Korea’s currency is the won. There are 1,000; 5,000; 10,000; and 50,000 won bills. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 100, and 500 won. (1 and 5 won coins are not widely in circulation)
● 1,000 won (cheon won)
● 5,000 won (oh cheon won)
● 10,000 won (man won)
● 50,000 won (oh man won)
|● 1 won (il won)||● 5 won (oh won)|
(※ These are relatively low in circulation.)
|● 50 won (oh sib won)||● 100 won (baek won)|
|● 500 won (oh baek won)|
Banks can offer some of the best exchange rates to travelers. Banking hours can vary, but most business hours are from 09:00 to 16:00. ATMs typically operate until 23:00, but many are open 24 hours. ATMs can also be found at convenient stores, but generally charge a higher transaction fee. ATMs that accept international cards are common, especially in areas frequented by foreigners; look for ATMs with a “Global” sign or the logo of your bank. Global ATMs offer multi-languages.
Most banks offer currency exchange services and can offer some of the best rates. Government-certified currency exchange booths also offer currency exchange services outside of regular banking hours around areas frequented by international visitors. Certified booths are marked with currency symbols with a “Certified” sign on display. It is ill-advised to exchange currency at uncertified booths.
Global Tax Free
In Korea, a 10% VAT is indirectly added into the price of many of your purchases. At stores that display a “Tax Free” sign, foreigners are eligible for a tax refund on purchases greater than 30,000 won. In order to receive your refund, you must go through the following procedures:
1. Purchase merchandise of total value greater than 30,000 won at stores displaying the “Tax Free” sign.
2. Show your passport and ask for a refund check during checkout.
3. Present your passport, refund check, receipt, and unopened purchased merchandise at airport customs when leaving the country.
4.Receive your cash, check, or credit card refund at the refund counter located near the departure gates.
>>More about Tax Returns
Tipping is not a part of Korean customs nor is it expected anywhere. However, many major hotels and upscale restaurants add a 10% service charge (on top of the 10% VAT) to the bill. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips, but do appreciate if you let them keep the change.
Foreign currencies or traveler’s checks can be exchanged for Korean currency at banks or currency exchange booths at the airport.
Foreign currency exchange transactions can be carried out at a bank within an airport or at a bureau de change or bank in Seoul.
- You can exchange your foreign currency or travelers’ checks for Korean currency, i.e. Won or KRW.
- You need to present your passport or foreign national registration certificate when making a currency exchange transaction.
- Local currencies in the Republic of Korea (ROK)
- Bills : 50,000 KRW, 10,000 KRW, 5,000 KRW, and 1,000 KRW
- Coins : 500 KRW, 100 KRW, 50 KRW, and 10 KRW
- Local prefer to use bank-issued checks for transactions exceeding 100,000 KRW.
- You can exchange your foreign currency or travelers’ checks up to $10,000 at a time. Exchange rates are subject to change every day.
- Banking hours in Seoul : 9:00 am ~ 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday
- Banking hours at Incheon International Airport : 6:00 am ~ 9:00 pm every day