Exchanging Money in Vietnam: The Ultimate Guide

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Dustin Kemp
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Last Updated: March 15, 2024

Exchanging currency in Vietnam can be confusing. After all, the exchange rate is around 24,600 Vietnamese Dong to a single US dollar. That conversion figure is already pretty staggering, and it’s rising all the time.

Those traveling to Vietnam really have no choice but to exchange money, though, because every part of Vietnam is still a cash-based economy. Only large businesses like hotels and grocery stores take cards, and it’s best to carry some cash around with you at all times.

Because cash is so important in Vietnam but obtaining and managing it can be tough, we’ve put together this guide. In it, we’ll look at how you can exchange your foreign currency for Vietnamese Dong in a safe, organized way and go over some other things you should know about Vietnam currency before your trip.

Vietnamese Dong Overview (With Denominations Table)

money in Vietnam
Vietnamese currency – Dong. Photo by 6437364

To the comic delight of many travelers, the official currency of Vietnam is known as the Vietnamese Dong, abbreviated as VND. The currency comes in nine denominations, each of them a bill of a different denomination. Since the denominations are all in thousands, the zeros are denoted by the letter “k” in everyday use — for example, a 10,000 VND bill would usually be referred to as a 10k.

The lower bills (1k-5k) are made from cotton paper and the newer bills of larger denomination (10k-500k) are made from polymer. The polymer bills are waterproof, so you can dry your money if it falls in water or goes through the wash and it will be good as new! If your paper notes go through the washer, RIP.

The table below shows the nine denominations, along with the USD value of each one (as of March 2024), and the color of that denomination’s bill.

DenominationUSD Conversion RateColor
1k $0.04White & grey
2k $0.08White & grey
5k $0.21White & blue
10k $0.41Gold, red, and green
20k $0.82Blue
50k $2.05Red
100k $4.10Green
200k$8.20Orange, red and blue
500k $20.50Teal, yellow, and red

Vietnamese Dong Exchange Rate by Country

When you’re exchanging currency, you’ll obviously want to make sure you get a good rate. To do so, we recommend comparing the official exchange rate shown for your currency in the table below to the exchange rate at the money exchange location you go to in order to make sure the figures are similar.

CurrencyConversion Rate
US Dollar1 USD = 24,695 VND
Australian Dollar1 AUD = 16,258 VND
Great British Pound1 GBP = 31,451 VND
Canadian Dollar1 CAD = 18,274 VND
New Zealand Dollar1 ND = 15,186 VND
Euro1 EUR = 26,917 VND
Singapore Dollar1 SGD = 18,471 VND
Chinese Yuan1 CNY = 3,431 VND
Korean Won1 KRW = 19 VND
Japanese Yen1 JPY = 167 VND

Where to Exchange Money in Vietnam

We’ll look at our top picks for specific money exchange locations below, but first let’s talk about the different types of places to exchange money in Vietnam.

Airport Exchange Booths

Vietnam is home to many international airports — the major ones are Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang International Airport in, you guessed it, Da Nang. Both the arrival and departure terminals of each one are packed with currency exchanges, so you can exchange your home currency for VND as soon as you arrive or exchange your VND for your home currency right before you leave.

Airport currency booths are convenient and work quickly but generally offer worse rates than any exchange you’ll find in the city center. If possible, you should refrain from exchanging any money at the airport. If you must, though, just exchange a little bit and exchange the bulk of your money at an exchange with a more favorable rate.

Travel Agencies

Travel agencies usually have the same pros and cons as the airport when it comes to exchanging to and from Vietnamese currency. That is, they’re convenient and are always staffed with fluent English-speakers. They’re also quick and convenient. On the other hand, they usually offer pretty poor exchange rates in comparison to the next two options.

Banks

Vietnamese cities are full of big banks, from 100% domestic banks like Sacombank, Techombank, and SBV (State Bank of Vietnam) to banks that will be familiar to tourists like Citibank and HSBC. You’ll probably never be more than a few blocks from a bank branch if you’re in a big city, so they’re very convenient. And each of them offers currency exchange.

The main upside of exchanging money at a bank is that it is secure. You don’t run any risk of being scammed or receiving counterfeit bills.

Unfortunately, there are several downsides to exchanging money at a bank. The first is the hassle it may present. You’ll have to go to the bank during opening hours, wait for your turn to see a teller, present your passport, and wait for the bank to process the exchange before receiving your money. The exchange rate at banks is better than at the airport, although not as good as at most gold shops.

Gold and Jewelry Shops

The city centers of large Vietnamese cities are littered with gold and jewelry shops, and almost all of them serve as Vietnam currency exchange booths as well.

These shops often offer the best exchange rate since they have less overhead. They are also quicker and less of a hassle than exchanging at banks, which makes them the top choice for most travelers.

That being said, exchanging money in Vietnam at jewelry shops is not 100% safe like it is at banks. The shops are supposed to be licensed in order to offer currency exchange, but some are not; some unreputable ones have been known to distribute counterfeit money or even perpetrate scams by short-changing tourists. These situations are extremely rare, but they do exist and travelers should stay safe by only going to jewelry shops that look legit; well-kept shops with lots of customers are usually the best bet. Also, you should avoid risk and go with a bank instead if you are exchanging a huge amount of cash ($5000 and up) at one time.

Where to Exchange Money in Hanoi

Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport is packed with booths at which to exchange money, and its city center is full of banks and travel agents to do the same thing. The table below lists just a few of the best gold shops and banks to exchange to or from your country’s currency in Hanoi at good rates.

Location
Address
TypeHours
Giang Son Gemstone Jewelry Co.130 Hang Bac, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem District, HanoiJewelry/Gold Shop8:00am-9:00pm
Quoc Trinh Gold Shop27 Ha Trung, Hoan Kiem District, HanoiJewelry/Gold Shop7:00am-9:30pm
Vietinbank Ly Thuong Kiet25 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem, HanoiBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Vang Hoang Tin Gold Shop124 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh District, HanoiJewelry/Gold Shop8:30am-6:00pm
Techombank Bat Don34 Bat Don, Hoan Kiem District, HanoiBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Kim Chung Gold Shop24 Tay Son, Dong Da District, HanoiJewelry/Gold Shop8:00am-8:00pm

Where to Exchange Money in Ho Chi Hinh City

Tan Son Nhat International Airport has a lot of currency exchange booths, but you’ll find a better rate at money exchange locations near the city center. Some of the best places to exchange cash are specified in the table below.

LocationAddressТуреHours
Ha Tam Jewelry2 Nguyen An Ninh. District 1, Ho Chi Minh CityJewelry/Gold Shop8:00am-7:00pm
Vietcombank Bul Thi Xuan69 Bul Thi Xuan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh CityBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Mi Hong Gold Shop312 Bui Huu Nghia, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh CityJewelry Gold Shop7:00am-8:00pm
ACB Cong Quynh108 Cong Quynh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh CityBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Hung Long Money Exchange86 Mac Thi Buoi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh CityJewelry/Cold Shop8:00am-8:00pm
HSBC Bank255 Dong Khoi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh CityBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Tiem Vang Quan Kim Phat183 Ton That Hiep. District 11, Ho Chi Minh CityJewelry/Gold Shop7:30am-7:30 pm

Where to Exchange Money in Da Nang

Da Nang International Airport and the city center both have lots of opportunities to exchange currency. The table below highlights some of the best locations to check out for exchanging money in Da Nang.

LocationAddressTypeHours
LocationAddressTypeHours
Foreign Trade Bank of Vietnam140-142 Le Loi, Da NangBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Soan Ha Gold Shop516 2 Thang 9 Street, Hai Chau District, Da NangJewelry/Gold Shop6:30am-10:30pm
Khai Hoan II Gold Shop1 Ton Quang Phiet, Son Tra District, Da NangJewelry/Gold Shop7:00am-8:30pm
SHB Hai Chau6 Nguyen Van Linh, Hai Chau District, Da NangBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Tam Thinh Gold Shop142 Tran Phu, Hai Chau District, Da NangJewelry/Gold Shop7:00am-9:30pm
Hanh Phu Cuong Jewelry281 Ong Ich KhiemJewelry/Gold Shop8:00am-8:00pm

Where to Exchange Money in Hoi An

You’ll probably be flying into Da Nang’s airport if you’re going to Hoi An and you can exchange your money there, but you’ll get a better rate if you wait and exchange the bulk of your cash at one of the locations in the table below.

LocationAddressTypeHours
Kim Hong Phuc Gold ShopKiosk 1, Hoi An Central MarketJewelry/Gold Shop7:30am-6:30pm
Kim Yen Gold Shop117 Hoang Dieu, Hoi AnJewelry/Gold Shop(Not Listed)
Anh Khoa Money Exchange84 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi AnJewelry/Gold Shop8:00am-10:00pm
Hoa Buu Travel37 Tran Phu, Hoi AnTravel Agent10:00am-9pm
Vietcombank642 Hai Ba Trung, Hoi An Bank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm
Agribank255 Cua Dal, Hoi An Bank 7:30am-11:30am; 1:00pm-4:30pmBank7:30am-11:30am;
1:00pm-4:30pm

Using ATMs in Vietnam

Currency in Vietnam
ATM in Vietnam. Photo by Peggy Marco

ATMs are widely available in large towns or cities in Vietnam, and withdrawing money from them is a great alternative to money exchange because they’ll dispense Vietnamese Dong even if your bank balance is normally displayed in your home country’s currency. Most Vietnamese ATMs take all Visa cards and Mastercard.

Be aware, though, that the foreign transaction fees at Vietnamese ATMs can be high. They don’t charge the exorbitant fees that ATMs in some countries do, but be prepared to pay around 100k extra at most ATMs just to use your non-Vietnamese bank card. There are a few foreign banks (e.g. Charles Schwab Bank in the US) that refund all ATM fees including foreign transaction fees, but most banks do not. Also know that most Vietnamese ATMs only allow you to take out 2 million or 3 million VND per transaction and you’ll have to pay the transaction fee for each time you withdraw money.

There are generally very few, if any, ATMs in small towns or villages in Vietnam. Even if there are a few, they may be out of order. So we recommend you take care of all your currency needs before traveling out of a big city.

Pro Tip: When an ATM asks if you want to accept a conversion as you withdraw money, decline the conversion! The “conversion” is just a way to shave money off the amount dispensed.

Pro Tip 2: Remember to phone your bank and put a travel notice on your account so your transactions are not blocked when you are withdrawing money at a Vietnamese ATM.

Using Credit or Debit Card in Vietnam

money in Vietnam
Credit or Debit Card. Photo by Maria Domnina

Most large establishments in Vietnam accept Visa and Mastercard. You can generally use a card at:

  • Hotels
  • Travel Agencies
  • Indoor Restaurants and Cafes (as a rule of thumb, if a restaurant or cafe has AC, they usually accept cards)
  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience Stores (e.g. Circle K, Family Mart, Mini Stop, GS25, 7-11, etc.)

You can also use your card for almost all online payments.

You never know for sure which businesses will accept cards or which businesses’ card readers will be broken. For that reason, you should always carry at least a little bit of Vietnamese Dong with you at all times.

Tips for Avoiding Scams

To avoid scams when exchanging money, you should keep a few tips in mind.

  • Use your own calculator — When calculating how much Vietnam currency to give you during a cash exchange, the agent will enter in the amount of currency you hand over in a calculator and multiply by that currency’s exchange rate. They’ll then show you the result so you know how much VND you’re entitled to. Some unscrupulous exchanges trick tourists by using calculators modified to show a lower total, though. So you should do your own currency conversion by using the calculator on your phone, just in case.
  • Go to crowded money exchanges — As we mentioned before, a crowded exchange is generally a reputable exchange. So, unless you’re going to one of the exchanges in one of the tables from the previous sections, you should make sure to stick to exchanges that already have at least a few customers in them.
  • Use ATMs sparingly — Vietnamese ATMs charge foreign transaction fees or currency exchange rates when you use a foreign credit or debit card. What’s more, you may have to make a few withdrawals to take out the amount of money you need, since the ATMs in Vietnam only dispense a maximum of 100 USD or so most of the time. For that reason, you shouldn’t use an ATM to withdraw all the money you use on your Vietnam trip.
  • Don’t use taxis — For whatever reason, Vietnamese taxis are an absolute hotbed for scams, even in 2024. We’d highly recommend you instead use a ride-hailing app like Grab, Gojek, Be, or Xanh SM. You can even electronically connect your credit card to the apps, though you’ll have to set that up beforehand and many tourists report issues with setting up electronic payment from within Vietnam.

Wrapping Up

Vietnam’s economy is about as capitalist as they come, and having cash money in Vietnam is virtually guaranteed to make your vacation there run smoothly. That’s why it’s essential you understand the Vietnamese Dong, know how and where to exchange your home currency for it, and know where you can use it. We hope this guide gave you all the info you need to call yourself a true Dongmaster.

For other resources you can use to do your research before your Vietnam vacation, check out:

As of March 2024, $1 is equal to 24,642 Vietnamese Dong.

Yes, $100 goes a long way in Vietnam. $100 is more than enough to pay for dinner, drinks, and a show for an entire family of 4 in most places.

Vietnamese Dong, abbreviated as VND, is the only currency widely accepted in most places in Vietnam.

Yes. Vietnam is not a tipping culture so tips are generally not expected, but a tip of 100 to 200 thousand Vietnamese Dong is always appreciated for above-and-beyond service.

You can find local street food meals for as little as 25 or 30 thousand Vietnamese Dong. Restaurant meals generally range from 70 to 200 thousand VND.

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Dustin Kemp
Content Writer - Vietnam Is Awesome
Dustin moved to Ho Chi Minh City in 2014 and quickly fell in love with the culture and people of Vietnam. He brings his passion to his writing and planning as the Content Manager at Vietnam Is Awesome.

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