mid-market exchange rates on XE and compare it with the one your service provider gave you on that day.

Keep in mind these are mid-market rates. This means as a consumer you never get that rate. But your goal is to get as close to that as possible. I’d consider a rate “great” if it’s within 0.5 percent of the mid-market rate.

Due to delays in reporting current rates, I recommend the exchange rate calculators below because of how timely their updates are:

  • XE (under two minutes)
  • Google (under 15 minutes)

When you use an online money transfer provider such as Wise, on the other hand, you don’t have to pay exchange rate fees. Instead it only charges a transfer fee of 0.6 percent when transferring money to Thailand. 

Transfer Speeds

Transfer speeds from your home country into Thailand can be slower or faster than transfer speeds in your home country.

Bank transfers from Hong Kong to Thailand often clear within seconds of the transfer.

Cashing a check from America in Thailand can take up to six weeks to clear.

A bank transfer takes about two to three business days.

A money transfer service like Wise or Remitly clocks in at about two to five days, though recently I’ve noticed them getting faster, to the point where it’s almost instantly.

Accessibility

Seventy-eight percent of Thailand’s population have access to an extensive network of bank branches and ATMs. Unless you’re sending money to a village without water and electricity (not exactly many of those left), you can probably make a transfer to a bank account.

This means you can avoid ‘cash transfer’ services like Western Union which charge a pretty steep 7.5 percent of the transfer amount in fees.

Transfer Options

You have eight different options for sending money into Thailand.

  • online money transfer services
  • international bank transfers
  • Foreign currency checks
  • Forex companies
  • Western Union
  • PayPal
  • cryptocurrencies
  • cash

The main differences between these options are cost, speed, convenience, and sometimes legality.

Online Money Transfer Services

If you want to save the most on transfer fees and transfer times, use an online money transfer service.

These services make it easy to send money to Thailand and have grown in popularity since I first published this guide.

You can set up an account with any of the online money transfer services in a matter of minutes.

Here’s how it works:

If I want to send US$1,000 from America to Thailand, I first transfer that US$1,000 to the online service provider’s bank in America.

Then they transfer the US$1,000 from their bank in Thailand to my bank in Thailand.

That’s it.

All of this happens with the click of a button and with no extra work needed on my end.

You can compare money transfer service rates using the below widget from Monito.

To use a money transfer service, you need to first open an account with the company and verify your identity by uploading your passport or identification card. The whole process usually takes three to five business days. 

You also need to have a bank account in Thailand to receive money into.

Let’s take a look at three popular online money transfer services, Remitly, XendPay, and Wise.

Remitly

Remitly is a money transfer service that offers two ways to send money to Thailand: bank transfers or cash pickups.

Remitly

If you use Remitly to transfer up to US$1,000 into a Thai bank account, there are two fees you need to pay:

  • transfer fees
  • exchange rate fees 

Remitly has two transfer options, either express and economy.

For the express option, you get money within minutes and transfer fees run up to US$12.99. 

On the other hand, the maximum fee you’ll pay for the economy option is US$3.99, but your transfer may take three to five business days. 

Moreover, Remitly charges an rate fee that it doesn’t disclose.

Still, it’s a good option for transferring money to Thailand, especially for first-time transfers because they waive transfer fees. 

You can also use Remitly to schedule a cash pickup at one of the two following banks in Thailand:

  • SiamCommercial Bank
  • Kiatnakin Bank

Keep in mind the pickup fee for these banks may charge an additional fee of 0.25 percent of your transfer.

Wise

Wise lets you send money to Thailand with no hidden fees. What you see upfront is what you pay. This is probably the most well-known of all of those providers.

Wise Logo

Wise charges 0.5 percent to 2 percent of the transfer amount, depending on the source of currency. 

This makes it useful for payments of less than US$2,000 since the traditional route of a bank transfer would be more expensive.

For example, one of my employees transferred US$1,605.95 to Thailand using Wise. They charged him US$18 in transfer fees and gave him a mid-market exchange rate.

This means with an exchange rate of about 33 baht to the dollar (at the time of the transfer), he got 52,402.35 baht in his Thai bank account.You can read our in-depth review of Wise to find out how you can pocket more Thai baht on your next transfer.

XendPay

XendPay is a service provider similar to Wise. They advertise part of their fees as ‘pay what you want’ for your first two transfers each year (I usually pick ‘0 EUR’). Not to worry about them going out of business though: They do have a minor surcharge in the exchange rate, though for USD I’ve seen that as low as 0.25 percent of the transfer amount.

xendpay-logo

For Euro, the fees in the exchange rate tend to be a bit higher, though still only around 0.5 percent. Banks and other companies often quote much much higher hidden fees. This is the primary reason I usually go with them.

Verification for XendPay requires a proof of identity and a proof of address. When I tested them, they verified my ID in less than two hours.

Another big advantage Xendpay offers over banks and many other providers is that they quote your exchange rate up front and lock it in place, allowing you to plan ahead and remove quite a bit of uncertainty. 

Unless you walk up to a bank counter in person and have them key in the transaction, you rarely have that information when using other transfer options.

However, one slight disadvantage of XendPay is that you can’t trust the fees it shows on its homepage. XendPay shows the total fee on its payment page instead, and is slightly more expensive than other service providers.  You can read our in-depth review of XendPay.

Other

Remitly, Wise, and XendPay aren’t your only options for sending money online. If you want an alternative, take a look at our review on WorldRemit. In essence though, most of these companies are the same. 

There are always new ones popping up, though I haven’t seen any others that would make it worth switching. However, there is nothing preventing you from creating accounts with multiple companies, getting a quote and then just using whichever offers the best rates.

If you’re an Aussie, read our dedicated guide on sending money from Australia to Thailand.

International Bank Transfers

An international bank transfer is often the first thing people think of when it comes to sending money to Thailand. However, without at least some preparation, that can lose you up to 4 percent of the transaction amount without you even being told about it (and that’s in addition to the fees charged).

Given Thailand’s well-established banking system, you can send money to pretty much everyone. Plus, you yourself can open a Thai bank account with a national ID card or even with a passport with a tourist visa.

But bank transfers have higher fees and longer processing times than online money transfer services. 

Unless you really need to make a bank transfer (e.g. because you need a “credit advance” to prove that funds come from outside the country for buying a condo, apply for certain visas, or sending more than THB400,000), it’s usually not the best option. 

International bank transfer fees are difficult to calculate as well. Unlike online money transfer services, they don’t disclose it openly on their websites. You need to do extra work to find out the transfer fees and exchange rate fees for both sending and receiving banks. 

What You Need to Decide

Unless you look into things more closely, all you seem to be able to choose is whether the sender or the receiver pays the transfer fees, or they split the fees evenly.

But there’s more to it. Here’s what you need to decide.

Sending Bank

Each sending bank has their own payment structure.

Transfer fees are easy to find out. But exchange rate spreads are tougher to figure out. Many times bank tellers might not even know. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially since the bad exchange rates routinely add up to cost you 2 percent of the transfer amount.

If you transfer a lot of money, compare the bank’s exchange rate with the mid-market rate on XE before you sign or confirm a transfer.

Of course, if you send the payment in a foreign currency and have the Thai bank do the conversion, this doesn’t apply.

Receiving Bank

Not all Thai banks are equal when it comes to receiving foreign currency transactions. Like sending banks, each receiving bank has their own payment structure.

Unlike sending banks though, you can’t get advance quotes on exchange rates, and your transfer gets converted at whatever rates they use, whether you like it or not. The only way to get any information is to look at the differences in rates from past transfers received.

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Based on that, out of all Thai banks, Bangkok Bank seems to offer the lowest fees and best exchange rates when receiving an international transfer in a foreign currency.

Deducting Fees From Sender or Receiver

You can ask banks what the fees are. If transferring money to yourself, it makes sense to pick the option with lower fees. In most cases, this means the sender pays the fees.

Even if you specify that the receiver pays the fees, the sender still gets charged a fee–albeit a lower one.

Transferring in Thai Baht or Your Home Currency

Some foreign banks take up to a 4 percent cut of the entire transfer in the form of unfavorable exchange rates when you let them do the conversion from your home currency to Thai baht. The solution to that is: Don’t. Ask your bank to send the amount in your home currency. Then ensure the money gets sent to a Bangkok Bank account (they have the best conversion rate for inbound transfer).

For amounts less than THB 400,000, you’ll be better off using online money transfer service due to the inbound fee charged by Bangkok Bank. However, for very large transactions the slightly better exchange rate provided by Bangkok Bank will make up for the fixed fee charged by them.

Foreign Currency Checks

If you use a bank with unfavorable exchange rates, you can still use them to funnel funds to Thailand at favorable conditions.

If you send a foreign currency check in US Dollars, for example, the Thai bank requests your foreign bank to settle that check in US Dollars.

This way, the Thai bank does the currency conversion rather than the sending bank, often at better exchange rates.

I recommend going with Bangkok Bank due to their favorable exchange rates in that case.

While foreign currency checks are an option, only a handful of people use them because of the long clearing times. It may take weeks or months to clear the check. Also, certain bank branches, including Bangkok Bank, may not accept them anymore.

If you want to use this method, go to a branch inside a big department store.

Forex Companies

Many companies claim that they can transfer money for you at exchange rates lower than those offered by banks.

They describe their services as “fx international payments.” I’ve avoided Forex companies so far, mostly because I believe that every time a person calls you on the phone, whatever they offer will be more expensive than an ‘automated’ solution provided online.

Fortunately though, a reader was kind enough to share his experience with the fx international payments provider, SmartCurrencyExchange.

Here’s the process he went through:

  1. Sign up on their website
  2. Contact them by phone, authenticate yourself, and tell them how much you’d like to exchange.
  3. Negotiate and agree to a rate: A trader gives you an exchange rate quote that you can negotiate to a certain degree. If it’s an amount less than 2,000 Euros, you have to pay an extra fee of 5 Euros. You confirm the transaction on the phone and receive a confirmation by email to pay the amount.
  4. Transfer the money: Once you transfer the amount to a European account in the UK, they send you an email confirmation and transfer the converted amount to your Thai account within a few days. Sometimes the receiving bank charges you another fee.

Based on the above sample transaction, the exchange fee is 0.93 percent. If you add the 250 baht that Bangkok Bank charges for receiving the transaction, you end up paying 1.21 percent—not a competitive rate compared to most Thai banks.

A sample contract for a transaction through SmartCurrencyExchange.

While this provider doesn’t seem to offer such a great deal, there might be others offering more competitive rates.

If you find a provider offering better rates, please feel free to let me know in the comments section of this article.

Western Union

Western Union is one of the most well-known instant transfer services. In principle, you can use them to make cash available to anyone in the world in a matter of two minutes.

But the service comes at a price. Part of that price is visible on their website.

Depending on where you send instant transfers from, the fixed prices range anywhere from US$10 to US$50.

But the real cost is in exchange rates. Non-instant transfers from Western Union through banks start at 4 percent. For instant transfers you pay roughly 7.5 percent of the transfer amount.

If you need the money the same day, Western Union can make that happen at one of their 5,000 locations in Thailand, though even those have limited opening hours.

PayPal

**Since October 2022, expats in Thailand can’t set up new PayPal accounts anymore because PayPal in Thailand now requires a Thai national ID card for account verification. Please read this article to find out more information.**

PayPal offers a convenient way to send international payments as long as you don’t send significant amounts.

paypal logo

You can make payments for as little as US$0.50 and up to 1 percent per transfer if you choose Personal Payment.

This doesn’t include exchange fees though. PayPal adds 2.5 percent on exchange rates if you ever want to withdraw your US Dollar balance to a local Thai bank account.

This gets expensive quickly. But it works out to be cheaper than a wire transfer for anything less than US$1,000.

It’s still not as cheap as exchanging in cash or going through Wise or Remily. But it’s hard to beat the convenience if you already have an account and just need to send a few dollars.

Cryptocurrencies

In 2013, Thailand became the first country to ban Bitcoins. But since then, the Bank of Thailand has reversed its stance, warning against their use, but also stating it doesn’t consider Bitcoins to be a currency.

In theory, you can transfer cryptocurrencies without paying significant fees.

In practice, the savings are minuscule to other options because of the fees charged by cryptocurrency marketplaces.

Read our in-depth review of Bitcoins in Thailand to find out how you can use cryptocurrencies in Thailand.

Cash

One often forgotten way to transfer money into Thailand is good old cash.

You don’t have to declare amounts less than US$20,000 to Thai customs. But keep in mind that the amount you can take out of your home country without declaring it to local customs might be lower.

Exchanging cash offers cheap exchange rates. You pay less than 0.1 percent when you go to a professional money exchanger like SuperRich.

Compared to sending money by bank transfer, going the cash route saves you US$80 for every US$20,000 you bring into Thailand.

Many people though, myself included, wouldn’t consider the stress of walking around with US$20,000 in cash just to benefit from the US$80 in savings.

Find out more: Thai Baht: How to Get the Absolute Best Exchange Rates

Country-Specific Recommendations

Depending on which country you transfer money into Thailand from, you can save a lot on fees by using the right bank.

For example, the rates you get from sending money from Australia to Thailand are different from rates you get when sending money from America to Thailand, even if you use the same bank.

United States

When sending money from the U.S. to Thailand, there are some limitations to be aware of. You’ll need to run through the checklist of fees and exchange rates to make sure you are getting the best deal.

U.S. Bank Transfers 

Depending on what your situation requires, these types of transfers usually arrive at the recipient’s bank in three to five business days if sent by 5 PM EST. As long as you have collected the required information, these steps should be fairly simple. Make sure to pay attention to the rates and fees that your bank charges.

As an example, at the time of this writing, the fee charged by Bank of America for an international money wire is US$45, so make sure the amount you send is significant. 

This method is obviously not the best for small amounts or urgent situations, and it is costly.

U.S. Money Transfer Service Companies

Some of these services may not even require having a bank account at either end and, depending on the amount, some services can make transfers much faster and at significantly better rates. 

Online research tools such as Monito are extremely helpful for searching and comparing various online money transfer service companies.

Below are a few of the top-rated companies and the steps you need to take to send money from the U.S. to Thailand.

Western Union

No bank accounts are required to send or receive payments through Western Union. Cash can be collected in person at any other Western Union agent location worldwide by providing the 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and your ID.

The fees charged may seem reasonable for small amounts compared to standard bank transfers, but the exchange rates are usually terrible, so you’ll get a much lower payout in the end. Western Union is a good choice for sending small amounts that are urgently needed, or when you can’t use a bank at either end. 

Wise 

Wise’s fees are very low and the exchange rates can often be as good as, or close to, the mid-market rate. Another key benefit is that Wise is very transparent about what all the itemized fees and rates will be before sending money. Wise is also extremely fast and payout processing times usually only take a few minutes once you register with them.

You must register with Wise using a photo ID and your recipient will need to have a bank account and photo ID. This is an excellent choice for its speed of processing time and low rates. However, both the sender and recipient need bank accounts. 

XE

XE is very competitive with Wise and sometimes even cheaper. They also payout within minutes. However, much like Western Union, XE also offers money pickup locations. Unlike Wise, this means that recipients don’t need to have a bank account, but direct payments to bank accounts are also an option. 

XE doesn’t charge flat fees, but it usually has much worse exchange rates than Wise. The rates significantly improve in relation to the transfer amount. The more you send, the better the rate. This is the best choice for sending mid to larger amounts of money quickly.

United Kingdom

When sending money from the United Kingdom to Thailand, you have many options. We discuss them in the following sections.

U.K. Bank Transfers

This method is very secure and the fees are usually more reasonable than they are in the U.S. However, transfer times can range from one to five banking days, so it might not be the best choice for urgent matters. The fees are different from bank to bank, too, but currently HSBC’s website indicates that the fee to transfer to Thailand is only GBP5. 

Exchange rates, however, are shown to be 3.5 percent worse than mid-market rates. 

U.K. Money Transfer Service Companies

These companies seem to provide the best options when it comes to overall speed, transfer fees, and exchange rates, but some do have limitations to consider. 

Transfer Go

This company offers free transfer fees for new customers. After that, fees are tied to your preferred transfer speed. Thirty-minute transfers will cost you GBP2.99. Same-day transfers are a little cheaper at GBP1.99. And next-day transfers are even cheaper still at only GBP0.99. 

The exchange rates are 1.78 percent higher than mid-market rates. This is a great option if you have more flexibility on the delivery time of the transfer but still don’t want to wait for more than a day or so. 

Wise 

This very popular money transfer company is also available in the U.K. It has low fees and is very fast. Usually, it only takes a few minutes for money transfers. In the U.K., it offers both credit and debit card funding options, as well as bank transfers. 

Exchange rates are also only 0.01 percent higher than mid-market rates. It requires registration, and both the sender and receiver need to have bank accounts in their respective countries to deliver or receive money. 

European Union 

There are many different methods for sending money from the E.U. into Thailand. It depends on the specific country. Bank transfers are the oldest and perhaps the most well-known methods, but again you need to pay close attention to the fees and rates.

E.U. Bank Transfers

Bank transfer to Thailand can take up to five business days, so it is by far the slowest method compared to money transfer service companies. Also, you can expect to pay additional service fees and exchange rates may not be very good. So, make sure to check how much is actually being received after fees and exchange rates. 

However, for very large amounts of money, it’s still the most traditional and secure transfer method. Of course, this require the recipient to have a bank account. You then need to locate the SWIFT code of the Thai bank you’re sending to.

You can do this by going to the bank’s website or by Googling the bank’s name and “SWIFT code.” You also need the name and account number of the recipient. You also have to include the purpose of the transfer. 

E.U. Money Transfer Service Companies

It’s recommended that you use a site like Monito to find the best service option for your country. Top-rated service companies are very fast and affordable and some can even make same-day payouts to the receiver. 

Even when same-day service is not an option, most take only two to three days to process. 

Remitly 

Remitly covers many E.U. countries and offers very fast and affordable services. In most cases, money transfers are completed on the same day. You’ll pay no fees on your first transfer and even receive preferential exchange rates. 

There are many options for funding your transfer as well, including bank transfers, direct bank payments, and credit and debit cards. Recipients can choose to have the funds delivered to their bank or go to a cash pickup location in Thailand. So, having a bank on the receiving end is not required. 

Wise 

This is a very popular option as well, due to its large global coverage, speed of delivery, and low fees. Exchange rates are also often very close to, or better than, the mid-market rates. You need to have a receiving bank set up in Thailand, but Wise does offer a wide range of funding options. 

Depending on how you fund your transfer, Wise can have your payment delivered in minutes after you register. 

Malaysia

Here we have outlined some of the best methods for sending money from Malaysia to Thailand. 

Malaysian Bank Transfers 

Bank transfers are the slowest, yet most popular and secure method for sending money from Malaysia to Thailand. If you don’t mind waiting three to five business days and you’re sending a mid to large amount of money, then it could be a good option. 

However, be aware of the fees and exchange rates offered by the bank, because it can be expensive. 

Malaysian Money Transfer Service Companies

There are a few online money transfer service company options for sending money from Thailand to Malaysia. Here are some of the best ones available in the market.

Wise

In Malaysia, Wise only offers the option to fund the payment via bank transfer, but it still has very low fees and exchange rates are closer to mid-market rates. Also, transfers are delivered on the same day to Thai bank accounts. 

Instarem

This company also offers same-day transfers to Thai bank accounts and has slightly lower service fees than Wise. However, exchange rates are typically 0.17 percent worse than mid-market rates. 

You can pay by direct bank payments or bank transfers, but you need a Thai bank account.

Indonesia

Most banks in Indonesia don’t send or receive money unless you have a special international currency send/receive account. Options for sending money from Indonesia to Thailand are more limited, but there are still options to receive money very quickly. 

Indonesian Money Transfer Service Companies

The only easy option for sending money from Indonesia to Thailand is by using a money transfer service company. The fees are low and the exchange rates are as good, or better than, mid-market rates.

Wise

Once again, Wise comes out on top as the best option. Transfers are delivered in a matter of minutes and the fees are very low (transferring IDR2,065,850 costs only IDR42,707). To fund your transfers, you have to use a bank transfer, and the recipient needs a bank account, too.

Send Money from Thailand 

You’re limited in the ways you can send money out of Thailand. If you use a bank, you have to register if it’s your first time. Your other options include using Western Union or online transfer service providers. These are set up for global transfers to a larger number of countries outside of Thailand. Again, transfer speeds and delivery methods are important to consider.

Bank Transfers

You need to register with the bank if it’s your first time. You’ll need to make sure you have all the relevant information about the bank account and individual you’re transferring to. 

Kbank
You may need to visit a bank in person on your first international transfer.

You can then follow the steps on your Thai bank’s website to complete the transfer process. This process could take up to three business days, so that’s something to consider. 

You’ll pay a fee of around THB300, but make sure to check the currency exchange rate as well. 

For those transferring to the E.U., make sure you have the destination bank’s IBAN number.  

For the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and China you need a SWIFT code. You can easily find these on the bank’s website. 

Limitations

Keep in mind there is a limit to the amount you can transfer out of Thailand without submitting special documents. Any amount equivalent to US$50,000 or above will require a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form. 

  • In the case of tuition payments, a letter from the college or school stating tuition fees, as well as an invoice from the school, is needed.
  • If you’re sending money from income earned in Thailand over the cap amount, you need to show proof of your income from your Thai employer. 

Should I Use It?

If urgency is not an issue, and you have a Thai bank account (check out How to Successfully Open a Bank a Account in Thailand ), a bank transfer could be the best option. Any amount under US$50,000 won’t require any additional documents. However, there are steps to follow if you go over that amount and the transfer reason needs to be approved.  

For a more complete overview of service options around the world, check out the Best Ways to Send Money Abroad 

Western Union

Western Union offers fast delivery and is available at many locations around Thailand. Also, you can pick up or send money from one of its agents around the globe.

Its fees may not seem high at first, but Western Union doesn’t have very high exchange rates and may charge hidden fees. I would only recommend using them if you need money urgently. 

From the App

Western Union does have an app, but after installing it and registering your account, you need to visit an agent location to have them verify your photo ID in person. This also requires that you already have a Thai bank account. 

From an Agent Location

Most banks in Thailand offer Western Union services. In addition to this, all Central Shopping Mall locations (Central Rama 9 Mall, for example) have Western Union offices at their customer service desks.

You can visit the Western Union website to find your nearest agent location. When using an agent, the sender and receiver don’t need for a bank account, but you can use a bank account once you’re registered with Western Union.

Skrill 

As an online money transfer service company, Skrill can send money from Thailand to over 40 countries. 

They have next-day payments option when using debit cards without any additional fees. They also offer next-day service when using credit cards, but you have to pay additional fees. 

The exchange rate, however, is 1.98 percent, which is worse than mid-market rates but still better than Western Union. 

DeeMoney

Another very popular Thai-owned option is DeeMoney. Its fees are very low (THB125), and once your registration is processed in about one to three business days, transfers should arrive on the next business day. You do need a Thai bank account, though. 

You need to provide a picture of your passport and need to take a photo of yourself as well. You also need one of the following additional forms of ID. 

You can use a government-issued ID from your home country, a photo of your current valid visa, or a photo of your work permit. Note that a work permit is not required, but it is an accepted form of additional ID if you’re an expat and need to send money from Thailand. 

This is the service I would recommend if the amount is under US$20,000 (DeeMoney’s limit). At the moment, they have solid service reviews and they do clearly show the comparative rates and fees, so it is very transparent about the process.

For another, more detailed, breakdown of the best options for sending money out of Thailand, I would also suggest taking a look at our guide on the Recommended Method to Send Money from Thailand.

Now, on to You

Most people still stick with traditional bank transfers. If they compared the ”real’ exchange rates on XE.com with what their bank actually uses, that would lead to a rude awakening.

Money transfer companies can save a lot of money, not only because they charge fewer transfer fees but they give favorable exchange rates.

When it comes to sending money to Thailand, the two transfer companies I personally used multiple times in the last few years are Wise and Xendpay. Wise is the more well-known of the two. 

When it comes to sending money from Thailand, I normally use an international wire transfer. While it can be a hassle to do it the first time, I’m satisfied with the rate and experience.

My name is Karsten and I'm a 30-something pro-gamer turned tech entrepreneur. I'm the youngest of three sons to a British mom and a German dad who met while working in Canada. As management trainee at Lufthansa German Airlines I worked in India, Dubai, Austria and Germany.

25 thoughts on “How to Send Money from and to Thailand: The Fast, Cheap, Reliable Way”

  1. Excellent article. It addressed one of my questions regarding whether or not to do the currency conversion before sending from your bank to a Thai bank. Now I know to send in in AUD from my Australian bank and have it converted by the Thai Ban preferably Bangkok Bank.
    My other question is:

    Wise etc are great and I have used them to send money to Germany and Thailand. However because of how they are setup the money goes into a Thai bank account as a local transfer from within Thailand and not and FET (Financial Electronic Transfer) even if you nominate a bank like Bangkok Bank it may still get cleared by another Thai Bank before arriving In Bangkok Bank. This is problematic for anyone on a non immigrant O or OA visa relying on the monthly transfer minimum from a foreign source to meet the visa requirements. Do you know of any way around this or if other transfer services can transfer as an FET so that it appears as a foreign transfer on your Thai Bank passbook?
    If not possible then the choices are to move 400000 or 800000 baht into a Thai Bank but you still have the problem of ensuring it comes in as an FET.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • During your transfer with Wise, you will need to select a reason of transfer as “funds for long-term stay in Thailand”. It’s the last option on the reason dropdown menu.

      Then, your fund should appear as foreign fund transfer which should be accepted by the immigration officer without a question.

      Reply
  2. I am currently in the US looking to move to Thailand, can I just open up a JP Morgan Chase account in the US, deposit funds, and then open up a Bangkok bank when I arrive and write a check from Chase bank to Bangkok bank to open an account?

    Reply
    • Actually let me change that to Citibank. I looked at JP Morgan Chase in Bangkok and they don’t seem to have any consumer services. So I would use Citibank.

      Reply
  3. The problem isn’t so much the fees. I would be quite happy paying a bit more fees, if a transfer didn’t include “KYC” practices. KYC doesn’t benefit the consumer, it only decreases your privacy and increases the possiblity of identity theft. And be honest: will it reduce criminal activity? no, because criminals won’t use these services anyway.

    So if anyone has more options on exchanges that won’t request copies of passports that would be great!
    … can’t wait for crypto to become the world standard.

    Reply
  4. Today Western Union are giving me 6033 baht for £150 no fees bank to bank (2-3 business days) and at the same time Xe.com live market report £150 exchanges to 6051 baht. Indeed if I use xe own send system I get just 5,947 THB. That’s make live rates just about 0.33% better than the WU exchange rate. It’s not instant, it’s not cash but seems pretty good value to me.

    Reply
  5. I used TransferWise when I brought over money to buy a car here in Thailand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they will be of much help now that I have bought a house and need to bring over a substantial amount of money. Most of your advice was for relatively small transactions. After reading the article I am still unsure how to proceed so any additional advice would be extremely appreciated. It may be possible for me to make four separate transfers through Transferwise but I wouldn’t expect that to be the best method.

    Reply
    • Hi Ed. Thanks for the feedback. We are going to work on a guide for sending larger amounts of money (for buying houses/condos/etc.) soon.

      Reply
      • Thanks for getting back to me. I think the new guide will be very useful. Too bad I have a short deadline or else I will lose my deposit so it won’t be a help to me. When it comes out I will read to see if I guessed correctly.

        Thanks for all the useful information you provide.

        Reply
  6. How does this compare to using free ATM from Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® –They give you the Visa and repay the international ATM fees users rack up while overseas?

    Reply
    • Hi Greg. TD Bank does the same thing for me. It sounds like a great deal. But banks will take a percentage of the exchange rate. So although we get our ATM fees reimbursed, we don’t get the best exchange rates.

      Reply
  7. Transfermate. com much better rates and fixed 10€ fee (I was with TransferWise but after some comparisons far prefer TransferMate (big international company widely regulated worldwide… HQ in Ireland)

    Reply
  8. Great information! I just came across “Xoom” from PayPal very recently. You might want to give that a look. I’d be interested in hearing what you think.

    Reply
  9. How does the collect works when sending money through paypal? do you go to any bank or can you send it as deposit to an specific account?

    Reply
    • It would go from PayPal to PayPal account. The recipient would then have to withdraw the funds from PayPal to their local bank account.

      Reply
  10. there is not one way to send money between countries. there are 500. In 2016 only., + 100 operators have been created. I think it might be wise to take a look at a comparison service such as moneytis.com
    I’m working on the money transfer comparison project and it is interesting to analyze the results. Indeed, there are many explanations for fragmentation in this market:
    1/ the money transfer provider which is the cheapest depends on the amount you send
    2/ the money transfer provider which is the cheapest depends on the country you transfer money from
    3/ the money transfer provider which is the cheapest depends on the country you send money to
    4/ the cheapest and fastest depend also on the payment option you choose
    5/ the cheapest and fastest depend on the reception option you choose
    6/ the prices change every 30 minutes

    Reply
  11. I have a question about packing cash out — why is everyone worried about declaring things to customs? If I want to take $15,000 US with me to Thailand and have to declare this, what’s the problem? Is it a huge airport hassle? Will I be questioned extensively? I don’t understand this piece. Thanks for writing this very interesting article.

    Reply
    • In theory it’s not illegal to bring that much and you might only need to offer proof that the funds were obtained in a legal manner. Say you are taking $15,000 to Thailand to buy a car and you can show you could have set that aside from your salary, there shouldn’t be any issues. As always though, the best way to deal with Thai customs is to handle things in a way that you don’t have to deal with them altogether. Main reason being that how things actually play out can sometimes be hard to predict.

      Reply
  12. I have a Citibank account in a few countries. The transfer is instant and there is no fee. The spread on the exchange rate was good last time I checked but I’m not sure what it is like now.

    Reply
  13. I have used transferwise and it is one of the cheapest and fastest solutions I found. I tried to open an account asking to several banks but all of them required a work permit. Are you sure passport with a tourist visa is enough?

    Reply
    • How long did the TransferWise transaction take for you?

      Opening a bank account depends on the branch. The guaranteed one to work is the Bangkok Bank main branch on Silom Road. They even have information on their website that specifically states that only a tourist visa is required. You could always print out the website and then take the printout to the branch.

      In some places (e.g. Pattaya), it’s even not unheard of that banks open branches for people on 30-day entry stamps (and without a ‘proper’ visa).

      Reply
      • Thank you for the information. I can’t remember how long it took cos it was 3 months ago. I will check and I let you know.

        Reply
      • Thank you for the information. It took 6 days (they estimated 5 days). The exchange rate was almost the same of the official one, the fee was around 11euro on 600euro.

        Reply
    • as mentioned Bangkok Bank works great and in worst case you can let some one stay garant for you. If the Thai persons wants to sign a paper that he/she is garant that you money is nog illegal than you probably can also open that account.

      Reply

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