🇻🇳 Monzo in Vietnam [Wiki]

This is a wiki crowdsourced by the Monzo Community to help you travel with Monzo.

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Safe travels! :wave: :airplane:


Currency

Vietnam uses the Vietnamese đồng (₫)

Card usage

Be aware most places will not take card so it’s good to locate fee-free ATMs to use beforehand!

ATMs

Most ATMs will charge fees or have low limits and a lack of stock for low-denominations.
It has been reported that three banks offer decent-sized withdrawal limits as well as no fees;

  • Military Bank (MB)
  • VP Bank
  • SeABank

Payment and withdrawal limits

All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, tap on the manage card icon and then tap on Spending and card limits.

Crowdsourced merchant data

Data will most likely be scant so please try and contribute relevant feedback about transactions :slight_smile:

Miscellaneous

Be aware that there are some fraudulent/rip off taxi operators out there, try to get the establishment to ring and arrange a taxi for you rather than hailing one down. Two recommended providers are:

  • Vinasun (white with green and red stripe) or
  • Mai Linh (green and white)
    -Grab bought Uber and is cheaper than a normal taxi. It can be difficult to find your taxi at the airport, and the drivers usually don’t speak much English.

To edit this guide, just tap the pencil icon below. Alternatively, add a reply with your comments and someone from the community will incorporate your suggestions into the guide and then delete your comment.

1 Like

Hi, we’re in Vietnam at the moment (April 2019):

  1. we can verify that MB (military bank) does charge some fees. We withdrew 5million dong and it added 49,500 dong as a fee. Minimal :slight_smile:
  2. taxis have meters which means you don’t really need to haggle (just check that it has started from zero) however some taxi drivers will try to cover it on their dash with a notebook etc. Especially if you are getting a taxi from a train station or similar tourist location. One of the green/white taxis mentioned above tried this with us.
  3. a lot more places are starting to accept card including restaurants, homestay, tailors and shops. However many smaller places add 3% onto your bill if you choose to pay by card.

I grew up in VN and last revisited in October 2018.

The smallest denomination is 500 đồng but most items are sold in units of 1,000 đồng.

Cashless payments are becoming more and more popular. Most street vendors still operate in cash but many larger shops are now accepting card payments. Despite the card reader prompting for your PIN, staffs would still ask for your signature because cards issued in Viet Nam always requests for customers’ signature so everyone are used to that practice. Some merchants may ask you for 3% card payment fee but it’s actually illegal, because under Visa & MasterCard’s rules, merchants are supposed to bare those fees. The unspoken practice is payments above 50,000VND worth processing by card, a bit like some UK old school merchants still refuse card payments below £5.

Not sure this is accurate anymore. MBBank definitely charges fee. Go for TPBank (my favourite) - their ATMs are the newest, and Techcombank. TPBank have these futuristic 24/7 virtual branches called Live Bank, with large touch screen and video call to an operator when needed, and faster card reading speed.

Avoid “big 4” public banks such as Vietcombank - unable to read EMV-chip cards, Agribank - high possibilities of swallowing cards, Vietinbank, and BIDV. All of these 4 impose higher charges to ATM withdrawals compared to other private banks and have terrible support if your card gets swallowed. Also avoid choosing ATMs located at dingy locations because you want crystal clear CCTV footage if anything go wrong. Don’t go for international ATMs such as HSBC - the fees are extortionate.

In HCMC these 2 brands dominate the market but other cities and towns the market is much more fragmented and each have their own different brands. In Ha Noi, I often use G7 - they have the most cars, and ABC - their operator speaks a bit of English. Ha Noi taxis are the cheapest among the 3 major cities. Avoid Taxi CP, they’re the biggest rip off - double the price of G7. Uber has pulled out of South East Asia so you’re left with Grab Car and other local short-lived ride hailing platform. In Da Nang, taxis tend to try stopping a few meters after you request to stop so the meter goes up a few 1,000 đồng. It’s one of my pet peeves when using cabs there.

Grab cars are so much cheaper to use and give you a price before you order. You have to use the app which is free. They also have grab motorcycles which are cheaper again