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Where to exchange currency in Bangkok, Thailand?

Suvarnabhumi Airport - Currency Exchange Shops

If you are traveling to Bangkok, you will definitely need cash because about 20-30% of your spending will be cash transactions. All others, you may use your credit card. Since, it's a bit difficult to avoid needing physical Thai Baht, I'll be sharing with you some tips on where to exchange currency.

Why do you need cash?
The following instances or transactions are typically cash transactions:
  • Ticket dispensing machines for MRT and/or BTS Sky Train
  • Street stalls and night food market (where most of the great dishes are sold)
  • Milk tea stores such as the world-famous Cha Tra Mue
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market, and all other markets where you can buy clothes, bags, fans, etc.
  • Loading cash cards in mall food court

In Thailand, it's common to use a cash card, and top it up for you to purchase from the food courts

Where to Exchange Currency

When in Airport
When you arrive in Bangkok, and you happen to immediately need Thai Baht, avoid exchanging your money outright at the airport’s main hall. You’ll likely get an unfavorable exchange rate there. Instead, head down to the Basement of the airport, and you’ll find there three (3) different currency exchange shops. In any of the three shops there, you can get a better exchange rate, normally with 10% to 15% difference compared to the rates offered by the exchanges in the main hall. 

Suvarnabhumi Airport - Currency Exchange Shops

One more thing, even in the basement, there is still a trap. You want to avoid the exchange shop that you’ll find right before the downward slope. It offers the same exchange rate with that in the main hall. Hence, make sure to walk past it, and when to move straight you’ll eventually find the better shops.

For Filipino travelers, it’s mostly better to convert first your PHP to USD in the Philippines, and have it exchanged to the destination country. For everybody else, you may conveniently exchange your money directly into the destination country.

Night markets both for goods and food are cash-based so you will definitely need those notes

Outside the Airport
Interestingly, the exchange rate stalls in the airport mentioned above are offering the same rates as what you'll find outside. Hence, feel free to have them exchanged already. Otherwise, there are exchanges in most of the landmark malls such as Terminal 21, Iconsiam, Central World and etc. Some exchanges are also available in busier stations of the BTS Sky Train (see photo below).

If you happen to see "SuperRich", go for this stall because based on my observation, they usually offer better rates than other competitors. However, I still urge you to compare just to be sure that you are getting the best rate.

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