Cambodia uses a dual currency system of US dollars and Cambodian Riel. Dollars are used for most transactions, while Riel is often used as small change. In all cases, both are acceptable.

Money and banking for tourists

If you are only visiting Cambodia, using your home bank account with local ATMs is the best option. The standard withdrawal fee for international cards is usually around $5.

If you withdraw large amounts, funds will be dispersed in $100 bills. Most local shops will struggle to give change on $100. Therefore, consider this strategy:

  1. Break $100 at bars, restaurants, supermarkets or large convenience stores
  2. Use the resulting small notes for daily transactions

Money and banking in Cambodia for expats

If you are staying for more than a few months, setting up a local bank account is the way to go. There are several options to consider, but we recommend ABA Bank. They have branches all over town where English is spoken. With a passport and a local address, you can quickly set up a visa debit card bank account. This will allow you to:

  1. Withdraw funds in USD or Riel
  2. Make purchases online

One limit to be aware of with any Cambodia debit card is that Paypal does not have an agreement with Cambodia. While you can use the card to make Paypal payments, you cannot withdraw Paypal funds into any Cambodia account.

Best banks for foreigners in Cambodia

Here is a rundown of the three most foreigner friendly banks in Phnom Penh.

ABA Bank

Most expats who choose ABA bank will get all their needs covered, easily. They have 30 branches and over 150 ATMs across Phnom Penh. To set up an account you simply need a password (with valid Cambodia visa), phone number and local address.

  • Competitive rates on savings accounts
  • Visa debit savings accounts can be used for online purchases
  • Decent native mobile banking app
  • Excellent customer service

ANZ Royal Bank

A joint effort between Japanese and Cambodian banks, ANZ Royal Bank is also very popular with expats. They have 17 branches and 129 ATMS in Phnom Penh. The best option is the Convenience Plus account, which requires a minimum starting deposit of USD $500. If you maintain that balance, there is a $1 monthly charge – if you don’t, the monthly charge is $3. Convenience Plus features:

  • Includes Visa debit card with international access
  • Can be used to make purchases at point-of-sale terminals in local shops and restaurants
  • Free bill payments via ATM
  • Excellent customer service

Acleda Bank

This is the largest bank on the list, with 230 branches across Cambodia and the most ATMs in the country. They offer all the benefits of the other banks listed. However, service is definitely focused on Cambodians, therefore not as foreigner-friendly.

  • Includes Visa debit card with international access
  • Can be used to make purchases at point-of-sale terminals in local shops and restaurants
  • Free bill payments via ATM
  • Excellent customer service