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.
Travel Money Guide: Indonesia
Get from the beach bar to surfie havens with the right access to your holiday money.
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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
What's in this Indonesia travel money guide?
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.
A quick summary of travel money options for Indonesia
|Travel money option||Pros||Considerations|
|Debit cards for travel|
|Prepaid travel money cards|
|Credit cards for travel|
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)||Midrange||Luxury (High-end)|
|Simple rooms less than 19.73AUD||Double rooms with air-con and wi-fi|
|Ayana Bali resort|
|Cheap street meals|
|Average full meal|
|Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park|
|Mt. Batur hike40-79AUD||2 Day All-Inclusive Orangutan Trek in Bukit Lawang|
*Prices are approximate and are subject to change.
Exchange rate history (AUD to IDR)
|Year||Average annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)|
*Exchange rates are accurate as of 3 September 2017Back to top
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 Commonwealth Bank 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 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.Back to top
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.
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
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.
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:
- Lost Deposits
- Additional accommodation
- Personal liability
- Emergency dental and medical
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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