Nepal travel money guide

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

Nepal is a cash country so you can't land without knowing the best ways to access your cash.

While credit and debit cards are still possible to use there are not always facilities readily available in the country for you to use your plastic, like when you're in smaller towns in rural areas.

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 June 25th, 2019
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.

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Rates last updated June 25th, 2019
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.
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 2.00% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.

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Updated June 25th, 2019
Name Product Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fee
In Store, At Airport
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 June 25th, 2019
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.
AUD $3.50, USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50
Offers $0 reload options and locked in exchange rates. Use the Currency Pass to spend in up to 10 currencies everywhere Mastercard is accepted.

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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
  • 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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