If you intend to travel to Bhutan or you're looking at a potential currency exchange, knowing more about the Bhutanese currency is necessary.
Whether you're travelling from India or another part of the world, this is everything you need to know about the Bhutan currency.
The Bhutanese Ngultrum
The currency in Bhutan is known as the ngultrum. The monetary symbol when referenced at an exchange facility is "Nu." Should you decide to look the currency up through a Forex trading service, it will either be listed as Nu or under the code "BTN" (short for Bhutanese Ngultrum). A single Ngultrum is divided into 100 Chetrum.
Anything under Nu. 1 comes in coin form. All paper denominations include the Nu.1, Nu. 5, Nu. 10, Nu. 20, Nu. 50, Nu.100 and the Nu. 500. As the value of the bill increases so too does the size (while the Nu. 500 is slightly smaller than the Nu. 100, it is not commonly circulated). There is also a recently released Nu. 1,000 bill, although much like the Nu. 500 this is rarely used in day to day life.
Minting and Indian Rupee Pegging
The ngultrum is minted within Bhutan by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. As the Kingdom of Bhutan is a smaller nation without major exports, the country has pegged its currency value to that of the Indian rupee. This has been a commonality since 1974 when new financial reform took place within the Kingdom of Bhutan. The exact exchange rate does vary slightly yet remains connected to the Indian rupee. Currently, as of 13 June, 2017, 1 Bhutanese ngultrum is equal to 1 Indian rupee.
Chetrum come in 2 variations
Ch.25, Nu. 1
The Banknote comes in 8 variations
Over the years, the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan had issued a number of commemorative notes to celebrate important milestones of the Kingdom of Bhutan. They include the Royal Wedding in October 2011 and The Birth of the Gyalsey (Crowne Prince) in 2016.
Should you be interested to purchase these commemorative notes from Bhutan, please visit Bhutan Natural online store.
When buying handcrafted goods or antiques from a local village you're may receive a paper receipt. During your departure, you may be required to show proof of purchase should you purchase antique goods in Bhutan.
When using currency exchange, banks and making larger purchases and receipts are issued, make sure to hold onto these documents. You may be required to provide the paperwork when exchanging the money back to the Indian rupee or another currency upon leaving the country.
Question: I am travelling to Bhutan, and I will need some Ngultrum, how do I go about bringing some Ngultrum for my travel needs?
Answer: Not to worry, although Bhutanese Ngultrum is only in circulation in Bhutan, Foreign currency is widely accepted in Bhutan. Hence, travellers can always opt to convert some of their foreign currencies to Ngultrum upon arrival, or at the banks of Bhutan.
At the time of writing: the exchange rates are as follows
USD 100 = 6000 Ngultrum
SGD 100 = 4500 Ngultrum
If you are carrying USD to exchange in Bhutan, we suggest carrying 100 USD notes as the notes has better exchange power compared to USD In lower denominations
Otherwise, since Ngultrum are pegged to Indian Rupees, travellers can always opt to carry rupee with them. Indian Rupees are widely accepted in Bhutan.
Question: I have just returned from my trip in Bhutan, and I have spare Ngultrum, where can I exchange it?
Since Bhutanese Ngultrum is only circulated in Bhutan, your chance of exchanging your Bhutanese Ngultrum in your countries is close to nil. This is because Ngultrum is not widely accepted yet.
Hence, we suggest that prior to your return from Bhutan, you should spend your remaining Ngultrum!
During travel, exchange your currencies as needed.
Question: I plan to not carry much cash to Bhutan, are credit cards widely accepted?
Answer: At the moment, not all places in Bhutan accept credit card and at times credit card machine may fail during the transaction. Further, certain credit cards may not be accepted in Bhutan. Most international cards will not be able to withdraw money from Bhutan local ATM as well.
We suggest our travellers carry cash during their travel to Bhutan.
Should there be emergencies where you require to borrow some money, you can always contact us and our office in Bhutan will try our best to assist you. You can return it us after your return from your trip to Bhutan.
Question: Should I exchange some Indian Rupees prior to my departure?
Answer: You do not need to. The closest money changer you will find upon entering Bhutan will be by the airport.
If you are travelling with us, food, lodging as well as accommodations are already arranged for. Hence, most of our guest spend close to nothing during their trip to Bhutan.
Should you wish to purchase souvenirs during your trip, you can exchange your money at the local banks or market.
Is this article helpful?
Should you have more question in regards to your trip to Bhutan or their currencies, feel free to contact us!