Monday, 12 May 2014

Aeon era is over, exchange rates

Aeon era is over, exchange rates

Reams have been written on gay Thailand forums (and probably elsewhere as well) about Aeon ATMs, the only ATMs that do did not charge 150 for withdrawal from a bank account abroad. I made use of them many times when I came to holiday to Thailand. 

Now they charge 150 Baht, the same as other banks. This fact was posted months ago, now I can personally confirm. In addition, maximum amount you can withdraw is 20 kBaht; and 150 Baht is 0.75% of 20 kBaht, far more than I am willing to pay.

(Comparison with Germany: when I tried to withdraw 200 Euro from another bank's ATM, there would have been a fee of 4 or 5 Euro, I finally searched for my bank's ATM on the internet and went there.)

Question to my readers: is there any other (cheaper or free!) way to withdraw money (Baht) from a bank account abroad (Euro in my case) for free? Can I go to the counter with my visa card or debit card? 

I have a Thai bank account, but currently my bank (comdirect in Germany) does not have an option in their online banking to send money to Thailand, even if and would charge 0.5%.

Exchange rates:

04.05.2014 airport (all banks I checked same rate)
1 EUR = 42.05 THB     1 USD = 30.57 THB

Silom complex, Silom road and Surawong road (sorted)
1 EUR = THB 44.15 44.15 44.27 44.29 44.29 44.32 44.33 44.40
1 USD = 31.95 32.00 32.00 32.00 32.01 32.01 32.05 32.05 (for 50 - 100 USD notes)
best rate I found (44.40 32.05) small booth opposite Soi Twilight

Exchange rate on Aeon ATM from my comdirect bank account 44.07 (+150 Baht fee), within one hour before above data was collected.

On previous holidays I found my bank's exchange rate slightly better than exchange booths, now the situation is reversed, and I have to pay 150 Baht fee on top of that. In total, I would have saved 300 Baht (150 fee and 150 better exchange rate) if I had exchanged notes.

What would my readers do?

Update 15.05.2014 

(reader's comments, internet): Currently two banks in Germany (comdirekt and DKB) offer visa card with free withdrawal of local currency worldwide. If the foreign ATM charges a fee, you can get this fee refunded from your bank.

Comdirect changed (in January 2013) from using the Visa exchange rates (http://www.visaeurope.com/en/cardholders/exchange_rates.aspx) to their own exchange rates (https://www.commerzbank.de/rates/do.rates). The Visa rates were slightly better than exchange booths in Silom, their own rates are slightly worse.

Krungsri (yellow ATMs) allows withdrawal of 30,000 Baht, 180 Baht fee.

Exchange booth on Narathiwas Rachanakarin (between Silom and BTS station) has better rate than booths in Silom.

Update 20.05.2014

I followed an anonymous comment and found it to be correct:

No fee for withdrawal at Citibank ATM!

They have a branch in Silom, opposite Soi 6 and Bangkok Christian Hospital. I went there yesterday and withdrew 20,000 Baht (up to 30,000 possible). Even German and French language available on the ATM.

The exchange rate was 43.70 Baht per Euro, but it's my bank that makes the rate. Beste rate on exchange booth was 44.20 (Super Rich Silom 64 Building), that would have made a difference of 230 Baht. 


Update June 2014:

ATM accessible 24/7. You insert your card, then you remove your card, then you enter your PIN, then you withdraw money. This way, you can't forget your card in the ATM (there were reports about people forgetting cards in ATMs). 

http://www.dontworryjusttravel.com/asiapacific/thailand/avoid-the-150-baht-atm-fee 

Update Sep 2015:
A friend tried to withdraw with Mastercard and another friend with Visa Card at Citibank Silom, in both cases a fee (150 or 180) was shown. Will check to confirm.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC

5 comments:

  1. in Silom area best rates I found were in jeweler stores - one past Family Mart on your right as you leave soi Twilight at Suriwong end, another one in soi Thaniya, mid-way on your right as you go down toward Silom.
    Another one with consisted good rates is between Silom and Om Yim lodge on Narathiwas, easy to miss as windows are completely darkened

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bite the bullet.....after all it`s more secure to withdraw from Bank ATM`s...I newernewer would dare to use ATM`s outskirts...

    ReplyDelete
  3. For ATM withdrawals, use Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) for a higher maximum amount per transaction (30,000 baht) at the same fee. If you always take out the maximum amount, you'll save 1/3 of the fees in the long run. Only works if your ATM card's per transaction limit is high enough, obviously.

    For cash, Super Rich and other money changers have somewhat better rates than banks. I like the jewelry shop/money changer on Siam Paragon's 1st floor, but there are many other options.

    The best advice would have been to open another bank account in Europe that offers cheap SWIFT transfers via cyber banking, unlike your bank. Next time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. CITIBANK does not charge fees. There is a branch in Silom and another one in Central world. The head office is on Sathorn

    ReplyDelete
  5. For plain cash, which thus you have to bring in from EUR, SuperRich and the surrounding shops at Pratunam/Rachprasong, beside BigC give very best rates, for large bills, over 100. and mo-fr daytime office hours. Rate is slightly less after 17.00 and weekends. SR has more shops, now also beside old THai air office, corner to OmYim guesthse near Silom, but their rates also a little less as at big main office.
    In my country there is no bank that offers free INTernational withdrawals, so go to a mainstream DE forum.

    ReplyDelete

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