How to Set Up a Bank Account in Thailand with a Tourist Visa

If you are sick of paying 150 baht every time you make a withdrawal from the ATM on top of international ATM fees, and want to have a local bank account.

We tried walking around various banks, and got the same answer every time – no work permit, no bank account.  The trick is to go to a banks head office in the Central Business District of Bangkok, otherwise known as Silom.  In my case I went to the Bank of Bangkok (Address: 333 Silom Road), but I’m advised that you can also do the same at other banks as well.

You will need:

  • A Passport
  • Secondary Photo ID (Valid Home Country Drivers Licence, Firearms Licence, Social Security Card etc)
  • 500 Baht Minimum Deposit
  • 300 Baht for an ATM Card

This will allow you to open a savings account with a limited Visa Debit Card which you can withdraw or deposit cash, or receive money from overseas using a service such as Skrill.  You will not be able to use the Debit card at shops or online unless you have a chequing account which can only be obtained with a Non-B Visa/Work Permit, Education or other Non Immigrant Visa.  There is also no internet banking available with an account on a tourist visa.

The process is quick and simple, you are given two forms to fill out, and a bunch of papers to sign or initial twice.  With this you will receive your card and bank book.  The card can be used at any ATM in Thailand (I haven’t tried it overseas yet) and the book can be used at any branch of your bank alongside passport ID. 

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