Vietnam's currency is Dong (VND; symbol ₫ or d). Available notes are in denominations of d500,000, 200,000, 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of d5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500.
US dollar is also widely used in Vietnam and it's accepted practically by all businesses. It's usually better to pay in dongs because US dollars will generally result in a little worse exchange rate that offered by banks.
Cash and Exchange
Money can be changed in banks. Other than US dollars, Australian dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese Yen, Singaporean dollar and Thai bahts are also acceptable in larger cities. Other currencies may be difficult to exchange. The US dollar exchange rate is better in larger cities and tourist areas, the farther from them the worse the exchange rate is.
It's better to avoid changing money on a street. It's illegal in Vietnam (although not really enforced) and may not be safe, resulting is a serious rip-off.
If planning to pay with US dollars, it is recommended to have some more smaller bills and have all bills in a reasonably good condition - otherwise they may not be accepted.
ATMs are available in bigger cities and tourist areas, but may be difficult to find in smaller towns or rural areas. Only cash in dongs can be withdrawn from ATMs and the limit of withdrawal per transaction is d2,000,000. The charge per transaction is typically d20,000.
Most banks will allow multiple withdrawals per day until the account limit is reached.
Visa, MasterCard and JCB are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas. A small commission (3%) is usually charged when paying by credit card.
Cash advances from credit cards can also be obtained in banks at the counter - ATMs withdrawal limits will not apply there.
Traveler's checks are accepted by banks and hotels in major cities. It's recommended to only take checks of major companies and only in US dollars, since other currencies may be difficult to cash. Banks usually charge a fee of 0.5% to 2%, with a few exceptions (Vietcombank charges no commission for exchanging Amex checks).
Usual banking hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:00pm; some banks are also open on Saturday.
Bargaining is acceptable in many tourist transactions. It can save even up to 50% of the original offer. In Vietnam prices for foreign travelers are in many cases higher than for the locals. Even restaurants may have English language menu versions priced differently than the menu in Vietnamese.
Tipping is normally not expected and not necessary.
Current Vietnamese Dong Rates
For other currencies or conversion amounts go to Currency Converter