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Bank Cards (ATM) in Asia

Travel Forums Asia Bank Cards (ATM) in Asia

1. Posted by FlamesGirl (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

I'm travelling to Vietnam in June and I was wondering what would be best as far as taking money?
Do ATM/Bank cards work in Vietnam (I;m from Canada) or should I be taking Dong with me? Or travellers cheques?

2. Posted by 'reg' (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

I was there over a year ago, I know that US$ are accepted so carry some at all times, I would recomend smaller notes! Safest is US$ Traveller cheques which can be exchanged into dong at banks. Best bet is check with your back regarding your cards, Visa or mastercard definatly accepted in areas, but not all! Overal have a bit of everything, and know that if something isnt accepted that you have another option! I dont think you can get Dong out of Vietnam!!! Check with your local money exchange office

3. Posted by rover9495 (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

you cant buy Dong outside of Vietnam cos its so weak, dont take any out with you either as you will not get it changed, even in many SE Asian countries.
ATM machines are aplenty in the big cities and even in the smaller ones. Dollars in your pocket are an ok idea, but make sure they arent all large denominations. the only problem is that if you buy something in Dong you will get it cheaper than if you pay in Dollars. the difference is usually small, like 1 or 2 dollars but after a couple of weeks it can quickly add up.
travellers cheques and bank cards should be fine.

4. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

US$100 bills is the best in Vietnam, with a few $20s. The newer they are, the better. I kid you not! TCs are safer in that you won't lose the $ if they're lost or stolen. But I'm not sure their exchange rate. Speaking of which, rates at gold and jewelry stores are the highest; government banks are the worst.

As for ATMs, I would check with HSBC bank. They have branches in Saigon and Hanoi.

5. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

On the back of your debit card there is probably either a PLUS or CIRRUS symbol. They are the international banking companies that will allow you do use your ATM card in Vietnam at any ATM with matching symbols. Carrying too much cash is stupid because you could lose it. Traveller's cheques are just about obsolete and are a hassle to buy and sell. So take only a couple hundred for emergencies, and a couple hundred in US cash for emergencies. Use ATM's for the bulk of you funds.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1681 posts) 9y

Quoting FlamesGirl

I'm travelling to Vietnam in June and I was wondering what would be best as far as taking money?
Do ATM/Bank cards work in Vietnam (I;m from Canada) or should I be taking Dong with me? Or travellers cheques?

Check with your bank or credit card sponsor as to how much of a fee you will pay to use an ATM overseas. Some cards have high fees. There are banks and credit unions back home who may pay those fees or have no fees for ATM use - one of these financial institutions may be worthwhile for you to become a member. Many credit unions sell travelers checks to their members without fees too.

For the past few years, when overseas, I have been using a combination of cash, travelers checks and debit cards for ATM use. I do bring a bank credit card for EMERGENCY use only because I don't like paying the monthly interest and that card has high monthly fees. My credit union pays the first 5 fees for ATM use (debit card) overseas so I take out the max I can to avoid any fees after the first 5 ATM withdrawals.

If you are going to live off your credit card expect to get the monthly interest and any fees added on each month. Bring a spare card in case the ATM eats your card. Tell your bank or credit union which countries you will be visiting so they don't put a hold on your card thinking the number was stolen.

Don't make a lot of credit card purchases in restaurants and stores to keep down the possibility of credit card fraud (and interest.) Use cash for small purchases. Have some small bills available to pay for taxi rides and stores where they may claim to not have any change and figure you will say "no prob keep the change!"

7. Posted by kidd27 (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

Bring along Canadian or US dollars in cash. Of course you shouldn't bring them in bulk. Anything between USD or CAD of 500 - 1000 should be sufficient if your stay is not more than 15 days and if you go on backpack basis. You can easily exchange USD/CAD to VND (dong) at any of the money exchange traders in Vietnam. I strongly believe that the Vietnamese banks' ATMs accept foreign bankcards so long as those machines display the Bankcard, MEPS, Visa Electron, Western Union etc logos, though I've yet to try out the machines during my previous trip to Ho Chi Minh city. Else you may want to opt for credit cards, Master or Visa as these are definitely accepted by major restaurants, retailers, travel agents and shopping mall.