The best credit card for Thailand: withdraw money for free in Thailand and save money! (2022)

With the right credit card for Thailand you can save a lot of money during a trip and even withdraw for free. In addition, you do not have to take unnecessary cash with you, which otherwise always means a certain risk.

We ourselves have been in Thailand for more than 14 months in the last five years, have tried out various credit cards, gathered a lot of experience and also researched a lot of information about them.

In the end, we came up with this detailed post, which we update and adapt regularly. We introduce you to the best credit card for Thailand, compare it with another alternative, answer important questions and reveal useful tips for withdrawing money for free in Thailand.

More important articles for your Thailand trip:

Important requirements for a Thailand credit card

  • free withdrawal in Thailand resp. available worldwide
  • free foreign use (d. h. pay abroad is free)
  • Credit card for free
  • no annual fee
  • a modern, simple and travel-friendly TAN procedure
  • friendly, helpful and fast customer service

We also looked at all of these criteria and found the best Thailand credit card for us as a result.

Comparison table: Thailand credit cards

In this section you will now find a small comparison table in which we compare two credit cards resp. compare: on the one hand, our winner, the Genial Card from Hanseatic Bank*, and on the other, a sensible replacement credit card from Barclaycard.

We travel with both credit cards ourselves and are very happy with them. However, the Genial Card has a few big advantages, which you can see well in the comparison chart.

(On the smartphone the table can be moved from left to right.)

Winner: Hanseatic Genial Card

The Hanseatic Genial Card is our main credit card for Thailand and all other travel worldwide since the end of 2019. It combines all the important advantages that make up an optimal travel credit card in our eyes.

The most important advantages

  • Free cash withdrawals are possible worldwide.
  • The issuance of the card is free of charge.
  • There is no annual fee.
  • You can pay free of charge and without additional fees. There is no foreign transaction fee.
  • You can also apply for the credit card individually and thus without a current account of the Hanseatic Bank. In this case, you must specify another account from which the amounts will be debited.
  • Withdrawal limit of 500 € per day
  • User-friendly, easy-to-understand app
  • Payment with Apple Pay possible
  • Bonus: 15% cashback in over 300 online stores

The disadvantages

  • Foreign fees, which are charged at some ATMs in Thailand, are not reimbursed.
  • High debit interest rate of 12.82. Make sure that you pay your credit card bills on time every month.

TAN procedure of the Hanseatic Bank

Two TAN methods are available, which are particularly suitable for travelers: pushTAN and photoTAN.

With pushTAN, a TAN is sent to your smartphone via the app of the Hanseatic bank. With photoTAN you have to scan a colored QR code with the Hanseatic app for online banking. The QR code is then converted into the respective TAN number.

Instalment facility

The Genial Card is a fully-fledged Visa Card and you will receive a credit card statement every month. The problem is that initially only three percent of the amount is automatically deducted from the deposited account. The remaining 95 percent you have to transfer to the credit card independently. If you forget to transfer the remaining amount to the credit card in time, interest will be charged.

The good thing about it: you can also completely switch off this cumbersome installment facility in online banking! After that, the entire amount of your credit card statement is automatically collected and you no longer have to transfer money to the card independently.


You can apply for the credit card via a simple online form, which asks for your email address, your phone number and your personal data. Then you have to choose one of two identification procedures:

  • Video-Ident: A bank employee identifies you via webcam.
  • Post-Ident: You have to go to a post office and be identified by an employee there.

If the application is approved by Hanseatic Bank, you will receive your Thailand credit card within a few days to weeks.

The Hanseatic Genial Card as the best travel credit card

Alternative: Barclaycard

As a substitute, we always have the free Barclaycard in our luggage. It is our backup credit card in case something should happen to the Hanseatic Genialcard.

The most important advantages

  • There are no annual fees.
  • Withdraw cash worldwide free of charge
  • Pay worldwide free of charge (no foreign transaction fee).
  • The Barclaycard is completely free of charge.
  • The Barclaycard can be applied for individually and without a current account.
  • Students can also apply for a Barclaycard.
  • Withdrawal limit of 500 € per day
  • User-friendly, easy to understand app
  • Payment with Apple Pay and Google Pay possible
  • Bonus: 50 € starting credit

Disadvantages of the credit card

  • Foreign fees from Thailand are not reimbursed.
  • It is "only" a prepaid credit card. So you always have to transfer funds to the Visa Card first to be able to withdraw.
  • Only mobileTAN procedure

TAN procedure


As with the Hanseatic Bank, you can apply for everything online with the Barclaycard. Subsequently, the same two identification procedures are also available for selection:

Foreign fees in Thailand

One point that is unfortunately unavoidable in Thailand are the foreign fees already mentioned several times. But what is that at all? A short explanation:

Foreign fees are fees that are collected by all banks in Thailand for each withdrawal with the credit card. Currently it is 220 baht (approx. 6 Euro), which is not exactly little. The amount withdrawn does not matter at all. There will always be 220 baht that the bank collects.

In the past you could get these foreign fees refunded with the right Thailand credit card. Over the years, however, more and more banks such as comdirect or DKB have discontinued the reimbursement. Even the last rock in the surf, the 1Plus Visa Card of the Santander Bank, cancels the service from the 1st month on. July 2020 from their offer.

As of now, there is not a single travel credit card that will reimburse you for foreign fees in Thailand.

Important: Pack a replacement credit card!

In our opinion, a spare credit card for Thailand is an absolute must. It can always happen that something happens to the main card and you should have a replacement for it up your sleeve.

We have already lost a credit card twice during our travels: once it was confiscated by an ATM for no reason and once we lost it. But since we had a second card with us as a backup, we were still liquid.

Tip: Always stow the second credit card separately from the first one. For example, if you lose your wallet with both cards, the replacement credit card will not be of much use to you. 🙂

You can apply for the replacement credit card here:

Security: Using the Thailand credit card correctly

Replacement credit card or not – it is simply annoying when the main card is lost or has to be blocked for some other reason. To keep this risk as low as possible during your trip to Thailand, we have put together some useful tips and important information that we have collected over the last few years.

Credit card fraud in Thailand

Yes, like everywhere in the world there is also credit card fraud in Thailand. Mostly important data of your card like PIN, credit card number and CCV are scanned by manipulated ATMs. This works via attached magnetic card readers, hidden cameras and stick-on keyboards.

  • We briefly check the keypad and card insertion module of each ATM.
  • During pin entry we cover the keypad very well.
  • We only withdraw from machines that are part of banks, supermarkets, gas stations or shopping malls.
  • We completely avoid ATMs that are abandoned on the side of the road or in dark corners.
  • We use RFID Blocker* for all our credit cards.

Of course, these points do not guarantee that you are on the safe side when withdrawing money in Thailand. Fraudsters are constantly coming up with new scams! However, we ourselves have never been the victim of credit card fraud thanks to these small measures.

RFID Blocker for the Thailand Credit Card

Never let Thailand credit card out of your sight!

Another important point: never let your card out of your sight when paying in stores, restaurants or other stores! If the service person tells you that the card reader is broken and she has to get another one quickly, insist that the credit card stays with you.

If she disappears with the card into another room and thus out of your sight, it is possible that she copies the data of your card and steals it. You will notice this only weeks later, when suddenly unknown charges appear on your credit card statement.

Withdraw small amounts

Despite foreign fees, we withdraw only small amounts in Thailand – usually never more than 100 euros. A pickpocketing or the loss of the wallet is a little less bad because of that.

We only let out large amounts if we need them right away, for example to pay for accommodation or something else expensive.

Loss, theft or similar – what now??

But what happens if all else fails and something really happens to your credit card?? After all, despite all caution, it can happen that it is lost, confiscated by an ATM or you become a victim of credit card abuse.

In the end there is only one possibility:

Immediately call the emergency hotline of the bank, describe your case and discuss the next steps together with the consultant. In most cases, the card will be blocked immediately, making it unusable for others.

Visa or Mastercard – which makes more sense in Thailand?

In principle it doesn't matter, as both Visa and Mastercard are accepted by most ATMs, hotels and booking portals.

The two credit cards we recommend for Thailand are Visa Cards and so far they have never been rejected by an ATM.

Apply for a credit card for Thailand in time

The processing time of the bank, the production of the credit card and the duration of the final delivery is often underestimated. Depending on the volume of orders at the bank, it can take two to three weeks until the card and all important documents land in your mailbox.

Therefore, it is better to order your Thailand travel credit card a little earlier to be on the safe side. Our recommendation: at least one month in advance, if not two!

You can apply for the credit cards here:

Banks in Thailand

  • Bangkok Bank
  • Krung Thai Bank
  • Siam Commercial Bank
  • Kasikornbank
  • Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri)

All these banks have ATMs where you can withdraw money and in tourist areas often also exchange offices to be able to exchange brought euros into baht.

Three different banks in Thailand

Taking cash with you – yes or no?

Now we have talked so much about credit cards – but how about cash? Should you take any money at all from your home country or would you rather withdraw it at the airport in Thailand when you arrive??

You should in any case pack some euros! This is due to the fact that when entering the country, the respective immigration officer will ask for a proof of money of 20.000 Baht (approx. 580 Euro) per person. This happens only very rarely, but you can be denied entry if you cannot show the cash.

By the way, it doesn't matter if you have the money in Euro or any other currency. You just have to pay the equivalent of 20.000 Baht will result.

Exchange cash

Then you can exchange the euros in Thailand in one of the numerous exchange offices. Don't worry, there are enough of them – no matter if on the smaller islands or in bigger cities. It is only important that you can show your passport. This is needed to change money.

Note: Change only what is necessary at the airport, as the exchange rate there is often worse than outside. The best rates are available at bank branches that have their own money exchange.

If you are traveling on a low budget, it is worth comparing the rates of the different banks, which can save you some money.

Tip: We do not advise you to change Euro into Baht in Germany, because the exchange rates in your home country are often a cheek.

Exchange rate in Thailand

At the end of this article we would like to say a few words about the exchange rate. Unfortunately, it has become lower and lower in the last few years, which has made traveling to Thailand much more expensive.

The current exchange rate is as follows: 1 Euro = approx. 34 Baht

Just for comparison: In September 2017 you got almost 40 Baht for one Euro. That's a drop in value of 15 percent in quite a short time.

But well, that doesn't change the fact that Thailand is still a cheap and beautiful travel destination! 🙂

Do you have any further questions about credit cards for Thailand or would you like to add something?? Then just write us a comment!

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