Damaged US dollar notes

Cambodia has a dual currency; their own currency is the Cambodian riel and their second, widely accepted, currency is the US dollar. Please be aware that the US dollar notes are inspected carefully, and that any ripped, torn, faded or stained notes may well be rejected. People are not quite as critical as in Myanmar (Burma) where only pristine notes are accepted. A fold, for example, is not a problem in Cambodia, but fading on the fold is.

People are more critical if the note is of a larger denomination. If you have a banknote you are stuck with, you may try bargaining at the money exchangers at local markets, they are sometimes willing to take the risk of taking over the note for a fee. This fee increases with the value of and the damage to the note.

Below is a good example of a note that will not be accepted. (I had no bad note myself to photograph, this image is from Tanya of Magic Travel Blog)

dirty Cambodian riel notes
Ripped and faded 5 US dollar note

The quality of the Cambodian riel notes does not matter quite as much; here is the content of my wallet today:

dirty Cambodian riel notes
Dirty Cambodian riel notes

US$100 notes printed in 2009 are not accepted by Cambodian banks and business owners.

For more information on money, please check our Money Matters category.

by Rikitikitavi


  1. Julian Requejo said on 16 November, 2016

    great tips, thanks so much!

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