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Travel Money Guide: Indonesia

Get from the beach bar to surfie havens with the right access to your holiday money.

Whether it's Bali, Lombok or any of the 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia, you'll need to figure out the best way to access your money.

If you're sticking to a swanky resort in a built-up area like Bali, you'll be fine with a no-fee debit or credit card and access to some cash for any smaller purchases along the way, like souvenirs and quick meals. If you're doing it loval style in a villa or heading off the beaten track, then having more Indonesian Rupiah available in cash is a must.

Compare travel money options for Indonesia

Name Product Interest-free period Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Westpac Lite Card
Up to 45 days on purchases
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees, a low interest rate for purchases and cashback offers through Westpac Extras.
Name Product Card access Own network ATM fee Monthly Account Fee Internatonal ATM Fee Foreign transaction fee
Westpac Choice
Take advantage of Westpac's Global Alliance and save on overseas ATM fees at over 50,000 locations worldwide with fee-free cash withdrawals.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases.

ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Wise Travel Money Card

2 free ATM withdrawals per month up to AUD$350, then AUD$1.50 and 1.75% per withdrawal

Hold and spend funds in more than 40 currencies, with competitive exchange rates and $0 fees for the first 2 ATM withdrawals (up to AUD$350) per month.
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
$0 (via online) or $0 (via branch)

Travel card, credit card, or debit cards?

Whether you're on a quick business trip or taking a holiday, it's good to have an at least a couple of ways to access your money. There are currently no travel cards which allow you to load Indonesian rupiah. Compare travel credit cards and debit cards to take to Indonesia instead.

Choose a mix that suits your needs: for example a debit card for regular spending with a credit card for emergencies, or Indonesian currency supplemented by a debit card. Whatever mix you decide on, you want to have enough Indonesian currency in your pockets when travelling 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.

A quick summary of travel money options for Indonesia

Travel money optionProsConsiderations
Debit cards for travel
  • Avoid currency conversion fees on foreign transactions
  • Emergency cash facilities
  • Ideal for managing your travel budget
  • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
  • Can't be used over the counter
  • No emergency cash
  • No backup cards
Prepaid travel money cards
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Pre-load and secure your exchange rate in multiple foreign currencies
  • Accepted worldwide
  • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
  • Ideal for managing your travel budget
  • Local ATM fee
  • Reloading time
  • No fee - Assuming cardholder is spending on a currency loaded onto the card
Credit cards for travel
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Access to funds up to your credit limit
  • Accepted worldwide
  • No currency conversion/ transaction fees
  • Benefits including rewards points on spending, 0% purchases, frequent flyer perks
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Can charge high withdrawal and cash advance fees
  • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)
Traveller's cheques
  • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
  • Photo I.D. needed to cash cheques
  • Can be costly with initial purchase charges
  • Not all merchants accept traveller's cheques
  • Greater payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

How much Rupiah do I need to bring to the Indonesia?

Budget (Cheap)MidrangeLuxury (High-end)
to-sleepSimple rooms less than 19.73AUDDouble rooms with air-con and wi-fi
around 40-90AUD
Ayana Bali resort
mealfortwoCheap street meals
from 1.33AUD
Average full meal
Western food
cameraBromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Mt. Batur hike40-79AUD2 Day All-Inclusive Orangutan Trek in Bukit Lawang
101.51 AUD

*Prices are approximate and are subject to change.

Exchange rate history (AUD to IDR)

YearAverage annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

*Exchange rates are accurate as of 3 September 2017

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Today's exchange rate AUD to IDR

How the different travel money products work in Indonesia

Using prepaid travel cards

If you're looking at taking a travel money card to Indonesia, think again. There are no travel money cards on the market that allow you to load and spend in Indonesian rupiah. Having said that, there are a couple of travel cards which may be suitable to take to Indonesia, including the CommBank Travel Money Card. One drawback, however, is that the CBA card charges the Visa or Mastercard currency conversion fee, plus 4.5%.

These cards should only really be considered if Indonesia is the first leg of your international holiday. The CommBank Travel Money Card offers up to 13 different international currencies and can be used all over the world. Furthermore, the Commonwealth Bank have a large number of ATMs and branches in Bali and Indonesia where you can use your CBA travel, debit or credit card and avoid the international ATM fee. However, due to the lack of support for Indonesian rupiah, the exchange rate margin when you load the card with funds and the fee structure, there are cheaper products to use in Indonesia than a travel card.

Travel credit cards with no foreign transaction fee

A credit card can be useful when travelling overseas – especially when it comes to big ticket items you may want to pay off over a couple of months, or hotel check-in where a deposit is required. Credit cards also give you access to emergency cash if you need it, and some credit cards have handy 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. You may be able to avoid this keeping a positive balance on your card — each credit card issuer has different rules for keeping a positive balance. Read the FAQs section of our travel money page for more information.

Taking a debit card in Indonesia

Most debit cards on the market charge a 2-3% fee when you make a purchase outside of Australia. In fact, there's only one debit card available at the moment which waives the currency conversion fee: the Citibank Plus Transaction Account.

Using traveller's cheques

Traveller's cheques may not be as popular today as they used to be but they still offer some important advantages over other forms of travel money. When travelling to Indonesia, traveller's cheques have the added security of needing ID to be cashed. Plus, if they get lost or stolen, they can be replaced in a few days. There will also be a fee for purchasing and cashing traveller's cheques, so check these out too.

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Stephanie's Bali Beach Holiday

What cards did you take with you?
  • CommBank Travel Money Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Credit Card
  • Commonwealth Bank Smart Access Mastercard Debit Card

Why did you take these cards with you?

Stephanie says she already had a CommBank Travel Money Card from her last holiday with a little money left on it. She withdrew the remaining funds from this card from a Commonwealth Bank ATM in Bali and saved on ATM withdrawal fees. She didn't bother reloading this card even though there is no reload charge from the Commonwealth Bank.

She used the Commonwealth Bank Smart Access Mastercard Debit Card once the money from her travel card ran out. Even though she was paying a little more for the currency conversion fee, she only used her card a couple of times to withdraw cash from CBA ATMs and her debit card offered a slightly better rate than her travel card.

Stephanie had her CommBank credit card as a backup and only used it a couple of times on her trip — she paid the remaining balance of her hotel bill and shouted her friends to dinner one night. he paid it off when she got back to Australia (within the 55 day interest free period) and didn't incur any interest charges.

Did you withdraw from ATMs?

Stephanie says she withdrew from Commonwealth Bank ATMs around the Kuta area. When she used her travel card, she only paid a few dollars each time. When she used her debit card to withdraw cash, a currency conversion fee was applied to her transaction.

Were there any places where you had trouble using any of your cards?

Stephanie mainly used cash in Bali. The times she did pay with her card, she was at an upmarket restaurant and major hotel chain.

What's your recommendation for the best form of travel money to take to Indonesia?

Stephanie says one of her friends used the Citibank Plus Transaction Account, and she says she'll get this account next time she travels overseas. Citibank waives the international ATM fee and currency conversion fee and there's no monthly charge to keep the account.

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.

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A guide to Indonesian banknotes and coins

Indonesian banknotes are quite different to those we have in Australia so you may want to familiarise yourself with the notes before heading there:

Find cash and ATMs in Indonesia

Card acceptance

You will be able to use your existing ATM card in most places where merchants display the same logo as the one on your card. Mastercard and Visa have wide acceptance in Bali.

Cheap ATM withdrawals in Indonesia

  • Westpac. Westpac Group cardholders (Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne) can avoid the international ATM withdrawal fee by using CIMB ATMs throughout Indonesia. The local ATM operator fee may still apply. You can read more about Westpac's International ATM Alliance here.
  • Commonwealth Bank. CommBank have a presence throughout Indonesia — you can find a concentration of CBA ATMs around Bali, especially Kuta. You can avoid ATM withdrawal fees using CommBank products at these ATMs.
  • Citibank. You can make free ATM withdrawals using the Citibank Plus Transaction Account at Citibank ATMs in Indonesia. Citibank have an ATM in Kuta.
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Get travel insurance quotes for your holiday in Indonesia

Indonesia has proved to be a dangerous destination for Australian travellers. 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
  • Repatriation
  • Lost Deposits
  • Additional accommodation
  • Personal liability
  • Emergency dental and medical
Don't let a hospital stay ruin your holiday. Compare travel insurance for Bali and find the right policy for you.
Find and compare travel insurance policies for Bali

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You might also like:

Indonesia is a favourite for holidaymakers from Australia. Bali is an especially popular spot for Aussies, it is virtually impossible to walk down a beach in Bali without hearing that distinctive Aussie twang. Do your research and save on paying unnecessary fees to your bank.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MareeDecember 17, 2015

    Hi I am about to head to Bali and I can’t decided on what to do about money. I am getting all different advice.
    I have CommBank MasterCard debit and ANZ visa debt… do I just use them to withdraw cash in Bali or use a prepaid multi-currency cash passport


      SallyDecember 18, 2015Finder

      Hi Maree,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The ‘best’ option will always depend on your unique financial situation, your travel budget and spending habits.

      If you use a Commonwealth Bank Debit MasterCard, you will be charged overseas currency conversion fees and foreign ATM withdrawal fees. These fees vary depending on the ATM you use, so I have emailed you a copy of the product disclosure statement for further information. Also, the ANZ Visa Debit card unlimited ATM withdrawal offer does not apply to overseas withdrawals.

      If you are looking to access your own funds overseas, a prepaid travel money card can be a valuable way to load funds on your card, transfer them to a foreign currency and access your funds overseas without the temptation of a line of credit. Unfortunately, not many Australian travel money cards support Indonesian Rupiah, so you might want to look out for a card that does not charge currency conversion fees. This way you can load your card with Australian Dollars and you won’t incur a fee when they’re transferred to Indonesian Rupiah while you’re travelling.

      For example, the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card is one of few travel money cards that doesn’t charge currency conversion fees on either supported or unsupported currencies.

      Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions of the card to ensure that you got everything covered before you travel.

      I hope this has helped.



    Default Gravatar
    TanyaAugust 9, 2015

    I have a multi currency travel card with Aus dollars on it only. Can the currency be converted into Indonesian currency when I use the card? Or do I have to do something in Australia 1st.

      SallyAugust 10, 2015Finder

      Hi Tanya,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The Multi-currency Cash Passport does not currently support the Indonesian rupiah.

      Although you can make payments using the Australian Dollars loaded on your card, you will incur a currency conversion fee of 5.95% plus the MasterCard® rate each time you complete a transaction in Indonesian rupiah.

      I hope this has helped answer your question.


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