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Travel money guide: Indonesia

Traveling to Indonesia? Learn about the best way to take your money with you.

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When getting ready to head to Indonesia, you might’ve not thought about how you’ll be spending money. Where you go in Indonesia will determine the which option of travel money is best. You shouldn’t have a problem using a credit card in tourist hot spots, like Bali, but plastic is virtually useless in remote areas like Maluku and Papua.

Among your options, travel credit cards and debit cards will allow you to access and spend your funds conveniently in Indonesia.

Our picks for traveling to Indonesia

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Travel card, credit card or debit cards?

Whether you’re on a business trip or taking a holiday, it’s good to at least have a couple of ways to access money. Choose a versatile mix like a debit card for regular spending and a credit card for emergencies. Whatever you decide on, you want to have enough Indonesian currency in your pockets when traveling through Indonesia — even if it’s enough for the first couple of days.

Must read:

You’re going to need to pay for a visa when you arrive in Indonesia. In places such as Denpasar airport, you have to pay cash, so make sure you have sufficient funds.

These are your options for spending money in Indonesia

Using a credit card

A credit card can be useful when traveling overseas if you plan on making a large purchase that you’ll want to pay off over a couple of months, or for a hotel check-in where a deposit normally is required. Credit cards also give you access to emergency cash and can provide you with benefits like complimentary travel insurance when you charge the cost of your travel ticket to your account.

However, credit cards can be expensive, especially when it comes withdrawing cash at an ATM. Interest is charged straight away and you’ll pay a cash advance fee.

Pros
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Access to funds up to your credit limit
  • Rewards points on spending, 0% purchases, frequent flyer perks
  • Emergency card replacement
Cons
  • High withdrawal and cash advance fees
  • International ATM fees and currency conversion fees

Using a debit card

A debit card is a great travel companion if you can get your hands on one with no international ATM fees. You’ll have easy access to cash and only have to pay the ATM operator fee. When making purchase overseas, most debit cards will charge a 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee.

Pros
  • Access to ATMs
  • Make over the counter purchases
  • Budget is easily managed
Cons
  • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
  • No emergency cash
  • No backup cards

Using a prepaid travel card

There are no travel money cards that allow you to load and spend in Indonesian rupiah. These cards should only really be considered if Indonesia is the first leg of your international holiday. However, due to the lack of support for Indonesian rupiah, the fee structure and exchange rate margin when you load the card with funds makes this an expensive option.

Pros
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Pre-load and secure your exchange rate
  • Accepted worldwide
  • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
Cons
  • Local ATM fee
  • Reloading time

Paying with cash in Indonesia

Having cash in Indonesia will prove to be useful as there won’t always be stores and shops that are going to accept credit card payments. In addition to that, many street stands or local vendors will likely be operating a cash-only business. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut because you didn’t want to stop at an ATM machine.

Cons
  • Difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

Using traveler’s checks

Traveler’s checks have a some nice security touches to them, but unfortunately they’re dated. Traveler’s checks need ID to be cashed and they can be replaced in a few days if lost or stolen. But, there are fees for purchasing and cashing a check.

Pros
  • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
  • Photo ID needed to cash checks
Cons
  • Can be costly with initial purchase charges
  • Limited acceptance

Compare travel credit cards

1 - 3 of 26
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

2x miles on every purchase, every day, 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
$95
Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months ​from account opening.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Earn unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
3x points on Southwest® purchases, 2x points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, 2x points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
$99
Limited-time offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
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A guide to Indonesian banknotes and coins

Indonesian currency is in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 denominations — each a different color. Familiarize yourself with the notes before heading there:

Indonesian 1000-rupiahIndonesian 2000-rupiahIndonesian 5000-rupiah
Indonesian 20000-rupiahIndonesian 50000-rupiah

Card acceptance

You’ll see stores and shops with Mastercard and Visa logos throughout Bali and you should be able to use your ATM card there with no problem.

  • Tip: Citibank customers can make free ATM withdrawals using Citibank ATMs in Indonesia.

Live Rate

= Rp 1.0000

Refreshing in: 60s | Mon, Jul 04, 11:24PM GMT

The main banks in Indonesia are:

  • BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia)
  • Bank Mandiri
  • BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia)
  • BCA (Bank Central Asia)
  • BTN (Bank Tabungan Indonesia)
  • Bank Panin
  • Citibank Indonesia
  • CIMB Niaga
Find ATMs in Indonesia

Cash pickup services in Indonesia

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$1 Within an hour N/A N/A N/A WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups. Go to site Show details
$10 Within an hour N/A N/A N/A Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour N/A N/A N/A MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Go to site Show details
$1 3 - 5 days N/A N/A N/A Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How much should I budget to travel in Indonesia?

All prices are in US dollars.

Budget (Cheap)MidrangeLuxury (High-end)
MealsCheap street meals
$1
Average full meal
$2–$3
Western food
$10
ActivitiesBromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
$7
Mt. Batur hike
$30–$60
2-day all-inclusive orangutan trek in Bukit Lawang
$80
AccomodationSimple room
$15
Room with air-condition and Wi-Fi
$30–$70
Ayana Bali resort
$815–$1225

Prices are approximate and are subject to change.

Case study: Stephanie's experience

Stephanie profile photo
Stephanie

Stephanie’s Bali Beach Holiday

What are your travel money tips for Bali?

She says do your shopping in the morning. The people who sell things at the markets in Bali will give you a better price in the morning compared to in the afternoon.

Get travel insurance quotes for your holiday in Indonesia

Indonesia has proved to be a dangerous destination, from the dreaded Bali belly to contaminated alcohol, there are many risks lurking just below the surface. This is why travel insurance is so important. Travel insurance can cover:

  • Cancellations
  • Trip interruption
  • Lost deposits
  • Additional accommodation
  • Personal liability
  • Emergency dental and medical

Don’t let a hospital stay ruin your holiday. Compare travel insurance for Indoensia and find the right policy for you.

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Read more on this topic:

Indonesia is a hotspot when it comes to vacation destinations, so do your research and save on those unnecessary fees to your bank.

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