How to use an Indian credit card in Thailand & what are the charges?


Credit cards help you in multiple ways and help you travel with minimum cash when you are abroad. However, you need to remember that the process of using a credit card abroad is quite different from using them in India.

If you are traveling to Thailand with a credit card, this guide will help you in using the card across the country.

All the credit cards are widely accepted across all the major cities of Thailand. If you want to shop in Thailand, you can use your Visa/MasterCard to make purchases. Many high-end local shops also accept American Express, Discover, Citi Bank credit cards to make purchases. However, if you go anywhere else other than the hi-tech and tourist cities, people mostly rely on cash. You’ll need cash-in-hand for taxis, street vendors, etc.

Charges for Credit Card (CC) in Thailand:

There are two kinds of charges you may incur while using CC in Thailand.

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Currency conversion fee

Foreign transaction fees:

You need to pay up to 3% per transaction you make. For example, if you are spending $4000 in Thailand, the fee would be $120.

Currency conversion fees:

If you withdraw from an ATM or pay a merchant in Thailand in US dollars, you’ll incur a dynamic currency conversion. The Dynamic Currency Converter (DCC) comes with poor exchange rates and additional charges.

Which are the Credit Cards Mostly Accepted in Thailand?

American Express cards are one of the most accepted credit cards in Thailand; used in many supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, etc. If you want to withdraw cash, Citibank or Bangkok Bank ATMs are good options. Bangkok ATMs also accept American Express cards.

 Charges for Online Transactions:

Online transactions have eased many of our worries such as booking accommodations, flights, foods, etc. However, if you want to do a transaction through a credit card, a markup fee is charged on the transaction fee.

But if you utilize them smartly during your trip, it will help you manage your trip in a cost-effective way. It is recommended to use the forex cards for your travel as it comes without transaction fees. The cards are useful and allow you to access cash in foreign currency. You can top up the card according to your requirements.

Currency Exchange:

There are multiple options available for currency conversion.

  • Forex Travel Card
  • Cash Foreign Exchange in India
  • Cash Foreign Exchange in Thailand
  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card

Note: Before traveling to Thailand, ask your Credit Card Company to allow your credit card for foreign transactions. If you want to withdraw money from ATM in Thailand, you have to pay some transaction fees. All Thailand banks charge a fixed amount of 200 THB for each transaction.

Benefits of Credit Card:

Security is the main concern of using the credit card. If your cash is lost/stolen, you’re unlikely to get it. In this situation, credit card can be useful. Hence, do take credit cards for backup.

You can use the credit card for purchases at shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, etc. But cash is necessary if you want to travel the offbeat places or in the interior parts of Thailand.

How to Keep your Credit Card Safe in Thailand?

Keep the Pin number of your card safe. Shield it from hidden cameras. Check the card skimmers, as they steal information from credit/debit cards. If you feel the particular slot is not as smooth as the regular ones or find some problem with the keypad, cancel your transaction and go to another ATM. While maximum cities in Thailand are safe for tourists, you should always beware of street crimes, pickpocketing in crowded places, and busy pathways. While going to any festivals, keep all your documents at the hotel.

Ask yourself simple questions before your trip:

Which cards to take?

Visa and MasterCard are the best options. Check which cards will give you complimentary lounge access. Better plan in advance for your trip.

Should you need to inform your bank? Yes, of course. If you don’t inform your bank about travel and don’t activate international use, Bank might temporarily suspend your card.

What are the fees to pay in Thailand?

If your current cards come with foreign transaction fees, check for one that doesn’t.

How to withdraw cash?

You can use your debit card at any ATM to withdraw your own money. You can also carry the traveler’s cheque with you.

Final Thoughts:

There is a saying that you should never carry all your eggs in one basket. The same applies to your money when you travel. You should use several methods to carry money. The major tourist cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, etc. help you with better accessibility and security while using credit/debit cards in Thailand. However, there are places that you need to access your money in cash. Thus, be savvy in taking the money that saves you from currency conversion and international ATM fees.