Currency of Hong Kong - Traveller Knowledge about the HKD

While travelling to Hong Kong, it is quite difficult to exchange the Indian Rupee (INR) with the local currency, i.e. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). To help such situations, we’ve listed out some detailed information about the currency of Hong Kong exchange facilities.

The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

Hong Kong Dollar
A five hundred HKD (Source)
The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is the official currency of Hong Kong which is further divided into 100 cents. The currency code HKD carries the symbol - HK. The HKD is also acceptable in the neighbouring Chinese city of Macau. The Hong Kong Dollar is used alongside the Macau Pataca.

Banknotes

Hong Kong Banknotes
The HKD Banknotes as of 2007 (Source)
The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) banknotes is issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), which is the HK governmental currency board. The paper currency of Hong Kong is currently manufactured by three commercial banks of the city; HSBC Bank, Bank of China and Standard Chartered.

There are different banknote series issued by these banks, where the image on the note is almost always different. The 2018 series had the same image except for the HKD 100. 

For instance, the HKD 20 banknote features Tea Culture on notes of all three banks. HKD 50 banknote features image of Butterfly and Flowers, HKD 100 banknote features the Cantonese Opera and the HKD 500 banknote features the Hexagonal Rock Columns, which form the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.

Coins

Hong Kong Dollar Coins
One HKD from 1867 (Source)
Presently, coins of 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, HKD 1, HKD 2, HKD 5, HKD 10 are issued and circulated by the local government. Each coin holds the standard bauhinia flower, which is also known as the Hong Kong Orchid. Below it is the word ‘Hong Kong’ inscribed in Chinese and English languages. The reverse part features the denomination in Chinese and English characters with a large Arabic numeral and year of issue below it.

Exchange Rates of the Currency of Hong Kong

Indian Rupee (INR) to Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
As of 1st January 2020, 1 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) was equal to 9.16 Indian Rupee (INR). However, as per the country’s economy, the currency exchange ratio may vary accordingly.

US Dollar (USD) to Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
As of 1st January 2020, 1 US Dollar (USD) was equal to 7.79 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). However, the exchange ratio may change depending upon the demand and supply of the currency.

Currency Exchange Centres in Hong Kong

Currency Exchange in Hong Kong
A currency exchange centre at the interiors of the HK TSK Star Hotel Mall (Source)
For those travelling to Hong Kong for the first time, it is advised to get the currency exchanged at the airport itself. However, if you are not new to Hong Kong or are having a local aide accompanying you, you may visit the following centres to exchange currency in Hong Kong. 

1. Ngau Kee Money Changer
Address: G/ F Champion Building, 1 Cleverly Street
Timings: Monday to Friday– 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM; Saturdays– 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
2. Travelex
Address: Unit A1, Ground Floor, Wheelock House, 20 Pedder Street, Central
Timings: Monday to Friday– 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Saturday & Sundays– 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
3. UAE Exchange
Address: Shop 104, Worldwide House, No. 19 Des Voeux Road Central, Central
Timings: Monday to Saturday– 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Sundays– 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM
4. Shing Kee Money Exchange
Address: Shop A1, G/ F Champion Building, 287 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan
Timings: Monday to Friday– 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
5. Berlin Company Exchange
Address: Room 1703, Hong Kong Chinese Bank Building, 61–65 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan
Timings: Monday to Friday– 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM; Saturdays – 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM

Previous Exchange Methods

From the late 19th Century AD to early 20th Century AD, Silver Dollars were used for exchanging the Hong Kong Dollar currency. Later, till the late 20th Century AD, the Sterling Exchange System was used to exchange the HKD, where 1 Sterling equalled to HKD 16 (Approx.). Since 1972, the US Dollar Fixed Exchange Rates were levied for currency exchange. Presently, the Linked Exchange Rate System is being used for converting the currency of Hong Kong to and from foreign currencies.

ATM Facilities in Hong Kong

Citibank ATM in Hong Kong
Citibank ATM in Hong Kong (Source)
People willing to use plastic money (i.e. Debit Cards and/ or Credit Cards) while travelling in Hong Kong may use it in the different stores and ATM Machines of Hong Kong’s local banks. Those possessing credit cards of companies such as Visa, Maestro, Plus, Cirrus and MasterCard may use it easily at any shop or restaurant directly provided that the card is eligible for international/ overseas transactions.

However, debit cards of Plus and Cirrus companies will only work at the ATM Machines of Hong Kong. Most of the ATM Machines in Hong Kong are owned by HSBC Bank, so if you have HSBC debit or credit cards, you can make hassle-free transactions in HK.

Traveller Tips

  • Always keep your Passport with you while touring the city.
  • Keep receipts of the currency exchanged.
Now that you are acquainted with the basics about the currency of Hong Kong, have a smoother vacation!

This post was published by Ashutosh Chandra

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