⚠️ Update (21/11/2023): Krungsri bank is now offering bank accounts to tourist visa holders. We recommend you to visit the branch in Maya Shopping Mall.
⚠️ Update (14/07/2023): The latest news is that the Bangkok Bank in Nimman opens accounts for tourist visa holders but you have to buy tourist visa insurance that costs 5000 THB (one time payment). In order to open an account, follow the steps below.
⚠️ Update (28/04/2023): There are rumors that the Bangkok Bank in Nimman stopped opening accounts for tourist visa holders.
Step by step guide to open a bank account in Chiang Mai, Thailand with just a tourist visa.
Certificate Of Residency
To open a bank account, you will need to get a Certificate of Residency from the Thai Immigration office. (Instructions can be found here)
Which Bank To Go To
Bangkok Bank Nimman He Min is the recommended branch to go to if you’re on a tourist visa. This branch specializes in foreign bank accounts and especially tourist visa holders’ bank accounts.
Other banks and branches may be able to as well, but many times they will turn you away, have you come back or not know the process and tell you the wrong information.
The Bangkok Bank Nimman He Min is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6pm (check for Thai holidays before you go!). It is best to get there before they open and queue up, as the wait times can be long in the afternoon. As you enter the bank, take a number from the machine and wait for your number to be called.
What To Bring With You
- Certificate of Residency (see instructions here)
- Copy of your rental contract/lease agreement from your landlord (If you’re staying at The Social Club coliving, we will provide this for you, as well as walk you through the process and answer any questions)
- Driver’s license from your home country (to show your permanent address).
- 500 baht cash, which is currently the minimum deposit amount to open a bank account.
- 400 to 700 baht cash to pay for the ATM card of your choice
Which Debit Card To Choose When Opening a Bank Account
UnionPay Debit Cards are currently the cheapest, with an Entrance Fee of 100 baht/card + an Annual Fee of 300 baht. UnionPay cards can only be used at stores that accept UnionPay. Most 7-Eleven stores, for example, do not accept UnionPay cards.
Mastercard Debit Cards are more expensive, with an entrance fee of 100 baht/card + an annual fee of 599 baht, but are accepted in more places and may include other benefits, such as medical insurance.
Our recommendation: take a Mastercard Debit Card
Once you’ve opened your account, you will be able to use the bank app to scan and pay, pay online, withdraw money from an ATM without paying any fees and also apply for a long-stay visa.