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Last updated : Nov 2009
Myanmar Currency
Myanmar Currency and Bank information - TravelPuppy.com
Kyat (Kt) = 100 pyas.

Notes are printed in denominations of Kt1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 90 pyas. Coins are in denominations of Kt1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 pyas. Kt100,000 is called a lakh and Kt10 million is called a crore.

Kyat is pronounced like chat in English. To fight the illegal business and hinder the financial power of dissident groups, currency denominations are sometimes declared invalid without prior notice. Limited refunds are normally offered for certain sectors of the population.

Currency exchange

Tourists are required on arrival at Yangon International Airport to exchange at least US$200 into FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates). Any unused certificates out of this amount will not be converted (though FECs in excess of US$300 may be reconverted on departure). This requirement is waved for visitors on a package tour; however, if they wish to spend extra money in Myanmar, they are allowed to exchange US Dollars for FECs.

FECs, which are printed in China, are Myanmar’s second form of lawful currency and are issued by the Bank of Myanmar especially for tourists. They are printed in denominations equal to US$20, 10, 5 and 1. Payment for FECs is merely accepted in US Dollars. One US Dollar is 1 FEC. FECs may be changed for Kyats at governmentally authorized banks, hotels, bureaux de change, and Myanmar Travel and Tour offices. FECs can be widely spent anywhere in Myanmar.

Cash payments in US Dollars are also accepted; however, only at establishments like airlines, hotels and railway stations that have an official license authorizing them to accept dollars.

Wherever possible, it is a good idea to exchange US Dollars for Kyats rather than FECs because FECs normally provide a poorer exchange rate than Kyats. However, travellers cheques in US Dollar can only be changed for FECs and not straightly for Kyats unlike cash in US Dollar. Since large notes may be hard to exchange, it is advised to carry small change.

In addition, Euros are accepted by all banks and currency exchange bureaux.

Credit & debit cards

Airlines, major hotels and supermarkets accept Diners Club, Visa, JCB, American Express and MasterCard. Check with your credit or debit card company for information on merchant acceptability and other services, which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Travellers cheques are widely accepted. To avoid paying extra exchange rate charges, it is advised that tourists should take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Exchange rate indicators

The below figures are included as a guide to the fluctuation of the Kyat against Sterling and the US Dollar:
 
Date Oct'07
£1.00=
13.40
$1.00=
6.54
 
Currency restrictions

It is illegal to import and export local currency. There are no import limits on foreign currencies; however, amounts must be declared on arrival and the declaration certificate kept safe – on departure, foreign currencies are checked with the amounts declared on entry declaration. The frequent customs checks at Yangon airport aim to hinder illegal activities. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to keep all receipts in order to account for money spent while in Myanmar.

Banking hours

Banks in Myanmar are open Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.
Useful travel links
American Express Cheques information about Amex travellers cheques
Myanmar Money information about Myanmar money
Travellers Cheques Visa information about Visa travellers cheques
VISA ATM Locator location of ATMs that accepts VISA cards
Universal Currency Converter online foreign exchange & currency converter