Can I Use Credit Cards in Vietnam, or Should I Carry Cash?

by Travel Authentic Asia on August 30, 2023

Are you planning an exciting trip to Vietnam? As you prepare for your adventure in this beautiful country, one question that might cross your mind is, "Can I use credit cards in Vietnam, or should I carry cash?" In this guide, we'll provide you with all the essential information to ensure a smooth and stress-free financial experience during your travels.

Understanding the Payment Landscape

Vietnam has come a long way in terms of its payment infrastructure. While cash was once the primary mode of payment, credit cards are now widely accepted in major cities and tourist destinations. However, it's essential to carry some cash with you, especially when visiting remote areas or local markets where card acceptance might be limited.

Credit Card Acceptance

Credit card in Vietnam

In popular tourist spots, hotels, restaurants, and large retailers, credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are commonly accepted. Be sure to inform your credit card provider about your travel plans to avoid any potential security blocks on your card during your stay.

ATM Availability

ATMs are readily available in Vietnam's urban areas, making it convenient to withdraw cash as needed. However, do note that some ATMs may charge additional fees for international card transactions. Check with your bank to understand their fee structure and consider withdrawing larger sums to minimize transaction charges.

Read more: Money matters in Vietnam

Informing Your Bank

Before you embark on your journey, notify your bank about your travel dates and destination. This precautionary step helps avoid any unexpected card blocks due to suspected fraudulent activities.

Local Currency

Money in Vietnam

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). While credit cards are widely accepted, some small businesses and local vendors may only accept cash. Having a small amount of local currency on hand will come in handy during such situations.

Safety Measures Against Card Fraud

While credit card usage is generally safe in Vietnam, it's essential to be cautious to protect yourself against potential card fraud. Here are some safety measures to consider:

  • Use ATMs at Bank Branches: Opt for ATMs located at bank branches rather than standalone machines. These are generally more secure and less susceptible to skimming devices.
  • Monitor Your Card Transactions: Regularly check your credit card transactions through your bank's mobile app or online banking platform. Report any unauthorized transactions immediately.
  • Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Sensitive Transactions: Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks to access your online banking or make credit card transactions. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for added security.
  • Keep Your Card in Sight: During transactions, ensure that your credit card remains in your line of sight. Avoid handing your card to merchants who take it out of sight.
  • Carry Two Cards: It's a good practice to carry two credit cards while traveling. This way, if one card faces an issue, you have a backup option.

Engaging Anecdotes and Tips

As you explore Vietnam's wonders, immerse yourself in its culture and savor its delectable cuisine. Engaging with locals and trying out street food can lead to wonderful experiences. When exploring markets, don't hesitate to practice your bargaining skills—it's a part of the fun!

Traveling to Vietnam is a fantastic experience, and with the right approach to financial planning, you can make the most of your trip. Credit cards are generally accepted in urban areas, but having some cash on hand is a smart idea, especially when venturing off the beaten path. Remember to follow the safety measures to protect yourself from potential card fraud. So, let's embark on this adventure together and explore the vibrant landscapes, rich history, and delectable cuisine that Vietnam has to offer!

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If you're looking for an authentic cultural experience, do not hesitate to contact Travel Authentic Asia to choose a Vietnam tour, Southeast Asia tour package or to customize your own style tour to South East Asia.


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