Travel

Foreign ATM Debit Fees (Vietnam)

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 9th, 2017 4:29 pm
[OP]
Member
Nov 29, 2006
380 posts
23 upvotes

Foreign ATM Debit Fees (Vietnam)

Going to Vietnam in a few weeks and plan to use ATMs to withdraw cash. Only problem is that my RBC card charges $5 per withdrawal plus 2.5% exchange fee. The ATM will typically charge their own service fee on top of this. From what I've read, most ATMs in Vietnam limit withdrawals to 2,000,000 VND (~$130 CAD). Obviously, that's not a lot so I would have to continuously withdraw, racking up fees.

What are my best options? I see RBC has a VIP account for $30 a month that waives the $5 ATM fee (but not the 2.5% exchange fee). Is this my best option?
14 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2010
2800 posts
980 upvotes
Montreal
Wow, is the limit really that low in Vietnam? If so then maybe it would be best to bring 800$~ in cash and exchange it at a major bank there.

If you get a 30$ per month banking plan, you won't exactly be saving any money.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 6, 2002
7698 posts
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8 minutes from Vanco…
Just change to VIP service for a month and then switch back to whatever plan you are on. You are likely paying $10-$20 for a bank account so the $30 a month isn't bad.

I do this with TD when I travel switch back and forth. Not having to worry about that $5 fee makes withdrawing small amounts more palatable.

Have fun, and yes many countries have very low withdrawal fees, and if you go in more remote places the limits can be lower as well as atm's run out of cash. Never been to Vietnam but $130 is very low.

You might want to ask on Lonely Planet's thorn tree forums if there is a specific bank that has higher withdrawal limits otherwise. A lot more locals / ex pats or frequent travellers to that area, might be one more rare bank machine that will spit out more.
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Deal Fanatic
May 14, 2009
5583 posts
694 upvotes
We were able to take out a higher amount, like 5 or 8 million Dong.
Deal Addict
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Oct 13, 2008
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Oshawa
Or you can bring your own Viet dollars ... have them exchanged here ...

Or you can bring CAD and exchange at the airport there
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Jr. Member
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Feb 6, 2009
146 posts
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Hi Converged,

My experience with ATM fees recently was as follows, using a TD debit card:

HSBC - 50,000 dong fee, 2,000,000 dong limit
ANZ - 40,000 dong fee, 5,000,000 dong limit
VIB - 50,000 dong fee, unknown limit
VietBank - didn't work with my card

I recommend using credit cards as much as possible to minimise exchange costs (just 2.5%, or even 0% if you have a card like the Chase Amazon.ca Visa).

It depends on your travel style, but I found that since the country is very cheap, I only made 1 large withdrawal from ANZ (I got the info for the other ATMs but did not proceed with the transactions.

Have a great trip!
:D PolarBear :D
[OP]
Member
Nov 29, 2006
380 posts
23 upvotes
{PolarBear} wrote:
Feb 7th, 2017 1:53 am
Hi Converged,

My experience with ATM fees recently was as follows, using a TD debit card:

HSBC - 50,000 dong fee, 2,000,000 dong limit
ANZ - 40,000 dong fee, 5,000,000 dong limit
VIB - 50,000 dong fee, unknown limit
VietBank - didn't work with my card

I recommend using credit cards as much as possible to minimise exchange costs (just 2.5%, or even 0% if you have a card like the Chase Amazon.ca Visa).

It depends on your travel style, but I found that since the country is very cheap, I only made 1 large withdrawal from ANZ (I got the info for the other ATMs but did not proceed with the transactions.

Have a great trip!
Tremendously helpful. Thanks to everyone for the advice!
Sr. Member
May 11, 2008
661 posts
241 upvotes
Vancouver
I took a quick look at the ATM receipt I still have from the Citibank ATM I withdrew from.
There was a 50,000 dong fee with a 2,000,000 dong limit.

I used my Chase Amazon visa and didn't have any problems.
Sr. Member
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Apr 26, 2010
685 posts
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Richmond Hill
I was there over the Christmas holidays and personally exchanged money at the airport and used the ABM once. I don't remember the bank but was able to withdraw $300 cad equivalent out, the fee was only $1.5 due to my bank plan.
FYI I had trouble exchanging money in the braches, they don't take cad
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 8, 2006
5216 posts
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Toronto
It might not be helpful or may be... but when I went to Vietnam (4 years ago), I didn't get charged any bank fees when using my TD for debit. I forget what bank it was, but believe I googled it back then and people said there were no fees and that's how I found it. I withdrew in Hanoi.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 8, 2006
5216 posts
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Toronto
Also I recommend just taking cash and exchanging it. You get much better rates when exchanging at local dealers (not banks). Not sure if cost of living has changed since then but average cost per hotel was ~$10/night. Close to city centre too.
Newbie
Nov 22, 2012
95 posts
13 upvotes
Calgary
Bring CAD $
Head to ANY jewellery store around Ben Thanh Market and exchange your money there.
You will get the best rates through them BUT make sure you know what the days current exchange is. And expect them to take a cut of about 10000-20000 VND from the actual exchange rate.

There is no limit. They will find a way to get you how much you want.

Source? Myself...A Vietnamese who goes back every 2 years
Newbie
Nov 5, 2011
3 posts
MISSISSAUGA
Bring USD in hundreds and change it in the goldsmith stores. Rates are better than the airport or banks or hotels
Newbie
Nov 22, 2012
95 posts
13 upvotes
Calgary
winterslush1 wrote:
Feb 9th, 2017 8:43 am
Bring USD in hundreds and change it in the goldsmith stores. Rates are better than the airport or banks or hotels
No need to get dinged twice in exchange rates. Just behind CAD
Newbie
Feb 23, 2018
1 posts
I bank with HSBC, is there a withdrawal limit if I go to the teller at a Vietnamese HSBC branch?

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