A Look at Thailand's Currency: The Baht

You'll need to exchange dollars for bahts in Thailand

Bangkok city downtown with sunset sky ,Bangkok is the most populated city in Southeast Asia. Bangkok , Thailand.
chain45154 / Getty Images

If you're visiting Thailand, along with making flight and hotel reservations, you'll need to become familiar with the currency the country uses before you go. The currency in Thailand is called the Thai baht (pronounced baht) and is usually represented by an uppercase "B" with a slash through it. When you are shopping in stores, you will see this on the price tags. 

Dollar-Baht Exchange Rate

You should check with a currency app or website to find the most up-to-date exchange rate with the money of your native country to help you understand the actual price of lodging, food, and any items you buy in Thailand. Over the past decade, the baht has fluctuated somewhere between 30 bahts per dollar and 42 bahts per dollar, but this is a general range and not necessarily predictive.

While you can use U.S. dollars in some countries, they're not widely accepted in Thailand. You will need to exchange for the baht. 

Thailand's Coins and Notes

In Thailand, there are 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht, and 10 baht coins and 20 baht, 50 baht, 100 baht, and 1,000 baht notes. You may also occasionally see a 10 baht note, although those are no longer printed.

Baht are further broken down into satang, and there are 100 satang per baht. These days, there are only 25 satang and 50 satang coins. Satang are rarely used anymore for most transactions.

The most common coin in Thailand is the 10 baht, and the most common note is the 100 baht. 

More About Money in Thailand

Travelers should be relieved to know that ATMs are not hard to find in Thailand, and most accept most major credit cards. You can withdraw Thai bahts from an ATM if you do not exchange your money before you travel. However, you will likely have to pay a fee if you are using a foreign card, and there may be additional fees from your bank at home. 

Thailand banks and currency exchange businesses typically also accept travelers' checks. 

You don't need cash for every purchase in Thailand, however. Many hotels, restaurants, businesses, and the airport accept major credit cards. 

Before you use your credit card in a foreign country, make sure you let your bank and credit card company know that you will be there on vacation and how long you plan to stay. Otherwise, the activity may be seen as suspicious, and your card may be temporarily locked, making your money inaccessible. This can be frightening and stressful for travelers, especially if you have never been to Thailand before.

To be safe, some travelers exchange some money (a small emergency stash) before they leave (even if that doesn't yield the best exchange rate; you will typically get a better exchange if you do it in Thailand), and keep both bahts and dollars on them during travel until they are situated. Exchange the rest of your cash upon arrival or withdraw what you want to use at the ATM. You can find currency exchange kiosks in the airport and or make exchanges at many banks. 

Also, make sure you take a photo or make a copy of your credit card and leave the copy back at home with someone safe, in case your card is stolen. This will make reporting the theft easier.