Notes and Coins in Hong Kong
The currency used in Hong Kong is called the "Hong Kong Dollar", some called it "hongkie". It is freely exchangeable at any banks or money changers in Hong Kong though within a limited fluctuation ban. One US dollar is equivalent to about 7.80 Hong Kong Dollar. This is called the peg rate. The Hong Kong Dollar is also inter-changeable for the Chinese "Renminbi"(or the People's money). As of 3rd July 2000, Ten Hong Kong dollar trades for around Eleven Renminbi. Click here for latest rates and exchange calculator.

The Linked Exchange Rate System, or the "Peg", was established in 1983 amid political and social turmoil when former UK Prime minister Margaret Thatcher began talks with China on the future of Hong Kong after the Handover in 1997.

Notes and Coins in Hong Kong
The world renown logo of the Hong Kong Bank - the pair of Bronze Lions at their main entrance facing Des Voeux Road Central.
The following three banks are allowed to issue Hong Kong money notes:

The Hongkong Bank (HSBC),
— The Standard Chartered Bank, and
— the Bank of China
. (Please note that this is not the central bank of China. The Central bank is called the People's Bank of China).

Coins are issued by the HKSAR government.

Different money amounts are printed in different colours. Besides, all three banks have their own banknote designs. You are therefore advised to take a careful look at your money before spending them. Special care should be paid on the thousand dollar notes you get from people for there had been reports saying that many counterfeit notes were found recently. Do not change money from just anyone you meet on the street. You should only go to commercial banks or money changers on main streets. They normally give competitive quotes, which are normally stated clearly on sign boards.

The following are issued by HSBC
Face value
/ Colour
Issued by the Government
Dark Bluish Green
.... ....
10 cents .. 20 cents .. 50 cents
.. ...

$1.00 ............ $2.00 ...........$5.00
Light Gold

Should I change my money to Hong Kong dollars before coming to Hong Kong?

The best place you would find Hong Kong dollar in your home country is perhaps the "Hongkong Bank". Try and locate one in the closest China town near you. Or you can ask the Chinese people to see if they know a good place to change money. (We do not recommend black market though!)

If you come from a country where you can't find a Chinese on the street (which should be very rare), and that your local banks do not carry Hongkong dollars, change your money into US dollars. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar at HKD7.80 to US$1.00. That means the Hongkie would not fluctuate wildly against the US dollars.

<Risks> Though the government pledged that every aspects of life will not be altered in the next 50 years, there is still risk that the HK government might decide to end that Peg System before its time is up. It will be at your own risks if you change all your money at one go. It is said that the Hongkie at this peg rate of 7.8 was about 30% over-valued. Click here to read what the Hongkong people said about this Peg system and other economic issues in Hong Kong.

If your home currency fluctuates wildly against the greenback, like the Japanese Yen, and you don't want to take the currency risks between flights, you are also advised to change your money into US dollars first.

Words of advice:
1) dont change all your money at one go into Hongkie before you leave your home country.
2) though it maybe easier for you to exchange money at Hongkong Bank in your home country, while in Hong Kong, you are advised to change your money at other local banks and money changers. They should be able to quote you more competitive exchange rates and charge lower commission.

Should I change my money at the airport? ...Yes and no.

Yes if you are not travelling with a group and there is no one to pick you up from the airport. You need some small change to take the local transportation to get to town.

No, don't change all your money at the airport for the money changers there normally charge you more (or quote you not as competitive exchange rates). Check the current exchange rates here and print out a Currency Converter sheet for easy reference.


Tipping in Hong Kong

Most of the cafes and restaurants in Hong Kong include a 10% service charge in their bill. Though taking all the money away from the tray may be a bit rude, normally you need just to leave another 3 to 5 % on the table if you think the service was okay. It all depends on how you find the food and services there.

For taxi, pay according to the meter in HK Dollars. It's in front of the dash board with a round red metal flag. You need only to round up the amount and you should not pay more than 5 dollars for tips. They might charge you for each large luggage you carry or there are extra costs if you use any one of the cross harbour tunnel. Read carefully the charging methods.

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