Tips for Using a Credit Card in Vietnam

Using a credit card in Vietnam can provide you with a level of convenience and security that cash might not, particularly for larger transactions. However, it’s essential to know a few things before you use your credit card in Vietnam:

  1. Not Everywhere Accepts Credit Cards: While the situation is rapidly improving, particularly in larger cities and tourist areas, many smaller businesses, street food stalls, and local markets still operate on a cash-only basis. It’s a good idea to always have some local currency (Vietnamese Dong) on hand for smaller purchases.
  2. Inform Your Bank Before You Travel: Before you depart for Vietnam, be sure to notify your bank or credit card company about your travel plans. This will help prevent your card from being flagged for suspicious activity when foreign transactions start appearing.
  3. Watch Out for Foreign Transaction Fees: Depending on your credit card, you might be charged a foreign transaction fee for purchases made in Vietnam. These fees are typically a percentage of the total transaction and can add up over time. Some cards offer no foreign transaction fees, so it might be worth looking into these if you travel frequently.
  4. Beware of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC): Some places might offer to convert the cost of your purchase from Vietnamese Dong to your home currency at the point of sale. This is known as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) and, while it might seem convenient to pay in a currency you’re familiar with, the exchange rate used is often much higher. As a result, it’s typically better to pay in the local currency.
  5. ATM Withdrawals: ATMs are widely available in Vietnam, and you can use your credit card to withdraw cash if needed. However, this often comes with fees, including a local ATM fee and a cash advance fee from your credit card company, not to mention interest charges that start accruing immediately. Therefore, it’s better to use a debit card for cash withdrawals if possible.


  1. Can I use my credit card in Vietnam? The answer is a resounding yes, with a slight note of caution. The acceptance of credit cards is increasingly common in Vietnam, especially in larger cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and in popular tourist areas. Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in hotels, upscale restaurants, and shopping malls. However, smaller businesses, local markets, and street food vendors typically still operate on a cash-only basis, so always carry some Vietnamese Dong with you.
  2. Do I need to inform my bank before traveling to Vietnam? Absolutely! Before you jet off, it’s important to let your bank or credit card company know about your travel plans. This proactive step ensures that your bank doesn’t flag your card for suspicious activity when transactions from Vietnam start popping up. This simple act can help prevent any inconvenient and potentially stressful situations of having your card blocked while abroad.
  3. Will I be charged foreign transaction fees in Vietnam? The possibility exists, yes. Many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside your home country. This fee usually hovers around 1-3% of the total transaction amount. However, some credit cards are marketed specifically to travelers and do not charge foreign transaction fees. Be sure to check the terms of your credit card before you travel.
  4. What is Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)? DCC is a service that allows you to see the cost of a transaction in your home currency instead of the local currency at the point of sale. While it might seem handy to pay in a familiar currency, beware! The convenience often comes with a hidden cost, in the form of a poor exchange rate. To avoid any unpleasant surprises on your bill, it’s generally best to decline DCC when offered and pay in the local currency instead.
  5. Can I use my credit card at ATMs in Vietnam? Yes, you can use your credit card to withdraw cash at ATMs in Vietnam. But keep in mind that this often comes with several fees: the ATM might charge a local fee, your credit card company might charge a cash advance fee, and interest on cash advances usually starts accruing immediately. It’s often better to use a debit card for cash withdrawals if you can.
  6. How can I protect against credit card fraud in Vietnam? Protecting your credit card information should be a top priority. Don’t let your card out of your sight when making transactions and be cautious of credit card skimmers, which are devices illegally installed on ATMs or card readers to steal card information. Regularly check your card’s transaction history and immediately report any unfamiliar transactions to your bank.
  7. Do I need to show an ID when using my credit card in Vietnam? In some cases, yes. To prevent credit card fraud, some establishments may request to see your passport or another form of identification when you use a credit card. It’s a good practice to carry a form of ID with you when you plan to pay by credit card.



In Vietnam, several local and international banks offer credit cards. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Vietcombank: One of the largest banks in Vietnam, Vietcombank offers several credit cards with different benefits and reward programs.
  2. VietinBank: VietinBank provides a variety of credit cards, including international cards co-branded with Visa and MasterCard.
  3. Sacombank: Sacombank offers a number of credit cards in cooperation with Visa, MasterCard, and JCB, including cards that offer benefits such as cashback and rewards points.
  4. HSBC Vietnam: HSBC is an international bank that offers credit cards in Vietnam. Their card selection includes options for cashback and rewards points.
  5. Shinhan Bank Vietnam: Shinhan Bank is a Korean bank operating in Vietnam that provides a selection of Visa and MasterCard credit cards.
  6. Citibank Vietnam: Citibank offers a selection of credit cards with a variety of features and benefits including cashback, air miles, and rewards points.
  7. Standard Chartered Vietnam: Standard Chartered is an international bank that offers credit cards in Vietnam, including cards that provide rewards for travel and dining.
  8. Techcombank: Techcombank offers a variety of credit cards that cater to different needs, including cashback cards and cards that offer rewards for travel.