I am European and have UK (Visa), Dutch (MaestroCard), Lithuanian (MasterCard) debit cards and Revolut card*. Lately I have been reading horror stories on how to get cash out in Cambodia and how some poor souls seem to get $15 in charges per $300 taken out... which makes a scrooge like myself cringe and lose sleep...

I will be staying in Phnom Penh and then Sihanoukville, what are the cheapest ways to get money out?

*link gives me $5 if you get one...

  • Your Revolut card should be of help.
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:22
  • 2
    For those wanting to keep their transactions in Euros or Pounds, keep in mind that (in our experience) ALL cash transactions in Cambodia (at least in Siem Reap) take place in US dollars. And they're very hesitant to take older denominations to the point where we had a couple of cash transactions refused in favor of taking a credit card instead. I've asked my wife, and neither of us remember taking cash out of an ATM as we brought sufficient with us, but we also don't recall hearing stories about a surcharge. We were charged "reasonable" surcharges in Singapore & Malaysia though.
    – delliottg
    Mar 9, 2017 at 18:20
  • 2
    @WGroleau riel is used for small transactions under a dollar. They don't use US coins, so you use riel there instead. 1,000 R = 25c. You'll sometimes see really small cheap stuff priced in riel. Anything over a few dollars max is going to be priced in dollars. It's completely interchangable with the dollar at 4,000=$1. The ATMs give out USD.
    – Ivan McA
    Nov 24, 2017 at 7:10
  • 1
    @WGroleau larger denominations of riel are also used too alongside dollar Nov 25, 2017 at 8:07
  • 1
    Yes and they may give you a small change in riels even if you pay with dollars Dec 16, 2020 at 11:16

4 Answers 4


Ok, so I have done some research and so far cheapest way is to get a Revolut card.

On 504 USD from EUR, the exchange loss was 2.19 EUR compared to the rate at Google (Google rate is 475.85, Revolut 478.04) which is way better than I would get at any local bank in UK.

The bank of choice is Union Commercial bank. They allow you to take out 500$ and charge 4$ on top which is the cheapest that I could find so far, also this is the only bank that worked with Revolut MasterCard and Maestro Card.

Also watch your step at their ATM they have a nasty step there...

Update: Union Commercial ATM started breaking down almost daily. An alternative is to use Canadia Bank ATM (which is across the street) which charges 5$ and you can take out 500$ -- tested with MasterCard and Maestro.


As a complement to Matas Vaitkevicius's answer, I'd point out that Revolut does have some ATM fees that can easily add up to 17.5 USD for a 500 USD ATM withdrawal (that's not including the withdrawal fee from the local bank).

Details from https://wise.com/us/blog/revolut-fees:

Service Standard account fees³ Premium account fees⁴ Metal account fees⁵
Monthly fee No fee 9.99 USD 16.99 USD
In network ATM withdrawals No fee No fee No fee
Out of network ATM withdrawals 400 USD/month no fee withdrawals, then 2% 800 USD/month no fee withdrawals, then 2% 1,200 USD/month no fee withdrawals, then 2%
Currency conversion 1,000 USD/month no-fee, then 0.5% fair usage fee 10,000 USD/month no-fee, then 0.5% fair usage fee Unlimited no-fee currency conversion
Currency conversion out of hours 1% 1% 1%

Fee for a 500 USD withdrawal assuming the standard account fees assuming conversion out of hours in a month where over 400 USD was withdrawn from ATMs and over 1kUSD USD was converted: 17.5 USD = (2%+0.5%+1%)*500 USD.


I could be wrong, but try Santander Bank, link below. In many locations around the world this is how we avoid bank charges. It is one of the only/few banks that really works for the customer when abroad.



  • I have a Santander Visa Debit card and it charges me £1.25 every time I use my card for a non-GBP transaction. I have not studied their exchange rate.
    – gerrit
    Jul 26, 2017 at 13:17

Last time I was in Cambodia, which was a few years ago, Vattanak Bank was free, for European cards only. As the article says Canadia used be free but that was some years ago. According to the article you linked though, Maybank is still free, so I'd give them a go.

I have never paid an ATM fee in Cambodia, I was always able to find a bank that worked with no fees. They change all the time though.

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