If you are planning to travel to Chiang Mai and exchange your money there, for getting the best exchange rate you need to know several things about money changers and currency exchange in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Money Changers
It doesn’t take long to find a place for exchanging money in Chiang Mai. There are plenty of branches of all main Thai banks as well as a big number of independent money changers operating in the city. However, if you want to get the best or at least fair exchange rate for your money, you should avoid all the tourist traps and choose one of reputable money changers in Chiang Mai.
Money changers at Chiang Mai Airport
All currency exchange counters at Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) are operated by the banks and there are no independent money changers operating at the airport. Currency exchange rates at Chiang Mai Airport are not the best you can get in the city but they are better than the same banks are offering at the airports in Bangkok.
If you will be arriving at Chiang Mai Airport and will need Thai Baht for getting into the city or buying local SIM card, exchange some money at the airport but leave most of your foreign currency to exchange in the city center. For more details about currency exchange at CNX Airport check Currency Exchange at Chiang Mai Airport.
Super Rich Chiang Mai
Super Rich is a famous brand for currency exchange in Thailand. You will not find the original Super Rich in Chiang Mai as they are operating mostly in Bangkok but there are several clones of Super Rich operating in Northern Thailand’s largest city. Some of them are just tourist traps but there is one that is offering good exchange rates that are close to the ones you can get in Bangkok. Where to find the branches of Super Rich Chiang Mai and how good exchange rates can be expected at this money changer? Answers to all these questions can be found here: Super Rich Chiang Mai.
On the day of our research, at Super Rich Chiang Mai you could get 30.08 THB for 1 US Dollar, 33.25 THB for 1 Euro, 38.50 THB for 1 British Pound, 20.38 THB for 1 Australian Dollar. Exchange rates of the most popular currencies here were only about 0.3-0.7% lower than the mid-market rates. Some of the best exchange rates in Chiang Mai that are significantly better than you can get at the bank.
Super Rich Chiang Mai has 3 branches so you can visit the closest to you. One of them is located in the old town of Chiang Mai that is very convenient. However, their opening hours are quite short as all branches close at 18:00.
Best money changer in Chiang Mai
Even if the brand name of the best money changer in Chiang Mai is less familiar than Super Rich, currency exchange rates offered by Sakol Money Exchange or SK Exchange are usually even slightly better than the rates offered by Super Rich Chiang Mai.
The difference between the exchange rates of the most popular currencies offered by these two money changers is not big and in most cases it’s just about 0.1-0.3% but if you are looking for the best exchange rate in Chiang Mai, give Sakol Money Exchange a try.
Sakol Money Exchange office is located on Charoen Prathet Rd., next to the Iron Bridge and The River Market Restaurant.
SK Exchange is open Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 to 18:00. Sunday is a day-off.
“Best rate” in Chiang Mai
There are plenty of independent money changers in Chiang Mai but not all of them are offering better currency exchange rates than the banks. However, tourist traps are also advertising “Best rate” so you should be really cautious when choosing the place for exchanging your money.
For example, Simply Money Exchange (located nearby Saturday Walking Street) at the time of our visit was offering 29.3195 THB for 1 US Dollar, 32.098 THB for 1 Euro, 36.17 THB for 1 British Pound, 19.375 THB for 1 Australian Dollar. Exchange rates of the most popular currencies here were about 3-6% lower than you could get at Super Rich but they were still claiming to be offering “best rate”.
Actually, even the banks were offering significantly better exchange rates on that day.
Other money changers in Chiang Mai
As two of the best money changers in Chiang Mai close their currency exchange offices quite early (at 18:00), you might need to choose the best of the rest when looking for the place to exchange your money in the evening. No less than 4 money changers were still open along Moon Muang Road in the evening and the exchange rates offered by them varied quite a lot.
JR Money Exchange
JR Money Exchange (131/5 Moon Muang Road) was offering the best exchange rates after 18:00. This money changer didn’t need to copy the logo or name of Super Rich (when most of others did) and managed to offer really competitive rates.
On the day of our research, JR Money Exchange was offering 30.05 THB for 1 US Dollar, 33.20 THB for 1 Euro, 38.45 THB for 1 British Pound, 20.35 THB for 1 Australian Dollar. Currency exchange rates here were just about 0.1-0.2% lower than at Super Rich and they are open until 20:30.
On Moon Muang Road you can find a couple of Bangkok’s Super Rich clones. Even if they are orange and pretend to be super, in terms of exchange rates they can’t compete with Sakol Money Exchange, Super Rich Chiang Mai and JR Money Exchange.
Super Exchange was offering 29.97 THB for 1 US Dollar, 33.10 THB for 1 Euro, 38.35 THB for 1 British Pound, 20.23 THB for 1 Australian Dollar. Exchange rates here were by about 0.1 THB lower than at JR.
Super Rich Smart Chiang Mai
Exchange rates offered by Super Rich Smart Chiang Mai were even worse. Here you could get 29.90 THB for 1 US Dollar, 33.00 THB for 1 Euro, 38.10 THB for 1 British Pound, and 20.15 THB for 1 Australian Dollar.
Smile Exchange made us smiling but not in a good way as they were offering only 29.35 THB for 1 US Dollar, 32.50 THB for 1 Euro, 37.50 THB for 1 British Pound, 19.65 THB for 1 Australian Dollar. Avoid them!
Choosing the right money changer in Chiang Mai can easily save you 5% of your money or even more, so shopping around is really worth it. If you are not keen on wasting your time trying to find the best exchange rate, just head to Sakol Money Exchange, Super Rich Chiang Mai or JR Money Exchange and exchange your money there.
If you are flying to Chiang Mai from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), you can find really good currency exchange rates there. Exchange your money there as finding better exchange rates in Chiang Mai might take some time.