In Vietnam, credit cards are not accepted at all shops, restaurants, and other places. You should keep some cash and information about ATMs from which you can withdraw money is necessary on your trip to Vietnam. At Agribank ATMs, you can only withdraw a maximum of VND 3,000,000 ($130 USD) and pay a fee of VND 22,000 (~ $0.95 USD) for each transaction. ATM costs and hidden charges may absorb your travel budget if you lack information. In this ultimate guide to ATMs in Vietnam, you will learn more about ATM withdrawal limits, fees, best ATMs, risks of using ATMs and great tips on using ATMs in Vietnam. I hope the article will be helpful to travelers and new arrivals.
Numbers of ATMs in Vietnam
In 2019, Vietnam has about 50 public banks, foreign banks, joint-stock commercial banks, more than 5,000 bank branches, and more than 18,700 ATMs.
The most popular ATMs in Vietnam
The most popular ATMs of foreign banks in Vietnam include Citibank, ANZ, HSBC, Commonwealth Bank, Shinhan, Standard Chartered. These ATMs can only be found in big cities where there are many foreigners live and work. They usually offer higher withdrawal limits, fewer withdrawal fees, even no fee (for Citibank or ANZ cards), and other benefits. For more information, Citibank, ANZ, and HSBC are the three biggest foreign banks in the country. So that it is better to have cards issued by them.
Six big local banks including Agribank, BIDV, Dong A Bank, Vietinbank, Vietcombank, Techcombank, Sacombank have more than half of the ATM machines in the country. Agribank and Vietcombank have the best networks in the country. ATMs of these local banks are abundant in major metropolitan cities. In the smaller cities, countrysides, rural areas and remote areas, you have fewer choices because there are only ATMs from local banks.
The withdrawal limits and fees of local and foreign ATMs will be clarified later.
How to find ATMs in Vietnam?
It is easy to find an ATM machine in Vietnam, especially in urban areas. ATMs are everywhere in major metropolitan cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and smaller cities, centers of provinces, and towns. Cash machines are available around tourist areas so that you do not need to worry about where to withdraw money from your cards. However, prepare some Vietnamese cash before going to rural areas, remote locations, off-the-beaten-path travel destinations.
Vietnam ATMs work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that you can withdraw money from them at any time you want. However, it is not recommended to do that when the sun goes down. There are risks of being ripped off after withdrawing money from ATMs in Vietnam.
Use Google Maps to find the nearest ATM or find a bank on Google. If you would like to find ATMs around Ben Thanh Market, just type “Ben Thanh Market”, enter, type “ATM”, enter to see the locations of ATMs around the market. If you would like to find HSBC ATMs, just type “HSBC ATM” in the search box of Google Maps.
At international airports such as Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai, Da Nang, Cam Ranh, there are ATMs from many major banks including foreign banks and top local banks. The ATMs at airports typically have higher limits than their counterparts in town.
ATMs are usually in or outside of shopping centers, large markets, medium-sized and large-sized office buildings
Which currencies can be withdrawn from ATMs in Vietnam? – only Vietnamese Dong
According to Vietnamese law, ATMs are only allowed to issue Vietnamese Dong (VND). Whether your account is originally in Vietnamese Dong, Euro, Dollar, Yen, Australian Dollar or other currencies, you can only withdraw Vietnamese Dong banknotes. The amount of money that you want to withdraw is changed from your own currency to VND automatically base on the bank exchange rates at the time you withdraw cash from the ATM.
You can only enter the amount which is the multiple of VND 50,000. So that you will never get banknotes VND 20,000, VND 10,000, VND 5,000, VND 2,000, VND 1,000 from any ATM in Vietnam.
ATMs in Vietnam tend to give out as small number of banknotes as possible. So you may get all VND 500,000 notes when you withdraw the maximum withdrawal amount at an ATM. If you keep all VND 500,000 notes, your wallet is light. But you should have some smaller denomination notes. Some vendors do not have enough notes to give you the change for a VND 500,000 note.
Read more about The ultimate guide to Vietnamese currency.
Types of cards accepted by ATMs in Vietnam
Most of the Vietnam ATMs accept Master Card, Visa, Union Pay, and JCB. Some ATMs also support PLUS, Maestra, Cirus, EXK, Union Pay Card, ATM Pool, Standard Chartered, etc. Do not forget to check the signs by each ATM that indicate the cards they accept.
ATM Withdrawal limits & Withdrawal fees in Vietnam
The rules regarding the withdrawal limits, the withdrawal fees for each transaction, exchange rates offered by different banks vary. The truth is that there are not many foreign banks in Vietnam. The only way to avoid ATM fees is by taking cash machines from your bank or choosing banks that are linked to your bank. Unfortunately, there are not many foreign banks and ATMs from foreign banks are less popular in Vietnam.
Most ATMs in Vietnam have withdrawal limits of 2.000.000 VND. ATMs from local banks have fairly low withdrawal limits which are from VND 2,000,000 ($87 USD) to VND 3,000,000 ($130 USD). As mentioned above, ATMs from foreign banks have higher withdrawal limits which are up to VND 10,000,000 ($434.8 USD). The ATMs at international airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang typically have higher limits than their counterparts out of airports.
How about the fees? In Vietnam, you are charged from VND 22,000 (~ $0.95 USD) when withdrawing money from ATMs. Sometimes, you lose 4 US dollars for paying only 40 US dollars. No Vietnamese bank allows you to withdraw money from foreign accounts for free. If you have Citibank and ANZ cards and withdraw cash from Citibank and ANZ, you are free of charge for a withdrawal fee. If you are an Advance or Premier customer of HSBC, there is no withdrawal fee at HSBC ATMs.
- Citibank: withdrawal limit: VND 5,000,000 – 10,000,000 ($217.4 – 434.8 USD) | fee: 55.000 VND ($2.4 USD) or 8%, no fee if you have an account with Citibank
- ANZ: withdrawal limit: VND 5,000,000 – 10,000,000 ($217.4 – 434.8 USD) | fee: 40.000 VND ($1.74) or , no fee if you have an account with Citibank
- Agribank: withdrawal limit: VND 3,000,000 ($130 USD) | fee: VND 22,000 (~ $0.95 USD) or 7.3% -> Agribank is the best.
- Vietcombank: withdrawal limit: VND 2,000,000 ($87 USD) | fee: 50.000 VND ($2.17 USD) or 25%.
- BIDV: withdrawal limit: VND 2,000,000 ($87 USD) | fee: 30.000 VND ($1.3 USD) or 15%.
- Sacombank: withdrawal limit: VND 3,000,000 ($130 USD) | fee: VND 30.000 VND ($1.3 USD) or 10%.
Tips on minimizing the ATM costs
- You are always charged when withdrawing money from ATMs from local banks. Use cards issued by foreign banks such as ANZ, Citibank, Advance or Premier HSBC, and find ATMs from the same banks to avoid ATM costs.
- Choose ATMs from foreign banks that have higher ATM maximum withdrawal amounts to minimize the total costs that you have to pay and avoid going to ATMs for many times.
- What to do if there is no foreign bank around you? Which local ATM is the best? It is easy to find Agribank ATMs whether you are in major cities, small cities and towns, and rural areas. Agribank ATMs offer the best exchange rate, withdrawal limit and fee among local banks.
- You have a larger number of choices including foreign and local banks at international airports. In addition, highlights of ATMs at airports include higher withdrawal limits.
When withdrawing cash from ATMs, you lose not only ATM costs, some money due to unfair exchange rates but also hidden charges for withdrawing money in foreign countries. The charge varies from bank to bank, it is up to $5 per transaction.
Tips on minimizing and avoid hidden charges
- Check with your bank if they can provide you a free-fee card.
- Check with your bank how much you will be charged when withdrawing cash at ATMs in Vietnam.
- Take out as much money per transaction as you can from an ATM.
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Inform the card issuing bank about your plan to go overseas
Ensure to notify your bank before going to Vietnam so that they do not lock, suspend your card, or issue a swallow command to the ATMs due to unusual overseas payments. Make sure to have contact information of the card provider so that you can contact them when there is any issue.
Is it safe to use ATMs in Vietnam?
It is relatively safe to use ATM machines in Vietnam. However, you should be careful when taking out cash from ATMs. There are some risks including ATM identity theft, card swallowed by cash machines, being ripped off.
How to avoid getting your card swallowed by an ATM?
It is not a good situation when a cash machine eats your card and it is really stressful if you are in a foreign country like Vietnam. Here are some great tips to avoid getting your card swallowed by an ATM in Vietnam.
- Check types of cards supported by an ATM machine before insert cards into the machine so that your card does not get stuck.
- It is important to inform your bank before your trip. The bank may command ATMs to eat your card if they suspect fraudulent activity.
- Entering wrong pins many times leads to swallowing your card by ATMs.
- Use ATMs attached to a bank branches so that you solve the problems more easily quickly at the bank branches.
What to do if your card is eaten by an ATM?
- Contact your bank that issues the card right after the card is swallowed for directions. In this case, ask them to temporarily block your cards until you get the card back. Certainly, you should prepare at least one backup card for the trip, it is time to use them.
- Then contact the bank of the ATM, the contact can be found easily on the ATM, walls and the door of the ATM booth.
- It is recommended to go to the nearest bank branch to report the situation after that.
- At the bank branch, you have to fill some forms
- It can take a few days to get your card back.
How to avoid getting ripped off in Vietnam?
- Never use ATMs at night.
- If you get out a large amount of money from an ATM,
- It is better to go straight to your hotel after taking out money from an ATM, hide your money in the hotel, carry enough money when going out. Read more about 40+ Tips to keep money safe when traveling in Vietnam.
- Take a taxi instead of taking a motorbike taxi or walking to your hotel.
- ATMs in buildings, lobbies, bank branches are safer than ATMs on the streets.
How to avoid card skimming at ATMs in Vietnam?
- Choose ATMs wisely:
- Visiting a high traffic ATM is one of the right things to do. ATM scams usually occur at low traffic ATMs which are under constant supervision.
- Choose ATMs in lobbies of buildings, bank branches where there are security guards and thieves do not have chances to install skimmers.
- What to do before starting withdrawing cash at an ATM?
- Check the card reader before inserting your card into it because card readers are the most common type of ATM skimmer. Ensure there is nothing like glue marks, tape, or machine scratches. See if the card reader is loose.
- Check if the ATM keypad is loose or spongy. Thieves may place a duplicate keypad over the original keypad.
- Ensure there is no visible crack in the receipt slot.
- Look for an unusual box that may be a camera on the screen or touchpad.
- What to do when withdrawing cash from an ATM?
- Cover the keypad with your hand when entering the PIN code.
- Do not use the ATM if there are many people standing too close to you.
- Never accept the help of anyone except for security guards and bank officers.
- Cancel the transaction and leave the ATM right away if one or more people approach you. They may want to steal your bank information as well as the money in your credit cards or the money in your bags.
- Count your cash as quickly as possible and prepare a place to keep the cash before.
ATMs can be empty
ATMs are not refilled during Tet (Vietnamese New Year), big holidays such as the Fall of Saigon on 30th April, Labor Day on 1st May. It is possible that ATMs become empty during these periods.
Summary on guide to ATMs in Vietnam
If you have enough information about Vietnam ATMs and precautions, follow the great tips, you will find no difficulty using ATMs in the country. Remember that ATMs in Vietnam only give you Vietnamese banknotes. ATMs from local banks charge withdrawal fees which are from VND 22,000. You can avoid the fee by owning cards issued by ANZ, Citibank and some foreign banks and withdraw cash at ATMs from the same banks. Besides, there are also hidden charges. Foreign banks provide usually higher withdrawal limits. ATMs from foreign banks seem to be better but they are only available in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang. In smaller cities and rural areas, you can only find ATMs from local banks. At the current time, Agribank ATM is the best choice.
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