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Payments in Thailand with N26 and Transferwise debit cards


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I would like to share my experience with using N26 and Transferwise Mastercard debit cards to pay goods in Thailand.

 

As you maybe know, N26 and Transferwise provide debit cards free of charge with one of the lowest markup fees, N26 - 0% against the Mastercard day rate, TFW 0.5% against the near realtime mid-rate. I will not mention Revolut here, cause they charge a ridiculous rate between 1.5/3% weekdays vs weekends.

 

All 3 cards provide extra card safety in their app. You can switch on/off whether you allow payments abroad, online payments, ATM withdrawals etc. Besides you get a realtime notification after you've done your payment.

 

Most of my (cash) payments I withdraw from my Kasikorn bank account. So no reason for me to withdraw money with N26 and TFW cards, also due to the high ATM withdrawal fee for foreign cards.

 

I am using both cards for my daily shoppings at Tesco and Big C, starting from 60 baht. There is no minimum amount they require like some of the smaller shops (300 baht minimum).

 

I have been comparing the markup fee of both cards against the mid-rate. N26 charges between 0-0.3% against mid rate, If on a day there is a lot of volatility, the markup can get around 1%. TFW stays within the boundaries of 0.35-0.6%, even on a volatile day, cause their mid-rate is near real time, while Mastercard only has one rate a day.

 

Please share with me where else you can pay with foreign credit/debit cards in small amounts starting from 100 baht.

What are your experience with foreign debit cards and the markup fee you pay?

 

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Starling deserves a mention. they use the mastercard exchange  https://mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.html with no fee added so 0% for purchases in stores, online etc so same as n26, revolut use the mid market rate which is slightly better, but as said only on weekends for exotic currencies they charge a markup. With starling you can get cash withdrawals £300 per day again no fee charge on their end. Which makes it the best one overall and it's free for an account don't need to pay for premium and  monthly like n26 and revolut. Just the ATM fee in Thailand 220 baht, but other countries you can normally find 1 bank ATM are free just Thailand you get ripped.  If you don't have premium n26 they charge 1.7% for cash withdrawals , revolut and monzo on £200 free per month then after 2% and 3% on further cash withdrawls. I just sitck with starling and n26, they've served me well.

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9 hours ago, hello55060 said:

Starling deserves a mention.

Yes. They seem to beat or match Transferwise and others in every respect, plus they pay interest on your balance which none of the others do.

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