US dollars are as commonly used as the Cambodian Riel and even Thai Baht is acceptable in many places. Most hotels and many restaurants and shops set their prices in dollars. Small transactions are usually done in Riel. Always carry some small Riel for motorcycle taxis, snacks, beggars and other small purchases.
Riel notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 denominations, but the distinctive red 500 Riel note is the most commonly used.
There are banks in all provincial capitals in the country, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Battambang. Banks offer the usual banking services - cash advances on credits cards (most accept Visa card,) international currency exchange, telegraphic transfers, cash travelers checks and ANZ Royal Banks, Canadia and SBC Banks offer ATMs with international access. Most banks are open from 8:00 to 15:00 or 16:00PM, Monday through Friday. Some are open Saturday mornings until 11:30. ATMs are available 24 hours.
Money Changers Money changers offer a slightly better rate that the banks. They are plentiful and tend to cluster around the traditional markets and there is usually a section within the market dedicated to moneychangers and gold sellers.
When accepting US dollars in change, inspect the bills carefully. Marred riel is acceptable tender, but the tiniest tear in a large US note, especially a $20, $50 or $100 note, renders it all but useless in Cambodia. Banks, moneychangers and other businesses will not accept it.
Credit Cards In the major tourist towns, credit cards are accepted at most upscale hotels, shops and restaurants, some mid-range place and a growing number of other businesses. Credit cards are general not accepted at any businesses outside of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and the casinos in Poipet. Visa, MasterCard (MC) and JCB cards are the most widely accepted credit cards in Cambodia. AMEX is coming into wider use, as well as the new ANZ Bluespot card. Diners Club (DC) is accepted at very few place. Most businesses charge a 2%-4% fee to accept credit cards.
ATMs There are now ATMs with international access in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Battambang. ANZ Royal Bank and Canadia Bank ATMs both accept Cirrus, Plus, Maestro, Visa and MasterCard systems. SBC Bank ATMs accept Visa and MasterCard. All ATMs dispenses US dollars. There For locations see the ATM icons on the city maps.
Travelers Checks Travelers checks are accepted at most banks, major hotels and restaurants and some money changers. AMEX in US dollars are the most widely accepted travelers checks.
Cash Transfers 'Instant' cash transfers can be done through MoneyGram or Western Union. Ordinary telegraphic transfers are available at all major banks.
Sample of Khmer Currency - Riel
5 Thousand Riel (front)
5 Thousand Riel (back)
1 Thousand Riel (front)
1 Thousand Riel (back)
5 Hundred Riel (front)
5 Hundred Riel (back)
1 Hundred Riel (front)
1 Hundred Riel (back)
50 Riel (front)
50 Riel (back)