Nepal travel money guide

Get the lowdown on how to access your holiday cash while in the mountainous towns of Nepal.

Last updated:

Nepal is a cash country so you can't land without knowing the best ways to access your cash. While credit and debit cards aren't always readily available in the country for you to use in smaller towns in rural areas, it's becoming more common to use debit and credit cards in the main towns.

Therefore, using a mix of cash and card in Nepal is a good idea. You can compare travel money options in the table below.

Compare travel money options for Nepal

Cash is king in Nepal but credit and debit cards are typically accepted at larger hotels or restaurants.

It's recommended using your no-fee debit card for cash withdrawals at ATMs and for purchases when available. Use cash for any purchases you can't make with a debit or credit card as you backpack up and down the country. Traveller's cheques are a thing of the past, even in Nepal.

Rates last updated November 13th, 2019
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and a $0 first year annual fee. Plus, complimentary insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
ING Orange One Platinum
2.5%
of transaction value
$2.50
$149 p.a.
Enjoy up to $30 cashback per month and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
$5
$99 p.a.
Enjoy up to 120,000 bonus points (worth $600 flybuys Dollars / 52,200 Velocity Points ) when you meet the spend criteria and 2 flybuys / $1 spent.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated November 13th, 2019
$
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
Westpac Choice
Take advantage of Westpac's Global Alliance and save on overseas ATM fees at over 50,000 locations worldwide with fee-free cash withdrawals.
Mastercard
$0
$5
3%
Citi Global Currency Account
Hold up to 10 currencies.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free. Earn up to 1.50% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
Mastercard
$0
$0
$0

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Updated November 13th, 2019
Name Product Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fee
$500
$5,000
In Store, At Airport
$0
Travelex makes it easy to exchange and get the best rate on over 40 currencies so you can be prepared for your next holiday.

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Updated November 13th, 2019
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB

Overseas: $0

Domestic: 2.95% of the amount withdrawn

1.1% of initial load value or $15, whichever is greater
1.1% of transaction value or $15, whichever is greater
Lock in exchange rates for up to 10 currencies, pay no overseas ATM fees and get exclusive merchant offers.

Compare up to 4 providers

Should I bring a prepaid travel card, credit card or debit card to Nepal?

Travel money option Pros Cons
Pre-paid travel money card
  • Accepted worldwide as a credit card
  • Protected by PIN and chip
  • Can get back-up cards and emergency replacement cards are available
  • Ideal for managing travel budgets as you preload currency onto the card
  • Can't secure an exchange rate for Nepalese rupee
  • You need to reload currency if you run out and need Internet access to do so
  • Local ATM fees apply
Credit card
  • Payments are protected
  • Protected by PIN and chip
  • Access funds available up to your credit limit regardless of whether it's in an account
  • Accepted worldwide
  • Can get benefits for spending such as travel rewards or cashback
  • High withdrawal and cash advance fees may apply
  • Higher spending limited depending on your credit limit
  • Harder to stick to a budget as you can prepay for things with money you don't necessarily have
Debit card
  • No currency conversion fees on transactions
  • Good for managing travel budget
  • Acts as emergency cash backup when facilities are available
  • International and conversion ATM fees
  • No emergency cash
  • No back-up card
Cash
  • Better payment flexibility
  • More convenient
  • Higher risk of theft or scam
  • Harder to manage expenses

What's the Nepalese currency?

The money used in Nepal is the Nepalese rupee (Rs), which comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 500 and 1,000. Rupee coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10, while 1, 2, 25 and 250 rupee notes also exist but are rarely used.

Rupees are divided further into 100 paisa (p) which come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 but are rarely used along with the 5 and 10 rupee coins. You will likely only see the 1 and 2 rupee coins.

Travel money tips for Nepal

  • Exchange after you arrive and before you leave. The Nepalese rupee is not a freely convertible currency so you will have to exchange money once you get to Nepal.
  • Use an ATM. You will find the best exchange rates withdrawing cash from an ATM or exchanging money at a Travelex.
  • Check exchange rates in advance. It's smart to check exchange rates before getting cash exchanged to make sure you aren't getting ripped off.
  • If exchanging dollars into rupees, bring crisp notes. Exchange offices may not accept damaged foreign notes. Keep an eye out when receiving Nepalese rupees after an exchange too because if the notes are damaged shopkeepers or other exchange offices may not take the notes back.
  • Charge your card in local currency. Some services promise to give you good exchange rates and display the charge in your local currency but the rate is oftentimes worse than the mid-market rate.
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