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Banking in Korea

** 1 USD = 1,100 KRW

What is Korean Currency Like?
Korean banknotes are issued in four denominations: 1,000 won, 5,000 won, 10,000 won and 50,000 won. The largest Korean cash banknotes is fifty thousand won (\50,000) bill which is about USD$45.
To get around the lack of big bills, bank-issued “Soo-Pyo” which is cheques are often used. These Soo-Pyos are not personalized and function much like cash, except that identification is required to spend them. You need to sign the Soo-Pyo with your ID card. The cheques come in denominations ranging from 100,000 won to 10,000,000 won. Legally employed residents of Korea can cash them.
There are four coins: 500 Won, 100 Won, 50 Won, and the penny-equivalent - 10 won. All four coins can be used in most vending machines.


Opening a Bank Account: Very Easy
Opening a bank account in Korea is very easy. All you need to do is visit any bank in your area with your passport or alien registration card. If a representative visits a bank for you, he or she should bring your alien registration card, passport and a notarized letter of attorney. We recommends you to visit a bank by yourself or with someone, since it makes the process much easier.


Be Aware:
When you open a bank account, don’t forget to apply for a Cash card. You need a Cash card to take out your money from ATMs.


Sending Money Overseas
Of course, you can wire-transfer your money home from Korea.
The remittance charge and regulations differ from bank to bank. Depending on how much you send, you can find the best bank that provides service with the lowest charge. Please refer to the chart below for further details.


Remittance Charge

Bank Remittance Charge
(Korea to abroad, including telegram charge, unit: won)
Below $500 $500~
$2,000
$2,000~
$5,000
$5,000~
$10,000
$10,000~
Woori Bank 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000~40,000
KEB 12,000 17,000 22,000 27,000
Shinhan Bank 13,000 18,000 23,000 28,000~33,000
CHB 18,000 32,000 28,000
Hana Bank 14,500 19,500 27,500 32,500~37,500
Citi Bank 12,000 14,000 19,000 24,000 29,000
KB Bank 13,000~28,000
Kiup Bank 12,500~27,500
Nonghyup 11,000~26,000
Cheil Bank Below
$4,000
$4,000~
$6,000
$6,000~
$8,000
$8,000~
$10,000
$10,000
15,000 18,000 20,000 23,000 28,000

Major transactions usually take up to 2 - 3 working days. International credit cards, VISA and MasterCard, are widely accepted. There are ATM machines all over the major cities. Some take international cards, and some take domestic ones. The instructions are sometimes in Korean. Note, also, that ATMs close at 10:00 pm, so get your banking done early.


Banking links

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