Banks & ATM's
Long gone are the days when tourists had to bring all their spending money with them from the mainland, and nowadays there is a multitude of banks, exchange facilities, and ATM services available. Many of the country’s main banks have branches in Mae Haad, all of which offer exchange services and have ATMs on site too.
ATMs & Banks
ATMs are dotted around the island and easy to find. However, if you struggle just head towards the nearest 7-Eleven, and you’ll find a bank of ATM cash dispensers outside. Unless you have an account with any of the Thai banks, it will probably make little difference which ATM you use to withdraw money. Do be aware that there is a withdrawal fee, and this is normally in addition to the fee imposed by your home bank for withdrawing money while overseas. So it is worth knowing what all the fees are ahead of time, and also checking your daily withdrawal limit so you can get the best value from your withdrawals.
We normally recommend using the ATMs that belong to banks with a branch on the island, just in case you have a problem with your card. These are:
- Bangkok Bank – normally blue, or orange and blue ATMs
- Krungsri Bank – yellow ATMs
- Thanachart Bank – orange ATMs.
Of all of these, Bangkok Bank is normally the best option, as their bank staff are usually very helpful, plus the branch is open seven days a week should you need any assistance with lost/swallowed cards.
You can exchange money in the bank branches in Mae Haad, but do be aware that you will need to have your passport with you. There are also a few independent currency exchange facilities dotted around, as well as Western Union services for international transfers.
Many of the smaller shops and restaurants and generally the more traditionally Thai outlets like massage spas and salons do not have credit card facilities. However larger businesses like diving schools and higher-end restaurants and resorts etc are much more likely to. Do be aware that there is normally a processing fee that is typically set at around 3-4%. If you want to pay by card, it’s normally a good idea to check with the business before you order or use anything to ensure that they have card payment services available and that they can accommodate your card type. For example, most of the major providers such as Mastercard and Visa are accepted, but some vendors cannot process American Express payments.