Vietnamese currency – Vietnam Dong (VND)
The currency of Vietnam is “Dong” (abbreviated “d” or VND). Bank notes are: 100d , 200d and 500d (too small value – rarely used); 1,000d; 2,000d; 5,000d; 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d and 100,000d (each has two versions – cotton and polymer), 200,000d and 500,000d.
US dollar is widely accepted while most major currencies can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam (Vietcombank, ANZ, ACB, VIB Bank…) or some hotels and jewelry shops. The official rate of exchange is approximately VND 22,600 to US$1.
ATMs can be a choice as it’s very popular in most of tourist destinations now. Vietcombank (VCB) has the best network in the country. Withdrawals are issued in Dong (50,000d and 100,000d only). There is a limit of 2,000,000 VND (less then US$100) for each withdrawal and a daily limit of 20,000,000d. Fee is 20,000d (US$3) each time.
Visa, MasterCard and JCB cards are widely accepted. Some merchants also accept Amex. A 4%-commission charge on every transaction (3% for other cards) is pretty common, due to bank’s policy. Getting cash in advance from cards is possible at Vietcombank and some foreign banks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Cheques are accepted at most of hotels, restaurants but in major cities. If you only have travellers cheques, stock up on US dollars at a bank, which usually charge anywhere from 1.25% to 3% commission to change them into cash. VCB charges no commission to changing travellers cheques for Dong. If your travellers cheques are in currencies other than US dollars, they may be useless beyond the major cities. Hefty commissions are the norm it they can be exchanged at all.