Travel Money Guide: Indonesia

Rates and Fees verified correct on December 8th, 2016

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

Indonesia has long been a favourite holiday destination for Australians. In particular, the beaches of Bali are home to the intrepid traveller, school-leavers, family getaways and everything in between.

If you’re travelling to Indonesia, you may not have given thought as to how you’re going to take your spending money with you. The places you travel in Indonesia will determine the best type of travel money to use. You shouldn’t have any issues using a credit card in the tourist hot spots, like Bali, but plastic is virtually useless in remote areas like Maluku and Papua. Whilst no travel cards in Australia allow you to preload Indonesian rupiah, travel credit cards and debit cards will allow you to access and spend your funds conveniently in Indonesia.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard

Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard

$0 foreign transaction fee with a $0 annual fee.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee
  • 17.99% p.a. on purchases
  • 2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free

Compare travel cards for Indonesia

Rates last updated December 8th, 2016
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
An introductory offer on balance transfers with $0 annual fee. Complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 Concierge service and $0 foreign transaction fees.
0% of transaction value $0 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
Benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases, no currency conversion fees and no annual fee.
0% of transaction value $0 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Rates last updated December 8th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
St.George Complete Freedom Account
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
Westpac Choice
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest), 3rd party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
No international transaction fees and no overseas ATM withdrawals fees if you use a Citibank ATM overseas.
Visa $0 $0 No ATM fees using Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St.George branded ATMs in Australia. Use overseas Citibank ATMs for free. More
Rates last updated December 8th, 2016
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, AUD 3.50, CAD 3.00, EUR 2.20, GBP 2.00, HKD 20.00, JPY 260, NZD 4.50, SGD 4.00, THB 95, USD 2.50 1.1% of the value purchased $0 Go to site More
NAB Traveller Card
NAB Traveller Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD $0 per withdrawal on international ATMs and $3.75 per withdrawal at any Australian ATMs $0 $0 Go to site More
Cash Passport MasterCard
Cash Passport MasterCard
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD $2.50 for withdrawals made overseas 2.95% of the amount withdrawn for domestic withdrawals $0 $0 Go to site More
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
Travelex Travel Card
Travelex Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD Travelex does not charge an ATM withdrawal fee when you use your Travelex Multi-currency Cash Passport to withdraw currencies that are loaded on the card at overseas ATMs where MasterCard is accepted. The greater of 1.1% of the initial load / reload amount or AU$15.00 $0 Go to site More

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
Cash
  • Greater payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

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
1041-1561AUD
mealfortwoCheap street meals
from 1.33AUD
Average full meal
2.64-4.00AUD
Western food
11.94AUD
camera Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
8.64AUD
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)
20129706.258562
201310062.17388
201410688.81606
201510063.65457
20169704.697398
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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 though, there are a couple of travel cards which may be suitable to take to Indonesia: the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card and the American Express Global Travel Card. Both these travel cards don’t charge for currency conversion when you spend in a currency other than what’s already loaded on the card.

These cards should only really be considered if Indonesia is the first leg of your international holiday. The Commonwealth Bank 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?

  • Commonwealth Bank 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 Commonwealth Bank 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:
indonesia-banknotes

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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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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This page was last modified on 16 November 2016 at 16:29.

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4 Responses to Travel Money Guide: Indonesia

  1. Default Gravatar
    maree | December 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

    Thanks

    • Staff
      Sally | December 18, 2015

      Hi Maree,

      Thanks for your comment.

      As a financial comparison service, we can’t provide specific advice as 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’ll be charged overseas currency conversion fees and foreign ATM withdrawal fees. These fees vary depending on the ATM you use, so I’ve emailed you a copy of the product disclosure statement for further information. Also, the ANZ Visa Debit card unlimited ATM withdrawal offer doesn’t apply to overseas withdrawals.

      If you’re looking to access your own funds overseas, a prepaid travel money card 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 doesn’t 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.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  2. Default Gravatar
    Tanya | August 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.

    • Staff
      Sally | August 10, 2015

      Hi Tanya,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The Multi-currency Cash Passport doesn’t 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.

      Thanks,

      Sally

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