The RIEL: bills of: 100.000, 50.000, 20.000, 10.000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100.
However, the US Dollar is commonly used in throughout the whole country. If you have enough cash, you won’t have to go to any banks as you will be able to exchange small amounts of dollars into Riels at hotels, restaurants and markets. We recommend you to always have the equivalent of 10 dollars in Riel in order to pay for moto-taxis, tuk-tuks or for small purchases in markets. If you buy a low priced item in dollars, they will give some change in Riels. Local inhabitants from remote areas in the north or northeast of the country only accept Riels or small bills of dollars.
The only foreign currency that is accepted in addition to the USD is the Thai Baht, mainly used in the west of the country. Prices are often written in baht in certain cities like Koh Kong, Poipet and Sisopon.
To simplify your travels, take some dollars with you before coming to Cambodia. You will also be able to exchange currencies such as Euros in banks and at the markets of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Most banks do not have an advantageous exchange rate for currencies other than the dollar, so it is better to exchange your currency at foreign exchange counters located near markets.
Western Union, represented by the SBC and Acleda Bank, and Moneygram represented by the Canadian Bank, do fast money transfers, but this service is expensive.
We recommend you to have plenty of small bills (1 USD and 5 USD). Be careful with damaged bills, which most often will not be accepted or large bills of 50 USD and 100 USD which may not be easily exchanged.
Superior hotels, airlines, luxury boutiques, high-end restaurants or supermarkets are and more likely to accept the main credit cards such as: Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Cirrus and sometimes American Express). As in every Asian country, a fee will be charged on top of the purchase fee when using your card (around 3%).
ATMs are available in most cities. You can even find ATMs at the Cham Yeam, Poipet and Bayet land borders when arriving from Thailand and Vietnam. All ATMs give out US Dollars and the maximum amount you can withdraw at once is 2 000 USD.
Like anywhere in the world, be careful when using ATMs at night. Just up from the Canadian Bank, the ANZ Royal Bank is the one that offers the best ATM network, with ATMs in gas-stations, hotels, restaurants and famous shops.
The Acleda Bank (the national bank) is the bank that has the most agencies in the country, including in provincial cities. This bank has also improved its ATM services, so they now accept international cards, which makes travelling in remote areas much easier.
Even though tips are not part of the tradition in Cambodia, they are well appreciated.
1 USD tip can represent the equivalent salary of half a day’s work. Many luxury hotels charge 10% service tax, but the money is not always given to the staff. If you stay 2 or 3 nights in the same hotel, think about tipping the staff that cleans your room.
Drivers, guides and service staff will always be happy to accept your tip. In a different way, if a local helps you in the street or finds someone to help you, he would be looking for you to provide a small amount of money for their help. It is advisable have some small change in riel for these kinds of occasions.
In Temples, it is common to put some money in the donation boxes strategically located at the end of the visit, particularly if a monk is living in the place.