Detailed instructions on how a Russian tourist can open an account, get a bank card in Thailand, coordinate its work with ruble accounts and enjoy all the benefits of the “white man” published on his page in Yandex.Zen blogger-travel agent. He emphasized that “contrary to some “experts” who claim that it is unrealistic to open an account in a Thai bank for tourists who do not have a long-term visa or work permit, absolutely any tourist can open an account and get a bank card, “regardless of why is he in Thailand – on a visa, visa-free or covid stamp.
True, first of all, he warned tourists that in Thailand “the rules and conditions for the provision of services in different branches of the same bank may differ even within the same city” and added that his instruction refers to Bangkok. But the instruction is painted step by step and in detail. And, according to the expert, it will take the tourist only 2-3 hours.
- Step 1: Visiting the Embassy of the Russian Federation: To open a bank account, you need only one document (except for a passport) – an affidavit of residence and income. You can get it at the Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Bangkok. Theoretically, this is done by appointment through the embassy website, but in fact, you can come without an appointment at the reception time (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri from 9:00 to 12:00) and receive a document in a live queue,” the expert says. He recommends finding the embassy address on Google maps in the Silom area. “We need the entrance to the Consular Section – it is located from the side of Soi Santiphap (sign “Visa Section”). In box No. 3, we ask for an affidavit form for opening a bank account. You can speed up the process by downloading the form in advance and completing it at the hotel. It is important to correctly indicate the authority that issued the passport – otherwise they will force you to rewrite it. In the second paragraph of the document, you must indicate the local address of residence. This must be a private address, not a hotel address. This information is not verified in any way, so you can specify the address of any condo in Bangkok – just find it on the Internet through a search engine, ”says the blogger. Another problem, he said, will arise when you need to return the form and pay a fee of 357 baht. “Payment is made only by card, and we, of course, do not have it. Compatriots will come to the rescue: do not hesitate to ask which of those present has a local card – give it to the savior in cash, ”the blogger assured. After all the formalities, it remains to wait until the consul signs the document – according to the blogger, this will take half an hour.
- Step 2: Visiting the bank: “Literally a step, since the Bangkok Bank head office we need is a 7-minute walk from the embassy building. Entering the main entrance, turn left. We pass a large hall, similar to Soviet savings banks with mosaics on the walls, to the escalators. We turn right (directly under the escalators) and go along the corridor to the end. We take a coupon in the terminal (“Open bank account” button). In this department, the workers already know the whole process. Most likely, while you are waiting for your turn on the couch, an employee will come up to you and give you several questionnaires to fill out. There are no difficulties in filling out, if anything – use a translator. The main thing is not to forget to indicate in the questionnaire the same local address that was written in the affidavit,” the blogger narrates.
Further, all actions are familiar – when the number is displayed, go to the corresponding window, then follow the instructions of the bank employee – where to sign, come up with a pin code for the ATM and the Internet, download the application to your phone, etc. “There are two cards to choose from – UnionPay or MasterCard. I recommend to take the “master”, because UnionPay is not accepted on some Internet sites. Account/card currency will be Thai baht. You can open an account in another currency – dollars or euros, but maintaining such accounts in Thailand is quite expensive. I didn’t do it myself, ”said the blogger. According to him, for opening an account and the first year of service, you will need to pay 699 baht. At least 500 baht more must be deposited into the account. The card is issued with a validity period of 5 years. In the future, maintenance will cost 599 baht per year.
As a bonus, he noted that the Thai card has “a lot of goodies”, since it is an analogue of the Moscow Troika, and also works as a discount card when paying “in a bunch of different places” from McDonald’s and Family Mart to H&M and Madame Tussauds. “Just one example: the Phuket Smart Bus in Phuket costs 170 baht, and the Rabbit card costs from 50 baht,” the blogger said. Also, a bank card will also be an insurance policy. “If you get hurt in an accident, you need to show your passport and card at the hospital – it will cover medical expenses up to 5,000 baht,” he says.
- Step 3: Transferring money to a Thai card. “The easiest, most convenient and, in my opinion, the most profitable way is the Paysend application. Through it, you can transfer the amount in rubles from any Russian card to the Thai account to which your card is linked (your account number will be indicated in the passbook or in the application). Paysend has temporarily removed fees for transfers to Thailand. You will receive exactly the amount in baht that will be indicated in the application. Today, the exchange rate is very humane – 2.6 rubles per 1 baht,” the blogger said, adding that the money comes very quickly. Moreover, if cash dollars are needed, the blogger advises the following maneuver: “We transfer rubles to a Thai card, withdraw cash baht and buy dollars for them in a street exchanger. Under this scheme, at the current exchange rate, one dollar will cost us 87 rubles.
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