Currency of Mongolia
Mongolian official currency is Tugrug that first introduced on December 9, 1925, at a value equal to 18 grams of Silver. However, it is becoming the sole legal currency on April 1, 1928. Mongolia had coin currencies as well, but now they are no longer in circulation. Today Mongolian coins are sold online to tourists who do similar collections.
Before using the official name Tugrug Mongolian people used to say Mongo (Silver). Even nowadays Mongolians say money as Mongo.
Notes from 1 to 5 are no longer in use as it is too small. Now the smallest note in Mongolia is 10 Tugrug, and the biggest is 20,000 Tugrug. Mongol Bank which is a national government bank of Mongolia announced that now they have a 50,000 Tugrug note in 2016, but we still haven’t seen any in 2020. Because of some huge mining industries, Mongolian Tugrog rose up to 15% against US Dollars around 2010, however, it’s exchange rate eroded by 24% due to falling foreign investment in 2013.
It is recommended to you sell your Tugrug before you leave Mongolia. If you have Mongolian Tugrug have left from your trip in Mongolia as they are not in use outside of the country except it is China or closest neighbor provinces of Russia such as Ulaan-Ude, or Chinese Eren city.
What foreign currency to use in Mongolia?
Most valid foreign currencies in Mongolia are US Dollar, Chinese CHY, Russian RUB. If you are in western Mongolian Bayan-Olgii province you can also use Kazakhstan’s Tenge as well. But most of those foreign currencies are used only in the capital towns of provinces. You will need to have Mongolian local currency (Tugrug) before you travel out from towns for camping or trekking tours in national parks. Nomads that live in the countrysides don’t make deal with any foreign currencies as they can’t find the right currency rates there.
Shopping currency for Mongolia
For shopping, you can use your international credit cards or debit cards in any local ATM bancomats as well as in any Supermarkets. The most commonly accepted card types are VISA, Unionpay, Mastercard, American Express (not for every ATMs). Please, discuss with your local guide detailed before you travel to Mongolia.
Traveling with cash
If you are traveling with cash in Mongolia you must make sure that your cash is one of these currencies: US dollar, Russian Ruble, Chinese CHY. If your cash doesn’t belong to any of those currencies make sure you will have the right cash before you enter into Mongolia. The currencies that not commonly used in this country, may not be accepted in some places. If you travel to Mongolia with cash, make sure that your banknotes are looked new and later 2009 year. Any stump or any unusual marks on your foreign banknotes will make it lose its value.
There are many currency exchange places in the country but the recommended safe place always will be the bank.