The currency of Hong Kong is a little more complicated than other countries. The tips below are useful for your Hong Kong shore excursions.
Due to the lengthy periods of Hong Kong under British Crown rule and Japanese occupation, the currency of Hong Kong experienced significant changes including sterling silver coinage, subsidiary coinage within dollar system, British trade dollar and Japanese military yen. To date, the Hong Kong dollar whose abbreviation is HKD or HK$ is the sole official name of Hong Kong’s currency. It is subdivided into 100 cents and pegged to U.S dollar at a rate of 7.755 HKD to 1 USD (August 5th, 2016). Throughout dozens of years, Hong Kong dollar still firmly attaches to the U.S. dollar and remains strong until now.

Hong Kong Dollars & Coins

Hong Kong Dollars & Coins

Hong Kong’s monetary system consists of two types: coin and banknotes in which the coin comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 HKD and the banknotes include 6 denominations: 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 HKD (HK$10 is uncommonly seen in circulation and it is not designed in 2010 new series.). Unlike other currencies, the Hong Kong banknotes of the 2010 new series has been issued by three banks in Hong Kong including the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Bank of China (Hong Kong) and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong).

The description below would provide detailed information on all coins and banknotes in circulation:
1, 2, 5 and 10 HKD 
The 1, 2, 5 and 10 HKD coins have the image of Bauhinia, Hong Kong stamped on the obverse and the value and the year of minting stamped on the reverse.

Hong Kong Coins 1 2 5 10 20 50

Hong Kong Coins 1 2 5 10 20 50

 20 HKD
The 20 HKD note (issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has HSBC lion and the HSBC Building stamped on the obverse and the Mid-Autumn festival stamped on the reverse.

20 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

 

20 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

20 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

The 20 HKD note (issued by Bank of China (Hong Kong)) has Bank of China Tower stamped on the obverse and Repulse Bay stamped on the reverse.
The 20 HKD note (issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)) has Chinese dragon headed carp stamped on the obverse and abacus and binary code stamped on the reverse.

20 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chatered Bank

20 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chatered Bank

20 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

50 HKD
The 50 HKD note (issued by The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has HSBC lion and the HSBC Building stamped on the obverse and the Spring Lantern festival stamped on the reverse.
The 50 HKD note (issued by Bank of China (Hong Kong)) has Bank of China Tower stamped on the obverse and Tung Ping Chau stamped on the reverse.
The 50 HKD note (issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)) has Chinese dragon headed turtle stamped on the obverse and Chinese combination lock and vault stamped on the reverse.
50 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

50 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

50 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

100 HKD 
The 100 HKD note (issued by The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has HSBC lion and the HSBC Building stamped on the obverse and the Spring Lantern festival stamped on the reverse.100 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

100 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

100 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

The 100 HKD note (issued by Bank of China (Hong Kong)) has Bank of China Tower stamped on the obverse and Tung Ping Chau stamped on the reverse.
The 100 HKD note (issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)) has Chinese dragon headed turtle stamped on the obverse and Chinese combination lock and vault stamped on the reverse.100 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

100 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

100 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

500 HKD
The 500 HKD note (issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has HSBC lion and the HSBC Building stamped on the obverse and Lunar New Year stamped on the reverse.
The 500 HKD note (issued by Bank of China (Hong Kong)) has Bank of China Tower stamped on the obverse and High Island Reservoir stamped on the reverse.500 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Bank of China

500 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Bank of China

500 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Bank of China

The 500 HKD note (issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)) has Chinese dragon headed turtle stamped on the obverse and the traditional face chart and bio-metrics stamped on the reverse.

500 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

500 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

500 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

1,000 HKD
The 1,000 HKD note (issued by The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has HSBC lion and the HSBC Building stamped on the obverse and the Dragon Boat festival stamped on the reverse.
The 1,000 HKD note (issued by Bank of China (Hong Kong)) has Bank of China Tower stamped on the obverse and Victoria Harbour stamped on the reverse.
The 1,000 HKD note (issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)) has Chinese dragon headed turtle stamped on the obverse and Tang Dynasty coin and smart chip stamped on the reverse.1000 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

1000 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

1000 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) by Standard Chartered Bank

The quantity of Hong Kong dollar is not limited when you bring into or take out of Hong Kong; hence, you may bring any amount of money prior to your shore excursion. If you do not want to hold too much cash, you can use traveler’s checks as they are accepted in most banks and hotels. Moreover, in case of exchanging money, the exchange rate for traveler’s checks is almost always better than that for cash. International credit cards such as American Express, Visa, Diner’s Club and MasterCard are also widely used in many retail stores and restaurants. Especially, if you need to exchange for Hong Kong dollar, keep in mind that exchange it with the money changers (entrepreneurs) only if you don’t have any other choices. If you find a high rate advertised, take the commission charge into consideration.