Travel money guide: Cambodia

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

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

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.

Our pick for use in Cambodia

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 1.25x miles on all purchases; 10x miles on purchases made through hotels.com/venture until January 2020
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 within your first 3 months when you open your account
  • Get 0% intro APR on purchases for your first 12 months, a variable APR of 13.74% – 23.74% applies thereafter
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
Read less
Read more
Promoted

Compare travel cards for Cambodia

Before packing your bags for Cambodia, take a look inside your wallet. If your cards charge foreign transaction fees, consider getting one that doesn’t. Thankfully, strong travel cards like those below don’t charge these fees, and most offer great travel perks, too.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Annual fee Purchase APR Filter values
None
$150
See Rates & Fees
Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. Rates & fees
None
$0
17.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
None
$0
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.74%, 19.74% or 23.74% variable)
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.49%, 22.24% or 24.74% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

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) Budget Mid-range Expensive
    to-sleep Cheap guesthouse room
    $3.50–$10
    Air conditioned hotel room
    $12–$40
    Boutique hotel or resort
    $30–$350
    to-eat Local meals and street eats
    $1–$3
    Decent local restaurant meal
    $5–$10
    Fancy meal with drinks
    $20–$40
    bus Local buses
    $2
    Local tour guide per day
    $15
    4WD rental per day
    $50–$100

    *Prices are approximate and are subject to change.

    Back to top

    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 option Pros Cons
    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.

    Back to top

    Case study: 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.

    Back to top

    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.

    image02image01
    image04image03
    image00

    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

    Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip delay
    100%
    $15,000
    $500
    $500
    Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
    $10,000
    $1,000
    $100
    Protect the cost of your flight and choose the coverage amount that meets your needs — trip delay protection included.
    $50,000
    $2,000
    $1,000
    Budget-friendly policy designed for international and domestic travelers who want medical protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption not included.
    $20,000
    $1,000
    $600
    Annual policy that offers affordable protection, but doesn't include trip cancellation or trip interruption.
    100%
    $15,000
    $750
    $500
    Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Back to top

    Frequently asked questions

    Back to top
    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site