The Ultimate Cambodian Currency Guide 2024: RIEL

Complete Guide to Cambodian Currency (Khmer Riel and US Dollars) in Cambodia

Cambodian Currency

This is a complete guide to money in Cambodia. The official currency is called Riel, but US dollars are also used all the time. You might pay for something in Cambodian Riel and then get change in US dollars, or pay for something in US dollars and get smaller Riels back as change. 1 US dollar is worth about 4,000 Cambodian Riels (you can exchange 1 USD for 4,000 Khmer Riel), so keep that in mind. You will see many money changers showing you how many Riels you get for $1, so if you see a sign for 4,100, it is a better exchange rate than a money changer with a sign saying 4,050. The higher the number, the better exchange rate you will receive. But don't waste half your day walking around Cambodia looking for the best exchange rate, as it makes a minimal difference.

You might want to bring smaller denominations in US dollars, as even though they're widely used, you might not always be able to get change for a $100 bill if you're only buying an item that only costs a few dollars, and most taxis and tuk-tuks won't have more than a few dollars of change on them in either dollars or Riel.

And when you arrive in Cambodia by land or at an airport, you will pay for your visa in US dollars, which is officially posted everywhere. There will be money changers in airports if you happen to bring Euros or most other currencies, but you will get terrible rates at airports, so at least bring US dollars for when you arrive in Cambodia. After that you can get dollars out of ATMs and exchange them at money changers all over the country, or even pay with them and you'll receive a mix of dollars and Riels as change.

So when you come to Cambodia, bring lots of new USD notes with you. You'll have no problem spending them for larger purchases or exchanging them for small KHR (Khmer Riel) notes from money changers all over the country. There is still a push to use the local Cambodian currency in Cambodia in 2024, but dollars are still widely accepted everywhere. And now in 2024, it is more and more common for prices to be listed in Khmer Riel only and not in US dollars, and it's becoming a lot more rarer to get change in US dollars, so have a good understanding of the exchange rate and expect all of your change to be given to you in Riel.

What currency do they use in Cambodia?

Cambodia's official currency is called 'Riel.' It comes in denominations as large as 50,000 and as small as coins for 50. Even though the Cambodian Riel is the national currency, they also commonly use US Dollars in Cambodia as if it were the official currency.

Does Cambodia use US dollars?

Yes. US dollars are widely used in Cambodia. Dollars and Riels are used interchangeably all the time, and you might pay in one currency and get change in the other, or a mix of both. Some ATMs allow you to choose whether you'd like to withdraw dollars or Riel. You can even use US Dollars or Riels in your bank's savings account in Cambodia. The interest rates are always higher in Riel than in dollars.

What currency do I need to bring to Cambodia?

The most popular foreign currency to bring to Cambodia is US dollars. They receive the best exchange rates, and most places accept them without even needing to exchange them for Riel. Thai Baht is accepted in some border towns, and you can exchange them for decent rates in most cities, like Phnom Penh, Kampot and Siem Reap.

What currency do ATMs in Cambodia give?

ATMs in Cambodia give out both US dollars and Cambodian Riel. Typically though, you'll get dollars from ATMs. And not all ATMs give you Riel, but they all give you dollars.

What denominations does Cambodia Riel come in?

  • 50,000 Riel banknote
  • 20,000 Riel banknote
  • 10,000 Riel banknote
  • 5,000 Riel banknote
  • 2,000 Riel banknote
  • 1,000 Riel banknote
  • 500 Riel banknote
  • 100 Riel banknote
  • 50 Riel banknote (rare)
  • 500 Riel coin (rare)
  • 200 Riel coin (rare)
  • 100 Riel coin (rare)
  • 50 Riel coin (rare)

Do they use coins in Cambodia?

No. While they use both US dollars and Khmer Riel, they do not use coins in Cambodia, so you probably won't come across them.

When did Cambodia start using Riel as the national currency?

Cambodia started using Riel as the national currency in 1980. From 1975 to 1980 they used no money at all, under the Khmer Rouge.

How much cash should I bring to Cambodia?

You should probably bring a couple hundred US dollars with you when you arrive in Cambodia. Bring a few large notes, like $50 dollar bills and $100 dollar bills, but also several 10's, 20's and many 5's. 5 dollar bills are probably best, as they are not too large and you can always get change for them. Once in country, you can easily top up your cash from ATMs with minimal fees.

What are the ATM fees in Cambodia?

ATM fees in Cambodia are generally about $5 (and whatever your bank charges as well), so take out a few hundred dollars at a time to cut down on fees. If your bank is in USD there is no exchange rate/fee, but if your bank is in Euros or Pounds, the rates are up to Mastercard and Visa's normal currency exchange rates.

How much money can I take out of Cambodian ATMs?

Some ATMS in Cambodia have low limits of around $150 USD, and others allow you to take out about $600 USD.

How much cash can I bring with me to Cambodia?

There is no limit to the amount of cash you can bring into Cambodia, however, you are required to declare any cash if you have over $10,000 USD in any foreign currency.

Is it easy to transfer money overseas to and from Cambodia?

Yes, it's easy to send and receive money in Cambodia. There are several money transfer companies, with Western Union and MoneyGram being the most popular international options. You will find MoneyGram and Western Union locations all over Cambodia.

Can I use my credit card in Cambodia?

Most hotels, larger shops, international restaurants, and travel agents accept credit cards. Visa and MasterCard are the most popular, but some places even accept American Express. Remember to always ask the merchant to charge you in US dollars, because the exchange rates are almost always better than the rates for Riel.

Is the Cambodia Riel exchange rate pegged to the US dollar?

No, but it's been very close to $1 USD = 4,000 Riel for many, many years. They started using USD alongside their own currency in 1993 when the United Nations peacekeepers came to Cambodia to oversee the elections, and they've continued using USD ever since.

What is the symbol for Cambodian Riel?

Can I use ripped dollars in Cambodia?

No, ripped dollars are not accepted anywhere. It's fine if your Khmer Riel notes are torn or ripped, but damaged US dollars are not accepted anywhere, so do not accept them yourself. Inspect all banknotes given to you as change, and all dollar bills should be in excellent shape.

Clue: Cambodian currency with 4 letters. Answer: RIEL
Clue: Cambodian currency with 5 letters. Answer: RIELS

We hope you've enjoyed all the information in our complete guide on Riel, the official currency in the Kingdom of Cambodia. If you have any specific questions about money in Cambodia that you need answered, join our discussion forum and ask the community.

Cambodian Riel Notes