In our latest Vietnam travel information and tips, we bring you the guide on the official currency in Vietnam, which is the Vietnam Dong. When planning a trip to Vietnam, there two types of distinctive Vietnam Dong (VND) banknotes to remember: paper and polymer. The higher value Vietnamese Dong notes are in the plastic polymer, and the highest value is VND 500,000, which is about USD 25.
Throughout Vietnam, some touristy places, souvenir shops, and high-end restaurants will accept US dollars and credit cards, but not all. It would be better to have the Vietnam Dong handy because it is more convenient to spend, especially when you make purchases at the local markets and street vendors.
The current USD/VND exchange rate is 23,070 as of January 2021 (for reference only).
Check the latest rate at XE Currency Converter
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 is required. Avoid lunch hours as most banks are closed between the hours of 11:30 AM – 1 PM. When making currency exchanges at the bank, please note that the notes should not be damaged.
At the airports: at major airports like Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), you can make exchanges at both the arrival and departure hall.
There are some currency exchange shops throughout the city: look for the “money changer” signs.
At the hotel: most hotels will be able to exchange for their guests at the hotel’s reception. Larger hotels can offer more competitive rates than smaller hotels.
There are ATMs everywhere in Vietnam, and most will accept foreign cards. Most ATMs will give you a maximum withdrawal of VND 2,000,000 or VND 4,000,000 per transaction, depending on the bank. When making ATM withdrawals abroad, keep in mind that you may be subject to withdrawal fees and foreign currency exchange fees by your bank. You should contact your bank ahead of time that you will be traveling overseas to avoid them blocking your card.
If your card is blocked or you’ve entered your PIN number incorrectly after a few tries, the ATM might swallow your card. It will then be inconvenient to have to go to the local branch to retrieve your card with proper documentation.
Unfortunately, it is hard to cash traveler’s checks in Vietnam, and they are NOT widely accepted.
VND 500, VND 1,000, VND 2,000, VND 5,000
VND 10,000, VND 20,000, VND 50,000, VND 100,000, VND 200,000, VND 500,000
-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 color of the currency but you should always double-check on 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.
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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 to their waiters, some will add 5% - 10% service charges to the bill.
Hired drivers and tour guides: Tips aren’t required, but a gratuity will be appreciated for the extraordinary services rendered.
Porters: It is recommended to leave a small tip.
Read more on our tipping in Vietnam guide.
As a developing country and one that is popular on many travelers’ bucket list, Vietnam is a place to visit and discover. It is important to travel safely and with caution, 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. When in Vietnam, don't forget to check out our insider's travel tips.
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