If you are relocating to Thailand or visiting Thailand for an extended period of time, you will soon realize that getting access to your money may cost a lot in fees. Hence, you will need to open a bank account as a foreigner. Most banks will require you to have a work visa while others can give you an account using your tourist visa. Even though you can open a bank account in Thailand as a foreigner, it’s still quite tricky. Here is what you should know about opening a bank account in Thailand.
How to open a bank account in Thailand?
Banks in Thailand have different rules and policies when it comes to giving bank accounts to foreigners. While one Thailand bank may refuse you, another bank or even branch will not. Most policies and rules depend on bank employees and branch managers. Procedures also differ.
While some banks will allow you to open the account remotely, others will require you to do it in person. Some banks will verify your details the same day while others have a certain waiting period. There can be a different policy from the same bank but an adjacent branch.
When you want to apply for a bank account, the bank will tell you about your eligibility and the documents you will need. To be eligible to get a bank account, you will be required to have documents such as:
- A Thai driving license
- A Thai house registration or letter from a landlord
- A work visa or a letter showing you are qualified to get a work visa
- A tourist or student visa
- A reference letter from a Thai university or embassy
- A reference letter from a “reputable” Thai citizen or a high standing Thai organization
- Communications or letter from your current bank to the specific Thai bank
- Photo ID or passport
Which Thailand bank should you choose?
Not all Thailand banks are friendly to foreigners. There are specific banks that hold a good reputation for being more lenient and friendly to foreigners than others. Depending on your immigration status and specific needs, you can choose from the following banks as a foreigner.
Bangkok Bank is Thailand’s largest bank and is traditionally known as being the friendliest bank to non-residents. It has great exchange rates for international wire transfers and Bangkok Bank has many branches across the country. Bangkok Bank also has branches in New York and London which means you can link a PayPal account to a western branch and link the accounts for transfer, making the process simple and just waiting a few days for your money abroad to turn up in Thailand.
Kasikor Bank is also great for foreigners. They issue cheque books to non-residents although cashing foreign currency checks can be a bit tedious with the bank.Different branches of Kasikorn Bank may treat foreigners differently, thus you may need to hunt around for some time.
Citibank is a worthwhile option for foreigners, especially when you want to do cross-border banking frequently. Nonresident depositors who may deposit more than 3 million THB with Citibank get their account upgraded to a gold status. Their credit cards can earn you points to redeem with Thai Air.
CIMB is a Malaysian bank group that also has branches across Thailand. You can open a bank account with them using a tourist visa alone and they also allow foreigners to use their internet banking services. You will be required to place an initial deposit of 1000 THB and pay a debit card fee.
Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in Thailand.
- Lower ATM Withdrawal Fee
- Online Banking
- Online Banking
- It’s Easy To Make Local Purchases