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