Hong Kong is a country that is a must-visit for any shopaholics out there. Whether your visit is for business or pleasure you can always expect to do some serious spending. In order for those shopping bargains to really turn out as bargains you need to know the best, cost-saving ways to access your money when travelling to Hong Kong. But which way is the best way? What is the best card to take with you?
This guide aims to help you sort through the choices of travel money in Hong Kong, debit and credit cards as well as how to find the best exchange rates, fees and charges.
Buying Hong Kong Dollars for Travel
Fees charged and exchange rates offered vary greatly so always take time to compare before you buy travel money.
How Much Should I Budget for my Trip to Hong Kong?
The Hong Kong dollar is the currency of Hong Kong.
Banks and ATMs are widely available across Hong Kong but never rely solely on cards and ATMs here. There are many places that will only accept cash so it’s a good idea to have some on you when you arrive.
How much you need to take initially depends on your budget, and the type of holiday you intend to have whilst in Hong Kong.
HK$180-450 per night
HK$550-1100 per night
|Double room/4 star hotel
from HK$2000 per night
|Cha chain tang (tea house) or food stall
HK$350 three course meal
from HK$800 per person
|Bus, tram, ferry ticket
HK$210 (Hong Kong International Airport to Mong Kok)
HK$1200 a day (Toyota Camry)
- All prices are in Hong Kong dollars and are an estimate.
The Best Card to Use in Hong Kong
Most travel cards on the market will allow you to load them up with HKD. Bear in mind however, if you plan to use your travel card when travelling beyond Hong Kong that it may not accept being loaded with alternative currencies.
Always compare fees that will be incurred when using any card and be aware of the differences between a travel money card and a travel friendly credit card. Currency conversion fees can vary between 3% and 5% and may have an impact on your overall budget. Using ATMS can also inflict unwanted charges.
There are credit cards to be found that don’t charge conversion fees. However, almost all credit cards will charge you a large fee if withdrawing cash from an ATM so it is wise to minimize the number of times you do this.
At this time only the 28 Degrees MasterCard offers international ATM withdrawals with zero fees.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted across Asia although some places will have a definite preference towards MasterCard. As with the UK, American Express is accepted in far less places.
Using your Debit Card in Hong Kong
Using your usual UK debit card is simple in Hong Kong. A debit card is an easy way to keep track of your budget whilst travelling as you are only spending what you have. It’s nice to return from an overseas trip without having to pay off credit card debts with hiked interest charges.
Make sure you know the charges associated with ATM withdrawals, these can escalate and make an unwanted incursion into your travel budget.
For the most up to date information on accessing your money in Hong Kong, speak to an expert at The Currency Shop.
Sue is going on a business trip to Hong Kong and her husband, Paul, is coming along for the ride. He is going to spend his time shopping whilst Sue is in business meetings.
Their accommodation and meals are paid for by Sue’s company so all Paul needs is shopping and spending money. He brings enough HKD to get him by for a couple of days and he also brings both a credit card and a debit card.
Before travelling he spoke to one of the team at The Currency Shop and selected a credit card with zero conversion fees. He also has peace of mind as he knows exactly how much his bank will charge him for each withdrawal from an ATM using his debit card.