19 Foreign Currencies Worth Less than Monopoly Money

Today I was walking home from a rousing game of Rummikub with some friends. I mentioned that my phone was at critbatts, a strange shortened version of slang that Todd and I use, which means “critical batteries”. To give credit where it’s due, our good friend Elliot actually invented that particular phrase. Until that, we’d only used maxbatts, modbatts, minbatts, and nilbatts.

Anyway, after explaining what critbatts meant, I  told my friends about a time in Thailand when Todd was running out of Thai money, Baht, and declared that he was at critbahts. We got a good chuckle out of it since critbatts had since become nearly an everyday word, especially given our use of GPS and such on our phones.

I then remarked that to hit critbahts is difficult, because the money is worth so little – less than monopoly, I joked – that it was almost impossible to run out. Wait a minute.. maybe that’s not a joke. Maybe Baht really are worth less than Monopoly money. Math followed shortly after.

A monopoly set costs $11.50 on Amazon. It comes with $15,140. This is only a one way transition, of course, because you can convert foreign money into dollars and buy monopoly. Selling your monopoly money (and the set it came with) would probably net you less than $11.50.

So for a one way conversion, every dollar spent on a Monopoly game gets you $1316 in Monopoly money. As it turns out, there are nineteen countries with worse exchange rates.

Lebanon: 1504.22 LBP per USD

Tanzania: 1504.22 TZS per USD

Uzbekistan: 1640.15 UZS per USD

Colombia: 1923.90 COP per USD

North Korea: 2050 KPW per USD

Madagascar: 2120 MGA per USD

Uganda: 2308.28 UGX per USD

Belarus: 2999.14 BYR per USD

Cambodia: 4037.85 KHR per USD

Sierra Leone: 4120 SLL per USD

Paraguay: 4642.55 PYG per USD

Zambia: 4797.51 ZMK per USD

Guinea: 6925 GNF per USD

Laos 8051.30 LAK per USD

Indonesia: 9009.01 IDR per USD

Iran: 10,349.59 IRR per USD

Sao Tome and Principe: 18,260 STD per USD

Vietnam: 19,487.70 VND per USD

And topping off the list, you’d need 33,300 Somalian Shillings per USD. That means that monopoly money is a full 25 times more valuable than Somalian money.

Not the most useful information, but an interesting little tidbit to keep in mind next time someone likens something to Monopoly money.

On a side note, I’ve been to a bunch of the places on this list, including number two, Vietnam. Even though you know the conversion rate, it’s a bit terrifying handing over half a million for lunch. You do the math several times to make sure you’re not missing a decimal place somewhere.


I think I might know what drugs are like: motorcycles. I rode one once and was blown away at how fun it was. Then I got my license, knowing I’d never buy a bike. Then today I rode my friend’s 1000cc bike and couldn’t stop laughing the whole time.

Heading back to San Francisco tomorrow by RV!

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