Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

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Bill Bernstein
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Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by Bill Bernstein » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:20 pm

Hi:

We're going to Vietnam in a bit. Last time there several years ago, the old VND 2,000,000 limit was still in place, which is now less than $100. I posted on Tripadvisor and got one fellow who said that he could find a few ATMs with VND 5,000,000. That's still not a lot, and he didn't remember which bank and in any case these were in Hanoi/Saigon, where we won't be, which will be Hue/Hoi An/Dalat.

Does anyone have any more recent experience with these? I"m trying to avoid carrying around a supply of Ben Franklins or TCs.

Tx!

Bill

Chip
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by Chip » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:36 pm

Bill,

If he doesn't respond publicly you might PM Aloha Joe. I believe he lives in Saigon.

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samsoes
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by samsoes » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:51 pm

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whodidntante
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:57 pm

Bring multiple ATM cards from different issuers and then use them in series. I usually bring 3 or more. This is also useful if a bank shuts off your card.

You can also walk into a bank and do a "debit card cash advance." You should be able to pull thousands of dollars this way. Not all banks will do it.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:57 pm

Yes, could be a problem.
2,000,000 as a limit is really not enough. I think HSBC may have a 3m limit.
My card was locked after trying to get two or three withdrawals. I have a Schwab VISA debit card. This happened to me multiple times through my trip. Each time I went on to the Schwab site and started an online conversation. I had them call me at the hotel I was in. I stood right there to receive the call.
They would unlock it and I would go get money. Sometimes, if the ATM was right nearby I would have them stay on the phone and wait for an OK from me. I would try and do 2-3 withdrawals so I did not have to repeat this scenario too soon.
The low USD amount seems to trigger a fraud possibility. They said it was The VISA system. They made it right each time, but it was rather a pain in the butt.
Make sure you call them before going and ask them about this. It still may happen, but you should set all the groundwork to prevent it you can.

Similar thing happened to me in Medan, Indonesia last year. I was headed to an area with no ATMs, so on arrival to airport I tried multiple withdrawals to get enough funds. Card rejected after two withdrawals. Had to use another card, then had to use cash finally to acquire enough money. My Schwab has no fees, reimburses any ATM fees, and has no exchange transactions fees. My other ATM card had none of that.
Forewarned is forearmed.

Netherworld
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by Netherworld » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm

Bring the cash. I travel to Vietnam every year because my spouse is from there. ATM's are unreliable. We always bring, and carefully safeguard, the cash we will need. CC's of course work fine for hotels and most restaurants and shops in Saigon, Hanoi, and tourist areas.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:44 pm

I took out 14,000,000 VND from a Citibank ATM on Nguyen Hue on Friday. I've never had any of the ATM problems others talk about, so I'm unable to offer much help.

Bill Bernstein
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by Bill Bernstein » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:56 pm

Thanks all! Greatly appreciated.

The Citibank tip sounds great, but it looks like they only have ATMs in Hanoi and Saigon. where we won't be.

My card reimburses all fees, so I'll hedge my bets with some cash.

Thanks again!

Bill

BUBear29
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by BUBear29 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:29 pm

Bill Bernstein wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:20 pm
Hi:

We're going to Vietnam in a bit. Last time there several years ago, the old VND 2,000,000 limit was still in place, which is now less than $100. I posted on Tripadvisor and got one fellow who said that he could find a few ATMs with VND 5,000,000. That's still not a lot, and he didn't remember which bank and in any case these were in Hanoi/Saigon, where we won't be, which will be Hue/Hoi An/Dalat.

Does anyone have any more recent experience with these? I"m trying to avoid carrying around a supply of Ben Franklins or TCs.

Tx!

Bill
From my experience a couple years ago the 2m limit was still in place. I exchanged several c notes every morning to feel like i had adequate dong for my purposes. Kept the remaining USD in safe at trustworthy hotel. Worked just fine
Last edited by BUBear29 on Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.

TravelforFun
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:44 pm

Netherworld wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm
Bring the cash. I travel to Vietnam every year because my spouse is from there. ATM's are unreliable. We always bring, and carefully safeguard, the cash we will need. CC's of course work fine for hotels and most restaurants and shops in Saigon, Hanoi, and tourist areas.
Do you bring dollars or VN dong?

TravelforFun

AlohaJoe
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:49 pm

Netherworld wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm
Bring the cash. I travel to Vietnam every year because my spouse is from there. ATM's are unreliable.
I've lived in Vietnam for several years now and have never had a problem with an ATM. What kinds of problems have you run into?

BUBear29
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by BUBear29 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:52 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:49 pm
Netherworld wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm
Bring the cash. I travel to Vietnam every year because my spouse is from there. ATM's are unreliable.
I've lived in Vietnam for several years now and have never had a problem with an ATM. What kinds of problems have you run into?
May I ask where in vietnam you live and the nature of your work which allows you to live in such an amazing place? Are you Vietnamese by birth?

Curious as I love the country. Really enjoyed visting HCM and Phu Quoc
There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:29 am

BUBear29 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:52 pm
May I ask where in vietnam you live and the nature of your work which allows you to live in such an amazing place? Are you Vietnamese by birth?
I live in Saigon. I came here on secondment a few years ago when the company I worked at back then opened an office. I don't work anymore, though. I am not Vietnamese.

Bill Bernstein
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by Bill Bernstein » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:51 am

Again, thanks! I'm guessing if you live in Saigon or Hanoi and you know the ropes, ATMs aren't a problem.

But if you're just touring a lot of places in Asia, particularly out of the big cities, there's a learning curve to climb and it's difficult.

Thailand isn't bad, but we found ourselves in Bandung a few years back, and we found no ATM limit more than about $180. Even more amazing, every bank we went into wasn't able to change US currency--they just pointed us to their ATMs. We found some *very* scattered money changers with decent rates, but we obviously weren't going to be carrying large amounts of US cash just ambling around.

When we finally asked our hotel concierge for help, he laughed and said that it's been getting progressively harder. He made an appointment for the next day for a money changer and his assistant to do the exchange in the presence of the hotel manager in a public space in the hotel. It got done very close to the interbank rate, very professionally, but jeez Louise, it took four people and 24 hours notice.

Bill

solobuildingblogs
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Re: Any Recent Experience with Vietnam ATMs?

Post by solobuildingblogs » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:53 am

Agree had trouble with debit cards. Same in Hong Kong believe it or not. Just changed cash at Hilton or western hotel. Lots of people will happily take USD. Any restaurant that caters to tourists will take cards, hole in the wall places won’t.

Vietnam is great, Hoi An, Halong Bay and Hue are must sees. Saigon and Hanoi are very crowded cosmopolitan cities. Loved the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine in Saigon, good history and architecture.

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