Cash Withdrawal in Vietnam

Hey planning to travel to Vietnam in the next month.

I was wondering if it's better to do all my cash withdrawal in vietnam or is it better to exchange it in Australia? I suspect that it's better rates overseas but may get hit with high fees overseas?

Thanks in advance!


  • +1

    Better rates withdrawing overseas but make sure you have a suitable card. Citibank debit used to be one of the best but since being taken over by NAB there has been mixed results.

    Discussed here too

  • +3

    You can go to the local jewellery vendors (they're everywhere in the metro area).
    They do currency exchange (bring cash) and should have rates clearly displayed as well.

  • Withdraw all cash in Australia, preferably newer notes in $50 and not $100.

    Exchange in VN at the local jewllery vendors and make sure you agree on the conversion price prior to accepting.

    • +2

      You get a better rate with $100 newer notes than the $50s

      • Interesting, new $100's might be better but I have had places that do not like the old 100 and would rather 50.

        YMMV, good to know though!

  • Some of the local bank ATMs don't charge fees so if you have a card that doesn't charge international withdraw fees then you can get money out for free. TP Bank and VP Bank were a couple of them from memory.

    • TP Bank and VP Bank

      Is this recent?

  • -1

    may get hit with high fees overseas?

    what fees?

  • +6

    Went Vietnam 2-3 weeks ago and exchanged the newer $50 and $100 notes for an exchange rate better than the actual rates… The exchange rate was hovering around 16,000 and the rate we got was 16,280.

    Some local jewellery vendor near Ben Thanh Markets.

    • Is that better than ATM Visa/Mastercard rates?

      • Sorry, I never withdrew any cash there so can't comment on that. I did use my MasterCard credit card once to pay for something a few days later and the rate was 15,974 from my calcs.

        So slightly worse but we're talking about very insignificant amounts here. To me at least lol.

  • Depends on the length of your stay, but we personally still exchange some here before we go. Like $500 worth. Take Aussie cash with you too - new notes only. Try to venture just outside the tourist areas to get a better rate.

    As for exchanging some here before you go, Hai Ha Money Transfer had a better rate last year, you'll find one in your local Vietnamese community.

  • +5

    Meh, I just pull it out of the ATM on arrival. Couldn't be arsed to screw around carrying cash and trying to find a place to exchange it for a few extra dollars.

    • +1

      This is the way and has been for many years now. I remember queueing at KVB Kunlun in the Galleries Victoria for over an hour and having to go back twice. All to get <10,000 Euros for my trip.

      When I had a chance to compare the very good rates at an exchange and, most importantly put a dollar value on my time doing so (taking out cash, packing it, carrying it, going to an exchange, haggling on conversions, carrying it, storing it) versus what the ATM rates were… for a few extra dollars at best. I know this is OzBargain, but more often than not, you lose money if you put a dollar value on your time.

      Just use an ATM for a bank with decent transation fees and conversion rates.

      • +1

        for a few extra dollars at best. I know this is OzBargain, but more often than not, you lose money if you put a dollar value on your time.

        Agreed…. Not worth the time spent to save at best a few % on the conversion rate. This way I don't have to carry cash around for the entire trip, worry about it being safe etc. I can pull cash out a couple of times over the trip. No issue at all!

        If you got $5k out in cash locally, and it was 2% worse off on the rate compared to haggling, It'll cost you a $100 extra, 3% would be $150. It really isn't the end of the world!

  • +1

    I used to withdraw from the Cititbank ATMs in HCM airport

  • When I went, I had an "Up" debit card and used "TP Bank" ATMs. I don't remember there being any withdrawl/ATM fees and the rates were the current Mastercard/VISA rates.

  • Unlike most of foreign countries, can't go wrong with exchanging cash or ATM withdrawals (at the right jewellers or using the right ATM card) in Vietnam

    You can in fact get higher than the official rates when exchanging cash. I'm sure it's to do with money laundering or something shady but some jewellers openly advertise the exchange rate lol

    Or perhaps the locals want AUD to exchange.

  • I was in Vietnam a couple of weeks ago. I just used ATMs with my ING card. Exchange rates were fine but watch for withdrawal limits. Some ATMs capped withdrawals at 3million dong, others at 5million.

  • Was in Vietnam end of last year. Ubank debit card, no fees, just look out for banks that charge no fees. such as TP and just look up others. Lots of shops take card so cash only for small shops and street vendors. Also you will use "grab" a lot (vietnam uber for everything which is super cheap) , Just have that linked to the same card or similar.

  • Can someone ELI5 why people are saying "new notes" specifically? What makes them better for exchanging?

    • Hard to pinpoint the exact reason for this, my guess would be fear that the old notes will stop being honoured and/or the mentality to have the newest thing, even in currency.
      Then again I had vendors trying to charge me $3 per notes just for changing from $50s to $100s.

    • Not much of an issue with polymer notes anyway, but it's more about larger denomination. Many will give you lower rates if it was anything below $50 note. And given the fact that $50 and above isn't popular in Australia old scrunched note is rarely a problem.

  • +1

    Just returned last week. Took $1k AUD notes. Used about half of it. Used ING credit card most of the time and favourable rated (like You don't need a lot of cash

  • Use a WISE account
    Very good exchange rate and you can move your money as you need it

  • Use both your currency and atms!
    You can exchange for a bit of Vietnamese dong (VND) at the airport’s kiosk and the rest at gold shops (Clean and big notes for better rates).

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