How to open a bank account in Bangkok (2016 edition)

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One of the first things you do after getting a place to stay… is opening a bank account… on a tourist visa.

Its not as hard as it may seem, except heaps of the info available online is old and most of it is lacking in specifics.

In May 2016, I visited about 4 banks trying to open an account.

I will detail exactly where I went and what I found.

TLDR; Kasikorn Bank is the best of the bunch.

Bank Opening Requirements

  • Statutory declaration from your embassy.
  • 1 year apartment lease contract
  • Passport
  • Deposit ( 1,000baht to 10,000baht)

Banks will give you a form you can fill out to give to your embassy.

However mine (Australian) refused to use the form, stating that they can’t verify my address in Australia.

Instead they made me draw up and sign up my own stat dec.

IMHO useless paper work.

Its just a piece of paper where you write down whatever you want do but under the penalty of a fine if you are caught lying.

Embassy charged me 530baht for this.

Bangkok Bank

Location: Asoke Interchange Tower

Asoke is a great place to look for a bank, all the big banks are located close to each other and it makes it straight forward to go from bank to bank if you get rejected.

So Bangkok Bank.

  • Can open with just  1 year condo lease
  • You get a rabbit card with your visa debit
  • You get a visa debit card

  • Need certified letter from embassy
  • No internet banking

Opening the account costs you 300baht for the card and a yearly (discounted) fee of 200baht to keep account open.

Minimum balance you must deposit is 500baht.

With the rabbit card it allows you to swipe on to ride on BTS.

You can also use it as an e-wallet to pay for goods.

Eg. At Maccas you get a further 20% off the meal price for using your rabbit card.

The no internet banking thing is a real problem though.

Its hot outside and there was no way I wanted to be out in the sun just to pay rent once a month at the atm.

CitiBank

Location: Just across from interchange tower, you cross the pedestrian over pass into the citibank building.

Its got huge citibank signs plastered all over the building. Can’t miss it.

  • Can open with just  1 year condo lease
  • You get access to internet banking!
  • You can hold funds in USD/AUD in addition to BHT
  • Don’t need certified letter from embassy!

  • They can’t issue Visa debit card.
  • Need opening balance of 100,00 baht (~USD3000). Under that you get hit with 200baht per month account keeping fee.
  • Not for the poor.

The personal banker was very helpful however the lack of visa debit & the fact I didn’t have a spare ~USD3k lying around was a problem.

Unfortunately citibank is unable to issue you an actual visa debit card.

It makes all purchases using the card impossible in this day and age.

You need to go to any ATM and withdraw cash (for free).

Kasikorn Bank

Location: Exchange Tower (Next door to Bangkok Bank)

  • Can open with just  1 year condo lease
  • You get access to internet banking!
  • You get a Visa debit card
  • They have mobile banking app for your iPhone/Android

  • Need opening balance of 10,00 baht (~USD300).
  • 650 baht a year fee

The best of the bunch. Account opening took 30mins.

They took photo copy instead of taking the original certified document (unlike Bangkok bank).

Which means you keep original and use it at another bank.

Just make sure you have ~USD300 to make minimum desposit.

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