Commission rates, exchange rates, interest rates and transaction fees all add up to a common practice of organizing your money while on the road. Withdraw your money from a reliable ATM and, for stays longer than 1 month, open a Wise account because it’s convenient (switching between currencies is not a problem) and you can save on currency conversion fees. Here are our best tips.
Currency in Bali
The Indonesian Rupiah is the currency of Indonesia. The currency code for Rupiahs is IDR, and the currency symbol is Rp.
You will always get a better exchange rate if you wait to change your money once you land in Bali. If you are nervous about arriving with no currency you can always exchange a little amount of money before you leave for Bali (in Australia we recommend doing this at Australia Post as they have no fees).
When in Bali it is very important to only ever change your money at safe, well-known locations. Never be tempted by street money exchangers advertising a very high exchange rate. These peddlers are like magicians – they will literally make your money disappear before your eyes! Some of our favourite places to exchange money are below:
BMC banks. Click here for LOCATIONS
Central Kuta Money Exchange Click here for LOCATIONS
Card skimming is happening more and more all over South East Asia and there have been 1000s of reports of this happening in Bali also. If you are going to use an ATM machine in Bali be sure it is one in a very public area and preferably one that has a security guard or is in a resort or shopping mall. Avoid using ATMs at Minimarts or Circle K’s.
We also wrote a blog about ATM Scams in Bali. Click here to read it.
When using your card also check with your bank before you leave your country about fees associated with withdrawing money internationally. The maximum amount you can withdraw at most Bali ATMs is 3,000,000 Rp (approx $300 AUD).
Using Bank Cards or Credit Cards
Paying by card in Bali is a fairly safe option. Most of the bigger restaurants, resorts, shopping stalls will all accept payment via card. Taxis, small local restaurants (warungs), beach bars, and market stalls still only accept cash.
Be careful with currency conversion fees if using your card overseas, these fees implied by some bank can really add us. We recommend setting up a Wise account when travelling outside your home country. With Wise, you can also order a bank card for your account. Wise allows you to transfer your money into different currencies and avoid currency conversion fees altogether.