Saving Money When Travelling to Hong Kong

Saving Money When Travelling to Hong KongHong 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?

hong kong at nightThe 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.

DAILY BUDGET* LOW MEDIUM HIGH
 

Accommodation

Guesthouse

HK$180-450 per night

Budget hotel

HK$550-1100 per night

Double room/4 star hotel

from HK$2000 per night

 

Food

Cha chain tang (tea house) or food stall

HK$60-150

Chinese restaurant

HK$350 three course meal

Top restaurant

from HK$800 per person

 

Travel

Bus, tram, ferry ticket

HK$2.50-15

Taxi

HK$210 (Hong Kong International Airport to Mong Kok)

Car rental

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

 

Travel Cards

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.

 

Credit Card

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.

 

Case Study

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.

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