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Bali Travel Money Guide

A holiday in Bali is synonymous with beaches, temples, parties, culture, food, and more. As one of the world’s premier beach holiday destinations, this Indonesian island attracts thousands of holiday makers each year. Find out all you need to know about the Indonesian Rupiah and how best to manage your money in Bali with our Bali travel money guide.

If you’re looking for Bali travel inspiration, check out our Indonesia Travel Guide.

The Low Down on Indonesian Currency

  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah
  • Currency code: IDR
  • Central Bank: Bank of Indonesia
  • Currency symbol: Rp (rupiah)
  • Bank notes: Rp 2,000, Rp 5,000, Rp 10,000, Rp 20,000
    Rp 5,0000, Rp 100,000


The currency used on the island of Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah. The name Rupiah, or IDR, is Indian in origin, and said to derive from the classical Indian word for silver (rupyakam). Before the country’s independence from Holland, the Rupiah was known as the Dutch Indies Rupiah1

Within Indonesia, you may also hear the Rupiah referred to as “perak” which means silver2. You may also see it abbreviated as Rp or Rs on your travels.

Payment Options in Indonesia

Why cash?

  • Indonesia, and as a consequence Bali, remains a predominantly cash-based society. You may need to carry cash on you in order to not miss out on local experiences.
  • There are no hidden fees with cash, unlike paying or withdrawing with a bank card.
  • If you plan on visiting more rural Balinese islands, ATMs and card payment systems may not be as common.

Things to consider:

Whilst card payments are accepted in major hotels, stores, and restaurants, Bali is still a cash-based island. Having cash on hand in Bali is recommended in order to not miss out on local street food, markets, and other attractions. Other cash-only services include paying for motorbike parking, buying petrol, and tipping. What’s more, if you plan on visiting more rural areas, ATM availability, power outages, and limited card payment facilities make cash essential.

Why prepaid travel card?

  • Many upscale restaurants and hotels will accept travel cards as a form of payment.
  • Prepaid travel cards allow you to load multiple currencies. This is handy if you plan on visiting any other Southeast Asian countries on your travels.
  • Prepaid travel cards allow you to lock in an exchange rate at the time of purchase, meaning you save money long-term*.

Discover how you can explore Bali with ease with our 5* award-winning Travelex Money Card!

Things to consider:

  • There are still many experiences that are cash only in Bali. This includes sampling street food, buying small gifts, and more.
  • If you plan on travelling to more remote islands, cards may not be accepted, and ATMs harder to find.
  • There will be fees associated with withdrawing cash and paying on card in Bali4.

Cards are accepted as a form of payment across Bali. This, coupled with the prevalence of ATMs, makes travel cards an easy travel money option. What’s more, you can load multiple currencies onto your cards if you are planning on country-hopping around Asia. However, be aware of hidden costs when paying on foreign cards, and missing out on cash-only Balinese experiences.

Why debit or credit card?

  • More and more places are beginning to accept cards in Bali. This includes in restaurants, cafes, shops, and spas. Visa and Mastercard are the most popular.
  • Credit cards are a great way to provide a backup pool of funds in case of any emergencies.
  • You may need a bank card to pre-book experiences such as hotels and tours.

Things to consider:

  • As Bali is a cash-based destination, there will be times when credit and debit cards are not accepted as forms of payment.
  • There will be fees associated with paying for items using a foreign credit card. These can range from 3%-5% surcharge on card transactions.

Bank card acceptance is widespread in Bali. They are accepted in most hotels, stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes. Keep in mind that there may be hidden costs when paying with a foreign card in Indonesia. If you plan on travelling to more remote islands or villages, it is always best to bring some cash along with you.

Why use Travelex ATMs in Australia:

  • FX ATMs make getting foreign cash before leaving Australia easy, as they have no forms to fill in, and are self-serve.
  • FX ATMs operate on a 24 hour basis, so you can withdraw cash no matter what time your flight is!
  • Visit our foreign currency ATM page to find out what machines dispense Indonesian Rupiah.

Things to consider:

  • Not all FX ATMs will dispense Rupiah.
  • If your cash gets lost or stolen while you are on holiday, you may have trouble getting it covered by your insurance.

Foreign Currency ATMS are an efficient way of exchanging AUD before you fly. Found in many airports across Australia, Travelex FX ATMs are self-serve, and require no paperwork. However, not every FX ATM will dispense Indonesian Rupiah so make sure you research before you settle on this option.

Why withdraw cash in Bali?

  • ATMS are very common around Bali, so you won’t have trouble finding one to withdraw from.
  • Withdrawing cash as you need it can be a convenient way of ensuring you have cash on you if you run out.

Things to consider:

  • If you plan on travelling to rural areas, or other more remote islands near Bali, you may not be able to find ATMS. So it is recommended that you stock up on cash beforehand!
  • There have been a few reported cases of pad skimming in Bali. Take care when entering your pin into a machine4.
  • Fees for withdrawing money with a foreign card in Bali sometimes cost upwards of $5 per transaction5.

ATMs are extremely common in Bali’s main towns, so finding one to withdraw cash from will never be an issue. As always, there will be fees charged to your account if you are withdrawing using a foreign card, and limits to the amount of cash you can withdraw7. Keep in mind that it may be harder to find ATMs in more rural towns and islands, so make sure you plan ahead and take some cash with you.

Travelex Tip:

If you do withdraw cash in Bali, opt for ATMs associated with major banks rather than those found outside convenience stores. These are usually privately owned and may come with higher fees5.

Denominations of Rupiah

There are 7 major banknote denominations in Indonesia, with the latest series being released in 2016. This series features images of traditional dance on one side, and famous national heroes on the other. The Rupiah comes in notes of 1000, meaning you will most often be dealing with amounts of 10,000 on your travels in Bali - which can get confusing!

Denominations of Indonesian banknotes are:

Rp 1,000 - these are yellow

Rp 2,000 - these are grey

Rp 5,000 - these are brown

Rp 10,000 - these are purple

Rp 20,000 - these are green

Rp 50,000 - these are blue

Rp 100,000 - these are red

Coins do exist and are in circulation in Indonesia, but they are not commonly used. Denominations of coins are 25, 50,100, 200, 500 and 1,000.

Travelex Tip: It can be common to make mistakes with Indonesian money, especially in busy crowded markets. Take your time to read banknotes properly to avoid handing over the wrong amount!

Denominations of Rupiah

Common Money Phrases in Indonesian

If you are going on holiday to Bali, knowing how to say and understand the major amounts of notes you’ll be using will come in handy. We’ve included a brief language guide on major notes below. If you are going on holiday to Bali, knowing how to say and understand the major amounts of notes you’ll be using will come in handy. We’ve included a brief language guide on major notes below.

Most Balinese people will speak both Indonesian, and Balinese dialect. However, because many Indonesians come to Bali from other islands to work, Indonesian is the most common language used within the tourism sector3.

You may also find that many people speak English in Bali. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few useful phrases to rattle off on your travels! We’ve rounded up a list of some handy money-related phrases in Indonesian for your trip.

EnglishIndonesian
Do you speak English?Bisa bicara bahasa Inggris?
How much does this cost?Berapa harganya?
Can I have the bill please?Boleh minta nota?
Too expensive!Terlalu mahal
Can I have it for less?Boleh kurang?
Can I pay on credit card?Anda terima kartu kredit?
I don’t have changeSaya tidak punya kembalian
CheapMurah
Rp 1,000satu ribu
Rp 2,000dua ribu
Rp 5,000lima ribu
Rp 10,000sepuluh ribu
Rp 20,000dua puluh ribu
Rp 50,000lima puluh ribu
Rp 100,000seratus ribu

Good to Know - Bali Money Tips

Monetary customs can change drastically from country to country. Keep these tips and cultural nuances in mind before going to Japan for a smoother time on your holiday.

Bargaining is commonplace on the street and in markets in Bali. Be aware that as a foreigner, you will most likely be offered a higher price when shopping. When bargaining, remember to establish a starting price from the seller, and try to counter-offer from one-third to two-thirds of that price. If all else fails, walk away! The seller may change their minds and go lower.9

Tipping isn’t generally expected in Bali. However if you’re really happy with the service a 10% tip is appropriate. Check that there is no service charge already on your bill before tipping.10

If you are going to change money in Bali, avoid doing it on national holidays or weekends. Exchange rates are generally less favorable on these days due to official rates not being accessible as banks are closed11.

Good to Know - Bali Money Tips

FAQ Relating to Bali Currency

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  • What Currency do they Use in Bali?

    The official currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah.

  • Can you use an Australian bankcard to withdraw rupiah in Bali?

    Yes, you can use your bank card to withdraw cash in Bali, however depending on your bank, there may be associated fees.

  • Do they take AUD in Bali?

    Generally no, you cannot use Australian Dollars in Bali. The only currency used in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah.

    You may be able to use AUD as a form of payment in certain larger hotels and other establishments; however the exchange rate may not be as favourable.

  • What is Go-Jek and how can it save me money?

    Go-Jek is a ride sharing app that is extremely common in Indonesia. Much like Uber, you can order bikes, cars, courier services, food delivery and more via your phone. There are currently over 11,000 Go-Jek drivers in Bali.11 Generally, taking a Go-Jek is cheaper than taking a taxi.

Disclaimer

* Lock in your exchange rates mean the exchange rate is locked in for the initial load only. The exchange rates for subsequent reloads will be set at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of the transaction. ^https://www.frommers.com/destinations/bali/planning-a-trip/money. This data is sourced from www.numbeo.com and is meant as a guide only. Costs of items may differ around the destination.

Sources:
1. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/indonesia/articles/idr-explaining-rupiah-indonesias-currency/
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_rupiah
3. https://www.bali.com/bali-languages-translation.html
4. https://www.bali.com/money-changer-cash-atm-currency.html
5. https://www.baliholidaysecrets.com/bali-money-guide/bali-atms/
6. https://www.tripsavvy.com/money-and-money-changers-in-bali-1629333
7. https://www.frommers.com/destinations/bali/planning-a-trip/money
8. https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Ubud-Indonesia
9. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/a/nar-gr/money-and-costs/1323403
10. http://www.whototip.net/tipping-in-bali
11. https://www.thebalibible.com/articles/go-jek-your-one-stop-app-for-all-of-your-bali-need