How to send money to Thailand
Understand what your options are when transferring funds to Thailand.
Whether you’re sending money back home or conducting business in Thailand, you’ll want to find the best service possible.
This guide will help you get the most Thai baht for your dollar by comparing the services you can use and showing you what you should keep an eye out for.
Compare international money transfers to Thailand
Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to Thailand with our money transfer partners.
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How to send money to Thailand in a few simple steps
- Choose your service. Not all money transfer services send money to Thailand from New Zealand. Use our table to see which ones do and compare exchange rates, transfer fees and more.
- Create an account. This usually involves providing identification, such as your driver’s licence or passport and proof of address.
- Pick your payment method. You can typically pay from your bank account, credit card or debit card.
- Choose your delivery method. Do you want to send money directly to your recipient’s bank account, to their mobile phone or arrange a cash pick-up in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket?
- Enter your transaction details. This includes the transfer amount, the currency you’re sending and the recipient’s information.
- Review your transfer. Make sure the receiver’s details are correct. You can also review the final exchange rate and any other fees.
- Send your funds. The money will be deposited into your recipient’s account in Thailand.
- Receive email/SMS confirmation. This will include your tracking number along with confirmation of your transfer. If the recipient is picking up cash, they’ll need to present this at collection.
How do I compare transfer companies for sending baht?
- Competitive exchange rate. It may not look like a big difference at first glance, but once you multiply the amount you plan to send, it’s easy to see how much you can lose. Watch out for big margins being added onto an exchange rate, so compare it across multiple services.
- Fair fees. Fees are charged as either a percentage, a flat fee or a mix of both. Be aware that although some services offer “fee-free transfers”, the exchange rate might not be as good.
- Fast turnaround time. Paying through a bank transfer generally takes the longest time, while paying by credit or debit card will be quicker. Generally, the faster the service, the more expensive it is.
- Convenient pick-up method. Most services can send to a bank account, but fewer send to a cash pick-up location or mobile wallet. These last two are handy if your recipient does not have a bank account.
- Flexible transfer amounts. Different providers are better for different amounts, so check the sending limits to make sure they’re what you’re after.
Exchange rates explainedThe exchange rate tells us what a currency is worth in terms of another currency. These rates fluctuate all the time and while there’s no way to predict them, keeping an eye on them will tell you the best time to exchange money – ie, the best time to send money to Thailand is when either the New Zealand dollar is strong or the Thai baht is weak.
Below, you can see a real-time update of what the mid-market rate is for NZD/THB as well as what it has been historically.
NZD to THB: Historical rate chart
What are the ways I can send money to Thailand?
Thailand is a popular country for New Zealand to send money to, so there are a number of different ways you can do it.
- Money transfer services. Almost all money transfer services will allow you to transfer funds to Thailand. These are usually online-only and will often require verification such as your passport or licence when you first sign up. They can also often be the cheapest option and easier to compare.
- Cash pick-up service. Services like MoneyGram and Western Union let your recipient pick up their money at thousands of locations. This can be one of the fastest ways to transfer money, but often the most expensive.
- PayPal. While well-known, PayPal comes with higher fees and your recipient will need an account to access the money.
- International cheque. Buy one of these from your local post office or bank and send it by mail.
- Banks. Almost every large New Zealand bank will allow you to send money to Thailand, generally for worse exchange rates than offered by an online money transfer specialist. You can do this at branches or online using specific online transfer services.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Your local bank vs a money transfer company
To show you how a bank transfer compares to an online money transfer specialist, we’ve put the two head to head. For this example, we’ll be using a $500 transfer to compare.
|Major New Zealand bank||Money transfer specialist|
|Exchange rate||1 NZD = 21.977 THB||1 NZD = 22.092 THB|
|Transfer speed||2-5 business days||1-3 days|
|Total baht received||10,988.50 THB||11,046.01 THB|
|Receiver gets||57.51 THB less||57.51 THB more|
For this transfer, you end up getting more money from the money transfer service than the bank. Not only is the exchange rate slightly better, but the bank’s fees are a lot more.
Need to make an emergency cash transfer in Thailand?
If you end up needing to make a cash transfer instantly, there are a few options you can look into:
- Bank-to-bank transfer. You may be able to contact your local New Zealand bank and have cash sent to you in Thailand. Ask both your bank and the receiving bank how much the fees would be for this service.
- Travel insurance emergency assistance. If you purchased a travel insurance policy, or have travel insurance linked to your credit card prior to your trip to Thailand, you may be able to recover emergency money by contacting the provider.
- Cash transfer company. Cash transfer service providers do not have residency requirements to pick up cash. As long as you have photo ID, you will be able to receive cash.
Tips for picking up cash in Thailand
It’s always a good idea to check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Safe Travel website before travelling outside New Zealand. For Thailand, they advise visitors to exercise a high degree of caution, due to ongoing civil unrest. The Thai Government recommends that tourists do not travel to the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla at all.
Check the nearby cash pick-up locations carefully before picking up your cash and try to choose one that’s inside of a local bank with added security.
Cash pick-up locations in Thailand
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