Hong Kong Dollar is fixed to US Dollar at a rate of 1 USD = 7.8 HKD. (Although this fluctuates slightly and is actually 1 USD to 7.75 – 7.85 HKD depending on market conditions.) No other currency is readily acceptable in HK, except Chinese Renminbi RMB at some stores popular with Chinese tourists.
You will not have any trouble exchanging your currency in Hong Kong, as a free economy money flows in and out with ease. The more popular currencies will get you the best rates, such as USD, SGD, CAD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and JPY. Other currencies will be exchangeable, usually at slightly less favorable rates.
Hong Kong dollar notes in circulation are $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. The $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 notes are issued by the three note-issuing banks (HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of China). There is a $10 paper note issued by the Government since 2002 in recognition of a continuing demand among the public for a note in addition to the coin.
Coins are $.10, .20, .50, $1, $2, $5, and $10.
Notes are very colorful and here is the general color breakdown.
- $10 purple
- $20 blue
- $50 green
- $100 red
- $500 brown
- $1,000 gold
Where to exchange
Best rates are usually at an ATM. While you might have to pay a small fee, the exchange rate is usually on par with the market. ATMs are literally everywhere in HK and you will not have any trouble finding one.
Currency converters (foreign exchange booths) also litter the airport and streets of Hong Kong. While they generally specialize in exchanging RMB and USD, they’ll usually accept pretty much any currency and will have a large chart of the exchange rates. Feel free to ask them if they accept other currency if you’re coming from a smaller country. Rates here are great for cash, but shop around.
Banks are also in the foreign exchange game in Hong Kong. You can even have your bank accounts denominated in different currencies. You may have to be a bank member to use the services however, will vary depending on the bank. I’ve found Standard Chartered to have one of the better exchange rates. HSBC of course will take their cut, but they’re the big bank on the streets of HK. Unless you already are a banking customer, we recommend skipping the banks and using the money changer or ATM.