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cferrb Jul 17th, 2011 09:42 PM

What is the best way to purchase Korean currency?
My daughter is traveling to South Korea in about 10 days. Should we purchase a small amount of Korean currency here from the bank or just let her pull some out of the ATM in Seoul? She has a 4-digit PIN.

Cicerone Jul 17th, 2011 10:17 PM

I always like to have a little bit of local currency with me when I land, on the odd chance that the ATM at the airport is not working. There are also foreign exchange counters at the airport in Seoul where she can exchange money in person. The airport ATM will give a slightly better rate than in person exchange. In my experience a 4-digit pin is acceptable.

If she wants to have Won with her when she leaves the US, she should be able to get Won at her US airport. (If she is not flying out of an internatinal airport, then she may need to do this at her connecting international airport.) You could buy some from your local bank, but the exchange rate may not be great as Won is not a hugely traded currency. (Maybe for such a small amount you don't care about exchange rate loss.) She may be bettter off doing it at a US airport.

rkkwan Jul 17th, 2011 11:22 PM

Just get it at an ATM at the Seoul airport. In the rare chance that all ATMs there are out of order, use a money exchange there. Those are almost always open and will still give you better rate than a money exchange in the US. Therefore, I see no reason to get any in the US.

The same is true for most countries in the world, though not all.

gailmo Jul 18th, 2011 12:06 AM

As others have stated, have her use her ATM card. At Seoul airport-right outside the customs area are many ATM machines. She should look for FOREIGN CARD on ATM screen. Or it could say ENGLISH FOREIGN CARD. Click that button and the machine will walk her through the steps.

I mentioned earlier on a previous post that I have found that Korean Bank ATMS WILL NOT accept Foreign ATM cards. I learned that the funky little 7-11, Family Mart or similar stores found throughout Korea will have an ATM machine. Use those...they always seem to accept foreign cards whereas the banks won't accept anything but a Korean card.

I am in Korea right now....and have used my Visa ATM (debt) card from my local back in the US and never had it fail. Also be sure to go online or call your bank to have the card authorized for overseas use. If you don't do this--it will not work. I hope she has a great trip...

rhkkmk Jul 18th, 2011 05:15 AM

atm and/or change some $$ at the airport in korea

cferrb Jul 18th, 2011 10:19 PM

Thanks everyone. Someone else suggested going to a bank in Koreatown here in LA and changing dollars to Won there. I think that will be a nice field trip before she leaves.

rkkwan Jul 18th, 2011 10:41 PM

I was just thinking about that. Yes, if you live in L.A., then the Korean banks at Koreatown can probably give you the best rate here in the US.

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