Opening A Bank Account In Thailand
Opening a bank account in Thailand is a fairly painless process. More importantly, having a Thai bank account comes with a number of benefits. If you intend to stay in Thailand for quite a while, it is a good idea to have open a bank account.
Below is a guide on how to open a bank account while in Thailand.
In general, you will need to demonstrate that you live in Thailand, which you can prove using your passport and non-immigrant visa. You can even manage to open a bank account using your passport only, but that varies from one banking institution to another. A document proving your physical residence is also required. To meet this requirement, you can use a copy or your rental agreement or obtain a letter confirming your address from the Immigration Bureau.
The bank will usually make copies of these documents for the record. You will also need to sign forms and leave important contact information such as you address and your phone number. The whole process is relatively easy, and should generally be complete in under an hour.
It should be noted that the required documentation may vary from one bank to another.
Initial Deposits And Other Charges
You should also be prepared to pay a small initial deposit, although this varies from one bank to another as well. After paying the deposit, you will be issued with a passbook and an ATM card. The deposit could be as low as 500 Baht or even as high as 5,000 Baht. There might also be additional fees to be paid to your bank as well, but these vary from one bank to the next. For instance, the account you open may have an account cancellation fee, annual maintenance fees, and fees for replacing your ATM card.
If you open a savings account, you may earn interest every year, which will vary from bank to bank.
For Foreigners Without Work Permits
Foreigners with work permits can open accounts in more banks than foreigners who do not have work permits. There are a few banks that will not mind letting people with non-immigrant visas, short-term tourist visas, retirement visa and so forth open bank accounts, for instance, Bangkok Bank.
What is normally required in these situations is a passport, and prove that you are a Thai resident using your lease agreement or a letter from Immigration.
Why Open A Thai Bank Account?
Having a Thai bank account even for short periods of just a few months, can offer immense benefits. First or all, you will not have to pay exorbitant ATM charges. Additionally, you will not have to lose 3% of your withdrawals to currency conversion charges.
It will also be easier to make cashless payments when paying for commodities.
You may find that your situation in Thailand would be better off with a Thai bank account, whether you are living there temporarily or on a more permanent basis. In general, the requirements are quite easy to meet, particularly for banks that can accept foreigners without work permits.
You may or may not earn interest on your savings accounts, and the amount of initial deposit and other fees vary from one bank to another.