Sam Nguyen

Travelled to 6 countries / regions

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I'm a Vietnamese local



Asia > Vietnam > Hanoi > Useful Info
Submitted on Sep 05, 2019 Useful Info

Where to exchange money in Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Vietnam largely runs on cash. Hanoi is as good as it gets in terms of credit card acceptance, but even here you won't be able to do much without having enough cash with you
  • As I detailed here, getting cash from ATMs in Vietnam can be quite expensive. ATMs typically charge you 30,000-50,000 VND to make a withdrawal, and the maximum amount you can withdraw is no more than 2-3 million VND. This, plus the hit in exchange rate you'll get, plus any additional fees your bank will charge you for making international withdrawals, means you're 3-5% in fees
  • So the best way to get cash in Vietnam is to bring USD or Euro and exchange them for VND after you land

  • The best places to exchange money in Hanoi:
  • Gold and Jewelry shops (best rates): these are shops that literally sell gold and other jewelry. Like this:User submitted photo of HanoiIn Vietnam, they also usually provide money exchange services. Their rates are better than any other types of money exchangers (like hotel, banks, and airport), and if you compare their rates to the wholesale spot rate (meaning the best available rate anywhere in the world for large institutions; you can check these rates on XE.com or OANDA.com), they're usually just around 1% worse. To find them, simply go to the Old Quarter, specifically on Hang Bac Street or Ha Trung Street. The added benefit of using them is that it's minimal hassle. You don't need to fill out any forms or paper, unlike banks. The best rates are for USD and Euro, but they accept pretty much all major currencies, including JPY, CNY, KRW, THB, MYR, AUD, GBP, SGD, HKD, CAD. Here's a short list of some gold shops with decent reputation:
  1. Quoc Trinh Gold Shop: 8am-6pm everyday, +84 (0) 24 3826 8856, location
  2. Kim Linh Gold Shop: 8:30am-6pm Mon-Sat, closed on Sun, +84 (0) 24 3825 3649, location
  3. Manh Hung Gold Shop: 8am-7pm everyday, +84 (0) 24 3938 2251, location
  • Airport: there are money exchangers in the Noi Bai airport international terminal, located in the arrival hall after you clear customs and immigration. In recent years, these shops started offering competitive rates and stopped charging commissions. The rates they offer are usually around 1% worse off compared to the gold/jewelry shops in the Old Quarter, but it's still much better than what you can get with ATMs. Plus, they're also probably the most convenient way to exchange money since they're right there when you arrive. Their hours are usually between 7am and 7pm; if you arrive outside of this time, you will have to either exchange money in the Old Quarter, or use an ATM at the airport

  • Avoid exchanging at these places:
  • Outside of Vietnam: it's tempting to exchange money before your trip so you're prepared, but the truth is, VND is such a small currency and almost never used outside of Vietnam, that if you're even able to get VND outside of Vietnam at all, the exchange rate you get will be extremely poor. You get much better rate by bringing in a major currency (specifically USD is preferred) into Vietnam to exchange here
  • Banks: it's not that banks have terrible rates. In fact their rates are fairly comparable to the airport money exchangers, and only about 1% worse than the gold shops. But it's just that you need to bring your passport and fill out a bunch of forms in order to exchange any amount of money. You don't get any benefit and tons of extra hassle