Thailand Privilege Card Program Review: Is It Worth It? (2024)

Thailand Privilege Card review cover picture

The Thailand Privilege Card is the latest privilege visa in Thailand. It’s known as the new Thailand Elite Visa after the previous Thailand Elite Visa ended on September 15, 2023. 

In this review guide, we aim to help you make an informed decision on whether you should get this Thailand Privilege Card by breaking down everything you need to know, including fees, duration of stays, benefits, points, pros and cons, and much more. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into it. 

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What is the Thailand Privilege Card? 

The Thailand Privilege Card is a Thailand privilege visa. It is managed by the Thailand Privilege Card Company, which is a Thai government organization aiming to promote tourism and investment in the country. 

The main requirement of the Thailand Privilege Card is the application fee, which starts at THB900,000 for a five-year visa. 

Who is it For? 

The Thailand Privilege Card is for anyone who’s looking for an easy way to get a long-term visa in Thailand and can afford the program. It can be an investor, digital nomad, retiree, or expat. 

One of the best things about the Thailand Privilege Card is that it significantly decreases visa bureaucracy in Thailand. You only need a few documents and can apply for it online.

And once you are at the Thailand airport, you will be taken to a fast-track service, skip all the queues, and have your visa stamped there.  

Benefits 

Let’s take a quick look at what you get with the Thailand Privilege Card.

Long-term Stays

The Privilege Card allows you to stay in Thailand for five to 20 years, depending on the program that you choose. 

Available to Anyone

Anyone can get it as long as they can pay for the visa fee. 

Based on our observation, the program is especially popular for:

  • investors who want to have a convenient way of getting a long-term visa 
  • digital nomads because there’s no official digital nomad visa in Thailand
  • retirees who don’t want to deal with the retirement visa regulations, which are strict and change from time to time 

No Paperwork

Since the Thailand Privilege Card is designed to be as easy as possible to apply for, there’s only a little paperwork involved. 

Basically, you need to show your passport, photo, sign an application and PDPA form. That’s all. 

Convenience 

The visa is convenient to get. 

The entire application process can be done online. Once your application is accepted, you also do not need to visit the Thailand Embassy or immigration office. You can get the visa stamp on your passport directly at a Thailand airport. 

Unchanging Regulations 

The regulations of the Thailand Privilege Card barely change. Once you get your visa, you won’t need to worry about it for at least five years. 

Travel Benefits 

In addition to visa benefits, the Thailand Privilege Card also comes with travel benefits ranging from airport transfers to free nights at hotels. 

This is done by redeeming Thailand Privilege points, which will be discussed later in the guide. 

Other Benefits 

There are other benefits you get from the Thailand Privilege Card such as:

  • airport services
  • fast-track access at airports
  • lounge access
  • personal assistance
  • 90-day notification assistance
  • a dedicated member contact center

Requirements

Everyone can apply for the Thailand Privilege Card.

The only thing you need is the application fee, which should be paid in full during the application process.

Other requirements are:

  • you need to obey Thai laws
  • you need to have a passport that isn’t Thai
  • you can’t have any criminal background in any countries
  • you haven’t declared bankruptcy 
  • you aren’t of unsound mind, incompetence, or quasi-incompetent

Thailand Privilege Membership Cards and Packages

There are four types of membership cards for the Thailand Privilege Program as follows: 

  • Reserve Card
  • Diamond Card
  • Platinum Card
  • Gold Card 
Thailand Privillege Card
There are four packages available with the Thailand Privilege card program.

Let’s take a closer look at each card.

Reserve Card

The Reserve Card is the top-tier of all cards. The membership fees are THB5,000,000, and the card lets you stay in Thailand for 20 years or more. 

Members can extend their stay by an additional five years or more after the initial 20-year period by paying an extra 10 percent of the membership fees. 

Additionally, this card gets you 120 privilege points per year. 

Membership for the Reserve Card is by invitation only, limited to 1 percent of the total amount of Thailand Privilege members per year.

Diamond Card

The Diamond Card is the second-highest tier card. Its membership fees are THB2,500,000, and the card gives you 15 years in Thailand. 

Diamond Card holders enjoy:

  • complimentary domestic flights
  • an annual health checkup worth up to THB14,000
  • birthday gifts
  • free nights at hotels

This card gets you 55 privilege points per year.

Platinum Card

Positioned as the third-highest tier card, the Platinum Card comes with a membership fee of THB1,500,000 and lets you stay in Thailand for 10 years. 

Cardholders get access to:

  • seasonal events within the Thailand Privilege card program
  • exclusive discounts on golf courses
  • spa services

This card comes with 35 privilege points per year.

Gold Card

The Gold Card is the fourth card on offer by the Thailand Privilege Card Company. This card, priced at THB900,000, let’s you stay in Thailand for five years. 

Gold Card benefits include:

  • airport transfers
  • discounts on golf courses
  • spa services
  • free VIP seating at cinemas
  • complimentary hotel buffets 

The Gold Card nets you 20 privilege points per year.

The main disadvantage of the Gold Card is that you cannot add additional family members to the main plan like you could with other cards.

Membership Card Comparison

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of each Thailand Privilege card program membership tier.

CardValidityFeeAdditional Card Fees Per MemberPoints Per YearAdditional Perks
Reserve20 years ++THB5,000,000 (invitation only)THB2,000,000120Reserve Club, personal concierge service, supercar rental, and more
Diamond15 yearsTHB2,500,000THB1,500,00055Free flights, free hotel stays, annual health checkups, and more
Platinum10 yearsTHB1,500,000THB1,000,00035Seasonal events, discount at golf courses and spas, and more
Gold5 yearsTHB900,000NA20Airport transfers, cinema VIP seats, free hotel buffets, and more

Thailand Privilege Card Points 

The Thailand Privilege Card company has partnered with hundreds of entities in Thailand to provide additional benefits to Thailand Privilege Card holders. 

You can redeem these benefits by spending your Thailand Privilege points. 

Depending on your membership card, you get 20 to 120 points per year. 

Thailand Privileges Partners
A list of Thailand Privilege Card Company’s partners.

In general, here’s what you get with each point spent: 

  • Zero points: special discounts on certain partners
  • One point: Buy-one, get-one movie tickets, fitness center access, complimentary diving, airport transfers, lounge access.
  • Two points: Golf course packages, luxury car airport transfers, dental care packages.
  • Three or more points: Round-trip domestic airline tickets, world-class concerts, private tours, health checkups, and wellness program packages.

There are five benefits categories available: 

  • accommodations 
  • leisure
  • travel
  • well-being
  • wealth 

Here’s a sample of benefits and points required in each category. Please note that they change from time to time.

You can talk to your Thailand Privilege Card Company personal assistant to find out the benefits available at that moment. 

Accommodations

BenefitsPoint Required
25% discount at Sofitel Bangkok
10% discount at Le Meridien Bangkok
15% discount at Healthland Resort Pattaya
Stay 1 night and get another free night at Dusit International1
Stay 2 nights and get another free night at Sripanwa1

Leisure

BenefitsPoint Required
Hotel Buffet: Buy 1 Get 1 Free1
Movie Ticket: Buy 1 Get 1 Free1
Goft Course Free Green Fee2
Thai Cooking Class2

Travel

BenefitsPoint Required
AOT Airport Transfer (Toyota Camry) – Max 80 km.1
AOT Airport Transfer (BMW Series 7) – Max 50 km.2
AOT Airport Transfer (Toyota Camry) – Max 2500 km.3
Phuket Airport Transfer1
Koh Samui Airport Transfer1
Miracle Lounge Access1
The Coral Executive Lounge Access1

Wealth

BenefitsPoint Required
Special travel insurance rate
1-hour legal advice1

Well-being

BenefitsPoint Required
Thai Massage Spa1
Foot Massage Spa1
Full Spa Package3
Free Health Check-Up10
1-day Gym Pass1
1-month Gym Membership3

Other

BenefitsPoint Required
90-days report1
Bank Service, Driving License, and Government Service Assistant2

Cost 

Cost is the main requirement for the Thailand Privilege Card. The application fee for the cheapest program, the Gold Card, is THB900,000, or around US$30,000. It gives you a five-year visa and other benefits mentioned above.

THB900,000 for a five-year visa means you pay THB180,000 per year or THB15,000 per month.

The number may seem high, but it can save you a lot of time dealing with visas in Thailand, as well as the stress you need to deal with at immigration offices. 

This is also a legal way to stay in Thailand long-term. 

Application Process

Applying for the Thailand Privilege Card is a straightforward process.

You have to fill in the application and include a copy of your passport and a passport-size color photo. Then, you send those documents to the Thailand Privilege Card Program representative.

The rep will forward these documents to Thailand Immigration, who will do a background check that takes roughly one to three months.

fast track service in Thailand airport
When you are at the Thailand airport, you will be picked up by a Thailand Privilege Card staff who will take you to the fast-track service to have your visa stamped.

After that, you’ll get an approval letter and an invoice for the Thailand Privilege Card fee amount. Once you pay the fee, you should receive a welcome letter with your membership number within a few days.

Then, you can schedule a date with an Thailand Privilege Card representative to have the visa added to your passport at the immigration office.

If you’re not yet in Thailand, you can pick up your privilege visa at the airport when you arrive here.

You can fill out this form to start the process.

Initial Payment

Starting in January 2024, you will need to make an initial payment of 50,000 baht when applying for any Thailand Privilege Card membership. This 50,000 baht will be deducted from your membership fee once your application is approved.

The fee is refundable if your background check is not approved by Thailand Immigration.

How Long Does it Take to Get the Thailand Privilege Card Visa? 

The whole application process takes around two to four months. 

Is it Worth It?

The answer depends on you. If you‘re able to afford THB15,000 a month and want to live hassle-free with this visa, then it’s totally worth it with all the conveniences you get.

On the other hand, if you’re eligible for other long-term visas and don’t mind dealing with paperwork and the bureaucratic system every year, then it isn’t for you.

Is it Legit?

The Thailand Privilege Card program is legit. Previously, it was called the Thailand Elite Visa. 

The program itself is run by the Thai government. 

Is it a Golden Visa? 

Unfortunately, the Thailand Privilege Card is not a golden visa. 

This means you will not be able to apply for Thailand permanent residence or citizenship with it. 

In fact, as of 2023, Thailand doesn’t have a golden visa. 

If you are looking to get the Thailand PR or citizenship, you need to get another type of visa, such as a working visa, marriage visa, or retirement visa. 

Is the Thailand Privilege Card Program Tailored to Remote Workers and Digital Nomads?

For years, remote workers and digital nomads have used the Thailand Elite Visa to avoid visa-related issues and stay in the country long term. 

However, challenges with income tax and Thai work permits remain. 

Legally, you need a work permit to work in Thailand. And it’s still challenging to obtain a work permit with the Elite Visa. 

Now, the Thailand Privilege Card Company explicitly states that digital nomads are one of their targeted groups. However, they can’t provide any advice when it comes to working in Thailand while being a member of the program.

Broadly speaking, it should still be okay to operate an overseas business in Thailand. But the business must be conducted abroad and can’t take away employment opportunities from Thai workers.

So, if your clients originate from outside of Thailand, the new Thailand Privilege card program could be an option for digital nomads. But it’s still a good idea to get official confirmation in writing with a Thailand Privilege Card Company agent before applying.

Hopefully we’ll hear some more news about this in the coming months. For now, if you work in Thailand for a Thai company, it’s better to apply for a Thailand business visa.

Is 90-Day Reporting Still Mandatory with a Thailand Privilege Card?

Unfortunately, it appears that you still have to report to Thai immigration every 90 days under the new Thailand Privilege card program. 

The silver lining is that members can get help with their 90-day reporting through the Thailand Privilege Card program.

Can I Get Permanent Residency or Thai Citizenship with It?

The Thailand Privilege cards are considered tourist visas. As a result, you can’t apply for permanent residence or obtain Thai citizenship with it, regardless of how long you’ve been in Thailand.

Can You Work in Thailand with a Thailand Privilege Card?

It’s important to note that the Thailand Privilege Card holders aren’t allowed to get a work permit, which means that they cannot work in Thailand.

On the other hand, it’s no problem to run or operate a business overseas with it, as long as the visa holder isn’t paid a salary or working for a company in Thailand.

Do I Need to Have Health Insurance?

As of now, you don’t need to have health insurance in order to apply for the Thailand Privilege Card. 

Do I Need to Have Proof of Funds?

Similar to health insurance, you don’t need to show any proof of funds. As long as you can pay the application fee in full and don’t have a criminal record, you should be able to get the Thailand Privilege Card without any problems.

Can I Get Thailand Tax Residency with the Thailand Privilege Card? 

Generally speaking, you’re a tax resident in Thailand if you stay in Thailand for more than 180 days in a calendar year.

By becoming a tax resident, you need to pay Thailand income tax for all of the income you make in Thailand. As for income made abroad, you don’t have to pay Thailand income tax as long as you do not transfer the money into Thailand during the same calendar year in which you earned that money. 

However, this rule will be changed soon in 2024.

To get a Thailand tax certificate, you need to file Thailand income tax. 

Please note that tax is a complicated matter. It’s also different from expat to expat. So, it’s best to get advice from a tax advisor or an accountant

Can I Apply for the Thailand Privilege Card If I’ve ever Overstayed in Thailand?

While it can affect the results of your application, it’s possible to apply for the Thailand Privilege Card if you overstayed for only a few days and with good reason. 

Also, you must have left Thailand after overstaying and must have paid any associated fines.

I Used to Have a Non-O Volunteer, Non-MT (Medical Treatment), or Non-ED (Education) Visa. Is it True I Can’t Apply for the Thailand Privilege Card?

Sort of. If you ever had a non-O volunteer or non-MT visa, you might not be able to apply for the Thailand Privilege Card

However, if you had a non-ED visa before, you can apply for the visa as long as the school you studied at is accredited by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

You may also need to provide the following documents during the visa application:

  1. School Establishment License from Ministry of Education (สช.2) or the Office of Basic Educational Commission (OBEC) or the Office of Private Educational Commission (OPEC)
  2. School registration (ร.2)
  3. Student Certification from school
  4. Academic Record, grade reports and attendance record
  5. Class Activities photos (If available)

Can I Apply for the Thailand Privilege Card if I Was Ever Late for a 90-day Check-In?

Yes, you can apply for the Thailand Privilege Card if you weren’t extremely late for your 90-day check-in and you paid the fine.

Thailand Privilege Card Vs. LTR Visa

With the official release of the long-term resident visa, known as the LTR visa, many people are wondering if they should apply for it or the Thailand Privilege Card. 

Here’s a quick comparison.

The LTR visa gives you 10 years in Thailand. However, it comes with strict requirements, such as investing at least US$500,000 in Thailand or working for a company that pays you an annual salary of US$80,000. 

On the other hand, the application process for the Thailand Privilege Card is much easier if you can afford the package – and with it, you don’t have to pay income taxes in Thailand. 

Therefore, if you don’t want to invest a lot of money in Thailand or work here full-time, the Thailand Privilege Card is the better option.

How to Get the Thailand Privilege Card

You can apply for the Thailand Privilege Card anywhere. All you need to do is to send a copy of your passport to the Thailand Privilege Card representative. Then, they will work with Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the consulate from your country to do a criminal background check.

Once it’s done, you need to transfer the application fee, wait a few days, and then get your Thailand Privilege Card membership number.

After that, if you’re in Thailand, you can go to the immigration office, meet a visa agent, and get the Thailand Privilege Card right away.

If you’re outside of Thailand, you can get the Thailand Privilege Card at the Thailand airport.

The whole process takes around three months. But it’s often much faster than this. In certain cases, it even takes less than two weeks.

You can even do it while on a connecting flight from Thailand to another country.

Your Thailand Privilege Card visa duration will start after you receive the approval letter, the application fee is paid in full, and you receive the welcome letter.

The process of applying for the Thailand Privilege Card is very easy and straightforward. It’s the most convenient visa option in Thailand.

You can fill in the form if you want to apply or find out more about the Thailand Privilege Card. An official representative of the program will get back to you shortly.

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Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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