VietnamTravel Tips & InfoVietnam Travel Information: VIETNAMESE CURRENCY

Vietnam Travel Information: VIETNAMESE CURRENCY

In our latest Vietnam travel information and tips, we bring you a guide on the official currency in Vietnam, the Vietnam Dong. When planning a trip to Vietnam, there are two types of distinctive Vietnam Dong (VND) banknotes to remember: paper and polymer. The higher-value Vietnamese Dong notes are in plastic polymer, and the highest value is VND 500,000, which is about USD 25.

Is USD Widely Accepted in Vietnam?

Some tourist places, souvenir shops, and high-end restaurants in Vietnam will accept US dollars and credit cards, but not all of them. Having the Vietnam Dong handy would be better because it is more convenient to spend, especially when you make purchases at the local markets and street vendors.

Know the Exchange Rates

The current USD/VND exchange rate is 25,471 as of May 2024 (for reference only).

See the Types of Vietnamese banknotes

Where to Make Money Exchanges?

At the banks: When making trades at the banks, keep in mind that you will need to go during business hours and that a passport and immigration visa are required. Avoid lunch hours, as most banks are closed between 11:30 AM and 1 PM. Please note that the notes should not be damaged when making currency exchanges at the bank.

At the airports: at major airports like Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), you can exchange at both the arrival and departure halls. 

In some currency exchange shops throughout the city, look for the “money exchange” signs.

At the hotel: most hotels can exchange for their guests at the hotel’s reception. Larger hotels can offer more competitive rates than smaller hotels.

Learn more about where to exchange money in Ho Chi Minh City and where to exchange money in Hanoi

ATMs and Travelers Checks:

There are ATMs everywhere in Vietnam, and most will accept foreign cards. Depending on the bank, most ATMs will give you a maximum withdrawal of VND 2,000,000 or VND 4,000,000 per transaction. When making ATM withdrawals abroad, remember that your bank may subject you to withdrawal fees and foreign currency exchange fees. You should contact your bank if you are traveling overseas to avoid them blocking your card.

If your card is blocked or you’ve entered your PIN incorrectly after a few tries, the ATM might swallow your card. Going to the local branch to retrieve your card with proper documentation will be inconvenient.

Unfortunately, it is hard to cash traveler’s checks in Vietnam, and they are NOT widely accepted.

Notes to Remember about Vietnamese currency:

  • The polymer notes can stick together when they are brand new or wet. Be sure to flick or peel your notes carefully before handing them over.
  • When making purchases, don’t just rely on the currency’s color; you should always double-check the number of zeros (0) on the Vietnam Dong note.
  • Coin currencies are no longer in use.
  • Do not trade currencies at the black market to avoid being the victim of a scam.
  • Avoid paying in high-denomination bills if you are not fully familiar with the currency.

Tipping in Vietnam

In the hospitality industry, most hotels and restaurants in Vietnam will add a service charge to the bill. 

Taxi: Tips aren’t necessary, but a small gratuity will be appreciated.

Restaurants & Bars: While some restaurants and bars do not require tipping for their waiters, some will add 5% – 10% service charges to the bill.

Hired drivers and tour guides: Tips aren’t required, but a gratuity for the extraordinary services rendered will be appreciated.

Porters: It is recommended to leave a small tip.

Read more on our tipping in Vietnam guide.

Summary on Vietnamese Currency

As a developing country and one that is popular on many travelers’ bucket lists, Vietnam is a place to visit and discover. It is important to travel safely and cautiously, as grabbing a grip on all those zeros on the Vietnamese Dong can be a challenge for travelers visiting Vietnam for the first time. Cash rules in Vietnam.

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