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Foreigners Banking in Korea

What should you know about banking in Korea? Here are some tips we wish we had been aware of before coming to Korea:

  • Neither banks nor ATMs operate on holidays.
  • ATM hours vary. Some stop operating at midnight (or earlier), and don’t start operating again until 9:00am. Don’t get stuck without cash, get familiar with their schedules.
  • You will not be able to use your foreign cards at just any ATM. Go to the bigger banks (KEB, Shinhan, Woori etc…) if you need to access money from home.
  • Most Korean bank ATM cards will not work outside of Korea. Make sure you have enough cash with you when you travel.
  • Redeeming Travellers Cheques in Korea can be difficult. Find a Shinhan Bank if you feel the need to bring them.
  • When you arrive in Korea, we think it’s a good idea to have at least 200 000 won (cash) with you.
  • Have enough money available to you for your first month or two. Getting your bank account set up and first pay check can be complicated.
  • Any other tips out there?

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