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How to send money to Thailand
Understand what your options are when transferring funds to Thailand.
When you need to send money to Thailand, it can be difficult to know the best way to get the most out of converting your rands to Thai baht. Whether you want to use a money transfer service or going through a bank, this guide will help you get your money where it needs to go.
Compare money transfer services to Thailand
Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to the Philippines with a money transfer service.
What’s the best way to send money to Thailand?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Thailand. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Sending money through PayPal or your bank is also an option, but you’ll typically face higher fees and weaker exchange rates when going that route.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like Currencies Direct and Wise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Thai bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram and Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Thailand— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees.
Thai baht are not a popular currency, but your local bank may be able to exchange them. If your bank supports Thai baht, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options when sending a wire transfer to Thailand.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending R5000 to Thailand
Let’s say you need to send R5000 to family in Thailand. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of October 5, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||R0||R75||R250 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 ZAR = 1.846 THB||1 ZAR = 1.868 THB||1 ZAR = 1.831 THB|
|Transfer speed||1-2 day||Minutes||2-5 days|
|Amount received||THB 9,230||THB 9,017.67||THB 8,697.25|
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Thailand. If you go with the cash transfer service, your recipient ends up with THB 532.75 more than the bank offers. The cash option will also get your money there the fastest, often in a few minutes or less.
What are the other ways that I can send money to Thailand?
- Bank transfers. Many major SA banks will allow you to send money to Thailand.
- Money transfer providers. Providers like WorldRemit and Wise can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Providers with cash pickup. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
- PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from SA to Thailand.
How to send money to Thailand through an online service
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
- Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Thai bank account details.
- Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
- Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Thailand. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Thailand
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Thailand to best meet your needs:
- Exchange rates. The ZAR-THB relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Thai baht rises against the South African rand.
- Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger ZAR-THB exchange rate.
- Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Thai baht you’re sending to Thailand.
- Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Thailand.
- Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you’re sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Thai bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer to Thailand
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Thailand quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Thailand without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Thailand’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Thailand’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the South African rand. Because both are relatively stable, the ZAR-THB relationship typically doesn’t make sharp movements. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Track how the Thai baht trades against the SA rand in our historical rate chart.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Thailand
To send money to Thailand from South Africa, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Thailand may be different by company.
Documents to send money from SA
To send money from South Africa to Thailand, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
- Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID.
- Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash or bank accounts.
- Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Thai bank account and routing number.
Documents to receive money in Thailand
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
- Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
- Government-issued ID. A Thai Passport, Thai ID or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer..
- Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
- Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
Sending money to Thai relatives or family members in Thailand may be subject to taxes on the money transfer, but it depends on how much you send. Most money transfers between South Africa and Thailand don’t have any specific tax obligations attached to them, so long as they are for personal use and kept under R1 million ZAR. Any amount above R1 million per person transferred out of SA within a financial year will have to be cleared with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) first.
Sending your hard-earned money to Thailand shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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