What is Vietnamese money?
Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?
Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency
Keeping the face value of money to pay small
As a traveler, using local money to buy consumer goods, is a crucial part of traveling.
In this article, I will address Vietnamese currency and tips when using Vietnamese currency.
- What is Vietnamese money?
- Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?
- Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency
- Keeping the face value of money to pay small
Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. The denominations are as follow: 1000 – 2000 (lowest denomination)
500,000 VND. (highest denomination)
XE is an app you can use, to give you live conversion rates or you can simply type the amount into Google and it will convert it for you.
If you have foreign currency in cash, you can exchange to Vietnamese Dong. This is very easy to do at the airport and perhaps more convenient, though the commission will be quite high compared to the ATM fee you would have gotten, if you were to have withdrawn cash upon arrival.
For money transfer, you can go to the bank or another very convenient way is to go to a jewelry shop or as they’re known ‘gold shop”, they won’t charge you for fees unlike airports and hotels.
The bigger the amount of money, the higher the exchange rate is.
In the case, changing $10USD to its Vietnamese equivalent (227,273VND) will be lower when you would change $100 to 2,272,736VND.
In general, money valued less than $10, the exchange rate will be lower than if the coin value is higher than 10.
Why is this change? Because high par value currencies are often more easily traded on the domestic foreign exchange market between Vietnamese and Vietnamese. The higher par value is used or is therefore, more easily exchanged.
Cash or bank card? Which is more convenient?
It is true that in Vietnam, cash is used in most trade deals. From street food, to market vendors and pharmacies to mechanics most store holders are standalone businesses and do not offer card machines. At some restaurants, people have a swipe card system to charge, but this is only a very small amount.
When traveling in Vietnam, do not forget to spend a day in your wallet on average in Vietnam.
Avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash in case of theft or robbery. The ATM system in Vietnam is very developed so you can withdraw money anywhere in the metropolitan area (depending on your bank) and large cities. On average the most you can withdraw 2,000,000VND. Typically you can withdraw this amount three times in a row from the same ATM. If you are in need of more cash, this is the time to make use of the jewelry shops.
If you are planning to travel to mountainous or rural areas. You MUST carefully consider the cost of your trip as there will be no way for you to withdraw money from your bank card. If you do not have enough cash. Keep this cash hidden away. Another tip is to have two wallets. One with a small amount of cash and the rest on another one out of sight, refilling the one with the smaller amounts of cash as you need it.
The common mistakes when using VND
Vietnamese currency is made of polymer, so it is water-resistant and very durable. One of the most common mistakes made with VND is confusion between the currency: 20.000VND and 500.000VND. The 500.000 note is bigger in size, but very similar in color to the 20.000 note. If you are in a hurry to go somewhere, hungover or just plainly not paying attention handing over the wrong note is a high possibility.
Another error when using Vietnamese Dong is that it can be quite sticky. You could very easily pay with two notes at the same time, only finding this out when you look into your wallet to pay for your Bun Cha and only have 5000VND remaining instead of the 100.000 you had previously thought. Vietnam is very humid and the weather is unpredictable, combine this with keeping the money in your pocket for a long time and voila! Sticky money. Always double-check the money before paying.
Keep the face value of money you use to pay in the smallest denominations.
In Vietnam, you have to pay to return to nature at public toilets. Price is usually very cheap only about: 1000-3000VND per time, but in truth it is quite and inconvenience. Keep small denominations side to pay for such times.
When traveling in Vietnam. The cost of everything compared to some countries is next to nothing so it is easy enough to throw money away. Be smart with your money, don’t flash it around because all of a sudden you’re a millionaire for the first time in your life. Respect the fact that small businesses don’t have a change box in the back of their shop, they will usually have to run to fellow store holder to swap the money to give you change. Enjoy the products and services that Vietnam has to offer and support the local stores vs the international chains. Do your part to give back to the community.