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Cash & ATMs in Nepal: All about fees, limits, forex, cards & money

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cash currency exchange atms in nepal

Nepal, a country nestled in the Himalayas, is a paradise for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike. It boasts a remarkable combination of breathtaking mountain ranges like Mount Everest and Annapurna, alongside the rich cultural heritage of Kathmandu’s historic temples and the tranquil beauty of Pokhara. Having a grasp of the local cash, ATMs in Nepal and payment options is essential for successfully navigating this diverse and rugged terrain. This guide offers valuable financial insights to help you navigate Nepal’s stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage with ease and confidence.

Do I need to carry cash in Nepal or can I rely solely on card payments?

In Nepal, you will need cash, particularly in smaller cities and rural regions. Although major hotels, restaurants, and stores in urban centres such as Kathmandu and Pokhara accept cards, it is still necessary to have cash on hand for local markets and transportation. ATMs are available, although their reliability outside major cities may be a concern.

It is important to have cash on hand for…
Public transport, including buses and smaller local options like rickshaws
Small local businesses, street vendors, and traditional markets
Entry fees for temples, monasteries, and certain historical sites that do not offer electronic payment options
Cash tips and gratuities
Some budget accommodations and guesthouses

You can use card payments at…
Major hotels and upscale restaurants, especially in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Big retail stores and supermarkets in urban areas
Booking tours and adventure activities through reputable agencies
Domestic flights

What currencies are accepted? Possible to use US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds in Nepal?

The currency used in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR), which comes in note denominations of Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. Of course, it is widely used and accepted.

US Dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas, major hotels, and for activities such as trekking and tours. In similar settings, Euros and Pounds may also be accepted, although they are not as commonly used.

Having local currency on hand is usually recommended for day-to-day expenses and when dealing with smaller vendors.

How to get the local currency in Nepal

In Nepal, there are three primary ways to obtain cash:

ATMs,
Currency exchange, and
Money transfer services

Important tip: It is advisable to refrain from purchasing Nepalese Rupee in your home country. It may be challenging to find this currency locally, and if you do manage to find it, the exchange rate might not be favourable.

Where can I find ATMs in Nepal?

Nepal has a network of over 4,800 ATMs. These are operated by a variety of commercial and specialised banks. There are many options available in big cities but limited to no options in smaller towns.

ATMs are commonly found at:

Large airports
Market and town squares
Popular streets in large cities that attract many tourists
Shopping malls
Food lanes
Branches of banks

Difficult to find ATMs at:

Smaller airports
Mountain-adjacent towns
Bus stops in the region
Village interiors
Hidden away in small towns, tucked off the main streets
Remote resorts and retreats

Currency exchanges in Nepal

You can use these places to exchange money in Nepal:

Authorised currency exchange centres: You will find them in the centre of town in Kathmandu and some in Pokhara. Don’t expect to find them in small towns.
Banks: Bank branches can also easily convert your currency to Nepalese Rupee, especially from currencies like US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars. Expect a pay a commission of 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
Hotels and airports: Airports have lots of currency exchanges and so do many large and small hotels. But the exchange rates are not great.

Pro-tips:

Don’t exchange at airports – Rates are poor
Don’t exchange at black market – You’re likely to be scammed
Bring new notes – Damaged, dirty notes will get you lesser rates or higher fees

What types of cards are accepted in Nepal?

ATMs in Nepal accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, JCB, UnionPay, and Discover. Most do not accept Amex, Diners, or Rupay cards.

To swipe you can use Visa and Mastercard easily. Your Amex card can only be used at a limited number of establishments.

Most currency exchanges prefer physical cash for exchange. You may not always be able to use a card here.

Are ATMs in Nepal similar to those in other countries?

Yes, they are quite similar to ATMs in other countries. The ATMs operate with the same efficiency as those found in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. Make sure to retrieve your card after withdrawing cash from ATMs that fully take your card inside during the transaction.

ATMs also provide the option to choose between currency conversion with ‘With Conversion’ or ‘Accept Conversion’ and without conversion with ‘Without Conversion’ or ‘Decline Conversion’. Choose ‘Without Conversion’ or ‘Decline Conversion’ to avoid any additional fees.

Popular banks with ATMs in Nepal

Citizens Bank
Nepal SBI Bank
NIC Asia
ADBL
Laxmi Bank
Prabhu Bank
NMB Bank
Siddhartha Bank
Nabil Bank
Everest Bank

What are the names of ATMs in Nepal?

The term ‘ATM’ is typically used to display the presence of an ATM.

Card PINs

Length of ATM PINs in Nepal: Usually, 4-digit PINs are accepted.

Merchant Card Requirements: Both magnetic stripe cards and chip-and-PIN cards are commonly used and accepted.

Languages at currency exchanges and ATMs in Nepal

ATMs in Nepal come with two language options as default – Nepalese and English. If you’re not familiar with these languages, you can use the camera function on Google Translate to instantly translate the options on your phone. Please note that these translations may not always be completely accurate, so it is important to take your time and avoid rushing through the transaction.

At currency exchange places, you can also communicate in the two languages mentioned above to get your cash in Nepal.

Withdrawal limits and ATM fees in Nepal

The withdrawal limit at ATMs usually ranges from Np 10,000 to Np 30,000 per transaction, with Np 25,000 being the most common.

There are no ATMs in Nepal that are without fees for foreign card holders. The fees for ATM transactions vary from Np 499.95 to Np 700 per transaction, with Np 500 being the most common amount.

The ATM Fee Saver mobile and web app provides a convenient solution for finding ATMs in Nepal that do not charge fees. Additionally, it lists places where you can exchange currency or use money Use the app’s calculator to determine the fees for your withdrawals in Nepal. The app will guide you to the selected ATM using its navigation feature. It includes information for 50 countries, including Nepal.

Tips to minimise fees at currency exchanges and ATMs in Nepal

When it comes to ATMs:

Utilise ATMs with lower fees while in the country.
Discover low-fee ATMs with the help of the ATM Fee Saver app.
Choose the option of Decline Conversion or Without Conversion when conducting ATM transactions.
You may want to consider obtaining fee-free cards from your home country.

Regarding currency exchanges:

Avoid no-fee exchange offices in Nepal at all costs when it comes to getting money. When a company claims to have no fee, it usually means that they have factored their fee into the exchange rate.
It is advisable to refrain from using credit and debit cards for direct transactions.
Avoid purchasing Nepalese Rupee in your home country – It is not a popular currency and the exchange rates are unfavourable.
It’s not advisable to bring back a large amount of Nepalese currency when returning home, as the exchange rate for selling it will be unfavourable. Furthermore, currency exchanges back home will not usually buy it.

Are currency exchanges and ATMs in Nepal safe to use?

Generally speaking, yes.

Consider using ATMs inside bank branches instead of standalone machines. These devices are typically more secure and less vulnerable to skimming.
Make sure to regularly monitor your card transactions using your bank’s mobile app or online banking platform. Report any unauthorised transactions as soon as possible.
Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enhance your security.
Ensure Your Card Remains Visible. Refrain from giving your card to merchants who handle it out of your sight.
Consider carrying two credit cards while travelling as a smart practice. In this way, if one card encounters a problem, you have an alternative option available.
It is important to only use authorised and registered exchange places for currency exchanges.

Is it safe to carry cash while travelling in Nepal?

In terms of safety, it is fine to carry a reasonable amount of cash in Nepal. And essential. To do this securely, keep these tips in mind:

Distribute your cash in multiple places, rather than keeping it all in one wallet or pocket.
Use a safety belt or fanny pack to securely carry your cash.
Refrain from openly flaunting a significant sum of money.
Avoid displaying all of your cash at once when making payments.
Keep your wallet in your front pockets for enhanced security.
Exercise caution when carrying your personal belongings in busy public areas such as bustling streets, public transportation, and crowded venues.

Preguntas frecuentes relacionadas

Is it possible to withdraw cash in Nepal without any charges?

Unfortunately, ATMs in Nepal do not offer fee-free withdrawals.

Do credit cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other countries work in Nepal?

Definitely. Cards from various countries, including the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and others, are generally accepted at ATMs in Nepal.

Are there any Bitcoin ATMs available in Nepal?

Currently, there are no Bitcoin ATMs available in Nepal.

Are there any Bank of America ATMs in Nepal?

Bank of America ATMs are not available in Nepal.

Are there any Barclays Bank ATMs available in Nepal?

Nepal does not have any Barclays ATMs available.

Are there any HSBC ATMs available in Nepal?

Nepal does not have any HSBC ATMs available.

Are there any Standard Chartered ATMs in Nepal?

Standard Chartered ATMs are not available in Nepal.

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