Vietnam’s currency

Official currency of Vietnam

The vietnam currency is the Vietnamese dong and you can find notes and coins, although the usual thing is to use the larger notes.

There are 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500; 200 and 100 dong notes, while the coins are limited to 200; 500; 1,000; 2,000 and 5,000 dong. From 2011 onward, the coins in Vietnam were withdrawn since they never gained popularity within the Vietnamese people.

The dong is not listed outside the country, so you can only exchange Vietnamese currency in Vietnam. You will encounter the same problem when you return: you will not be able to get rid of dong abroad, so you must change the dong before leaving Vietnam.

Credit cards

Credit cards are used in Vietnam, especially in tourist areas and services. Most hotels, resorts, bars, and restaurants serving international tourists accept credit cards. You shouldn’t have problems with using Visa or MasterCard in major cities, but small local motels, Airbnb in some locations, local markets or stores will only take cash. 

Please be aware that street vendors and local markets can try to fool you by using similar colors of 500,000 VND and 20,000 VND bills. They might try to scam visitors. There are also some counterfeit banknotes in circulation in Vietnam, particularly for the 500,000 VND, the biggest Vietnam currency note, so you should only exchange money at reputable and trustworthy establishments.

Keep in mind that the use of some credit or debit cards can be accompanied by a commission close to 3%. If you plan to use your credit or debit card in Vietnam, notify your bank beforehand to avoid any issues with your account being flagged for suspicious activity.


You will find ATMs in big cities in Vietnam like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Danang.  They accept the main credit or debit cards like Visa, Master and Union, but they apply a commission of around 3%. If your bank account is in American Dollars, Australian Dollars, Euro or other currencies, you will only be able to withdraw  Vietnamese Dongs.

Agribanks, Vietinbank and BIDV have the most ATMs across the country. You will find  Agribank ATMs in rural areas and remote regions, but we recommend carrying cash for those rural areas and to do small purchases.

If you are going to use credit or debit cards and withdraw money from ATMs, you should be vigilant. There have been numerous reports on frauds when using these methods of payment. The main recommendations are: 

  • Avoid using your credit card in small establishments.
  • Opt for a card with a limited credit ceiling for added security.
  • Choose ATMs situated in public spaces or within established banks and businesses.
  • Regularly check your bank account for any unauthorized transactions.
Official Vietnam currency


The banks are one of the main places to  exchange the dong because they typically offer the best exchange rates for Vietnamese currency. Nevertheless, be prepared for a long process and to be required documentation, such as a passport or visa. Additionally, some banks only exchange Vietnamese currency during specific hours. The main Vietnamese banks are Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV and Agribank. You will also be able to find international banks like HSBC, ANZ and Citi Bank.

Vietnam shop in vietnam travel advisory

Currency restrictions

There are no currency restrictions. However, Vietnamese Dong in excess of VND 150,000,000 or foreign currency in excess of 5,000 U.S. dollars or equivalent must be declared.

Exchange rates

You can check the current exchange rate for the Vietnamese Dong and your currency here.

Customs Information Vietnam Travel

Navigating the customs regulations of any country is a crucial aspect of international travel, and Vietnam is no exception. In adherence to the nation’s customs guidelines, it is imperative for travelers to be well-informed about the restrictions and declarations concerning the import and export of goods

Failing to declare items that are prohibited or subject to taxes and duties may lead to complications during the customs process. Therefore, understanding and abiding by Vietnam’s customs regulations is essential to ensure a smooth entry and exit from the country.

Regulated imports and exports

You can bring, duty-free, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 150 g of tobacco; 1.5l of liquor; and other items that the total value is beneath US$300. Items that you cannot bring into Vietnam include weapons, munitions, explosives and inflammables, firecrackers of all kinds, opium and drugs, toxic chemicals, and cultural materials unsuitable to Vietnamese society (pornographic seditious publications, films and photos), and harmful child toys. Breaking these rules, you will be punished by Vietnamese laws. You must also declare if you are bringing in more than 15 million Vietnamese dong (US$5,000 or the equivalent in any other currency) in cash.

Exports are also regulated. If you are traveling back home with a quantity over 300g of gold it must be declared. You must also declare if you have more than 15 million Vietnamese dong, more than US$5,000, or the equivalent in any other currency, in cash. You will also have to show a written approval to carry foreign currency or Vietnamese dong in cash abroad, issued by an authorized Vietnamese credit institution or the State Bank of Vietnam.

You are not allowed to bring out weapons, munitions, explosives, drugs, antiques, live wild animals, rare plants, and documents relating to national security. Breaking these rules, you will be punished by Vietnamese laws.

Particularly remarkable is the laws on the export of antiques. Since laws are vague and unevenly enforced we recommend: 

  • Keeping receipts and all paperwork provided by the seller if you think the object could be considered an antique
  • Ensuring you have the proper exportation permits from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam General Department of Customs.