How to prepare Korean money - Best option you can use

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How to prepare Korean money? Korean money has coins and banknotes. The smallest of Korean money is 1 won, but it is not used now.


How to prepare Korean money
How to prepare Korean money – Korean money has coins and banknotes

South Korea is one of the few countries in the world where we can get good exchange rates from banks. You can rely on the bank’s service while being in Seoul. Besides banks, there are also good individual money changers for us to stock Korean wons for our fashion and cuisine adventures. You can find them at Myeong-dong, Dongdaemun, and Itaewon. Apart from these famous tourist areas, you seldom find a service provider with advantageous rates in other parts of the city.

How to prepare Korean money

How to prepare Korean money
How to prepare Korean money

The advantage of exchanging money

The advantage of exchanging money in banks is that there is staff speaking English and Japanese to serve us at the counter. You will surely enjoy this specialized service at banks like KEB Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Woori Bank, which is particularly designed to cater to visitors.
The only downside to bank service is their limited business hours (standard bank hours are 09:00 – 16:00 from Monday to Friday).

Most banks offer currency exchange services. Government-certified currency exchange booths also offer exchanges outside of regular banking hours and are usually located in areas frequented by international visitors. Certified booths have a sign with the word “Certified” and currency symbols. Visitors should avoid exchanging money at uncertified booths.

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Traveler’s checks can be exchanged for cash at banks or exchange booths

Traveler’s checks can be exchanged for cash at banks or exchange booths. A number of stores still accept checks instead of cash. Nonetheless, forms of credit cards and debit cards have become a more preferred means of payment by travelers. Thus trading checks are hardly observed nowadays as there is seemingly a decreasing number of stores that offer this service.

Most of the businesses in Korea widely use and accept payment by credit cards

Most of the businesses in Korea widely use and accept payment by credit cards, including at major hotels, department stores, and general shops. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and other credit cards can be used; however, check the service availability before making purchases as some stores may not provide this service.


How to prepare Korean money
How to prepare Korean money – using Tax-free

Global Tax-Free

In Korea, a 10 percent VAT is added to the price of many purchases. At stores displaying a “Tax-Free” sign, foreigners are eligible for a tax refund on purchases greater than 30,000 won. In order to receive your refund, visitors should do the following:

1. Purchase merchandise of a total value greater than 30,000 won at stores displaying the “Tax-Free” sign.
2. Show your passport and ask for a refund check when paying.
3. Present your passport, refund check, receipt, and unopened 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.

How to prepare Korean money
How to prepare Korean money – Airport money exchange

Foreign Exchange Banks in Airports

Incheon International Airport

Upon arrival, inbound travelers can easily convert their money into the local currency at bank branches and money exchangers located within the airport. The hours and locations vary by bank, so we recommend checking in advance; the standard hours of money exchangers are 06:00-21:00 but some locations may operate until 22:00 or 23:00.

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Shinhan Bank – Incheon International Airport Branch

Services provided: General banking, currency exchange, traveler’s checks, etc.
Operating hours: 09:00-16:00
Location: B1F – Transportation Center
Inquiries: +82-32-743-5100 (Korean only)

KEB Hana Bank – Incheon International Airport Branch

Services provided: General banking, currency exchange, traveler’s checks, etc.
Operating hours: 09:00-16:00
Location: ( B1F – Passenger Terminal West
Inquiries: +82-32-743-2220 (Korean only)

Woori Bank – Incheon International Airport Branch

Services provided: General banking, currency exchange, traveler’s checks, etc.
Operating hours: 09:00-16:00
Location: B1F – Passenger Terminal East
Inquiries: +82-32-743-1050 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian)
Note: Foreign language assistance may require a long wait


Gimpo International Airport

Upon arrival or before departure, travelers may exchange their currency and take care of other banking needs at the booths available at the airport. The hours and locations vary by bank, so we recommend checking in advance; the standard hours of money exchangers are 06:00-21:00 but some locations may operate until 22:00 or 23:00.

Shinhan Bank – Gimpo International Airport Branch

Services provided: General banking, currency exchange, traveler’s checks, etc.
Operating hours: 09:00-16:00
Location: Domestic Terminal 1F – Gate 5
Inquiries: +82-2-2662-1342 (Korean, English, Japanese)
Note: Foreign language assistance may require a long wait

Woori Bank – Gimpo International Airport Branch

Services provided: General banking, currency exchange, traveler’s checks, etc.
Operating hours: 09:00-16:00
Location: Domestic Terminal 1F – East
Inquiries: +82-2667-0236 (Korean, English)

Source: visit Korea, visit Seoul, Travelvui

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