The options for transferring money out of Thailand are fairly limited, but it's actually quite easy.
Once you understand the fees involved and the time it takes for each method, you can make a decision on what's best for you.
In this post, I'll give you an overview of the options a few price comparisons to help you decide on the most practical, cost-effective option.
What's the Best Way to Transfer Money Out of Thailand?
The three main options for moving your cash out of Thailand and to your home country or anywhere else in the world are:
- Direct Bank Transfer
- Western Union
There is a fourth, and that is to use cryptocurrency, but since hardly anyone is going to want to get involved in that I won't be covering that option.
1. Direct Bank Transfer
SWIFT direct transfer option is great if you have a Thai bank account with one of the following banks:
Fees vary depending on the country you are sending to. Bangkok Bank, for example, charge around 1,150 Baht per transaction.
You can also send via Western Union through the Bangkok Bank app and at branches, if you have an account. It costs 1,200 Baht for 70,000 Baht, and 300 Baht for every additional 30,000 thereafter.
Note that a SWIFT transaction can take 1-5 days, depending on the bank, so if you want cash to arrive immediately, see the next option.
The fee for a direct transfer isn't too bad if you are sending a fairly large amount of money, but if you want to send a moderate amount you're better off using a remittance service.
Additionally, some banks can be a pain and require documentation. For example, Bangkok Bank requires a supporting document stating the income’s source, and requires you to fill out this application form.
All in all, you might need a week to set this up and get the money from Thailand to overseas.
The maximum amount you can transfer out of Thailand is determined by the Bank of Thailand, depending on the source of funds and/or the purpose of payment, including supporting documents.
2. Western Union
Western Union is the most popular remittence service, trusted the world over.
The service is instant because they don't actually send the money overseas, but instead pay you back the money in your home country.
Western Union is best priced for sending moderate amounts of money.
For example, you can send 40,000 Baht to the US or UK for a fee of 850 Baht. But on small amounts such as 2,500 Baht, you will pay 400 Baht.
You can use WU online or on via their app, or through a bank provider or high street booth.
One thing to consider is the exchange rate fee.
They make a little on the exchange rate and don't give you the mid-market rate as one might expect.
At the time of writing, the official Thai Baht to GBP rate is 40.65, but Western Union is offering an exchange of 40.05.
It's not that much of a difference, and works out that you'd lose around 100 Baht on every £250. That said, it will add up on larger transfers.
It depends on the type of payment you use. You can use the Money In Minutes service to send cash to an agent for pickup. Using a bank transfer will take 2-5 days.
You can send up to 250,000 THB per transaction.
DeeMoney is a unique remittance service in that it charges a flat fee to send money from Thailand to 35 different countries.
The fee ranges between 150 and 300 Baht, depending on the country.
You can use the app to set up a transaction, or attend one of 4 branches in Bangkok to transfer cash.
The fee is really cheap, but don't get too excited.
When I compared the DeeMoney exchange rate to that of Transferwise – who unfortunately don't do transfers out of Thailand – I was quoted around £5 less on 10,000 Baht. The numbers worked out at £237 (TX) vs £242 (DM).
On 100,000 Baht, that would be a currency exchange fee of £25, plus the 300 Baht fee; so approximately 1,350 Baht in Total.
They have a Next Day service with a flat fee of 250 Baht, and outside of this transfers take 3-5 working days.
You can send a maximum of 800,000 Baht per day.
Overall, the cheapest option for sending money out of Thailand is DeeMoney, though only on amounts less than around 100,000 Baht.
Once you get to that sort of level, the money they nick on the exchange rate starts to catch up with you and you may be better off with a direct bank transfer.
If you don't have a bank account, you can use Western Union, which is pretty competitive on moderate amounts of money: You can transfer 100,000 Baht for a 1,500 Baht fee.
The added benefit of Western Union is that the transfer is instant.
Western Union also comes without the hassle of having to fill out the bank form and potentially provide a supporting document stating the source of income.
In terms of daily limits, DeeMoney has a higher transaction limit at 800k, but you can't exceed this in one day. Western Union has a transaction limit of 250k, but you can make more than one transaction in a day.
In short, the bank route may be a bit of a hassle, unless you aren't in a rush. DeeMoney is cheapest at a low level, while Western Union gets more competitive (including exchange rate fees) once you hit moderate amounts of cash.
DeeMoney can guarantee next day delivery. Western Union can do the same, or go one better with the Money In Minutes service.
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