Currency and payment methods of Hong Kong.
The currency used throughout Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar. It is similar to the Australian or American dollar, however the denominations climb much higher (they have $500 and $1000 notes), therefore a single HK dollar is worth less than an Australian or American dollar. Because of these high denomination values you will also find the value of coins is comparatively high also. The highest value coin is worth $10, followed by the $5 coin, $2 and $1. In Hong Kong most things are rounded up or down to the nearest dollar so there is little need for cents, however on the off chance you do require a smaller amount there are also 50c, 20c and 10c coins in rotation. The coins are quite easy to tell apart from one another with dollar coins silver and larger in size, compared to cents which are smaller, thinner and gold in colour. You will also find $10 and $5 coins thicker in shape, making it easier to identify at a glance. In addition, coins that are worth ‘2’ such as the $2 and 20c coin are different in shape with an uneven edge. Hong Kong note currency starts from $10 denominations and include $20, $50 and $100 notes much like Australian currency, in addition there are also $500 and $1000 notes.
The Octopus card is Hong Kongs unofficial currency / bankcard. While its primary use is for the countries MTR transport system the Octopus card, once loaded with money, is widely accepted not only in shops but also at vending machines and for other services around the city such as pay parking. In fact the Octopus card is so widely accepted that in certain places it may be the only form of payment accepted. There is a fee to obtain an Octopus card, however it is almost essential when visiting Hong Kong and well worth it in terms of convenience. If you are a tourist you can also return your card upon leaving the country and receive the deposit amount back. Recharging the Octopus card is simple - not only can it be done at any convenience store such as 7/11 there are also automated recharge machines at every MTR station. Plus, if you are unsure of your card balance, there are easy ‘tap’ machines located at each MTR station which will let you know your current balance. If that wasn’t simple enough each time you tap through to the MTR the remaining card balance is displayed on the screen as you pass through.