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Money and Shopping in South Korea


Money and Shopping in South Korea

The currency of South Korea is the won (₩), written 원 in hangul. As of April 2011, the exchange rate was approximately 1081 won to the US dollar. Coins come in denominations of ₩10, ₩50, ₩100 and ₩500, while banknotes come in denominations of ₩1000 (blue), ₩5000 (red), ₩10,000 (green) and ₩50,000 (yellow). ₩1 and ₩5 coins, while they exist, are very rare. The largest bill currently in circulation is only ₩50,000 (US$45, €27) and somewhat uncommon in ATMs, which makes carrying around large sums of currency a bit of a chore. ₩100,000 "checks" are frequently used, and some of the checks go up to ₩10,000,000 in value. These checks are privately produced (by banks, etc.) which can be used as "c-notes". A new series of notes was released in 2006/2007, so expect to see several versions floating around, and be prepared for hassles with vending machines which may not accept the new or old versions. ATM are ubiquitous, but most Korean ATMs don't accept foreign cards, only Citibank ATMs and special Global ATMs do. These can be found at airports in some areas frequented by foreigners in major cities, including Hongdae, some subway stations, and in many Family Mart convenience stores. Sometimes however even the Global ATMs may not accept your foreign card so it's wise to have a second source of money for those times. Be sure to stock up on cash before heading to the countryside, and if you plan on staying in Korea for a longer time, you'll probably want to set up a local account at eg. Woori Bank, which can then be used at the bank's ATMs throughout the country (even some non-local accounts can do this- for example, Woori Bank accounts set up in China come with an ATM card that can be used with all its ATMs in Korea). Credit card acceptance, on the other hand, is very good, and all but the very cheapest restaurants and motels will take Visa and Mastercard.

The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about South Korea


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South Korea Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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