Currency, Credit Cards and Changing Money in CambodiaBack to all travel tips
If you're planning a holiday in Cambodia, this is what you need to know about currency, cash and credit cards.
The Cambodian currency is the Riel and there are bank notes of 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 & 100000 Riel.
Taking cash & cards to Cambodia
Although Cambodia's official currency is the Riel the US Dollar is used in most transactions, so we recommend taking some US Dollars in cash (with some small denomination notes). The exchange rates on offer in the UK vary considerably, so it pays to shop around. One of the most convenient ways to get a decent exchange rate is to order your currency in advance, and then collect it from the provider's outlet, or arrange delivery.
You can check the best rates available, and suitable providers, on price comparison websites such as moneysavingexpert.com or travelsupermarket.com. As a general rule avoid exchanging money at the airport unless you have pre-ordered to secure a favourable rate. The Post Office's pre-ordering service is usually competitive and convenient for collection. It is worth requesting some small denomination notes when you order.
As well as cash we recommend that you arrive in Cambodia with an ATM card, and your credit card. These days Cambodia has plenty of ATMs in its urban areas and these dispense both US Dollars and Riel. However, bear in mind that most ATMs will charge around 3% for cash withdrawals (look out for Canadia Bank as currently they do not make such a charge).
Best Pre-paid cards for Cambodia
Prepaid credit cards are now the safest way to travel with ‘cash', and are much more cost effective and convenient than Travellers Cheques which are now slowly becoming obsolete.
We recommend the Caxton FX Global Traveller card which offers a fixed exchange rate at 2.75% below the prevailing interbank rate when spending overseas and withdrawing local currency from ATMs. Unlike credit cards the application process is straightforward, but you need to allow 7 days for delivery of the card. For more info visit caxtonfx.com.
Using credit cards in Cambodia
If you travel regularly it will pay to apply for one of the specialist credit cards for travellers that offer excellent rates of exchange and charge zero "load" fees when purchasing items, or withdrawing local currency from ATMs whilst abroad. For up to date information on the best specialist credit cards for travellers we suggest visiting one of the price comparison websites.