Free Travel Guide for Bali

Money

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The Indonesian currency (IDR)

Read the important information regarding money in Bali: the Indonesian currency, the current exchange rate and our advice to exchange money, to use your bankcard and to tip.

Local currency

The national currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

To know the up to date daily rate and to convert between your respective currency and Indonesian Rupiah, feel free to use the following currency converter:

FreeCurrencyRates.com

The current available money circulating in Bali consists of denominations of IDR 500 to IDR 100,000 (€5.9) in the form of banknotes and IDR 25 to IDR 1,000 (€0.1) in the form of coins. Try to always carry small denominations with you as it is often hard to obtain change for IDR 50,000 (€3.0) and IDR 100,000 notes (€5.9).

Finally, you can enter and exit the Indonesian territory carrying as many dollars or traveller’s cheques as you want.

Exchange

You will be able to exchange money in all the touristic places, by the famous money changers. The exchange rate is always displayed outside.

Our advice:

  • Avoid changing money at hidden money changers (at the end of a street or in a corner at the back of a shop for instance).
  • Only go to authorised money changers (the mention « Authorized » should be specified outside).
  • It is always a good idea to compare a few ones, as you will generally find quite some gaps (that can reach up to 10%!). However, if the advertised rate is much lower than the one offered by any other operator, it is very questionable.
  • Give preference to operators who will not charge you an extra commission. That would allow you to know the exact price of the transaction.
  • Calculate ahead the money you expect to get back and make sure you count it carefully when receiving it, several times if needed. Stay focused on the operation. Do not let anyone distract you. Hand over your notes last, only once you have the Indonesian notes in your hand.
  • Put rapidly the notes you just received in a safe place, once you verified they correspond to the amount you were expecting. Do not let the operator count them again for you after you did.
  • Avoid changing money on weekends and Indonesian national holidays. The exchange rate is less interesting since the money changers take precautions to not lose money, as the official rate is not accessible to all while the banks are closed.

Finally, only US dollars issued after 2003 are accepted like in most Asian countries.

Please find below the details of an official money changer who has an excellent reputation in Bali:

BMC MONEY CHANGER

- Legian : Jl. Raya Legian no 141 Legian - Kuta
- Sanur : Jl. Danau Tamblingan no. 18 Sanur - Denpasar
- Ubud : Jln. Raya Ubud, Br. Padang Tegal Ubud - Gianyar and Jl. Raya Pangosekan, Ubud, Bali

Bankcards

A week before leaving let your bank know about your travel to Bali, with your travel dates in order to remove the bank filters. Many banks indeed block the bankcards when used in specific countries considered risky, to limit the possibility of fraudulent activity. It would be a shame to lose time trying to contact your bank from Bali to be able to use your card, moreover with the time difference!

You can withdraw with a bankcard using one of the many ATMs available at all touristic places in Bali.
If you intend on getting off the beaten tracks, better withdraw a consequent amount of money as you might experience ATM’s difficult to find.

A flexible commission, depending on your bank’s agreement, can be charged for each withdraw. Prefer to withdraw a lot of money at once rather than repeated withdraws of smaller amounts in order to limit those charges. Remember to keep the money in different places to limit the damages in the event of a theft.
However, be aware that most ATMs allow maximal amounts of IDR 1,000,000 per withdraw (€59.3) .

One last precaution to take into account while using an ATM: do not forget to take back your card! Most ATMs give out the notes before returning the bankcard.

Finally, you will be able to pay by card (Visa, American Express) in many hotels, shops and travel agencies in Bali generally for a 3% commission fee. To that commission you may add extra bank fees, when applicable (depending on your bank).

Tips

Tips are customary in Bali since the establishment of tourism, like in most Southeast Asian countries.

It remains however optional and some mid-range hotels or restaurants already display a 21% supplement, which corresponds to service and a government tax.

If you wish to leave some tips, we recommend giving it directly to the relevant person. The amount is up to you: there are no rules!

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