Bali Money Matters and Business
Indonesia Currency is called Rupiah (Rp).
Notes are in denominations of Rp100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000
Coins are available in denominations of Rp1,000, 500, 200, 100, and 50.
The newest set of coins is in the same style and consists of aluminum. The 25 and 50 Rupiah coins have already become extinct as the value of the material is higher than the nominal value of the coin when in circulation. When paying, most amounts are rounded to 100 Rupiah, sometimes even 500 Rupiah, depending where you are shoping.
Banks have the best rates when exchanging foreign currencies. While hotels charge high commissions. It is better to change money at the bank in Kuta or Denpasar, which offer the best rates.Although traveler’s checks and cash in U.S. currency can be changed at almost any money changer or bank.
The rupiah has fluctuated a lot these last couple of years. In general you can say that Rp. 10.000 is about 1 USD . But to be more precise always acheck the current currency rate on www.xe.com.
The import and export of local currency is limited to Rp5,000,000, amounts more than that must be declared. The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited. However, amounts exceeding the equivalent of Rp100,000,000 must be declared.
International credit cards are honored in Bali and in many shops, hotels and restaurants the cards accepted will be displayed in the window. Popular cards are Visa and Mastercard. In more remote areas, it is best to carry cash in small denominations.
Bali has more than 12 different banks, each with many branches, whether you are in Kuta, Denpasar, Lovina or Nusa Dua, you can access your cash 24/7. Bank cards issued overseas that have the Star, Cirrus, Maestro, etc. symbols will be able to access the ATMs of local banks.
- Lippo Bank (merged with Bank Niaga Indonesia)
- BNI (Bank Niaga Indonesia, or Bank CIMB Niaga)
- BCA (Bank Central Asia)
- Bank Danamon
- Commonwealth Bank
- BPI (Bank of Philippines Islands)
- Citibank does have a presence as well (Sanur at McDonald Denpasar JI. Raya By Pass Ngurah Ray No. 109.).
You can use your debit card in Bali just don’t forget to check with your bank what the charges will be. Usually you will get charged a fixed withdrawal fee per transaction, and also an administration fee per transaction (a percentage of the amount withdrawn). When added together, this can be more expensive than using a money changer to change cash or travellers cheques.
Yes, it’s very easy to exchange travellers cheques, most of the money changers will exchange them for you. You get a slightly lower exchange rate for exchanging them as opposed to exchanging cash, and you’ll need to take your passport with you for the exchange.
Hours of business in Bali are Monday to Friday from 09:00 till 13:00 and 14:00 till 17:00. Most places of business will also trade on Saturday mornings from 09:00 to 13:00. Banks will not be open on Saturday mornings but will be open during the week from 09:30 to 15:00.
Remember that Bali is a tourist trap and that the Balinese are trying to make money at every turn. The streets are full of money changers (Jalan Legian, just north – maybe 100 yards – of White Rose Hotel and the Memorial) but, as usual, you’ll get terrible rates and often no official receipt.
Just be careful. ATMs are sometimes the better choice over money changers.