Jump to content

How viable is credit/debit card use in Pattaya?


john luke
 Share

Recommended Posts

During the last year or so in UK, I used plastic to pay for just about everything.  The exceptions being the window cleaner, the barber (when they were allowed to open), green grocery stall in the local market and that is about it.  I thought similar use of cards in Pattaya was totally unviable, however over the last six weeks I have found I can use a credit card at supermarkets (Best and Big C), some restaurants (Bella Italia, Mai Thai) but not Kiss Food and Drink.  7/11 accept plastic too as do Mikes Mall and a shoes shop in Central Marina, where Mrs JL bought some shoes.
 

Bolt and Grab allow you to link a credit card to their App, but I took a decision not to.  Taxis and baht bus, I would say definitely no.  
 

Partial use of plastic does seem viable and as I have two credit cards that do not charge extra for non sterling transaction, It is possible to get something near the bank rates for conversion.

 

What do members think?

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me , when I'm in Thailand specifically, my plastic is a useful tool to fall back on. I prefer cash, but always pay for my hotel on my Debit Card, and sometimes will draw cash from an ATM in a bank of needed.

This stems from a reluctance to use "plastic" in the Philippines due to the huge amounts of fraud over there. I once needed to make a 20 min phone call to the UK in order to buy a pair of shoes on my Visa Debit card, in the end it was just not worth the hassle. I've seen a few ATM's with skimmers fitted, so all in all I'm of the personal choice that I tend not to use plastic in SEA unless I have to, or am using a trusted and verified retailer.

I use my Card in the philippines to draw from an ATM inside a bank as well, but most banking there is done with "pen and paper" still. Philippines and Thailand for me are both 99% cash based transactions.

Ultimately I think it depends upon the rates and charges, I'd happily pay a 1% - 2% charge if I could use my debit card with impunity and get an equivalent interbank rate, but I'd use it sensibly and definitely not in a bar or GGB.

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apart from emergency use at ATMs, I have used my CC twice:-

- We were having a bit of a party, kids and all, so I went online to Pizza Hut to get a bunch of stuff delivered. Worked perfectly

- FBWU told me about Decathlon shoe shop but North Pattaya was just too bloody far to walk in flip flops (I needed trainers and sandals - Duh!). So I went online and ordered 2 pairs for delivery. Again it worked perfectly!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hold a CC and DC issued by HSBC UK but only ever use the CC on minimal occasions just to ensure that HSBC don't cancel it through lack of use (i previously held a CC with MBNA and they cancelled it due to lack of use despite me having a credit balance WTF)

I like to hold CC's for emergency use as i only hold enough money in my Thai account to meet monthly expenditure, i don't trust Thailand where moneys concerned.

I also hold Thai DC's for withdrawing cash and paying for online purchases/hotel bookings etc. I don't do any of this APP scanning payment as i don't use my TOTR Samsung J1 as a smartphone LOL.

I'm old school and like to keep my money safe. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I've read, CC exchange rates range quite a bit depending on the card issuer.

My US Bank Of America card gives me a very good exchange rate, on par with what I would get when transferring money over, but I still only use it for airline and hotel reservations. Everything else I pay in cash or by Thai bank to Thai bank transfer.

I find it easier and more convenient to use a SWIFT transfer to move 3 - 4 months of living expenses over at a time. Then withdraw using an ATM card whenever I need to refill my pocket for day to day expenses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was the same in the US.  I almost never used cash.

Here I'll use a webcard for Lazada purchases, and we used a card a couple of times in Robinsons and Home Pro for large purchases.  Other than that only cash.

Edited by tko
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/22/2021 at 2:33 AM, forcebwithu said:

From what I've read, CC exchange rates range quite a bit depending on the card issuer.

Exchange rates are set by the payment processor (usually Visa or Mastercard * ) and are almost identical.  The card issuer may apply charges and that would be where differences occur.  For the UK at least there are cards which have no charges, and USA and Australia have similar I think.

In Thailand I use my UK cards on line (mostly hotels) and with Grab (never worked out how to use one on Bolt) but cash for almost everything else.  It's so much easier and keeps me in control, not reliant on internet connections and not wary of security risks.  I pay rent by bank transfer, and now electricity by Direct Debit, from my Thai acccount.

* - There's American Express too but I'm not sure how their exchange rate compares.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...