Why TMB (and maybe other banks) limits cash withdrawals to 5,000 THB with foreign cards ?

A thread on ThaiVisa Forum catched my attention. Some people report that “something is wrong” with their foreign credit cards… Cash withdrawals seem limited to 5,000 THB with ATM in Thailand.

One individual took even a picture of an ATM from TMB (Thai Military Bank) with a very explicit sign.

atmtmb2

I can confirm this with TMB (one of my business contacts called his TMB branch manager).

There is no clear reason given, excepted that “it’s BOT regulations“… And of course, there is no official announcement on BOT’s website.

So I repeat, I confirm the report of a limit of 5,000 THB per withdrawal with ATM from TMB. It means, you can take 2 x 5,000 THB for instance, during the same day.

But other banks (according to people on ThaiVisa) seem affected too.

The question now is : why ?

I’m baffled. I don’t see any logic in such regulation (since you can take several times 5 000 THB).

Is it just to count more… fees ? And why this opacity ? And if it was a regulation, why it doesn’t affect all the banks, and all the ATMs ?

A rather strange story.

[we would need more details on the type of cards too… Debit, credit cards]

11 Responses to “Why TMB (and maybe other banks) limits cash withdrawals to 5,000 THB with foreign cards ?”


  1. 1 chinesethai 26 December 2008 at 9:00 am

    I have experience withdrawing cash from Bank of Ayudhya ATMs 2 years back with my ABM card. It curbed my withdrawal amount at 30,000 baht per day before fees deduction.

    Is it because of the recent boom in counterfeit THB1,000 bank notes?

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 26 December 2008 at 9:13 am

    Is it because of the recent boom in counterfeit THB1,000 bank notes?

    I don’t think so. Because it would have affected thai ATM cards too. Which is not the case. Only cards from foreign banks.

  3. 3 Steven 26 December 2008 at 10:09 am

    Fees are not generally charged by Thai side (but are levied by card issuers), so the commission theory probably won’t hold.

    I think ATM could be away of evading capital control (the 30% deposit with BoT rule), but I suppose it is bad publicity to impose any new ‘capital control’ rule so they just make it as hard as possible for people to withdraw money ?

    Or is it trying to prevent fraud? (people steal cards from Malaysia etc and use them in Thailand ?)

  4. 4 fall 26 December 2008 at 1:34 pm

    May be some new law to prevent money laundering?
    Or to prevent foreigner from having money to spend on a sinful nightlife and protect the honor of Thai women on New Year?

    But I am a bit confused, so is it?
    1. A foreign credit card cash-withdrawl
    2. A foreign ATM card cash-withdrawl
    3. A foreign “own” Thai-bank credit card cash-withdrawl
    4. A foreign “own” Thai-ATM card cash-withdrawl

  5. 5 Bob 27 December 2008 at 6:39 am

    In your post you state foreign credit cards. Do regular ATM cards debiting form a bank account similarly? Or only cash withdraws from a credit line?

  6. 6 Matt 28 December 2008 at 10:22 am

    Well that is certainly odd. I can’t for the life of me imagine why it would be so. I took out money with my credit card a few weeks ago and didn’t have any problems.

  7. 7 ThaiCrisis 29 December 2008 at 3:29 am

    In your post you state foreign credit cards. Do regular ATM cards debiting form a bank account similarly? Or only cash withdraws from a credit line?

    That’s probably the key question. And until now it’s not clear.

  8. 8 ThaiCrisis 29 December 2008 at 3:33 am

    Fees are not generally charged by Thai side (but are levied by card issuers), so the commission theory probably won’t hold.

    But thai banks get a fee when their ATM is used.

    I think ATM could be away of evading capital control (the 30% deposit with BoT rule), but I suppose it is bad publicity to impose any new ‘capital control’ rule so they just make it as hard as possible for people to withdraw money ?

    Watch out. This regulation was lifted last march. There is no capital controls anymore.

    Or is it trying to prevent fraud? (people steal cards from Malaysia etc and use them in Thailand ?)
    Unlikely, because it’s still possible to make several withdrawals in a row. Unless there is a matter of insurance : banks could be covered against fraud for small withdrawals.

  9. 9 John 29 December 2008 at 7:54 am

    Bangkok Bank still gives a maximum of 25000 baht per day as i experienced today.

  10. 10 Brazoo 2 January 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Well .. I am in BKK right now, and not experiencing any problems with my foreign DEBIT cards. Which, by the way, is the better option then the credit card –> no fees.

  11. 11 Roger 6 January 2009 at 7:33 am

    Hmmm. I notice the original post was dated 26 December 2008. Today is 6 January 2009 and I’ve made four withdrawals over the last four days of 10,000 THB each from the ATM at Bangkok Bank. This is a credit card, not a debit card. My card issuer imposes a limit of somewhere around 13,000 THB per day for cash advances through an ATM as an anti-fraud precaution. Not sure of the exact amount because the 10,000 amount is convenient so I usually limit myself to that amount or less.

    On fees: I am never charged a fee by BKK Bank or Kasikorn Bank. I don’t think I was ever charged a fee by TMB. I am charged a 20 THB fee when I use Siam Commercial Bank. The bank might get some small fee for the transaction; I notice my statements sometimes include small amounts (less then 2 USD) for “foreign currency transaction”, but it doesn’t seem to be consistent.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


%d bloggers like this: