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
Our pick for travel credit card
American Express® Gold Card
Finder rating: 4.6/5
Our pick for multi-currency debit card
Finder rating: 4.5/5
Our pick for 0% transaction fee debit card
Finder rating: 4.6/5
What's in this guide?
- Travel card, credit card or debit cards?
- These are your options for spending money in Indonesia
- Compare travel credit cards
- A guide to Indonesian banknotes and coins
- Cash pickup services in Indonesia
- How much should I budget to travel in Indonesia?
- Get travel insurance quotes for your holiday in Indonesia
- Our latest travel deals to Indonesia
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.
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.
- Protected by PIN & chip
- Access to funds up to your credit limit
- Rewards points on spending, 0% purchases, frequent flyer perks
- Emergency card replacement
- 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.
- Access to ATMs
- Make over the counter purchases
- Budget is easily managed
- 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.
- Protected by PIN & chip
- Pre-load and secure your exchange rate
- Accepted worldwide
- Emergency card replacement and backup cards
- 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.
- Flexibility with payments
- 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.
- Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
- Photo ID needed to cash checks
- Can be costly with initial purchase charges
- Limited acceptance
Compare travel credit cards
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:
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.
Refreshing in: 60s | Tue, Apr 20, 12:16PM 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
How much should I budget to travel in Indonesia?
All prices are in US dollars.
|Budget (Cheap)||Midrange||Luxury (High-end)|
|Meals||Cheap street meals|
|Average full meal|
|Activities||Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park|
|Mt. Batur hike|
|2-day all-inclusive orangutan trek in Bukit Lawang|
|Room with air-condition and Wi-Fi|
|Ayana Bali resort|
Prices are approximate and are subject to change.
Case study: Stephanie's experience
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:
- 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.Back to top
Our latest travel deals to Indonesia
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