Types of Bank Account in Thailand

Understand the various accounts available in Thailand...

There are four types of accounts available to foreigners in Thailand:

  • Thai Baht Savings Account
  • Current Account
  • Foreign Currency Deposit Account
  • Business Bank Account

Thai Baht savings account

The most common type of bank account is the savings account. A non-resident may be able to open an account without a work permit but they will need to provide their passport and a letter of recommendation from their Embassy in Thailand. Anecdotal evidence suggests that not all branches and banks will allow this. Try several or use the head office branch. If no work permit is held then it is not possible to get Internet or telephone banking but an ATM card and passbook will be issued.

Documents required to open an account include the following (may vary from bank to bank):

  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Work permit (Some banks will open an account for those without a work permit. Visit several different banks to find out which ones do not require a work permit.)
  • Letter of recommendation from Embassy if no work permit is held

The minimum amount of money required to open a Thai Baht Account can be as little as THB 500.

The account holder will receive a bank debit card allowing them to deposit and withdraw funds from their account at ATMs/cash dispensers. An account holder may also request a bank credit card. Typically, a credit card is only issued to those with a valid work permit, proper visa documentation and history and proof of income.

Current account

This account can be more complicated to open as a cheque book is issued. A passport is needed and it will not be possible to open the account without a work permit. A larger minimum opening deposit is required.

Foreign currency deposit account

This is a bank account usually offered in a range of currencies with a minimum deposit required.

A passport must be presented when opening a foreign account. Other documentation may also be requested, such as an official letter of recommendation from the person's Embassy, employer or overseas bank, pay slips, loan documents or a bank statement from the person's home country.

Business bank account

To open a business bank account in Thailand it is necessary to have all the company papers, a passport with valid visa and a work permit. Although it should be a straightforward process it is recommended that an accountant prepares all the paperwork before visiting the bank. A business bank account will normally issue a cheque book and ATM card. Some offer Internet banking.