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Cheapest way to transfer money to Thailand

A little known cheap way to transfer money from your home country to Thailand is through paypal. Paypal can be setup in any country on earth pretty much and is by far the cheapest way to transfer money under $1000.

What you'll need to do is setup your bank account in your home country then open a paypal account from that country. Next you'll need to open a bank account in Thailand. Now open another paypal account linked to your bank account in Thailand.

Yes you do need two paypal accounts because with paypal you can't link a bank account that exists in two different countries, you can only link to the bank account of the country that your paypal is linked to.

Cheapest Way To Transfer Money In Thailand

Cheapest Way To Transfer Money In Thailand

Once you have both bank accounts draw money from your countries bank account you'll need to wait about 3 days for this to happen. Once the funds are in your countries paypal account transfer funds up to $1000 to your paypal account in Thailand, this process happens instantly. Now you'll have to withdraw money from your paypal account in Thailand to your Thai bank account. This process takes up to 7 days depending on the day you make the transfer, typically it gets in on a tuesday and thursday not sure why.

The only fees you'll pay is the transfer between accounts, make  sure when you do the transfer you make it a personal transfer to limit the amount of fees. To send $1000 dollars will cost you about $4.78 and this amount never changes regardless of influxes in the exchange rate.

To take money out of your account using an ATM you'll be hit with charges from the Thai bank totally about 150 baht plus there is sometimes another 50 baht fee to use the ATM. Additionally your bank back in your own country will charge you fees as well making it more expensive.

If you are american then I suggest you open an account with ETrade. Etrade let you have an ATM card linked to your trading account. With this you can then take money out anywhere in the world and they will refund any costs charged to you for the privelegde. What an awesome system but again if  your not american then this won't help you at all.

The latest improvements in technology have also impacted the money transfer industry which have started to provide more and more options for cheaper ways to send money abroad. Money transfer companies like TransferWise, Azimo or Currencies Direct (just to name a few) are helping millions of people to send money abroad for cheap, or even with zero fees. You can read here about the best remittances to Thailand providers.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

12 Responses to Cheapest way to transfer money to Thailand

  1. Eric December 13, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    To send $1000 dollars will cost you about $4.78 ???

    appreciate ur article but I have a seller Paypal account and they charge 2-2.5% So could you please say more on this topic.. thanks..

    • Chris December 13, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      If you transfer as a personal payment the fee is a lot less.

  2. Derek June 22, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Actually the best way a less expensive is to use moneybookers.
    Get their prepay mastercard go through the verification process and register your bank account with them. Transfer is instant and ultra cheap (you only pay the fees from your countries bank account). You have to pay the 150 bhats ATM charge – nothing more.

    • Chris June 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      don’t they charge a fee to fill up your moneybookers?

      • Derek June 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

        Yes, only at your bank in your country.

        • Chris June 24, 2012 at 5:29 am #

          paypal is free to put the money in, think it might be cheaper still.

  3. Russ January 13, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    I live in the UK, and found “UKForex” pretty good… you simply set up a free account, they call u once to verify, then u register Thai & UK bank details with them.
    When you are happy with the exchange rate (as it changes by the minute), u book the transfer with them. That gives you the exact amount in Baht that will appear in your Thai bank a/c.
    Then u electronically transfer the Sterling to them (which is easy with internet baking), and in about a week, the Baht appears in your Thai account.
    The exchange rate is about 1 baht less than the published internet rates of the day, and if you transfer over £3000, they waive the £7 fee.
    I have used many times with a Thai K-bank account and it works every time without a hitch.

    • Chris January 13, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Thanks for this information I think a lot of people from the UK would find this helpful for moving money from the UK to Thailand

    • dj May 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      yes but that is transfering inwards, easy as pie most the time. how about getting money back home? any experience doing it the other way?

  4. Dave December 2, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Hey Chris,
    In your article, when you send funds from your US Paypal to your Thai Paypal, are you sending it in USD or THB? The reason I ask is b/c I have sent $300 USD to my friend’s Thai Paypal (by selecting the option ‘I’m sending money to family or friends’) and while I was not assessed any fees from Paypal to send those funds, when the recipient received the funds, Paypal deducted a $12 fee (or 4%)–so that she only received $288. I also tested the Paypal website today to see how much they would charge to send 32,160 THB (equivalent to $1000) and as of today, they would charge $1027.56. Am I missing something here?

  5. Nick November 15, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    I’ve found xendpay to be cheaper than PayPal they as a small fee to convert and to withdraw as cash into a bank.

  6. dj May 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    Chris great info but please write a dedicated post on how we can move money out of Thailand, as its getting harder and harder and needs to be addressed

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