Money

Prices are reasonable by Western standards, especially for food and drink, as well as transport. ATMs are widespread across the city, and cash is the normal form of payment for most small transactions. Credit cards are usually only accepted in mid- to upper-end restaurants and in hotels, and (sometimes reluctantly) in certain shops. If you insist on paying by plastic in shops, you may be charged an extra 8% to cover fees and the 5% VAT. Be flexible and pay cash if you want a bargain.

Currency and Exchange

The national currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NT$), which has no subunits. Bills are multicolor and come in 100, 200, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 NT$ denominations. Coins come in ½, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 NT$ denominations. At this writing the exchange rate was around NT$29 to US$1.

Taxes

There is a 5% sales tax (VAT) added to the cost of most goods and services, but it is usually included in quoted prices. It may be added to a price in shops if you wish to pay by credit card or if you require a receipt.

Tipping

Taiwan is a non-tipping culture. Tipping is not customary in restaurants or taxis in Taipei (but is still appreciated). However, in up-market bars and clubs, where many foreigners have traditionally tipped (especially those run by foreign expats), staff may expect a gratuity. Some restaurants and top hotels add a service charge to bills (usually 10%). Note that this is not actually a tip that is shared with the staff. Tip hotel porters NT$100.

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