The truth is that you should pay in cash and by credit cards in Vietnam. Credit cards have a large number of advantages while cash is still king in many countries including Vietnam. This ultimate guide to credit cards in Vietnam gives you the necessary information about using credit cards in Vietnam.
Pros and cons of using credit cards in Vietnam
- Convenience, portability.
- It is a good choice for those who are not familiar with Vietnamese banknotes.
- Avoid contaminated, damaged, old, or fake banknotes.
- Credit card fraud.
- Not all merchants accept credit cards in Vietnam.
- Hidden charges.
Is credit card widely accepted in Vietnam?
Where are credit cards accepted in Vietnam?
- In most of the shops in major cities.
- All shops, restaurants, coffee shops in shopping malls.
- At most of the stores in markets where there are many foreign visitors.
- Supermarkets, convenience stores (Circle K, Aeon Mini Stop, FamilyMart), pharmacies (Long Chau, Phuc An Khang, Pharmacity), electronics centers (Nguyen Kim, The Gioi Di Dong, Dien May Xanh, Pico) of well-known chains.
- In touristic areas and expat areas: Saigon backpacker area, Ta Hien street, Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoi An ancient towns.
- Higher-end restaurants and coffee shops.
- Bars, pubs, karaoke shops.
- 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, 5-star hotels and resorts.
- Taxis of top brands: Vinasun, Mai Linh.
- Tour desks, travel agency offices.
- At international airports.
- Ticket booths at railway stations.
- Many spas, hair salons, barbershops, tailor shops.
Where are credit cards not accepted in Vietnam?
- Street food stalls and drink stalls.
- Stalls on sidewalks.
- Street vendors.
- Stalls within local markets.
- In rural areas.
Although common credit/debit cards are widely accepted in Vietnam, king cash is not dead. You may not pay by credit cards in some places in Vietnam. So that carry both cash and credit cards when going out in Vietnam.
Which types of credit/debit cards are accepted in Vietnam?
Visa, Mastercard and JCB are now widely accepted in Vietnam.
Commission charge when using credit cards in Vietnam
The standard commission charge is 3%, businesses that accept Amex usually add on an extra 4%, higher-end restaurants and hotels do not often add extra charges. The surcharge is not fixed, it tends to be larger in small business retailers and lower in upscale and well-organized service providers.
Risks of using credit cards – credit card scams in Vietnam
Vietnam is fast becoming a hot spot for credit card fraud and scams. The most common types and tips to avoid losing money by not using credit cards in proper ways are as follow:
- Lost or stolen cards are used without their owner’s permission. In Vietnam, they may not verify card ownership when processing payments. In addition, security cameras are not available at all places. It is really stressful if your cards get lost in Vietnam. Keep your card in sight at all times and never get it back after any payment. Contact your bank right after losing the card and ask them to block it temporarily.
- Credit card skimming is popular in Vietnam. There are some tips to prevent this from happening:
- Look for signs of tampering, unusual boxes or hidden cameras.
- Avoid outdoor ATMs.
- Check your credit card statement regularly.
- You should set device passwords so that thieves can not access your smartphone, tablets, laptop, and steal your bank information.
- Do not make an online payment if you do not trust the payment services.
- When paying with a credit card in Vietnam, it may take a commission of several percents per transaction (up to 10%). Ensure to check how much additional fees are.
- Credit card scam by charging a credit card many times has been reported by both locals and tourists. A receptionist or cashier may tell you that there are some errors, the transaction has not been successfully completed, and he must charge again. To combat this, you must check the amount of the account, and even better to connect SMS-notification. Contact your bank if your card is declined for the second time.
Notify your bank before going to Vietnam
You must notify your bank before your trip to Vietnam or any foreign country. Your card will not be suspended or locked due to unusual payments. You must have the contact number of your card provider so that you can call them when there is a problem with the card.
Which one is better, making payments using your home currency or the local currency?
When you making a payment by a credit card, you may ask which currency to be charged. If you choose to pay in your home currency, they will convert the purchase from the local currency. There may be hidden fees and low exchange rates so that it is recommended to pay in Vietnamese Dong.
Read more about The ultimate guide to ATMs in Vietnam
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