Money and Valuables
The information below has been excerpted from the following: 1) the US Department of State's "International Travel" website (www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html), 2) the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "Smartraveller" website (www.smartraveller.gov.au), and 3) the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's "Foreign Travel Advice" website (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice). Additional information is available from these sources. World Trade Press annually assesses the information presented on this page.
United States: Department of State International Travel Information
There is no limit to the amount of U.S. dollars or other foreign currency you can import into Vietnam or export from Vietnam. However, upon arrival and departure, you must declare to customs foreign currency (including cash and travelers' checks) in excess of US$7,000 (or its equivalent), cash exceeding Vietnamese Dong (VND) 15,000,000, and gold exceeding 300 grams. If you do not declare the amounts noted above, officials may arrest or fine you at the port of entry or exit and confiscate your currency.
Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Advice
Before you travel, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries.
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted throughout major cities in Vietnam. Cash can be obtained using several internationally recognised credit cards through ATMs, which are widespread in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. You should check with your bank to confirm if your ATM card will work in Vietnam
Incidents of card swiping have occurred throughout Vietnam and you should keep your credit card in sight at all times. There have also been incidents of theft occurring near ATMs soon after travellers make cash withdrawals, especially when travellers do not immediately secure their money.
If you require a replacement ATM card while overseas, please be aware that you may have difficulty having it delivered to Vietnam. Many Australian banks do not maintain local or regional branches with English-speaking staff and Vietnamese postal services are generally unreliable. You should consider using an international courier service if you need a replacement. The Australian Embassy or Consulate-General cannot provide you with bridging funds while you wait for a new card.
Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras are tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
Please refer to the entry and exit section for advice on what to do if your passport is lost or stolen in Vietnam.
United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice
The local currency is Vietnam Dong (VND), but US dollars are also accepted. It is almost impossible to change VND into US dollars without a flight ticket showing your onward destination.
Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Illegal exchange places like gold shops may offer a higher rate you may risk losing your money.
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted, but outside main centres you may find cash the only acceptable currency. It may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques.
ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas.
You can have funds transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.
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