What Kind of Currency Can Be Used When Traveling in Vietnam

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Using Vietnamese currency is more convenient and save cost

While searching for experience in Vietnam, you will see a huge anxious, worried expressions of using Vietnam dong and how travelers have been fooled due to the complication of numbers, the look-alike money appearance. But don’t let that be the obstacle prevents you from coming to experience Vietnam and wonderful destinations. With these useful local tips about how to use Vietnamese currency, your trip to Vietnam will be much easier.

Types of Vietnamese paper money each traveler should know

This is the thing you have to admit, multiple zeroes can cause confusing, especially when the highest denomination note in your country is a 50 or a 100, not mention travelers may get trouble in counting money while in a rush bargain or crowded environment. That’s why the first thing that no traveler should miss is types of paper money in Vietnam

Here are money types from the lowest value to the highest one:

500 dongs
1.000 dongs
2.000 dongs
5.000 dongs
10.000 dongs
20.000 dongs
50.000 dongs
100.000 dongs
200.000 dongs
500.000 dongs

Especially the 20.000 and 500.000 looks alike but the value is considerably different.

Can travelers use US Dollar in Vietnam

Most of service locations accept only local currency, so it would be better to exchange your money at banks or authorized currency exchange centers.

Furthermore, the exchange rate is not usually stable so for your own good, paying in Vietnam dongs will have better vaule than paying in dollars. In particular you are wondering around the streets and enjoy vendor stalls or buying souvenirs in small store.

You can keep a stash of dollars in your pocket for emergency purpose and day-to-day spending, just exchange and use Vietnam dongs. 

Credit cards using for payment

Some large hotels, restaurants and stores may accept the credit cards but not many can offer this convenient function. So for sure just check the information before coming.  But you maybe charged an international transaction fee through your credit card bank or company, usually 3-5% of the purchase price. If you often travel, it would hep save much cost when you have one of these cards with no international fee: Discover It Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred or the American Express Platinum Card.

In a nutshell, using cash will be more convenient and save cost. Of course we can count on credit cards in emergency situation, booking fights, hotels but don’t depend entirely on them.

One last thing that you should remember the contact number of card provider to support you in solving any issues that occur.

Using ATMs

If you’re planning to stay in Vietnam for more than a few days, changing all your money to Vietnam dongs is really a big risk of theft, just one robbery and you’ll be out of money. Therefore, putting money in card and only take it out on purpose in way more safe method.

Though most ATMs accept different kinds of cards, includes Master Card, Visa, Union Pay, JCB, remember to check ATM signs on which indicate type of card they accept. Don’t get your card held. Fees and charges may vary in different bank ATMs as reviews from some travelers:

  • Vietcombank 500.000, fees always: 50.000
  • Techcombank: 2.000.000 fees: 54.000
  • Sacombank: fees always: 30.000
  • ANZ: 2500.000 fees always: 40.000
  • Agribank: 3.000.000 fees: 22.000

The global card providers can set your limit amount per transaction up to 8 million VND (Citibank) or 10 million VND (ANZ). While local bank’s ATMs is regularly low, ranging from 2 million VND – 5 million VND. Fact is that ATMs in urban cities always have higher amount per transaction than those located in the suburbs.

One more tip for travelers withdraw money from ATMs is that you should withdraw in the working hours of bank, in case there is any trouble that happens, they will have immediately action, specially in ATMs located in banks. 

Categories: Tips


Viet Nam is a hidden gem with lots of surprises to investigate each day from North to South, from Delta, highland to beach shores. From the love of Vietnam, also a local, hope my posts can excite and bring you the experience in Vietnam like never before.


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