CASH, CREDIT CARDS, ATMs & MONEY CHANGERS
Do you want to be a millionaire? You don’t have to take part in a lottery or game show: you become a millionaire immediately when you draw or change money in Bali. Don’t be fooled by the many zeros in the Indonesian rupiah, which are also truncated to Rp. It may look like you have enough money to buy a private island, but it might be enough for a cold can of local beer.
Cash is still an important payment method in Bali. So make sure you have enough with you to pay for your small groceries, transportation, and food and drinks. The 100,000 notes are only useful if you want to buy a high-priced item or spend a lot of money in the same place. Most small shops and street vendors will have difficulty making changes, so 50,000 and 20,000 Rp notes are the way to go.
- Most resorts and hotels accept credit cards but most times smaller places like guesthouses or homestays do not.
- Check beforehand if a store or restaurant accepts credit cards and if indeed their card swipe machine (EDC) is working.
- Hold on to a few Rp. 500 and Rp. 1,000 coins and forget about the smaller ones. They take up space and are hardly worth their weight. Don’t be surprised if at a supermarket your change of money includes a few pieces of candy instead of Rp. 50 or Rp. 100 coins.
- Always carry a bit of cash with you. It will come handy when you decide to buy a coconut, grilled corn on the cob, or a sarong on the beach. Tipping the staff at the hotel, spa, and restaurant is also usually done in cash.
- Your cash is king at markets, food stalls, and small shops. Do not expect to be able to use your credit cards here.
There are more than 500 money changers stands in Bali, most of which are easy to find in the busy streets of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and other tourist areas. Buying foreign currencies at the money changer can be a challenge for some travelers. However, if you are at the money changer stands in front of the exchange office, you will lose yourself completely in the many columns. Don’t panic, here are some things you need to know before entering the money changer booths.
Some money changer stands sometimes show not only buying and selling columns on their board, but also BN and TC. What does that mean?
BN (banknotes) With regard to money changers, banknotes are registered foreign exchange services. The advantages of banknotes are: Security guarantees for foreign currencies, e.g. B. Currencies in intact and good condition, as well as original currencies are calculated according to the current exchange rate
TC (Travelers Checks) Travelers Checks or Tourist Checks is a payment instrument in the form of a check that tourists use on their way. The benefits of travelers’ checks are: Reduce the risk of losing cash. There are no additional fees when paying out. Has an unlimited validity
Buy Suppose you have just arrived in Bali from your country (e.g. Australia). So if you want to change your AUD currency to IDR currency, it means that you “buy” the IDR with AUD. This makes you a buyer and a money changer a seller. The changer, therefore, sells you the IDR currency. You should look at the “Buy” column.
Are you planning to fly home after a vacation in Bali and would like to exchange your remaining rupiahs (IDR), the local currency, for another currency such as the Australian dollar. They “buy” the foreign currency at the exchange office, which is a “sale” for them. You should therefore look under the “Sell” column to get the price that applies to you
Tips On exchanging Money in Bali
- Don’t worry about money changers, the majority are legitimate and won’t try to tear you down! Choose money changers whose only business is to change money and which are in a trustworthy building
- Double – Check this with your own calculator to make sure you get the right amount. Do not leave the counter until you have counted the money you have received.
- It is especially advisable for Australian tourists to take their AUD to Bali. Don’t change your money in Australia, the rate is not good. Exchanging your money at the bank and at the airport is similar to buying a beer at a baseball game, unless you need the money urgently not to exchange it at the bank and the airport
- Always compare the actual prices you get. Never assume that “zero commission” means the deal gets better
- Find out about the exchange rate online before going to money changers. This can easily be done on a currency conversion website such as XE.com or Oanda.com. Note that the exchange rates displayed online are always different than those given for a money changer, but should not be much different
- Due to Rupiah’s many zeros and large denominations, we recommend that you always be clear about the calculation and ask the cashier if you have any questions or feel that something is wrong.
- Poor money planning can literally result in you wasting tens or hundreds of dollars. So plan it carefully
Recommended money changer in Bali
These money changer stands below are the most recommended for you if you need to exchange your money. If you are concerned about finding legitimate service, we strongly recommend that you do not change your money at the small stands or in the small grocery and souvenir shops.
1.BMC money changer
Bali Maspintjinra or better known as BMC is a foreign exchange service company founded in 1993. PT Bali Maspintjinra was included in the category of 5 largest money changers in Bali and also received an award from Bali International Customer Satisfaction for best money changer category for public money changer services in 2011. Today there are 12 branches in Bali in different areas such as Seminyak, Sanur, Kerobokan, Legian and Batu Belig, which serve many customers every day.
2.Central Kuta currency exchange
Kuta’s central wallet has been Bali’s most established and reliable wallet since 1985. It offers its customers excellent service at its headquarters and in its branches in the regions of Kuta, Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa, Denpasar, Sanur and Ubud. Every office is equipped with the current system in order to guarantee customers their precise and secure currency transactions.
3.PT. Dirgahayu Valuta Prima
This changer has been considered one of the best and largest authorized changers in Bali since 1984. Most outlets are guarded by police officers and special forces, as well as the “no commission” policy. Some awards are also given for this money changer, such as the “Customer Satisfaction Award 2011” and the “Top Ten Best Money Changer in Bali 2014”. Its branches are located all over Bali, from Kuta, Tabanan, Ubud, and Denpasar.
- PT. Putroe Bakrie (MPB money changer) made
MPB was founded in 2010 and offers the best exchange rate services and shares the latest exchange rate. There are 3 branches in strategic locations, Petitenget, Kartika Plaza, and Uluwatu.
- RARA money changer (RMC)
RARA Money Changer has been operating since 2003 and is one of the most authorized money exchange services in Bali. Visit RMC counters in many hotels and shopping centers in Kuta and Seminyak and guarantee friendly service and highly integrated staff.
ATM Machines are easy to find in Bali’s most populated areas and most do not accept local ATM cards and credit cards for cash withdrawals. Debit cards are accepted by some ATMs on the Maestro and Cirrus networks. If you plan to travel in very rural areas or on the islands or on the island of Ceningan, it is advisable to get additional cash before you travel. For example, there is an ATM on Lembongan Island that doesn’t always work
- ATMs issue either 50,000 or 100,000 banknotes. A sticker clearly shows which one.
- Most ATMs in Bali allow a maximum payout of 1,250,000 (50,000 ATMs) to 3,000,000 rupiah (100,000 ATMs) per transaction with a maximum payout of 6,000,000 rupiah per day.
- Note that ATMs often spend money before returning your card. Make sure you don’t go away without taking your card!
- Prices and transaction fees depend on your home bank. You can check the fees with your bank before withdrawing money.
- Check again to see if your card can be used abroad and inform your bank of your travel destination, as occasionally travelers may see their card blocked by their bank because their sudden foreign spending has been considered a suspected fraudulent use.
- The most popular ATMs to withdraw are Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Permata Bank. In recent years, more and more Commonwealth ATMs have appeared on the island.
- BCA has the greatest coverage when it comes to ATMs. They have 3 types of machines: Tunai, which means cash. Non-tunai, what a surprise, no money. And Setor Tunai, which means to deposit cash.
- There have been some cases of digital pad skimming devices in ATMs. It is always advisable to use ATMs in banks, shopping centers, and places with surveillance cameras.
Nowadays, more and more restaurants and shops accept credit cards – especially in the tourist areas, it is becoming increasingly important. However, do not rely on your credit card like in a western country. In many cases, cash is the only acceptable payment method. A credit card is of little use to you, especially in remote areas.
Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit cards in Bali. Some hotels and restaurants take Amex, Diners Club even less.
Note that a credit card transaction is often subject to a 3% to sometimes 5% surcharge. This is because credit card companies keep this percentage to themselves and providers in Bali repay this fee to their customers.