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  4. Money in Bali: how much to take, where to change, tips

The official currency in Bali, as well as throughout the archipelago, is the Indonesian rupiah, IDR or Rp. Among the local population, the name “perak” is also common, which means “silver”. In everyday life there are denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000 and 100.000 IDR, and you can also find coins in denominations from 50 to 1000 rupees. Banknotes issued before 1997 are not valid but can be exchanged at Bank Indonesia. The change unit sen (1/100 rupee) is not issued as a coin, but exists for non-cash payments.

Choose and book hotels in Bali.


What is the best currency to bring money to Bali?

Most financial transactions in Bali are carried out in local currency, but in tourist places they can accept dollars or less often euros. At the same time, the latter are usually exchanged at a less favorable rate. Accordingly, it is best to either immediately go to Bali with rupees, or take dollars.

Please note that the exchange rate on the island also depends on the denomination of the banknote. It is most profitable to change dollars in denominations of 50 and 100 after the year 2000. Also, the rate may be lower for separate series of banknotes of 2001 and 2003 (since many cases of fakes are known among them). The rupee exchange rate against the dollar at the time of writing is 0.000067.


Cashless payments

In many places in Bali, there will be no problems with cashless payments. Hotels, restaurants, spas, supermarkets and large stores accept payment with American bank cards Express, Visa, Mastercard and others, usually without additional fees. But the cash you need to:

  • pay in small shops or cafes,
  • tip,
  • rent transport,
  • refuel,
  • take a taxi,
  • buy an excursion or diving tour,
  • visit local attractions.

Another important point with cards in Bali is security. Indonesia is one of the fraud-prone countries, that is, with a high level of fraud. Many world banks know this and simply block transactions with Indonesia. Therefore, before the trip, be sure to warn your bank that you are going to use your card in Baliso that it is not blocked. In addition, we recommend setting up notifications on your phone about financial transactions with it.

Do not let anyone see your card and do not keep large sums on it.


Where is the best place to change money in Bali?

There are several ways to change money in Bali:

  • official and unofficial exchangers,
  • banks,
  • ATM.

The best option is banks. But keep in mind that they work only on weekdays until 14:00 - 15:00, some close earlier on Friday.

Finding exchangers in Bali will not be a problem. The most famous official network of local exchangers is central Kuta Money Exchange. But we do not recommend using the services of unofficial institutions. In most cases, they will try to deceive you there. For this, completely different methods are used:

  • hidden commission, which is announced after receiving the money,
  • “wrapping” banknotes,
  • “rigged” calculators and others.

If, nevertheless, you will change the currency in this way:

  • do not give money until the final amount is announced to you and it is given out,
  • count everything at once,
  • check the amount on your calculator,
  • ask for a check.

Withdrawing currency through an ATM involves a double commission: the bank that owns the ATM and your bank. If there is an international bank card that has ATMs in Bali, it is best to use it.

A small commission is written off by local Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Central Asia (BCA). In this case, the fee is charged for the operation, and not for the amount, so it is better to immediately withdraw more. Usually, you can withdraw from 1.5 to 3 million rupees at a time. On most ATMs, it is written in which bills you will be given money.

The main rule - do not use ATMs of small unknown banks. Often it is they who profit from a large commission. There are also known cases of “chewing” cards.


How much money do you need to travel to Bali

If we are not talking about a package tour, then most of the amount spent will be housing. It is available here in all price ranges. Starting from $ 7.5 for a hotel room in the provinces and ending with luxury villas for $10,000 per day. On average, a good room at the Bead&Breakfast hotel will cost about $ 15-25 per day, and an apartment - $35-75.

Book a hotel in Bali in the WIOTTO catalog.

Food and groceries in Bali are quite cheap. Here it is easy to eat in one of the many cafes for $ 2, and dinner in a good restaurant will “ drag out” $ 20.

Transport on the island is also more than affordable:

  • daily bike rental will cost about $ 5,
  • daily scooter rental - $ 7,
  • daily rental of a class C car - around $ 20,
  • the cost of gasoline is about 0.5 dollars / l,
  • a one-way public transport ride will cost less than a dollar;
  • a kilometer by taxi is usually also considered within a dollar.

Entertainment and excursions in Bali are also available for any budget, starting from $ 7.5 and above. Entrance tickets to attractions - in the range of 3-20 dollars.

For a comfortable stay in Bali for 2 weeks, you will need about $ 1200 / person.


Tipping in Bali

Tipping for services is not mandatory or very common in Bali. But they are always welcome. Therefore, if you want to thank the waiter, bartender, guide, etc. for quality service, do not hesitate, the addressee will gladly accept them. The optimal amount is considered to be 5-10% of the check. But be careful: some establishments already include a tip in the final bill. In this case, you do not need to leave anything extra.

Helpful hints

  • Don't carry a lot of cash with you.
  • If you go shopping, keep receipts for purchases over IDR 50,000 and ask sellers to issue special tax-free checks so that when you fly out of Bali, you will receive a refund of the VAT on purchased goods. It is 10% here.
  • Before local holidays and weekends, make sure you have enough cash for the coming days. Since exchange offices and banks will not work, and ATMs may be empty.
  • Usually, sellers in Bali inflate prices for tourists, so bargain. Feel free to ask for up to 70% less, and then raise the rates further according to the situation.



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