Published Date :21 Dec, 2019
If you decide to travel to Nepal or wheather you are already there I believe you will not regret your journey, as Nepal is one of the most visited country of Asia continent and a top destination on traveller´s bucket list for backpackers, mountainers and nature lovers. Wheather you plan to go for Himalayas trek or just for a hint of taste of cultural experience Nepalese citizens will welcome tourists and adventoures with open arms, itś not a coincidence that Annapurna means Welcome, come to us! J
Nepal economy is based practicly on tourism, wherever you go you should know and understand how to manage and save your money, I´m sure you will exactly know how to spend it what currency in Nepal is, what currencies are convertible, where to go to Exchange it, what kind of money Exchange services in Nepal exist, how much cash to carry in Nepal etc. to avoid any inconveniences and make your journey easy, safe and comfortable.
I hope you will find all necesary answers that help you to decide which option is the best for you. I wish you the best experience in Nepal as itś possible to achieve.
Once you travel with USD and Euros, „your doors will be opened“ in uncountable travel agencies, hotels and airlines, even some restaurants or coffee shops who appreciate and accept such currencies right away in cash payments.
Currencies to Exchange
The most Typical currencies to Exchange are USD, GBP, EURO, YEN. However you can practically exchange more or less every type of currency in Nepal.
Majority of other currencies are recognized and converted into Nepal currancy - Nepali rupees.
Despite of the fact that Nepal belongs into third country with very slow economy grow, you don´t need to worry to carry a lots of cash in hand, especially when landing in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Travel in Nepal is very easy and simple with holding just debit or credit card. Without any hassle accepted international cards in Nepal are mainly : Visa, Master Card, Maestro, American Express, Diners Club, Cirrus. Do not forget service chargé fee, approx. 3.5% will be applied on side of bank for each ATM withdrawal or payment transaction.
Among the Favorite Nepal banks that promoting withdrawing and payment transaction of international credit cards (MasterCard, VISA,) via ATMs in Kathmandu and Pokhara belong Standard Chartered, Everest Bank, Nabil Bank & Himalaya Bank. Dispatched Cash is only in Nepali Rupees.
Particulary with Cirrus and American Express debit cards is required specific individuall verification due to their distinct relationships with national banks.
For American citizen, one of a promising choice for a debit card is through Charles Schwab. They refund all foreign transaction fees back.
You will not succeed with the credit cards that much, as they are in most of placed declined. If accepted then you need to pay and extra chargé fee, on the other hand you can score up the points for using on flights and hotels. For someone is a kind of emergency – just in case if something happen at least you can use it in luxury hotels where credit cards are taken. Venture card is designed especially for travel, so no need to inform them where you are heading to.
What banks and cards are suitable to choose for international payments?
Very convenient banks and debit cards for middle EUROPE – PL, CZ, SK are Mbank and Fiobank.The accounts seting differ moderately in each of the bank in each country of Middle Europe.
cash deposits to an account in the deposit ATM network
Before leaving your home country allways ask your own bank which bank is the best to use in Nepal
ATM (Automated Teller Machines)
The most common and highly recommended used by travellers are ATMs where you get a fair Exchange rate. ATMś are regular especially in Nepal’s larger cities, exeptionally you will find them in smaller towns, if so, very rarely the ones that recognize international cards. The ATMś machines deliver the cash to recipient in Nepalese rupees.
Due to the fact of unpredictable weather, unriliable telecommunications or frequent electrical power breakdown, you should not depend on ATMs that much. The best way to use ATM´s is to get your cash in Kathmandu – Thamel area or Pokhara – Pokhara´s lakeside in advance before trekking, otherwise you might get stuck with withdrawals.
As I mentioned above not all ATMś are reliable, please make sure you withdraw the money in Kathmandu – Thamel area or Pokhara- Pokharaś Lakeside. While you trek EVEREST BASE CAMP you could find ATMś in town like Namche Bazaar or on your tour to Annapurna circuit trek in Jomson that might or might not be working.
In case if you struggle with money in Nepal, get advice in Nepal Backpackers Club or contact someone from Facebook group, they might have relevant recent answer if any working ATMś are around you.
ATMś Lounges are typicly organized together in a groups close to shopping malls, crowded places, small rooms of 4-5 ATM machines from various banks, so you can choose the one that suits your card the most.
Banks sometimes arrange a security guard to an ATM to guide all clients that enter machines with cards to make sure all the transactions are secure and safe. Itś advisable to ask guard which one is currently working, by this, you can safe a time rather than by trying each of them on your own.
You could find separate ATMś where no bank is around, these single „ATMś“ machine looks at least suspiciously. Commonly ATMś are situated around bank branch, such a standing alone machines you should better avoid any contact at all.
In some cases you might get trouble when using ATM when required to insert card, some of the cards will stay inside of machine (even this case is nowadays exeptional) while you make a transaction. if such a situation occur like this one, you need to spend some time to travel into the tourist police department to get your card back.
Don´t withdraw cash late at night or at overcrowded lounges, make sure you checked the ATM machine before any use – no sign of demage, if possible ask guard.
Frequently only one of the ATMś lounge machine is working fully.
ATM Fees and limits
You are limited by maximum withdrawals per one ATMś machine. Commonly the limit range is from 10.000 – 30.000 NPR. If the ATM has a enough money in majority of ATMś you will be allowed to witdraw the maximum amount of 30.000 NPR. However if you use another ATMś that is working the same day you can withdraw another 30.000 NPR.
ATM fees range depends on relationship with national bank, could be 3,5% from each transaction, commonly is 500 NPR = approx.$5 per one witdrawal.
I would higly recommend you také out the maximum amount = 30.000 NPR to stay away of paying the fees all over again.
This happen in the case if your debit card doesn’t refund you for foreign transaction fees back.
If ATM will desplay on screen that you don´t have enough money on your account or withdrawal is prohibited or simillar note, that might be of 2 reasons – the first reason might be of ATM not having enough money, the second reason might be your limits on your debit card that you settled and forgot – so please bear it in mind and go throug your account before you travel into Nepal or change it online asap so you can easily withdraw any amount of money. J
Be aware of ATM skimming in Nepal. There were several cases when the people reported credit card number was stolen during visit in Nepal. For these cases you should hold a backup debit card.
Keep another debit card seperately in another wallet with some spare money and passport in case if the first one gets lost or stolen.
If you want to Exchange money into Nepalese rupees outside of Nepal, you probably won´t succeed due to not freely convertible currency.
Thamel District belong into top tourist shopping place in Nepal, consist of 5 main streets that crosses the lines of each other. Thamel is unforgetable experiance that offers dynamic, chaotic atmosphere full of various restaurants, hotels, shops, travel agents etc. Thamel marge is a place where most of the hikers, enthusiastic adventures and mountaineers bunch together and get ready for the Himalaya trip. Money changers are situated next to each other, so you can easily compare the most suitable Exchange rate. The major currrencies are accepted within this zone, you will be dealing with an agent for wire transfers. Don´t forget to ask for a commisssion rate, Exchange rate fees and international fees if exists. If you ask your travel agent or a guide they might give you better currancy rate.
RECOMMENDED MONEY CHANGERS
The most popular are:
Annapurna Money Exchange
Eco Money Exchange
Alpine Money Exchange
The other are :
Laxmi Money Exchange
North Point Money Exchange
Lotus Money Exchange
Dolphin Money Exchange
*Opening hours may vary. Call first before visiting.
MONEY CHANGERS ON AND NEAR CHAKSIBARI MARG
RECOMMENDED MONEY CHANGERS
East & West Money Exchange
A One Money Changer
Kanchanjungha Money Exchange
Himalaya Money Exchange
Universal Money Exchange
MONEY CHANGERS NEAR DURBAR = Palace SQUARE
You will recognize Durbar square very easily of itś typical traditional architecture full of temples and towers, unfortunatelly since earthquake in 2015 half a dozen of them collapsed, untill now, majority of them still not repaired. When you ask Nepalese citizen for cityś kings or the old town of Kathmandu - The most interesting and most visited place and the most popular attraction in Kathmandu, they will guide you into durbar square that is registered as Unesco World herritage Site. All around you can find trustable money changers. Try some forex shops on Freak Street, Dharma Path and Sukra Path.
RECOMMENDED MONEY CHANGERS
Basantapur Money Exchange
Continental Money Exchange
OTHER MONEY CHANGERS
Inside Thamel Supermarket, Paryatan Marg
SAGARMATHA MONEY EXCHANGE
Amrit Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepál
Reliable Nepal Banks
If you decide to travel to Nepal frequently, or if you reconsider staying in Nepal some months a year, itś better to set an account in one of the major banks, they will have a different fees for seting or managing account or for transactions. Another idea is to have a friend in Nepal that will help you to Exchange money – you can send either trustable Nepal agent or another friend money the rate will be the lowest.
If you prefer client service and just Exchange money in authorized banks, you need to count with some extra time either to stand in a queu either to fullfill the form, including the proces of ID varification.
On the other hand major banks can provide quite fair rate, itś a close alternative to forex shops even if their rates are allways lower.
Remember banking hours are limited, transactions might také longer than you expected.
Don’t forget to bring your passport or other IDs for a successful transaction.
Check an Exchange rate before you go, on bank website
Delivering your debit card and cheque book takes approx. 14 days
Itś feasible to send the money into Nepal,incoming transactions are done without any big obstacles, likely „mission impossible“ to transfer money out of Nepal via wire or bank transfer.
RECOMMENDED BANK BRANCHES
Himalayan Bank Thamel branch
ONLINE MONEY TRANSFERS
Available transfer methods depend on the destination country. Options include wire transfers, ACH transfers, and draft transfers.
Nowadays such a a big help of exchanging money are online money transfers. You could transfer money to your account in the best option or to friendś or reliable travel agentś bank account. When the authority verify and authorize your profile that includes proof of address, proof of identity, you are entitled to use online money transfer account. Completing the whole procedure takes literally a few minutes.
Iĺl introduce briefly the most two famous and highly recommended money transfers , as you are probably at least aware of.
Both Online money transfers Transferwise and XE money transfer are fast, safe and secure.
XE money transfer account offer:
Likewise, another online money transfer TransferWise is working on the simillar concept
of mid-market Exchange rate, transfer is going to cost you a little money – you will be told in advance- that is insignificant comparable to a very fair Exchange rate.
Usually money trasfers takes up to 5 working days. For bank transfer to Nepal.
Bear in mind, Nepal has several annual holidays throughout the year.
Another option via TransferWise is Borderless multi-currency account,
This particular account suits to travellers and expacts that lead „international lifestyle“, in the case they need frequently use or Exchange different currencies
This account offer :
Revolut is banking app and payment card that represents one of the revolution product in banking technology that is understandable simple and cheap for users. Revolut offers fast and secure global spending and international money transfers without any hidden fees.
SECURITY proces on online banking is based on manuály entering your telephone number, then your choosen password and use your finger print.
You can choose from 3 main accounts depending on how much services you will actually use on daily basis from Standard, Premium or Metal account.
Revolut account offer:
Payments are done withing two working days, usually the transactions are very fast with a low amount of money.
Bear in mind card delivery can take 7-14 days to arrive, so order it in ahead of your planned journey for a standard account fee £4.99.
Try to not Exchange money during weekends, as you will be faced of extra charges for foreign exchanges0.5% for major currencies and 1% for others, so please Exchange it in advance.