Money Matters Whilst Traveling in Thailand

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The first golden rule of traveling money is:
Never rely on just one form of funds. Depending on where you’re travelling, it’s a good idea to take a combination of local currency and credit cards.

The second golden rule is:
Try to have more than you think you’ll need – travelling is rarely as cheap as you think it will be.

Most countries now have ATMs that dispense local currency to foreign cardholders. But if you’re heading off the beaten track, be sure to check and, if necessary, carry enough cash to tide you over.

Beware of bank fees associated with credit card transactions overseas and withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs: check with your bank before departing.

Also check the expiry date on your card and that it will be accepted where you’re going. We always use the 28 Degrees Mastercard (formerly Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard) when travelling as this card if free of all overseas fees.

Carry some US Dollars cash as this is the most universally accepted currency. It’s a good idea to have a few dollars in the local currency before you arrive so you can catch a bus or taxi and not be forced to change money at the airport or border where exchange rates are traditionally at their worse.

Avoid bank Fees when Traveling28 Degrees Mastercard (Formerly Wizard Mastercard)

Thankfully, for us in Australia, we have access to the 28 Degrees Mastercard (formerly Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard) that has no fees attached to it, and with some clever planning you can even get cash advances while overseas free of charges.

Here are a few key benefits of the card…

  • No ATM fees when used overseas
  • No currency conversion fees when used to buy things overseas
  • No fees for cash advances
  • Normally the best exchange rate available for purchases & cash advances
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • No annual fees
  • The trick is to load enough money onto your 28 Degrees Mastercard with BPAY before your journey. By doing this you will have a positive balance on your card and you will be actually using your own money to make purchases or ATM withdrawals and therefore you won’t get charged any interest.

Note: The daily limit for cash withdrawals is about $1000AUD, or the foreign exchange equivalent.

Travel light

Empty out any unnecessary cards from your wallet or purse before you go – that way there’s less bulge to attract thieves and less to lose.

Be discrete

Need we say this? Keep your cash under your clothes and out of sight; a money belt is a good idea. Do NOT keep your valuables in a ‘bum bag’ or ‘fanny pack’ – they are easy and obvious targets for thieves. If you carry a bag, make sure it has a shoulder strap and wear it across your chest, rather than on one shoulder, with the opening near your body.

Split it up

It sounds so obvious but … split up your valuables so that your money, cards and passport are not in one place and if one ‘area’ gets hit you still have some resources. If you put all your money, passports and cards in one money belt and that gets stolen you really are in for a world of hurt.

Day Tripper

Only carry enough money in your wallet that you will need for that day, and leave the rest in your inside money belt, hidden pocket inside your clothes, or in your guest house or hotel’s safe. Sometimes, it’s wise to take out only small amounts from the bank even if it means higher bank fees – check with your bank before leaving home as to what charges you’ll incur.

And don’t walk around with credit cards, air tickets and passport (which you don’t usually need day-to-day) in the same spot as that 50 Baht you are going to use to buy a pineapple shake.

Guard your Credit Card

Never let your credit card out of sight when you’re paying for something to avoid fraudulent use of it, and destroy any carbon sheets from the receipt. When using ATMs, be aware of others around you and avoid letting them see you enter your PIN or take out your cash. It is also a good practice to only use ATMs at a bank during opening hours. You have a much better chance of retrieving that card should the machine refuse to spit it back out.



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