I am an American, but I live in Australia (actually just a few miles north of friend Bruce). As such, the money in my bank account is in USD. Unfortunately, for me to take out a chunk of USD here in Australia, I would be converting first to AUD, then back to USD - losing money with each conversion.
I would certainly like to avoid this.
My question is twofold: will the ATM machines in Vietnam / Cambodia / Laos provide USD? And, if they do, does the transaction convert to local currency and then back to USD?
Thanks in advance~
#1 angfonz has been a member since 7/7/2009. Posts: 36
Hmm interesting question. You've got a USD account with an Australian bank is that correct?
My initial thought would be the Oz bank would try to convert the money as many times as humanly possible just so they could charge you more!
The ATMs dispense dong rather than USD and bear in mind there is a low maximum withdrawal (I think around the equiv of US$130 from memory) which means this can be a very expensive way to access your money.
I'd suggest contacting your bank first to find out what charges they'll levy on you for international ATM access (there is most likely a flat fee surcharge, plus, depending on the bank, a percentage on top of that!) and then ask about conversion charges.
For Lao ATMs, it's only Lao kip back out of the machines. Also, if you haven't read the warning in the Lao forum about BCEL's bank ATMs malfunctioning, it's important to read it.
#3 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
Vietnam banks are forbidden to release US$ to travellers. You MUST have a Vietnam bank account and some long term residency status in Vietnam to open an account before you can withdraw US$. Otherwise its VN Dong.
I've only ever been issued with local currency in Laos (KIP), but got US$ in Siem Reap (Cambodia) from an ANZ ATM.
- - -
As for getting US$ into Australia without bank fees, email me at email@example.com and I'll explain how it can be done legitimately and without much hassle.
Email sent, Mr. Moon~!
#5 angfonz has been a member since 7/7/2009. Posts: 36
I always just carry cash when I travel. I have never had a problem, but then I don't do anything stupid like putting it in a backpack or under my pillow or something.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957