Setting up a Thai Bank Account in Bangkok 2017

After living in Thailand for well over a 1.5 years, I figured this week I would finally get round to creating a Thai bank account in Bangkok. It wasn’t without its problems but you will be happy to know that setting up a Thai bank account on a tourist visa in 2015 is not that hard.

If you’re thinking about moving to Thailand and need help, check out my Thai friend’s website here, she may be able to help you out.

Update: as of right now April 2017 it’s very hard to create a bank account in Thailand without a work permit. The info below may be out of date.

Getting the paperwork before you start

First of all you will need:

  • A valid passport
  • Your apartment contract stating your name and address
  • Drivers license (can be Thai or your one back home)
  • Any other document with your name on (mobile phone or Internet bill etc)
  • At least 1,000 baht
  • Thai person to helps translate (not needed but it would help 1000%)

You won’t need all of the above mentioned to setup a Thai bank account, but some bank branches require more paperwork than others. One even wanted to see documents of my address back in the UK, luckily my drivers license has my full UK address.

Thai money

Which banks rejected me

Getting rejected is a common thing in my life, be it from job interviews, girls or banking institutions. All together I went to 5 banks, I got rejected from 3, they were:

CIMB Thailand – They rejected me because I did not have a hold a work permit. They also said my Thailand tourist visa was going to run out in less than 30 days and my apartment contract was not a 12 month contract. They seemed sympathetic and I think if my Thai tourist visa was valid for longer with an apartment contract for 12 months, I may have gotten an account here, but I really can’t be sure. The branch I went to was opposite Thong Lo BTS. Nice and friendly staff, no hotties though.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) – Here I got a hard no. It was cold, a bit like getting rejected at Funky Villa or Nung Len I didn’t stand a chance. Soon as I asked to setup up a Thai bank account they asked if I had a work permit, I said no. They said I could not get a Thai bank account on a tourist visa so I left the branch with my middle finger raised.

Krungsi Bank – I went to a branch opposite Phrom Phong BTS and the bank teller was being extremely helpful but said she ‘can-not’. The manager there would not allow me to create a Thai bank account with a tourist visa. I bargained with her and she tried her hardest to convince her boss but the answer was no.

Bangkok Bank accepted me

It was around 4pm, I had walked longer than I had liked and figure I’d give one more roll of the dice before I headed on home and masturbated. I went to a Bangkok Bank branch and wasn’t feeling too good about getting accepted. Needless to say they did let me create a Thai bank account on a tourist visa quite simply! I told them I was a tourist and they said it was fine, I handed over my details and 300 baht to get a debit card. The account created within 30 minutes and I got Internet banking… I think.

Since there was a language barrier it was kind of hard to understand what the bank teller was telling me. She said something about Internet banking but I guess I will find out if I get an ID number via email or post.

I needed to give Bangkok Bank my driver’s ID, driver’s license that showed my home address in England, a copy of my rental contract, 300 baht for the debit card and some money to deposit into my account.

Tips on creating a Thai bank account on a tourist visa

My biggest advice is to be very polite, have a Thai person on hand to translate and have your paperwork in order. You could even bend the truth a little bit and say you’re waiting for a work-permit and need to create a Thai bank account in the meantime, but I do not suggest this as this is not the right thing to do.

If you want to create a Thai bank account on a Thai tourist visa you need to play the numbers game, which is to visit as many Thai banks as you can. A good place to start is near shopping malls like MBK or Central World, as they have floors dedicated to banks and you can easily walk from one to the next. Just because Bangkok Bank or SCB rejected you in Asoke, doesn’t mean they will reject you again in Siam. It seems each Thai bank branch is different and it depends on their rules.

In total I visited 5 banks and 2 gave me the green light, which I think is pretty good running. I have been told that getting a Thai bank account in cities like Chiang Mai or Udon Thai is much easier than Bangkok so you could always try there if you don’t have any success in the Big Smoke.

Bangkok Helper

Overall I am happy to announce that getting a Thai bank account in Bangkok, Thailand, is not that difficult. You may get turned away by several Thai banks, but keep on trucking until one says yes. Follow the advice above and go with a Bangkok girl to dramatically increase your chances, else get lucky like me.

If you have any questions about getting a Thai bank account on a tourist visa or would like to keep updated with my site, please join my newsletter for the latest updates and free tips!

25 thoughts on “Setting up a Thai Bank Account in Bangkok 2017

  1. Pat
    26 December, 2014 at 12:19 am

    In 2003 Kasikorn Bank was called Thai Farmers Bank, and they set me up within 5mins with just a copy of my passport and 1,300 Baht (300 for the card) Easy!

    A month later I stupidly forgot my PIN number to my UK Barclays bank card and it got swallowed by the Bangkok Bank ATM. The process of phone calls, getting the new card sent to Thailand was just too much for me to take, but I needed that card.
    I went into the branch with total pessimism. Within 5mins the bank manager had arranged the key to the ATM machine and would retrieve my card at closing time. Showed some ID and was reunited with my Barclays bank card!

    The key is to smile and be polite. Be dressed smartly and be very respectful to the manager. They expect it, in their position, as they would get that from most Thais.

    I’ve seen vest and shorts/flip flop attired farangs lose their rags because they had to queue up then got refused a bank account. I wonder why.

    Like you say, not all banks will let you open accounts unless you show some kind of proof of longevity, and you can’t really blame them.

    1. 26 December, 2014 at 3:54 am

      Great story Pat, didn’t think it was possible to get your card back.

  2. jac
    26 December, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I have been told k bank are the easiest, did you not try there?

    1. 26 December, 2014 at 5:03 am

      I tired the K bank in Soi 15 which everyone says is easy, but I got rejected there. I last tried there in 2013.

    2. 8 January, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      kbank used to be the easiest a few years ago then starting clamping down on foreigners. i opened my account there. nowadays i’d try bangkok bank as it says on their website you only need your passport and an address –

      http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBank/PersonalBanking/SpecialServices/ForeignCustomers/Pages/Openinganaccountnew.aspx

      whereas kasikorn’s website now stipulates a work permit

  3. Wayne
    26 December, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Out of curiosity, what is the benefit of using a Thai bank account over an international / offshore account?

    1. 26 December, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      First of all you don’t pay withdrawal fees which are 180 baht a time. You would also pay a conversion fee each time you withdraw, and if you work online, it’s much faster and cheaper to get paid into a Thai bank account than an overseas.

  4. richie
    27 December, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Just say you need to buy a condo soon gg

    1. 27 December, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Does this work Richie?

  5. Luke
    28 December, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    The part about your UK adress reminded me.

    Do you still pay for an apartment back here in the UK or did you just ditch it?

    1. 29 December, 2014 at 3:11 am

      I never had my own apartment in the UK. Never thought it was a good idea to get tied to property in a country I no longer wished to live in.

  6. Jo
    7 January, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I cannot believe you waited over 1 1/2 yrs to open a Thai bank account. Any particular reason? When I arrived here 3 yrs ago I opened one my first day here, makes life a lot easier.

    1. 7 January, 2015 at 8:31 am

      I was lazy and I had a really good credit card that offered great rates. As of late the GBP is taking a bit of a beating and I get paid in USD. So I figure now would be the right time to open one.

  7. D Head
    10 January, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    A friend of mine set up an account at Krungthai bank, very easily. He had a tourist visa on arrival for 30 days. They didn’t ask much.

    1. 10 January, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks for the input, and great name.

      1. D Head
        15 January, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        No worries, mate. I love your page!

  8. m p a
    8 September, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Double fail for me today, Bangkok bank & Krungthai.

    They said work permit only.
    Btw I am on a double entry residing in a guest house in Bangkok.

    1. 9 September, 2015 at 3:09 am

      Which branch did you go into mate? Try the Bangkok Bank at Emporium. Refer them to this website link :http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBank/PersonalBanking/SpecialServices/ForeignCustomers/Pages/Openinganaccountnew.aspx

      You can get an account on an entry visa.

  9. Pat
    9 May, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I just got a flat refusal at all banks in Silom and MBK, need work permit and I dont use one

    1. 9 May, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      You should checkout Bangkokhelper.com. I’ve used her (in return for her ad slot) and she got me an account with no issues.

  10. Pat
    9 May, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I assumed showing them the large envelope of cash I wanted to deposit would help!!!

  11. Andrew
    17 September, 2016 at 9:13 am

    What do you think the best Bangkok branch in Chiang Mai would be in order to open an account?

    1. 17 September, 2016 at 9:28 am

      I’m not sure mate, never had it done there before. If you’re in Bangkok check out : http://bangkokhelper.com/

      They offer accounts at Kbank and UOB now.

  12. Ben
    21 September, 2016 at 2:18 am

    I’m currently on work permit in Thailand hence opened a Bangkok bank account. When my work here ends in November am I required to close my bank account? Looking at how difficult it is to open a new account here without work permit, it seems like to good idea to leave my account open and idling here?

    1. 21 September, 2016 at 3:12 am

      No you can keep it open, if you want to open a new account I suggest using http://bangkokhelper.com/

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