Cambodian riel (R) is the official tender in Cambodia
but the US dollar is the de facto currency and the most useful for
the average visitor to Cambodia. Most hotels and restaurants, shops,
taxis, buses and airlines set their prices in US dollars. Even the
visa prices and departure taxes are set in
US dollars. Small transactions (less than a dollar) are usually done
in Cambodian riel. Change of less than $1 is given in riel. Always
carry some small riel for motorcycle taxis (motodups), snacks and other small purchases.
There is no coinage in Cambodia, only currency notes. Cambodian riel notes come in 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 denominations, but the distinctive red 500 riel note
and the 1000 riel note are the most useful and common.
Banks There are banks in all provincial
capitals in the country, including
Battambang. Banks offer the usual banking services
- cash advances on
credits cards (most accept
international currency exchange, telegraphic transfers, cash
travelers checks. Most banks are open from 8:00 to 15:00 or
16:00PM, Monday through Friday. Some are open Saturday mornings
until 11:30. ATMs are available 24 hours.
For bank listings and contact details
see the individual city listings:
Siem Reap Banks
Phnom Penh Banks
Money Changers Money changers offer a slightly better rate that the banks. They
are plentiful and tend to cluster around the
traditional markets and there is usually a section within the market
dedicated to moneychangers and gold sellers.
US dollars in change, inspect the bills carefully. Marred riel is acceptable tender, but the tiniest tear in a large US note,
especially a $20, $50 or $100 note, renders it all but useless in
Cambodia. Banks, moneychangers and other businesses will not accept
Credit Cards In the major tourist
towns, credit cards are accepted at most upscale hotels, shops and
restaurants, some mid-range place and a growing number of other
businesses. Credit cards are general not accepted at any businesses
outside of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and the casinos in
Poipet. Visa, MasterCard
JCB cards are the most widely
accepted credit cards in Cambodia. AMEX
is coming into wider use, as well as the new
ANZ Bluespot card. Diners
Club (DC) is accepted at
very few place.
Most businesses charge a 2%-4% fee to accept credit cards.
ATMs There are now ATMs with
international access across Cambodia. All ATMs accept Visa and
MasterCard. Many also accept Cirrus, Plus and Maestro. All ATMs
dispenses US dollars. For locations see the ATM icon on the city
Travelers Checks Travelers checks
are still accepted at some banks and hotels, but fewer places all
Cash Transfers 'Instant' cash
transfers can be done through MoneyGram or Western Union. Ordinary
telegraphic transfers are available at all major banks.