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Everything You Need to Know About Thailand’s Baht

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its rich culture, famous delicacies, breathtaking festivals, cheap goodies, and friendly citizens. It’s no wonder it’s one of the hottest tourist spots in Asia. If you ever plan on conquering this country, you have to know it’s money.

The Baht
The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht. It is equivalent to 100 satang. At the time of writing, it matches the dollar at an estimated 35 Thai Baht for every dollar. You can use a currency converter online to know its current exchange rate.

Denominations
Coins are denominated according to the following: 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht, 10 baht, 25 satang and, 50 satang. It is worth noting that 25 and 50 satang are small values that are now rare in circulation. The 1, 2, and 5 baht coins are made of silver while the 10 baht coin is made brass with a silver ring around it. The 25 and 50 satang are made of brass.

Banknotes or bills are denominated according to the following: 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 baht. The bills differ in both color and size. The 20 baht bill is the smallest is colored green. Next is the 50 baht bill which is blue. Still bigger is the 100 baht bill colored red. The 500 baht bill us purple. The biggest is the white 1000 baht bill.

Both coins and bills are printed with the picture of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the front. The back features various iconic landmarks and people of the country.

Credit Cards and ATMs
Thailand is a market hub full of shops that carry all kinds of goods at affordable prices. Many tourists come to the country to shop. The good news is that most outlets carry credit cards. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and other cards are accepted. However, the interest charge might be costly due to international transactions being tacked a 2% to 5% charge by credit card companies. Even worse, there are a lot of shops that will charge you on top of the international transaction fee. These surcharges are typically added at 3% for Visa or Mastercard and 5% for American Express.

You might think that using the ATM will be better but it has its own disadvantages. Acquiring cash overseas might charge you more because of conversion fees. What’s more is that Thai banks now charge 200 baht for using foreign ATM cards.

More Things You Need to Know About Thailand’s Baht

Previously, we talked about Thailand’s baht. (See: Everything You Need to Know About Thailand’s Baht) Here are more things you need to know about the Thai Currency.

Banking
The biggest banks in Thailand in order are Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and Kasikorn Bank. All these banks are relatively easy access anywhere in Thailand. Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikorn Bank have bank outlets at airport with rates that are generally lower than other banks in the country. For these reasons, we recommend that you exchange money in Thailand because it mostly offer lower rates.

Exchanges
Exchanging money in Thailand is relatively easy. Independent money changers are spread across the country with Super Rich and Value Plus being the most dominating ones. They offer the best rates in Thailand. They are also convenient as most of them operate 24/7, especially at airports. There are also Forex booths and kiosks available in key points of the city.

Respecting the Baht
The Thai currency is considered as a sacred piece in the country due to it bearing the portrait of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej or a deceased relative. Because of this, the baht comes effectively under the lèse majesté law which is strictly enforced. The lèse majesté law prohibits any action including verbal, physical, or written act that disrespects the royal family.

Therefore, the following is NOT allowed to be done to the baht:
1. Stepping on the coin or bill. You may get the urge to step on the money if example a coin rolls away or a bill flies away. This could earn you a penalty.
2. Mishandling the baht. If, for example, you are angry or careless and you throw a bill or a coin at someone, it is a form of disrespect and could merit you a time in jail.
3. Deface or tear or burn the bill or coin. Defacing the baht will earn you the highest offense not only to the royal family but also to the people of Thailand.

Financial Basics Every Thai Should Understand

The Thai education system has not taught children how to manage money in school. We don’t have a subject on how to do taxes nor do we have a course on how to take out loans and how to pay them. We don’t have lessons on the different ways of opening a bank account. As children, it was not part of our curriculum to learn about the basics of money. As adults, it is essential to know the basics of your finances. It is, after all, the means for you to live a fruitful and comfortable life.

To achieve financial success, it is crucial that you understand the following concepts:

Investing
There is a saying in the financial industry that states that the earlier you invest, the richer you are. This is true because the main factor that makes your investments grow exponentially is time. Having a savings and investment set aside early on ensures a great future. To understand investing, you just need to know about compound interest. When getting financial management help, make sure that you know where you’re money is going.

Budgeting
Perhaps the most important concept of finance is budgeting. Budgeting is allocating the money you earn to the different aspects of your life such as food, rent, bills, clothes, and other things. Knowing what to do with your wage is a skill that is better mastered early in your life. The key is to know where all your hard earned money is going and making sure that it gets to a place which is essential for you to live or profitable for your quality of life to improve.

Getting Bank Cards
There comes a time in your life when, one way or another, you acquire a credit card. This poses as both a disadvantage and advantage for you. It all depends on how you use it, really. Credit cards can increase your credit score which is needed for you to get a bigger loan, say for a house or a car. A person who is able to pay debts regularly can loan bigger. On the other hand, it has a great possibility of drowning you in debt. This is because it’s so easy to use. One swipe and you’re done. So when dealing with bank cards, weigh the pros and cons it will give you.

Money is not too hard to befriend if you start now. If you can master it, then you can make it work for you so you can take a break and enjoy life fully.