Currency, Credit Cards and Changing Money in VietnamBack to all travel tips
If you're planning a holiday in Vietnam, this is what you need to know about currency, cash and credit cards.
The Vietnamese currency is the Dong (VND or d) and there are bank notes of 10000d,200000d, 50000d, 100000d, 200000d & 500000d. Although rarer, coins of 500d, 1000d and 5000d are also in circulation.
Taking Cash & Cards to Vietnam
Although Vietnam's official currency is the Dong, the US Dollar is also accepted in some tourist centres and hotels, so we recommended taking some Dollars in cash (with some notes in small denominations) which you can change into Dong on arrival.
US Dollar rates in the UK vary considerably, so it pays to shop around. As a general rule always avoid exchanging money at the airport unless you have pre-ordered to secure a favourable rate. One of the most convenient ways to get the best exchange rate is to order in advance and collect your currency at the providers' outlet, or otherwise arrange delivery. You can check the best rates available on price comparison websites such as moneysavingexpert.com or travelsupermarket.com. The Post Office's pre-ordering service is also usually competitive and convenient for collection. It is worth requesting some small denomination notes at the time of ordering.
As well as some cash we recommend that you arrive in Vietnam with an ATM card, and your credit card. These days Vietnam has plenty of ATMs in its urban areas and these dispense Dong and sometimes US dollars. However, bear in mind that most ATMs will charge around 20000d (US$1) for cash withdrawals, on top of any charges your own bank may levy. The use of credit cards will be limited outside of the main urban areas, so if you are travelling in remote areas have a supply of cash with you.
Best Pre-paid cards for Vietnam
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 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 information please visit caxtonfx.com. If you have less time there is the Travelex Cash Passport which can be applied for up to 24 hours prior to departure, then picked up at branch in a number of airports (including London Heathrow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, and Newcastle) multicurrencycashpassport.com.
Using Credit Cards in Vietnam
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.