A good trip to Bali starts with a good understanding of their currency. Being confident in which note is which and what they are worth will make your explorations much easier.
With high nominals, colourful notes and confusing conversion rates, this is everything you need to know about the money in Bali before you get there!
A Guide to Money in Bali
This guide will be your one stop shop for learning everything there is to know about money in Bali.
What is the Currency in Bali?
The money in Bali is Indonesian Rupiah. Which is abbreviated down to Rp, and the nominals go into the thousands – you’ll be a millionaire while staying in Bali 😉
Rupiah has been the currency in Bali since 1946, when it replaced the colonial Netherlands Indies gulden.
Mostly made up of notes, with coins for the smaller amounts, once you get to grips with it, it is easy to understand what each note is worth in your home currency.
Money Changers in Bali
Money changers in Bali are super easy to use. They exchange all the top currencies using the international exchange rate guidance.
Honestly, it’s probably cheaper to bring your own currency cash to Bali to exchange rather than doing it back home.
You’ll want to be wary of unscrupulous money changers! The best way to avoid being scammed is to stick to the reputable exchanges like BMC. If an exchange rate seems too good to be true, it probably is..
ATMs in Bali
ATMs are everywhere in Bali, especially around the main tourist hearts. That being said, you will want to be a little bit smart about which ATMs you use.
You first choice should always be an ATM attached to a bank. These are secure and often guarded by security.
ATMs in convenience stores can be ok, but aren’t as convenient as they might seem. They are at risk of having skimming devices – use at your own discretion.
Finally, there are ATM corners. These standalone air-conditioned boxes are run by major banks and are well maintained. One good option is BNI. But again, be cautious these aren’t always monitored and could have been fiddled with.
Most, if not all, ATMs in Bali have English-language options. You may inadvertently press the wrong thing and get your card swallowed. Or do like I did, and forget your card as the money comes first!
Can You Pay by Card in Bali?
While physical money in Bali is king, you can by card too – but not everywhere.
If you’re somewhere local, like a warung for example, you’ll almost certainly have to pay with cash.
Most modern cafes, hotels, spas and upscale restaurants, bars and beach clubs will all accept card.
In short, while you can pay by card, you should have some cash on you at all times.
Understanding Indonesian Rupiah
When you’re in a new country, having a brand new currency to get your head around can be confusing.
First of all, you’ll be a millionaire! Rp 1,000,000 is around $65 USD.
The main dominations of notes are as follows; Rp 2,000, Rp 5,000, Rp 10,000, Rp 20,000, Rp 50,000 and Rp 100,000.
An insider tip when you’re trying to work out the worth of the note – the bigger the smile on the Indonesian icon, the bigger the value of the note 😉
How Much Money Can You Bring to Bali?
That’s a good question – especially for a place where you’ll need a lot of cash.
The most cash you can bring into Bali is Rp 100,000,000 (equivalent to $10,000 USD or around $10,200 AUS). Anything over needs to be declared.
If you don’t declare it, customs have the power to confiscate the money! That’s definitely not worth it.
Money is probably one of the most important things to have on hand during your holiday in Bali. You’ll also want a back up plan in case things go awry – e.g. losing your card.
You’re in Bali to have fun, not worry about dodgy money changers or sitting on the phone to cancel a skimmed card.
With this guide you will know all the top dos and don’ts for using your money in Bali, keeping you out of trouble.
Featured image: Indonesian Rupiah