Surprisingly the best exchange rate is a cash withdrawal from an ATM. Banks sort out the exchange rate at the official rate without margins and little extras. Of course where they make their money is from fees and charges, so check with your bank exactly what they'll be charging you for a foreign withdrawal. If you don't like their answer, find a bank with a better fee structure.
There's just no way of exchanging currency these days without incurring a cost, the industry is pretty well sewn up with no loopholes.
The most cost effective way is to get one of those debit/travel cash cards, fill it with YOUR money - so there's no way you can overspend on your holiday, and no way a credit card thief can take your life savings. Take out larger sums of Thai cash, rather than lots of smaller withdrawals to minimise the fees. Of course money security is then an issue, so still take only what you need for the day and leave the rest locked up at the hotel (in the hotel safe, not the often insecure room safe). over 6 years ago
Unless you want to carry large amounts of cash around (not a good idea) use your debit card (with a four digit pin). Take out 20,000 baht at a time to minimize bank charges and take a Pacsafe with you to store the cash in (even if you leave it at the reception desk). almost 5 years agoAnswered by Callan via WorldNomads.com