Travel money guide: Best travel cards for Cambodia | finder.com

Travel money guide: Cambodia

Traveling to Cambodia? Learn the best ways to access the Cambodian riel and tips to manage your travel money.

A beautiful country with beautiful people, there’s so much to see in Cambodia. You’ll find that you can cary both USD and the local currency, the Cambodian riel. Most vendors accept both, so there’s no need to exchange your money when you arrive. Like most countries in Southeast Asia, cash speaks loudest, so be sure to bring an ATM card to access money when you need it. Here we look at the different travel money options for travel in Cambodia.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Compare travel cards for Cambodia

Rates last updated April 23rd, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
0% of transaction value
$0
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
2%
of transaction value
$0
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
0% of transaction value
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
0% of transaction value
$0
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.

Compare up to 4 providers

Promoted
Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    How much Cambodian riel (KHR) will I need for my trip?

    You’ll find your money will go far in Cambodia. You can spend any where from $15 to $100 a day if you budget properly. You’ll find that there are many vendors who are willing to negotiate prices — another way to keep costs down.

    Phnom Penh (capital of Cambodia)BudgetMid-rangeExpensive
    to-sleepCheap guesthouse room
    $3.50–$10
    Air conditioned hotel room
    $12–$40
    Boutique hotel or resort
    $30–$350
    to-eatLocal meals and street eats
    $1–$3
    Decent local restaurant meal
    $5–$10
    Fancy meal with drinks
    $20–$40
    busLocal buses
    $2
    Local tour guide per day
    $15
    4WD rental per day
    $50–$100

    *Prices are approximate and are subject to change.

    Exchange rate history

    USD to KHR for the last ten days

    Apr 13 Apr 14 Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 18 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 22
    1 USD = 4016.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4016.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4016.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4016.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4042.4333 Inverse: 0.0002 4045.8933 Inverse: 0.0002 4052.0292 Inverse: 0.0002 4020.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4021.3000 Inverse: 0.0002 4045.8533 Inverse: 0.0002

    USD to KHR for the last ten months

    Jun 2017 Jul 2017 Aug 2017 Sep 2017 Oct 2017 Nov 2017 Dec 2017 Jan 2018 Feb 2018 Mar 2018
    1 USD = 4095.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4090.0500 Inverse: 0.0002 4096.2917 Inverse: 0.0002 4064.6000 Inverse: 0.0002 4061.8667 Inverse: 0.0002 4061.0167 Inverse: 0.0002 4060.0167 Inverse: 0.0002 4016.0000 Inverse: 0.0002 4020.3500 Inverse: 0.0002 3995.0000 Inverse: 0.0003

    How to send money to Cambodia

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    What’s the best way to take money to Cambodia: Travel card, credit card or debit card?

    You can use USD in Cambodia, but if you plan to go to more countries or you want flexibility to pay in riels, you have other travel money options:

    Credit cards make the perfect travel companion. You can make interest-free purchases and there are a number of perks like emergency card replacement, access to emergency cash and complimentary insurances to protect you, your family and the things you buy. Find a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees to save the most when you spend.

    Take a preloaded travel card and withdraw USD from an ATM in Cambodia. Travel card ATM fees can be lower than debit cards — Cambodia is one country where a travel card can work in your favor.

    The other choice is to use a debit card to get cash. There are a few travel-friendly debit cards for you to compare. Some debit cards waive international transaction fees such as ATM fees and currency conversion fees. Checking accounts are free to open and won’t cost you anything unless you use the card.

    Travel money options for Cambodia at a glance

    Travel money optionProsCons
    Debit cards for travel
    • Emergency cash facilities
    • Ideal for managing your travel budget
    • Unlimited free withdrawals at selected banks
    • Save on ATM fees when you withdraw overseas
    • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
    • Can’t be used over the counter
    • No emergency cash
    • No backup cards
    Prepaid travel money cards
    • Can preload USD which is widely accepted in Cambodia
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Accepted worldwide
    • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
    • Ideal for managing your travel budget
    • No prepaid cards support the KHR
    • Local ATM fee
    • Reloading time
    Credit cards for travel
    • High availability of ATMs in Cambodia for cash withdrawals
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Accepted worldwide
    • No currency conversion or transaction fees
    • Benefits include rewards points on spending, 0% purchases, frequent flyer perks
    • Emergency card replacement
    • Can charge high withdrawal and cash advance fees
    • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)
    Traveler’s checks
    • 2% charge for cashing traveler’s checks can be cheaper than the flat fee for using an ATM
    • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
    • Photo ID needed to cash checks
    • Can be costly with initial purchase charges
    • Not all merchants accept traveler’s checks
    Cash
    • Both USD and KHR are used in Cambodia
    • Payment flexibility
    • Convenience
    • Difficult to manage expenses
    • Higher risk of theft

    This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

    How different travel money products work in Cambodia

    There are many ways you can take your money to Cambodia, but the most valuable option will depend on your financial situation, spending habits and travel plans.

    Using a debit card

    Debit cards are another way you can take your cash overseas. They are a great way to keep your budget on track, making it easy to keep track of how much you spend. Not all debit cards are suitable for overseas use though, so you’ll want to compare your options. Using your debit card for ATM withdrawals can cost you between $50 and $100 in fees. Find a bank that waives foreign ATM withdrawal fees, and spend the money you save on a guided tour.

    Using a travel money card

    Travel cards can lock in conversion rates once you load USD. Use it for purchases without worrying about rates each time you spend — debit and credit cards often charge a currency conversion fee of 3% for each transaction. But In Cambodia, because the US dollar is an accepted currency, you won’t pay the the currency conversion fee.

    Where you save in the conversion rates you may pay in fees. You’ll pay fees each time you load the card, ATM withdrawals and sometimes even an inactivity fee.

    Using a credit card

    Credit cards are accepted in larger restaurants and hotels, and you’ll likely have to show ID to use them. Find yourself a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees. Carrying a credit card gives you the added benefit of travel insurance and discounts, depending on your provider. For added savings, take advantage of the interest-free period by paying your balance in full each month.

    Cards that offer travel perks and waive fees often charge an annual fee, so make sure the fee is worth it before you bring it along on your travels. If you’re ever in a jam, credit cards also offer cash advances, though we don’t recommend it. You’ll pay high fees and interest rates apply the moment you get your money.

    Using a traveler’s check

    Security is the main advantage of using traveler’s checks. Each check has a unique serial number and can only be cashed with photo identification. Fees are the main disadvantage. Banks charge a fee to get a check and to cash them. You’re better off using a debit or travel card which lets you make cheap or free ATM withdrawals.

    Bringing cash

    You can bring US dollars to use in Cambodia, but if you run out of cash or would like to have it waiting for you upon arrival, you can use a money transfer company to get it there safely.

    Learn more

    Find and compare the best ways to send money to Cambodia.

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    David in Cambodia and Southeast Asia

    David and his friends spent three weeks in Southeast Asia: One week in Cambodia and a week each in Thailand and Vietnam. He visited Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple in Siem Reap and then headed to Sihanoukville on the coast. This is what he told us about using travel money in Cambodia.
    david-cheng-finder
    What cards did you take with you?

    Why did you take these cards?

    David says he used the Charles Schwab debit card for his everyday expenses at home, but it offers the benefit of no foreign transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees when he travels. He used his Barclaycard for big purchases like flights and other travel and for much of his accommodations.

    Where could you use your cards?

    David says he mainly used cash in Cambodia. For the times he did use his card, besides ATMs, David says he was able to use his cards at convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants — both big and small, department and clothing stores.

    What about ATM withdrawals?

    He withdrew funds from his travel card at Canadia Bank ATMs, which he read online were free, but when he checked his statement, he saw that he was charged a $4 fee by the ATM operator. But luckily for him, Charles Schwab reimbursed him for all those charges. He didn’t have problem using ATM machines and was able to withdraw about $200 each transaction.

    What is your travel money recommendation?

    He says he didn’t have to worry about any purchases or ATM withdrawals with the Charles Schwab debit card. David said he liked the flexibility of not searching out a certain ATM when he needed cash.

    Do you have any travel money tips?

    David says that it’s always a good idea to tell your bank about your travel plans so it doesn’t think the charges are fraudulent and block your account.

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    A quick guide to Cambodian riel

    Two currencies, one country: USD and KHR

    USD and KHR are both used in Cambodia. Buying an item worth $2.50 and paying with $5.00 gives you $2.00 in change and the rest in Cambodian riels. There are different exchange rates between riels and dollars used in Cambodia, too. $1.00 works out to be roughly 4,000 to 4,200 Cambodian riels.

    For example:

    If an item costs $1, pay $1 or 4,200 riels.

    If an item costs 5,000 riels, pay $1 and 1,000 riels.

    The value of a dollar changes between 4,000 and 4,200 riels depending on how you pay. Use riels to make smaller purchases to get the best price.

    • Tip. Make sure all the money you get back as change and money you get from the ATM is clean, crisp and untorn. Many Cambodians will not accept dirty or weathered bank notes.

    Did you know?

    The riel has been issued twice in Cambodia’s history. During the Pol Pot period, the country did not have a currency.

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    How do I access money in Cambodia?

    You shouldn’t have any issues finding an ATM in the large cities that accept Mastercard and Visa issued credit, debit and travel cards. Note there are some ATMs that only accept Visas. Be sure to look for the Visa and Mastercard logos displayed on the front of the ATM if you’re unsure which cards the ATM takes.

    The standard charge is approximately $5 per withdrawal. ANZ Royal charges the most and Bank of Canadia ATMs are the cheapest. Most ATMs dispense USD, while some dispense riels.

    ATMs will dispense large denominations, which can be hard to change. Request an ATM withdrawal that includes multiples of $20. For example, instead of withdrawing $300, you can ask for $280. This way you get some smaller notes as well as larger notes.

    • Tip: Be sure to spend all your riels before you leave, as the currency has no value outside Cambodia.

    Common ATMs where you can withdraw cash in Cambodia

    • Agribank
    • ANZ
    • ACLEDA
    • Canadia bank
    • Maybank Cambodia
    • Sacombank
    • Western Union

    Get a travel insurance quote for your vacation in Cambodia

    Details Features
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Travel with a smile - protect your trip cost, your medical expenses, & your belongings.
    • Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expenses up to $250,000
    • Trip Cancellation – 100% of Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption – up to 150% of Trip Cost
    • Political Evacuation - $20,000
    • Lost, Stolen or Damaged Baggage – up to $2,500
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation – up to $1 million
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    TravelEx's most comprehensive protection plan for the comprehensive traveler. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip Cancellation - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption - 150% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Delay - $1000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $100,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight’s Essential travel insurance package can be broken down into three critical parts: Trip Cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance, and baggage insurance.
    • Cancellation Cover - 100% Cost of Trip
    • Emergency Medical Expenses - $15,000
    • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation - $150,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects Cover - $750
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Get affordable cover for the essentials of options with STA's mid-level cover policy. This option will still provide up to $1500 in luggage cover and up to $100,000 in medical cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - 100% of trip cost insured up to $10,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $1,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $500
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    As the name implies, the Preferred package provides coverage for most trips and vacations.
    • Cancellation Cover - 100% Cost of Trip
    • Emergency Accident & Medical Expenses - $50,000
    • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation - $500,000
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment - $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Cancel For Any reason upgrade available with the Travel Max plan. Cancel for any reason - no questions asked.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • 100% cover if delayed to departure and loose at least 30%
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Provides customizable coverage for specific losses. Cover can be tailored to provide a balance between the basic essentials and premium cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $1 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $500
    • Travel Delay - $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Provides quality cover for a range of benefits with higher cover limits. Premium plan is perfect for travellers with health concerns looking for total protective cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $2 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $1,000
    • Travel Delay - $200/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Provides option to choose between different levels of flight insurance protection.
    • Flight Accident AD&D - Up to $1 Million
    • Baggage - $2,000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $2,500
    • Medical Evacuation / Repatriation - $25,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Get premiere cover for a whole range of options with STA's premium policy. This option will still provide up to $100,000 in medical expense cover and up to $3,000 in cancellation cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - $3,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $2,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance makes sure you are covered incase your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $500,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    If you frequently travel abroad and want extra coverage in case you get sick, injured, or need to cancel your trip, Allianz International Travel Insurance is the perfect solution.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $1,000,000
    Go to site More info
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