Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes, though NFC touchless communication is still in its infancy here. Paying with your phone is rarely supported. This is still a cash country in many ways, however, so you'll use a combination of the two depending on the shop/restaurant. Don't expect most small businesses to accept credit cards. I keep 1.5 to 2 million dong in my wallet at most times, for just in case. Grab taxi services do enable and use credit card, but it can take time and hassle to get a foreign credit card to work with your account. - Aug 2021

ATMs are no problem.HSBC allows the largest withdrawal amounts per transaction. We typically reserved credit card use for doctor offices and hotels, and used cash otherwise. - Dec 2019

Credit cards are widely accepted. I used often and only one time had an issue with card being cloned. ATMs are common and ok to use. - Jul 2019

I have never used an ATM in Vietnam, but rely on the embassy cashier heavily. Credit cards are not widely accepted. We have only used them for travel and major purchases at some bigger stores (maybe twice in a year). This is definitely a cash society. - Apr 2018

While the country is still primarily a cash economy, credit card use is growing quickly in Vietnam. Credit cards are accepted at hotels, most grocery stores, at higher-end restaurants, and at an increasing number of fast food or chain stores (both Western and local). ATMs are common and it's safe to use them if you take the usual big-city precautions. Most embassy personnel withdrew cash from the embassy cashier. - Dec 2017

Easy to use but make sure your bank waives international ATM transaction fees. Otherwise you will spend US$8 each time you withdrawal money. - May 2016

Haven't heard of ATM issues, though many machines have a small limit (US$100). Max is about US$250 at the ANZ ATM. - Mar 2015

Neither is terribly common. - Aug 2014

This is a cash economy. There are ATM in front of most hotels and compounds and main hotels accept VISA, Mastercard and Amex. There is some credit card fraud here, so I would be very careful in checking my statement if I were using it. I always pay cash, and carry only the money I am planning to spend with me. Never more. - Dec 2011

Credit cards are still not used in many places but there are ATMs around the city. Be careful though because some are not grounded properly and have electrocuted people when it's raining. - Aug 2011

No credit cards are accepted other than at the fancy hotels. There are ATM machines all over, but the daily withdrawal limit is low, at around $100, I believe. - May 2010

Credit cards are catching on. ATMs are pretty much everywhere. - Feb 2009

Outside major hotels and a few restaurants or tourist shops, credit card use is limited as Vietnam remains largely a cash-based economy. Items are billed in both U.S. dollars and Vietnamese Dong and either are accpeted for payment. ATMs are common, however frequent fraud has been reported when using ATMs associated with Vietnamese banks. ATMs for larger non-Vietnamese international banks are generally safe, but less in number. - Sep 2008

You can use credit or debit cards in all the Western hotels without a problem. Most ATM's are not part of the international banking systems so you get charged any where from the usual US$2 transaction fees up to US$5.There are no U.S. banks doing business here with the exception of Citi Bank and they are strictly for corporate customers. There a couple of Australian and European Banks but they do not have many offices. Most Vietnamese banks are at least partially government owned and do little international business nor offer services to foreign customers. Many businesses may show the Visa or Master Card logo's in their windows, especially in the more modern malls, but they may not necessarily accept the credit cards. I once tried to buy an item with my credit card and the cashier looked at me very strange and tried to say they did not accept credit cards, then another employee pulled the card machine out of a drawer, still in the box and attempted to set it up without success. Basically, they did not know how to use it. - May 2008

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