Vietnam is a cash heavy society. Very few places will accept card or mobile payments so during your trip you’ll be frequenting many of the country’s ATMs. With their low withdrawal limits and ATM fees as high as 55.000 VND, these charges can quickly take up a significant portion of your travel budget. Luckily we’ve got you covered for the best ATMs in Vietnam and some tips you can use to maximize the amount of money you’re taking out while keeping the fees at a minimum.
Get Cash At The Airport
The airport ATMs of all the major banks typically have higher limits than their counterparts in town. Whether you land in Ho Chi Minh or in Hanoi, you’ll find some ATMs on your way out of the airport which will let you take out as much as 5.000.000 VND at a time. In the case of CitiBank you can take out as much as 10.000.000 VND. Whether you feel comfortable carrying large sums of money is up to you. However once you’ve left the airport the ATM options become more limited.
Lowest ATM Fees and Withdrawal Limits
Most ATMs in Vietnam have withdrawal limits of 2.000.000 VND. In the major cities though, you’ll find ANZ, CitiBank, and HSBC ATMs which offer much higher limits. Citibank offers 8.000.000 VND while ANZ offers 10.000.000 VND. In addition if you have an account with either Citibank or ANZ then you won’t have to pay any fees.
Outside of Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi it becomes a slightly different story. You’ll typically only find ATMs of local banks such as Vietcombank, BIDV and Agribank. Agribank has a fee of only 22.000 VND, a little less than a dollar, and lets you take out 3.000.000 VND at a time, which is 1 million more than most of the other ATMs. So when traveling outside the major cities keep your eyes peeled for Agribank ATMs as they offer the best rates and limits.
- Vietcombank ATM Fee – 50.000 VND ($2.16)| Withdrawal limit 2.000.000 VND ($86.34)
- Agribank ATM Fee – 22.000 VND ($0.95)| Withdrawal limit 3.000.000 VND ($129.52)
- BIDV ATM Fee – 30.000 VND ($1.30) | Withdrawal limit 2.000.000 VND ($86.34)
- Sacombank ATM Fee – 30.000 VND ($1.30) | Withdrawal limit 3.000.000 VND ($129.52)
- Citibank ATM Fee – 55.000 VND ($2.37) | Withdrawal limit 5.000.000 VND – 10.000.000 VND ($215.86 – $431.72)
- ANZ ATM Fee – 40.000 VND ($1.73)| Withdrawal limit 5.000.000 VND – 10.000.000 VND ($215.86 – $431.72)
So Which ATM is Best?
We would have to go with Agribank. Agribank has the lowest fee at 22.000 and an extra 1.000.000 more in withdrawal limit compared to most of it’s counterparts. By withdrawing twice in a row you would be able to withdraw 6.000.000 and pay 44.000 in fees which is still less than what you would pay if you used a Citibank ATM once.
One thing to be careful of are hidden charges your bank may charge when withdrawing money in a foreign country. These vary from bank to bank but can be as high as $5 per transaction which will quickly add up due to the low withdrawal limits. Stay on top of these hidden charges by making sure to take out as much as you can in one go or checking with your bank if you can get a no fee card.
How to Avoid Getting Your Card Eaten by an ATM
It is always a stressful situation when an ATM swallows your bank card and this stress can be compounded when in a foreign country like Vietnam. A couple of precautions you can take to avoid this happening:
- Inform your bank ahead of time of your travel plans. Often times if your bank suspects fraudulent activity, it will issue a swallow command to the ATM. Informing your bank could prevent this from happening.
- Make sure you know your pin. While this may seem obvious, entering in the wrong pin too many times will lead to the card being eaten.
- If possible, use an ATM with an attached bank branch. This way if the ATM does swallow the card, you can simply walk into the branch and talk to one of the tellers who can sort the issue out quickly. Naturally you should then use the ATM when the bank is open. Techombank and Vietcombank both have many ATMs with attached branches.
I Did All That But My Card Was Still Eaten…
Of course you can’t always take every precaution, and if you find yourself in this situation then the best thing to do is to call the bank. On every ATM in Vietnam, regardless of the bank, you should find a sticker with an address and identification information. Take a picture of this with your phone. Then either call the bank and inform them of the situation, or find the nearest branch and report the issue. Going to a bank will certainly be easier as you can show the picture of the ID rather than trying to report it over the phone. It could take a couple of days, and you will have to fill out a few bureaucratic forms, so it’s also important to temporarily block your card while everything is sorted out.
Have any other tips for us? Be sure to reach out and let us know!