What currency is used in Vietnam?

What currency is used in vietnam

Are you going to travel to Vietnam? What currency should you use to pay for meals, accommodation, shopping or sightseeing tickets and in what way? For instance, when we travel aboard, currency plays an important role for a smooth and happy trip. Above all, when you are in Vietnam, let’s have a look at some checklists to better prepare for your trip.

1. What currency is used in Vietnam?

Vietnam Dong polymer

The answer is Vietnam Dong. This is the official currency of the country. Following, there are two types of bank notes in Vietnam either in cotton or in polymer with various values and designs. The lowest value of the Vietnam bank note is VND 100 and the highest value is VND 500,000 (around US$21.55). Vietnam bank note has two sides which carry the national symbols. If you are holding a Vietnam bank note, let’s see what it has in it.

what currency is used in vietnam
Front side

The front side of all bank notes has the image of President Ho Chi Minh, the title “The Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, the series number and the par value of the bank note in both number and text.

what currency is used in vietnam
Back side

The back side of the notes shows the par value, the title “The State Bank of Vietnam”, a Vietnam symbol or famous scenery of the country. We will explore more about the sightseeing or symbols shown on the back side in the next article.

For those who want to learn more about the country bank notes, let’s visit the homepage of the State Bank of Vietnam for more information.

2. Where to exchange currency?

Alright, you have known some basic information about the country currency, it is time for you to go and exchange some at your disposal. Here comes with some places you can refer to and exchange for Vietnam Dong.

2.1. Banks:

All banks in Vietnam offer money exchange service. If you arrive in Vietnam by air, you can go to some money exchange counters available at the airport and exchange for some money. Besides, you can easily find a bank in every city, especially in big cities, banks are very popular and distributed everywhere. In addition, the exchange rate between those banks are just slightly different so you don’t need to worry much about it.

banks in vietnam
Banks in Vietnam – Photo from Internet

Most banks are open on weekdays from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM with breaktime from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. Some big branches are open on Saturday mornings from 7:30 AM – 11:30 AM. Also, most of banks require passport for transaction so remember to bring your passport with you. For Exim Bank, you don’t need to show your passport.

2.2. Jewelry shops:

One other thing, Jewelry shops are another popular place for foreign exchange destination in Vietnam. If you are in Hanoi City, you can go to Ha Trung Street – known as the street of foreign exchange in Hanoi. For those who are in Ho Chi Minh City, here are some addresses you can come and exchange for money:

  • Hung Long Money Exchange: 86 Mac Thi Buoi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Hung Long Money Changer
  • Ha Tam Jewelry Store: 2 Nguyen An Ninh street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
Ha Tam Jewelry Store
2.3. Online tools:

Online currency exchange services: Not only cash, but also online currency exchange services, therefore make an appointment to meet you when you come to Vietnam. You just need to come in and they will deliver the amount of money under the deal. There will be a small fee for such service. Visit buy.travelex or tescobank.com/travel-money for more detailed information.

How to obtain cash?

If you wish to withdraw some cash from your card, simply go to any ATM around the country to withdraw some. Most ATMs here are connected to Visa or Mastercard networks. You should notice that you need to pay for currency exchange fee and ATM withdrawal fee. Finally, remember to ask your bank about the rules of getting cash advances overseas because the fee may be rather high.

3. Can we pay in cash, by cards or by e-wallet?

Although, Vietnam Dong is the official currency in Vietnam, you may need to know other payment methods used in the country to make your paying process smooth and save time.

Pay by card: Card payment methods are becoming more and more popular in Vietnam. Thus, you only need to exchange for some VND and you can use your cards to pay for the services. Currently, there are two common cards in Vietnam: Visa card or MasterCard. Please note that, this payment method isn’t applied everywhere such as local opening-air markets, small shops, street stalls and alike.

popular e-wallet payment in vietnam

Pay by e-wallet: In additional to cash and debit cards, electronic wallets are also accepted in Vietnam. However, it is not as popular as Visa card or MasterCard. The most popular payment gateways in the country are ZaloPay or MoMo. However, paying by e-wallet is applied mostly for online shopping. Thus, for your convenience, we suggest you pay in cash or by cards.

4. How to recognize counterfeit money?

Next up, it comes with one of the most important parts when talking about what currency is used in Vietnam. We will introduce to you some notices to recognize fake money. If you exchange money in local banks and other trusted places, the possibility for receiving fake money is utterly low. However, sometimes when travelling you may need to pay in cash and receive the change, in this case, you may need to consider some tips for recognizing counterfeit money for protecting yourself. Here comes with the guidelines from the State Bank of Vietnam.

The State Bank of Vietnam said fake notes are generally not as sophisticated as the real ones.

detecting fake vietnam dong polymer - what currency is used in vietnam

Real notes have a vertical strip across their width stating the denomination while the fake ones do not.

Real notes have parts printed by optically variable ink causing color to switch between gold and green when we turn the note a bit.

what currency is used in vietnam

On the real notes, the smaller window – one of two transparent windows at the note’s opposite corners, would show some images when putting in front of infrared red light, but the one of the fake notes shows nothing.

For example, when we place real notes under UV light, the series numbers light up while those on the fake notes fail to do so or do so weakly.

fake money is easily torn - what currency is used in vietnam
Fake money is easily torn – Photo from Internet

Moreover, the State Bank said, most fake polymer notes have been made from normal plastic and thus are easily torn, scratched and stretched.

One easy tip you can try is to hold the note on your fist and release it. A fake note can not return to its original status.

5. Conclusion:

In short, we have introduced to you about what currency is used in Vietnam along with other interesting checklists for your information. In the next article, we will share with you more about all country scenery printed in all bank notes. Stay tuned! Wish you have a great time travelling to Vietnam. Similarly, more useful tips when in the country, refer to some of our related articles below:

  1. Things to do in Vietnam
  2. 7 best souvenir ideas in Vietnam
  3. Top 5 Vietnam Festivals in summer


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