You want to be a millionaire? No need to join any lottery or game show: you instantly become a millionaire when you withdraw or change money in Bali. Do not be fooled by the many zeros of the Indonesian Rupiah also abbreviated as Rp. It might look as if you are holding enough cash to buy yourself a private island but it is probably just enough for a cold can of local beer.
The official currency code is IDR.
Exchange Rate and Currency Converter
There are coins with the value of Rp. 50, Rp. 100, Rp. 200, Rp. 500 and Rp. 1,000
Notes are available at Rp. 1,000, Rp. 2,000, Rp. 5,000, Rp. 10,000, Rp. 20,000, Rp. 50,000, and Rp. 100,000,-
Please note that the Indonesian government only allows you to bring in cash at the maximum value of 100,000,000 rupiah.
Cash is still an important form of payment in Bali. So make sure you carry enough with you to pay for your small shopping, transportation and food & drinks. The 100,000 bills are only useful if you intend to buy a high-priced item or spend a lot of money at the same place. Most small shops and street sellers will struggle to make change, so 50,000 and 20,000 Rp notes will be the way to go.
Major currencies like the US, Australian dollar and Euro can easily be exchanged in banks, hotels and money changers. Keep in mind that the rates fluctuate every day and not all notes are accepted. Old, folded, damaged and dirty notes are often rejected or exchanged at a lower rate than a clean crisp bill.
Particularly the USD notes.
Money changers offer the best rates and are often conveniently open from 9am till 10 pm. They can be found throughout the island.
Banks generally give you the next best rate but going into a bank and waiting for your turn can be exhausting and a waste of your precious holiday time.
Hotels offer the lowest rate of exchange. Who wants that?!
Although there are plenty of honest money changers there are also several shady vendors who might try to trick and short change you. We strongly recommend you to go to a licensed money changer located in its own air-conditioned office with a clear display of the current rates. Licensed money changers, the Valuta Asing Berizin or Authorized Money Changers can be recognized by the green-colored logo stating: “PVA Berizin”.
The small sign boards on the streets saying Official Money Changer - No Commission are not God's word. Therefore, always be cautious and follow below steps.
Money Changer Tips
ATMs are easily found in Bali’s most populated areas and most accept nonlocal 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 the islands, or Ceningan Island, it will be wise to stock up on additional cash before you hit the road. There is for example one ATM machine on Lembongan Island, which does not always work.
More and more restaurants and shops do accept credit cards nowadays - particularly in the touristic areas it's gaining ground a lot. But do not rely on your credit card as you would in a western country. Cash is in many cases the only acceptable way of payment. Particularly in remote areas a credit card will be of little use to you.
Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit cards in Bali. Some hotels and restaurants do take Amex, Diners Club even less.
Keep in mind that very often there will be a 3 to sometimes even 5% surcharge on credit card transactions. This is, because the credit card companies keep that percentage for themselves, and the vendors on Bali will charge that fee back to their customer.
Do not bring these. It will be hard to impossible to change.