What is the local currency?
The Korean won (KRW)
USD 1 = KRW 1,100 (approximate, depends upon current exchange rate)
What denominations does it come in?
Coins: 10, 50, 100, 500
Notes: 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 50,000
What is the best way to exchange currency?
There are a great number of banks, both local and international. Go to any foreign exchange bank or other authorized money changer. The exchange rate is around 1,100 won to the US dollar. There are money changers and ATMs upon arrival at the Incheon International Airport.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Korean won is accepted for everyday purchases, but more and more people are using their bank or credit cards to make everyday purchases and they are widely accepted by most merchants.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere: hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. For public transportation, there is a transportation card (T-Money Card) that you can buy, top up with money and use for taxis, buses and subway. It is very convenient.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Rent is usually paid up front for the entire contract period. Other monthly bills can be automatically drafted from your banking account or you can pay the bill at any bank.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
To open an account, you will need a passport and your Alien Registration Card. Once you have these, you can open a local bank account.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Yes, English is available in most banks and at ATMs. Shinhan Bank opened a Seoul Global Center in March 2010 dedicated to assisting foreigners with their banking needs. They provide services in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Korean Exchange Bank (KEB) has also focused on providing banking services in English.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
No restrictions that are known.
What are typical banking hours?
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday through Friday).
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
There are some 24-hour ATM machines available, but many are open only between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
The Bank of Korea has a very useful and informative website to obtain additional information on money matters.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.