Know Your Money: Thai Baht (THB)


Things You Should Know about Thai Currency (THB)


Many travelers find foreign currency confusing, especially when visiting multiple nations in one trip. As coins pile up, it gets even more confusing as several nations use dollars or pounds for their currency. In Thailand, it’s the Thai Baht (THB). The currency is both size and color coded and features numbers in both Thai and Arabic numerals.

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Some travelers prefer to exchange cash at currency exchange kiosks or banks, whether inside the airport upon arrival, in cities or at banks. Other travelers don’t like to carry large amounts of cash and instead use ATM machines for safety and to obtain a competitive rate, minus the 200 THB fee assessed to foreign cards.

Regardless of how you obtain your new money, it’s important you familiarize yourself with the Thai Baht.

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Thai Baht Coins (THB) Coins

When it comes to international travel, many find coins the most confusing.

  • The 10 (ten) Baht coin is the largest with a gold center and silver on the outside;
  • The 5 (five) Baht coin is the next in size as well as value;
  • The 2 (two) Baht coin is smaller yet;
  • The 1 (one) Baht coin is the smallest.

Smaller coins denominated by the Satang are nearly worthless, but you may receive them as change at supermarkets or 7/11 stores. 100 (one-hundred) Satang are equal to one Thai Baht.

Thai Baht Bank Notes (THB)

All Thai banknotes vary by both size and color.

The largest bill is the 1,000 (one-thousand) Thai Baht banknote. It’s brown is color with a white background. You’re most likely to receive 1,000 THB notes from currency exchange or ATM machines. Smaller merchants may not be able to provide cash for these notes. The 500 (five-hundred) Thai Baht Note is one of the most handy for western travelers, it’s slightly smaller in size, purple in color, and easy to recognize.

One of the most common is the 100 (one-hundred) Thai Baht note, which is deep-red in color.

TIP: Be careful not to confuse the 100 and 1000 THB bills and when lighting is poor, be extremely careful not to mix up your 20 Baht and 1000 Baht notes.

Next is the 50 (fifty) Thai Baht note, which is blue in color. Finally, the smallest, is the 20 (twenty) Thai Baht banknote.

All Thai banknotes and coins picture His Majesty the King. Despite the recent loss of the King, he’s loved dearly by the people, as such, show respect to the Thai money. Don’t step on notes or coins or do anything which may be deemed offensive. Thais are careful about how they handle money and like to keep bills nearly-crisp.

Avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion Scam

Outside of large malls and resorts, Thailand is by far a cash culture but things are slowly changing. Depending on your bankcard, ATM’s limit you to 10,000 to 25,000 THB per day. Plan big purchases ahead and while credit cards are accepted at major shopping malls, resorts, and a growing number of restaurants & retail stores, never ever fall for the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).

If a credit card terminal offers you an option of paying in your home currency, always select NO. Select payment in Thai Baht (THB) and your credit card will provide you the best possible exchange rate. The dynamic currency conversion is a scam where only the merchant and their bank make money. It may look nice when they convert it to your home currency, but the exchange rate is poor and it’s still a foreign transaction to most banks. Finally, When you sign the sales slip, be sure you’re signing in Thai Baht (THB) currency.

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