Just like Bali is a popular tourist destination, cash money is also popular and actually the most common way to pay for your expenses during your trip. Drivers, tour guides and local companies usually prefer to be paid in cash.
If changing to the local currency in your own country is not possible or if you prefer to change the currency in Bali, here are a few tips that you could keep in mind when taking money in Bali.
ATM or Money Changer? How to withdraw money in Bali safely.
During your holiday, when using your credit card is not possible, you will need local currency to pay for your expenses. Bali as part of The Republic of Indonesia uses Indonesian Rupiah (IDR or Rp) as their money.
When you are planning to stay in Bali for only a few days, then using an ATM can be a good option. Keep in mind that you need to choose your ATM wisely. This blog will inform you on which ATMs to avoid and which ones are safe. If you are planning to stay longer than 5 days or spending more than USD500, then using a money changer to change cash for Indonesian Rupiah is a better option.
There’s another way to do it as well if you want to withdraw larger sums. You will need to go to the local bank, as they are safe and reliable. Please take note that the Bank often take commissions and the exchange rate might be higher than the money changers.
Withdrawing money from the ATM
The standard maximum withdrawal on ATMs in Bali is usually between Rp 1,500,000 to Rp 3,000,000 (USD 104-208) per transaction. The fee varies per ATM. However, you will still be able to withdraw more by using ATMs from different Banks.
Please make sure that you contact your bank back home before traveling overseas otherwise they can assume it’s an illegal transaction and potentially block your card.
Your bank often determines the maximum withdrawal limit per day, so be aware that if your transaction is declined it may be because you have already reached your limit.
Which ATMs should you avoid?
Stay away from the stand-alone ATMs, the ones that are located on the side of the road, that don’t have security guards, security cameras and are located outside of public places. Be aware of the physical state of the ATMs. Avoid the ones that are tacky or have unexplained features.
Don’t use International Bank ATMs for which you don’t have an account. There are plenty of International Bank ATMs around Bali. This can be convenient for you when you have an account in that specific Bank, but it can also turn into a nightmare when you don’t. In the unlikely event of the ATM machine swallowing your card or not giving you the money after your transaction, you will have to contact the bank. However, often they don’t have bank representatives in Bali.
Which ATM is considered to be safe?
- ATMs at Bali airport.
- ATMs affiliated with a major bank branch.
- Stand-alone ATMs located in an official public place. They often have security guards.
Money Changer Tips
- Bring big bills to the money changers. Small bills will have a different rate. The smaller the bills, the lower the currency rates. They usually don’t accept bills under USD 10.
- Not all currencies are accepted at the money changer in Bali. They accept USD, EUR, GBP, AUD and only a few other currencies. You might have to change your local money into USD first before changing it in Bali, as USD always receive better rates.
- Don’t fold the money, especially USD. Money changers will decrease the currency if it’s not brand new, folded, have stamps on it or creased. You might find this strange but they do this because they will resell the money, so they consider it their selling product.
- Only exchange money on the Bank Indonesia authorized money changer that has a green PVA Berizin logo in their shop. PVA Berizin in the Indonesian language means Authorized Money Changer. I often go to these two shops “BMC money changer” or “Central Kuta Money Exchange”.
- Don’t even think about leaving the money changer without counting the money yourself several times.
Which Money Changers should you avoid?
Avoid money changers that are attached to a secondary business, like a street tour agent that does money changing on the side and money changers that offer rates way higher than the normal Bank rate.
Do you have tips or insights on this article? Please feel free to share your experiences.