So, I'm heading into Vietnam soon and, like most, am relying on a combination of cash, cards and travellers cheques. However, I have heard and read that exchanging money in Vietnam can be problematic if the notes in question are not perfect.
I am currently in China (after teaching) and have recently converted my RMB savings into US$. The majority of the 100 notes are in good condition but a few are a tad tatty. I'm not talking toilet tissue, but they are getting a bit grubby. I am well aware that I should have checked them at the bank, but after the horror of actually converting Chinese RMB into US$ I was so tired and annoyed I only gave them a quick glance.
Anyway, my question is this - Do banks really only exchange perfect money? This seems a bit crazy...
It might be a problem. Try to change it into smaller notes e.g. 50s at the bank where you are. At least its an excuse. Try not to leave home with the tatty notes. You might not be able to change the notes at all.
I had a tatty 100 USD. (No holes but it looks worned out) Lao airport, cambodian banks and a number of small money changers all refused to accept it. Was at a desperate end as my atm card didnt work overseas. Luckily I met up with my friend who changed a 100 USD into 20 USD worth of riel. Riding on his good business and his charming the money exchange girls, I tried to change mine and miraculously was accepted. Was so scared to go back to them to change more to the local currency in case they demand to change back the note. In the end did visit them after the next day as they give the best rate=)
Old and worn foreign currency can be a problem. In VN & Cambodia, will give you total crap local currency and reject your slightly torn or used US bills. My ex-pat friends give me their worn US bills to bring back to the US and I have enough decent ones to exchange them. See if you can change your tatty 100s into 20s at the same bank you got them from. You can show the exchange reciept and make a good case for them to accept them. Good Luck.