Please, Help ME Out Here - Taking MOney to vietnam
Replies: 29 - Last Post: May 12, 2012 2:58 AM Last Post By: westwood
May 8, 2012 1:45 AM
Please, Help ME Out Here - Taking MOney to vietnamI only have a week to go - next week I'm off to vietnam. Don't know what to do about money. I have 2 Westpac debit mastercards, an ANZ debit Visa, a credit card (MC) and will be getting a Westpac Visa credit card as backup.
Both Westpac and ANZ will slug me $5 each time I make a withdrawal at an ATM, have read the maximum I can withdraw in vietnam is 1 million dong - they charge a $3 fee, and the maximum I can withdraw in any one day is 3 million dong which means a total of $24 in fees. Considering a million dong is only about $50 that's not much.
For example, my first stop - saigon - accommodation is US$80. Don't know whether they take credit card or not. I'm not staying in high end places. Last port of call is hanoi, staying at vega hotel, accomm is US$72 then $36 a few days later. Two booked tours $165 and $125 (have paid a small deposit).
So - how to work this without having to pay too much in fees. Am thinking take money with me - how much though? Went to travellex today (being a YHA member I don't pay fees) and the rate was 16,500 dong per dollar. Am I right in thinking I'll get a better rate when I arrive?
Any advice greatly appreciated.
May 8, 2012 2:14 AM
May 8, 2012 2:28 AM
2Hi, we went to Vietnam in April and are from Oz. We took AUD$100 notes, but of course you do take a risk of being mugged I suppose. We have never had any problems but we always carry the notes in money belts hidden on us. In your pockets only keep a small amount.
For AUD notes if you exchange over there you will get around 21,000 VND which is higher than USD. If you are staying in D1 in Saigon go to behind Ben Thanh Market and the jewellery places exchange AUD. I found the rate better in Saigon than Hanoi but maybe that was pot luck. If you exchange in the hotel you will get a worse rate, but it will still be higher than 16,500 VND unless the rate has drastically dropped since 24 April. We also exchanged in Hoi An this time in Tran Phu (end closest to the market, about no. 35). There are the banks which are fine but usually the rate is a little less - say 20,800 per AUD1.
Incidentally I always found accommodation cheaper if you don't book it. Never had problems finding any, and this was my third trip to Vietnam. Only time there could be problems is Tet (New Year).
Enjoy your trip!
May 8, 2012 3:12 AM
May 8, 2012 3:33 AM
4Should be an ATM.
We took cash as well but US in a range of notes. There were only a few ATMs and US was widely accepted. Since our last trip, theres been a surge in ATMs that take foreign cards. Used to only be ANZ and they only had about 3 in all of Vietnam.
May 8, 2012 3:49 AM
5Bank charges are a fact of life just factor them in. We have been in Vietnam for a couple of months and alleviate the charges by going into a bank and withdrawing larger amounts,10 mil+ but charges are still there. 10 mil is only twenty notes,easily carried. Banks accept all legitimate cards.
As for tour prices, ask for a price and start walking,you will get 100k dong discount per step:-)
May 8, 2012 3:57 AM
May 8, 2012 4:27 AM
May 8, 2012 4:39 AM
May 8, 2012 4:52 AM
9You can use Visa to pay for accommodation at many places, please note they will tag on a 3% service fee for the transaction.
ANZ ATM's in Hanoi and HCMC have a max withdrawal of 10mil per hit, but your Bank will charge you a fee for the privilege :)..for me (NZ) is $7.50 per hit. Other ATM's do 3-5 Mil per hit - choose carefully.
3/4ers of the way down this page under "Buy" is good reading - http://wikitravel.org/en/Vietnam about which ATM's will help you out.
May 8, 2012 5:37 AM
10Thanks Chilipepper, have looked at the "Buy" section, so where it says "ANZ Bank allows up to 4,000,000 - 10,000,000 dong per transaction (15,000,000 dong per day) with a 40,000 dong charge" - does that mean if your card is an ANZ one you can withdraw that amount of money from any ATM, or only ANZ ATM's in hcmc or hanoi?
May 8, 2012 5:58 AM
May 8, 2012 6:00 AM
12There are Vietcombank ATMs at the airport. When you walk out the gate, turn right look for the blue signs hanging above. Its only few steps away from the toilet.
Citibank allows me to withdraw cash up to 8 Million Dong each time. Vietcombank only allows local ATM cards to withdraw up to 5 Million.
May 8, 2012 8:54 AM
13Just returned a round the world trip. Only a few days in Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Mihn).. but our experience was:
-ANZ allowed us to withdraw 4 million dong (Bank of America atm card).
-In Hanoi much fewer places take credit card.
-In Ho Chi Mihn (seemed like a night and day difference, communist vs. capitalist, we preferred Ho Chi Mihn much more) it seemed like nearly every touristy place took a card (sometimes with a 3% fee). We stayed at a nice place (compared to our previous hostels) for $18 usd and they happily took credit card (paid our bus tickets as well). Also we ate twice at a small restaurant and they were happy to take our credit card. Visa and Mastercard.
It was interesting.. Many places actually seemed to prefer taking USD (at 20,800) instead of Dong (due to the very high numbers... i.e. 200,000 for a meal...) because its hard to make change... same experience in Cambodia.
I would maybe suggest if you bring $500 USD, change only a $100 for small little vendors and use credit cards for the hotels etc. Be aware that if you pay in dollars, a lot of times you will receive change in Dong. Make sure you don't bring $100 USD bills though if possible.
Also, (although this may be less of an issue if its a nicer hotel and they have a generator) that when we were in Hanoi they had daily power cuts... i.e. no credit card machines.
Be very aware of Airport taxis trying to overcharge you.. Otherwise have fun!
May 8, 2012 9:44 AM
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