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Money in Vietnam - info about currency, withdrawing money, credit card
On a trip to Vietnam, of course, finances and money also play a role. Regardless of whether you travel the country as a package holiday or backpacker, you of course need the financial means to get by in Vietnam. The same questions often arise.
Vietnam money - all important information
What is the best credit card for Vietnam? Should I also take cash with me? Where can I safely withdraw my money? What is the exchange rate in Vietnam and what is the best way to convert?
So that you are familiar with the topic of money for your trip to Vietnam, we have answered all the important questions about currency, withdrawing money, credit cards, etc. in this article. The conversion may seem a bit difficult at first, but it is actually very easy.
Here you will find all the important tips and information about handling the Vietnamese dong.
The currency and conversion
The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). In rare cases, you can pay in US dollars, but it is common to pay in the local currency.
The Vietnamese dong currently consists of 9 different notes (1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000). Basically there are even smaller notes with the values 100, 200 and 500, but these are hardly used. Their value is just far too small.
The current exchange rate from Euro to Vietnamese Dong is 1 € = 25,077 VND. In the past few years, the exchange rates have improved, so that one euro was worth almost 30,000 Vietnamese dong.
A conversion in your head can easily be done at the current rate, so that you can calculate 1 in 25,000. Thus, the largest note of 500,000 VND corresponds to a value of around € 20.
Since the Vietnamese currency is very large, as in many other countries in Southeast Asia, you will immediately become a millionaire when you withdraw from an ATM, at least in Vietnam.
Note: The fact that the same face of Ho Chi Minh is depicted on all notes means that the notes can easily be mixed up in poor lighting conditions or if payment is a little hectic. Always make sure that you are using the correct bills and look carefully at the numbers on the bill before you hand it over.
Withdraw money in Vietnam
To withdraw money in Vietnam, it is best if you have a Visa credit card or Mastercard on your trip. The normal EC giro cards from Germany do not work at many machines in Vietnam.
The ATMs / ATMs in Vietnam usually only issue 200,000 and 500,000 notes, which you can then change in a supermarket because most sellers don't know what to do with these “big” notes. As just mentioned, 500,000 is just under € 20.
The ATMs in Vietnam also do not charge any further fees, so you can withdraw money free of charge at any ATM in Vietnam with the right credit card.
Since you will most likely want to withdraw larger amounts of 2,000,000 or more, you should also pay attention to the withdrawal limit. Many ATMs in Vietnam only pay out up to 2,500,000 dong when withdrawing. So if you need more money, you would have to withdraw several times in a row. You should be careful not to overdo it, as some banks could block your credit card.
Best credit card for Vietnam
In our experience, the best credit card for traveling to Vietnam is still the Visa credit card from DKB. You can use it to withdraw money at any ATM in Vietnam without any problems.
The credit card and the associated current account at the DKB are absolute free and there are no fees. If you do not yet have a credit card for your trip to Vietnam, we can only recommend that you order the DKB credit card. You can't really go wrong with a free Visa card.
If you still need a bit of conviction, then take a look at our experience report on the DKB credit card.
Note: Recently, the DKB has been getting a bit of bad press from travelers, as from June 2016 the external fees at machines such as in Thailand will no longer be reimbursed. In Vietnam, however, there is no additional fees and withdrawals are still completely free.
Take cash with you
Travelers often wonder whether they should take cash with them. We do not recommend carrying around a lot of cash, as it would be completely gone in the event of a robbery or theft, for example. Especially in the big cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi you should be a little more careful (you can find more information about this in the article below).
However, we often have one Emergency reserve that is not necessarily on the man, but often in the safe in the accommodation. We're not talking about high sums here, but from € 100-200 in case the credit card or ATM doesn't work. So you can always exchange the money in an emergency.
tip: If you are worried about the safekeeping of your cash, then we can recommend a so-called money cat. This is roughly a thin bum bag that you wear under your clothes. So you are much better protected against theft.
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Change money in Vietnam
If you take some cash with you when you travel, you will at least be able to change this money in the big cities or more touristy places. Exchange offices are often with Money Exchange signposted. Otherwise you can also go to larger bank branches.
It is of course best to find out about the current exchange rate beforehand. Then you can then choose the best exchange office or bank with the best rate for you. However, often the very best rates are when you withdraw cash from an ATM with your credit card.
Note: Never change your money on the street at any dubious traders. Firstly, the courses are often worse here and, secondly, you can also get counterfeit money. It is best to change only at official exchange offices or in bank branches.
Prices in Vietnam / travel budget
Vietnam, like many of the other countries in Southeast Asia, is a very cheap travel destination. You can get by here with a low budget, as many backpackers have. You can just as easily spend a lot of money staying in luxury hotels and eating in expensive restaurants. In addition, the budget is extremely dependent on where you are in Vietnam.
Here are a few price examples for Vietnam:
- Eating in smaller restaurants: 40,000 - 60,000 (1.60 - 2.50 €)
- Sandwich at the street vendor (train Wed): 12,000 - 20,000 VND (€ 0.50 - € 0.80)
- Overnight stay in a simple hotel: 180,000 - 300,000 (7 - 12 €)
- T-shirt at local dealer: 50,000 VND (€ 2)
So if you have to pay attention to your budget, this is not a problem in Vietnam. The price level is not much different than e.g. in Thailand and you can eat very cheaply. Compared to Germany, the countries in Southeast Asia are of course all very cheap. The above prices are only intended to give you an insight.
Tips on how to deal with money
- You should be in the Publicity don't necessarily pull out a wad of bills and wave them around. This arouses envious people and that is never a good thing.
- Change big bills (200,000 and 500,000) best in supermarkets so that you have smaller bills. Many Vietnamese cannot change the big bills, especially the food stalls and street vendors.
- Check your Credit card limitso that you don't stand at the ATM at some point and cannot withdraw anything because your limit has been used up. For a higher limit, you can always transfer money to your credit card and thus more money is available.
- If you have to pay out of round sums in a shop, don't be surprised if you get 500 too much or too little. Since the small bills are not really in circulation, it is not always easy to get the right change.
- In cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi you can hear stories about every now and then Thefts on motorcycles (so-called snatch thefts). Even if nothing has ever happened to us or we have never felt unsafe, it is still not advisable to carry your bag / handbag on the side of the street or to count large amounts of money on the street. It can happen faster than you think.
We hope you got all the information about money in Vietnam. Do you still have a question about money or finances in Vietnam? Then write a comment under the article!
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Hi, I'm Tobi, a freelancer in the field of translations and copywriting, but above all a passionate travel blogger. I prefer to be in Southeast Asia and work online from all kinds of places. If you want to know what I'm doing or where I am, then it's best to follow me on Twitter, Instagram or check out Facebook.
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