Exchanging Money in Thailand
Whenever we are on holiday or living in a foreign country, we are always looking to get the most out of our money. The first and probably the best way to get better value is to exchange money at the best rate. Having more money to spend often means having more fun. Of course there are other factors that determine your enjoyment levels like a good plan, but making your money go far is still tops in my book.
The first point to note is that not all currency exchange booths and banks are equal. Some give better rates than others. Looking around while on the ground or at the published rates online at banks or independent currency exchange booths will show you which has the best rates for your money. There is a good list of banks and money changers on this page.
When obtaining your home country currency, you should check to make sure the bank notes (cash) are clean an in good shape. Check to make sure the bank notes are modern with current security markings. Make sure that they do not have rips in the paper or markings that should not be there. Money changers will often inspect the currency being exchanged to be sure they are real and of good quality. If you have changed money over a bunch of times in Thailand, you probably have had money denied exchange for some markings or small tare you did not realize was there.
When bringing money to Thailand to exchange you get a better rate for large bank notes. For USD you get better exchange rates for $100 bills than $20 bills. In addition to the better rates it is also easier to transport larger amounts of money in large bank notes than small.
Lastly and importantly check your money as soon as you receive it. Right in front of the money changer and any security cameras that may be around. Count it. There is always a chance of a mistake or some bad trick happening. Carefully watching a changer while they count or when running the money through the counting machine are a good idea also.