Sending money to Thailand

There are several ways to send money to Thailand.  Some are safe, some are quick and some can save you a lot of money.  The right method for you depends a lot on what your reasons are, whether or not you and your recipient has a bank account and how large the transfer is.

Sending cash to Thailand

If your recipient doesn't have a Thai Baht account - then you will probably need to use a cash transfer service.  There are a few fairly common suppliers in most Cities and large towns.  One problem, however, is that even if they don't charge any Fees or Commissions, the exchange rate they offer can be very uncompetitive making them very expensive. Not all of them are properly regulated, making them potentially risky as well.  Be particularly careful of small one-location businesses that target Thailand as they often have the worst exchange rates and fee structures of all.

Additionally, because the transaction is in cash, the supplier has to ask a lot of anti-money laundering questions and there may be low limits on the amount of the transfer.

For the best rates, and for sending larger amounts to Thailand, it is always best to use a bank-to-bank transfer.

Bank-to-Bank transfers to Thailand

If you have a bank account in the country you are in, and your recipient (or you) have a bank account in Thailand then you should send the money direct to their account.

As long as you use a Bank or a properly regulated Payment Institution (e.g. by the FSA in the UK) then this should be completely safe.

Banks will normally be fairly expensive, normally charging a per-transfer fee as well as offering a fairly uncompetitive exchange rate on the Baht.  Additionally they may well pass on fees charged by the recipient bank in Thailand.  You should always contact your bank and get a quote that is inclusive of all fees, commissions and payments.  And ask them how long the transfer will take as often they will hang on to the money for several days.

FX Brokers like RationalFX specialise in sending money overseas and RationalFX sends very large amonuts of THB to Thailand.  Not all are Regulated (RationalFX are regulated as a Payments Institution by the FSA in the UK) and many charge similar exchange rates and fees to the Banks.  However, if you get a quote from RationalFX by opening a free account you will see exactly how cheap it is, and how much better the Thai Baht exchange rate they offer is.

Remember no Bank, Bureau de Change or FX broker offers the single Baht 'mid-market rate' that you might see on a currency calculator.  All of them have a rate at which they sell Thai Baht and a rate at which they buy Thai Baht.

If you are sending money to Thailand for any reason - for example, sending money home, retiring in Thailand or paying for overseas property - then you will save money by using RationalFX.  Open an online account today and you could be sending money to Thailand tomorrow.  RationalFX online account allows you to pay by Debit card, iDEAL (Netherlands) and ELV (Germany) in many currencies and pay it direct to a Thai Bank account with a great exchange rate and low fees.