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How stupid would I be to travel abroad with no currency and then withdraw it from ATM when I get there?

(17 Posts)
oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 29-Jul-11 00:22:39

we're going to Thailand on Saturday and like a dickhead I haven't even given the money any thought. In my defence my brain is fried at the moment and I just forgot hmm

We're staying at a resort and plan on settling food bills using my visa debit card but need some cash too. Would it be madness to just withdraw the Baht from the airport ATM when we get there?!

Orbinator Fri 29-Jul-11 00:26:06

I used to do this a lot when I worked in events - most places it is fine as long as you know you will be in an area with an ATM of course!

Just one word of warning - if the card is with HSBC call them first. Many times did I not have a chance and card was cancelled automatically, so beware! I think Nationwide ones don't charge for being abroad and I know they don't cancel just because you left the country, but double check about the charges.

Orbinator Fri 29-Jul-11 00:27:35

Oh and be very careful where you put it and how subtle you are, obviously ;) Preferably choose a few (maybe 3) places, in case one gets pick pocketed. I've been known to put money in my socks "just in case"!

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 29-Jul-11 00:30:48

Oo that's good. It's nationwide and I think it'd be a good idea to tell them I'm going so they don't stop my card thinking it's been cloned or something. We're changing at Bankhok (sp?!) so I'm assuming plenty of cashpoints there.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 29-Jul-11 00:31:56

Good tip. Thank you grin

Orbinator Fri 29-Jul-11 00:32:54

Yes, you'll be fine there. Scariest thing is the guards with guns - they don't really do smiling, unlike the rest of the Thai population!

Oh, another idea - you can get it at the airport on the way out too if you are worried wink

Good idea to call just to double check, yes smile Have a lovely time!

Kiwinyc Tue 02-Aug-11 11:15:10

it can't be that stupid, i've doing it for years to the US, europe, NZ etc. never bothered to tell my bank either, but i do tell my credit card company when i remember, they have a tendancy to put a stop on it at inopportune times.

Don't withdraw cash from your credit card though - interest is charged from the moment you withdraw and a fee on top of that. Its the most expensive way to get cash overseas. Only use your debit card.


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MmeLindor. Tue 02-Aug-11 11:19:50

I always do this, have not changed currency for decades.

Do make sure you have a back up card though.

mousymouse Tue 02-Aug-11 11:22:52

I always do this, but tell the bank before after my colleagues was stranded in estonia without any cash or card because the atm at the airport "ate" the card...

TheBossofMe Tue 02-Aug-11 11:30:47

I live in Thailand, and you're actually better off withdrawing your money here in BAngkok. There are 2 different exchange rates, both official, one onshore on one offshore. If you are buying Thai baht, you're much better off buying it here, difference in rate is c4baht to the pound, so a fair bit if you are spending a lot.

Best bet is the currency exchange booth in the airport baggage collection hall, fast, efficient and friendly, plus you will have a wait for bags anyway. If you are just transiting in bkk, then I think there are the same booths in Phuket and samui airports.

I think if you withdraw from an ATM though, you get the offshore rate because the conversion is done in the uk, same as with credit cards. So cash from a forex booth is your best bet, there are a gazillion of them in Thailand.

In the unlikely event you get stuck and need help in Thailand, feel free pm me, have already rescued one mnetter who was delayed with flights, so offer is there!

TheBossofMe Tue 02-Aug-11 11:31:46

Oh, and def tell your bank or card company you are visiting thailnd, withdrawals here are a big red fraud flag!

Ealingkate Tue 02-Aug-11 11:34:19

I would go on to Travelex and arrange to have some Baht ready for collection at whichever airport you're flying out from (you'll get a better rate that if you turn up and do it over the counter) and then do what BOM said!!

grendel Tue 02-Aug-11 11:44:24

Definitely tell your bank first, and take a contact number for them too. Both DH and I told our banks we were going to NZ and first time we went to use our debit card it was blocked, and we'd deliberately taken hardly any cash. Cue various long and very expensive calls on our mobiles back to banks in UK to get cards unblocked. Banks unapologetic but fixed problem v. quickly once we were able to contact them.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Mon 08-Aug-11 12:57:45

Fantastic advice, thank you. Brilliant offer too from TheBossOfMe - that's so incredibly kind smile

I'm here now, supping a piña colada at the hotel bar, overlooking the sea so we've fared ok so far!

ATM has worked for us so far; I informed bank before we went wink


TheBossofMe Tue 09-Aug-11 13:12:48

My pleasure - hope you're having a lovely time and weather is good where you are - huge electrical storm going on over Bangkok at the moment, rather beautiful to watch.

kittensliveupstairs Wed 10-Aug-11 11:08:21

Be aware too that Thailand is the home of card cloning. We had ours done three times when we lived there.

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