Cash Only in Taiwan: Reasons & Why You Need Know

Are you confused about having to pay cash frequently? Especially in many countries like Taiwan, this is actually the habit (culture). However, many elderly Taiwanese do not have a credit card and do not use this stuff quickly.

Today I’m going to tell you why most Taiwanese use cash frequently instead of credit cards. Although some stores provide credit card methods, you still have to prepare some money for somewhere while traveling to Taiwan.

See, especially many restaurants, they just accept cash for the service, even if you wanna eat fried chicken & bubble tea.

They Don’t Accept Your Credit Card Most Where in Taiwan

Taiwan restaurant wok cook

Whether you are a tourist visiting Taiwan or a Taiwanese just returning from abroad unless you are coming from the African continent. Otherwise, you will find that Taiwan has an extraordinary place; our plastic currency usage is shallow instead of cash almost everywhere.

Some places do not even accept credit cards, such as grocery stores, traditional markets, snack bars, or street vendors. Therefore, strictly speaking, you can live in Taiwan for a lifetime without a credit card, provided you have sufficient savings.

In many developed countries, transactions using virtual currencies, such as credit cards, are perfectly normal.

In some countries, people are even a little bit forced to use credit cards. For example, in the United States, if your car needs to be refueled, you can only use credit cards.

Gas stations in Taiwan use a semi-manual, semi-self-help method. If you want to rent a car in the United States without a credit card, people will not let you rent a hotel or a hotel, and you will need to pay a deposit. The counter also uses your credit card to check the card and is unwilling to accept cash.

Why Taiwanese Don’t Use Credit Cards Usually?

Many foreigners will have many questions when they first come to Taiwan. For example, why is the plastic currency usage rate so low?

It takes time to find money, it is very inconvenient, and I am worried about being robbed. If the store uses cash for transactions, how does the government know if your turnover will have tax evasion? What does a paper money exchange in Taiwan look like? How do you tell the authenticity of the Taiwan dollar? Then I’ll help you answer these things, even if you don’t know.

The credit card holding rate in Taiwan is about 65%, which is not too low, but why are few people using it?

For most Taiwanese, the primary purpose is not for convenience but to accumulate credit points. Thus, when you want to buy a house, a car, or a large amount of money today, banks will lend you money.

In many people using cash for consumption, it is also another problem for the merchant to pay the business tax honestly.

By the way, in Taipei City, most merchants accept credit cards. So if you don’t care about handling fees, you can use your existing credit card to pay for everything. Unfortunately, only a few stores accept cash only.

Will I Be Robbed in Taiwan if I Bring A Lot Of Cash?

Taiwan cash

This is the most feared problem for tourists. Got so much cash on me. What if I am robbed? I want to tell you. According to the statistics of the Police Department of the Taiwan Ministry of the Interior, the number of robbery cases in Taiwan in 2018 last year was terrifying, with a total of three. Using the population of 23 million people in Taiwan, there is a 1 in 7,660,000 chance that it will be robbed on the road, which is 1.8 times higher than the chance of a plane crash. Are you sure you dare to come like this? LOL

All these reasons have affected the use of plastic currency in Taiwan, but is it awful to do so? Even if the 300 million people in the United States are acceptable, about 220 million people use credit cards. But do you know how many credit cards are circulating throughout the United States?

The answer is 900 million cards, equivalent to an average of four credit cards per person. If they are all flattened and discharged, it is enough to circle the earth 1.6 times.

The cash flow rate in the United States is also the lowest globally, only 5%. The remaining 95% are only numbers on the books, so they seem to have strong spending power. But many people forget that they are just. In the future, I will not need to repay my own borrowing money, so in the end, I can only use debt to support my debt.

About TAIWAN Currencies

By the way, introduce Taiwan’s currency.

Taiwan Coins

Taiwan coins
Taiwan coins

The five currencies are one, five, ten, twenty, and fifty. One-piece, five pieces, and ten pieces are printed on Chiang Kai-shek. The new ten pieces are printed on Sun Yat-sen. Both are precious ten pieces of the same size. Suppose you don’t know who he is.

In that case, you can refer to the movie Saidek Bale, but that is not important because the current turnover rate of NT$20 is almost zero, and I have not seen it for ten years.

The NT$50 coin is printed with Sun Yat-sen, the founding father, and the only full-gold cash. If you can’t tell the difference, just remember that the bigger the currency, the bigger the volume.

Taiwan banknotes are also five denominations, one hundred, two hundred, five hundred, one thousand, and two thousand.


The front of the 100-dollar note is Mr. Sun Yat-sen, the country founder, and the opposite is the Zhongshan Tower on Yangmingshan, Taipei.


The front of the two-hundred-dollar bill is Chiang Kai-shek. On the back is the Governor’s Mansion of Taiwan, which was completed in the Japanese occupation era in 1919. After the end of World War II, it was renamed the Jieshou Pavilion in 2006. Meaning, in 2006, it was renamed the current presidential palace.

Two hundred dollar bills, basically like twenty coins, are currencies with a circulation rate close to zero. You can hardly see it. Sometimes when the store asks me for two hundred yuan, I will stagnate. For a few seconds, I have to remember a bit of what this is. It is probably so rare.


The obverse of the 500-dollar banknote is not a portrait of the president. But the Nanshan Elementary and Junior Baseball Team won the US Colts World Junior Baseball Championship in 1998 and 1999. The Taiwan-specific biological sika deer and Taiwan’s Dashan Jianshan.


I really can’t figure out a thousand banknotes because the president’s portrait and the great man are not printed here. They are unique to Taiwan, but four children look at the globe together. They are not real characters but fictional characters synthesized by computers.

Generally, people in Taiwan use “Children See the Earth” call a thousand pieces. However, there are only four things on the ground. They are: Taiwan’s unique bird is called Emperor’s Duck, Taiwan’s unique plant is called Tatajia thistle, the highest peak is Yushan central peak, I went to Alishan without seeing the sunrise twice.

Since this version was released in 2004, I have heard at least two hundred foreigners asking me if this is a toy note. So I am here to answer everyone. Although this thousand-dollar bill looks really ugly, it is really a genuine currency that is exchangeable.


As for the front of the two thousand banknotes, the Taiwanese satellite Formosa No. 1 is on the back. The back of the banknotes is Taiwan-specific fish, sakura salmon, and Nanhu, which is 842 meters above sea level and is the eighth highest mountain in Taiwan Mountain.

Regarding two thousand banknotes, it is not only difficult to use but also hazardous. A thousand dollars is already a big bill in Taiwan. Sometimes I just don’t have any chance. Take a thousand to buy fifty dollars, and you can feel that the clerk is cursing me with a mental curse.

On the other hand, if 2,000 yuan on the rooftop comes out to the clerk, I will not be cursed twice in a car accident. Is this not dangerous enough?

Distinguish the Authenticity of The TAIWAN Dollar Note

Finally, I will tell you how to distinguish the authenticity of Taiwan dollar bills. If you search online, you will find six or seven ways. Here I will teach you a speedy method that can be distinguished with one stroke. When you turn the banknotes to the front, your finger rubs the surface and listens to the sound. If it sounds like paper friction, then it might be fake money.

The whole process takes about two seconds, from one hundred to two thousand can be tested. And does not require any instruments or lights to capture at all, which is much more convenient.