Bhutan’s currency is called Ngultrum (NU, or BTN), 1 USD = 72.3097 BTN. One NU is divided into 100 chetrum. Coins are worth 25 and 50 chetrum. NU has denominations of 1,5,10,20,50,100,500 and 1.000. NU 1 coin depicts eight auspicious signs so it is also called Tashi Tagye.
Indian rupees are widely used in Bhutan, but 500 and 1000 rupees are not accepted because of the large amount of counterfeit money. Indian rupees are used in Bhutan but Ngultrum is not use in India. USD is accepted in many areas in Bhutan.
When traveling to Bhutan, it is best to bring in US dollars because almost of the shops here accept payment in dollars. In addition, there are few banks in Bhutan, so visitors should exchange some money of Bhutan when arriving at the airport, note that when exchanging a $50 or $100 traveler can get better rates than exchanging a $20 or less.
In Bhutan, there are only some handicraft shops and hotels in Thimpu accept payment in credit cards, so the using of payment in credit card in Bhutan is very difficult. Since there are not many ATMs here and most only serves to locals, so credit card are not widely used, card transactions take a lot of time and are highly charged (about 4% of service charge), moreover the payment confirmation takes place only from 9am to 5pm, which makes it difficult for visitors to pay by credit card at night or early morning.
ATMs only accept cards issued by Bhutanese banks. Traveler’s cheque are accepted at many bank branches of Bhutan, travelers are recommended to use traveler’s cheque in dollars.
Banks in Bhutan are open from 9am to 3pm from Monday to Friday, Saturday opens only from 9am – 12am.
Tourists can exchange currency at major hotels in Paro, Thimphu or Phuentsholing. However, if you use travelers’ checks, they will be preferred and the rates will be better.