Travelling to Indonesia: Take Travel Money to Indonesia

Indonesia is an emerging holiday destination for British people and an up and coming destination for overseas business. If you are planning on travelling to Indonesia in the near future and you want to ensure your money goes as far as possible, you need to get your hands on our travel money tips to Indonesia. Whilst using your credit card in Bali is fairly easy, relying on it in other places might not be.


Here we explain some of the best ways to avoid unwanted fees and charges.


Buying Indonesian Rupiah for Travel

The fees charged by every bank and currency exchange will vary between providers, as will the exchange rates being offered to you.  It’s important to compare options before deciding on a method.


How Much Cash Do You Need to Bring to Indonesia?

The currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah.


If you are planning a trip to Indonesia, it is highly recommended that you don’t rely on your credit and debit cards to get by. The majority of places will prefer cash and you will find dealing with local vendors much easier.


How much you need to take is the initial problem. This depends on your budget, and the holiday or lifestyle you wish to have while in Indonesia.




Casual rooms

200.000 Rp per night

Double room, hotel

400.000-1000.000 Rp per night

Resort/5 star hotel

from 2000.000 Rp per night



Street Food

20.000 Rp

Popular Restaurant

100.000 Rp per person

Dinner at Potato Head

350.000 Rp per person



Motorcycle rental

20.000 Rp (125cc)


55.000 Rp (Denpasar Airport to Kuta)

Car rental, Volkswagen Passat

700.000 Rp a day

  • All prices are in Indonesian Rupiahs and are an estimate.


Travel card versus Debit Card or Credit Card?

When travelling to Indonesia, carrying a combination of card types might be your best bet. When choosing the cards you take, a consideration of your itinerary is important.


A good option is to use a travel money card alongside a debit card with which you can easily access your own cash. However, always ensure you have at least two days worth of Indonesian Rupiah in your wallet to fall back on. Local Indonesian traders you come across may only deal in cash.


When using a travel card, the positives include:

  • Security – Carrying too much cash can be a risk.
  • Locking in the exchange rate – The exchange rate is decided when you load your card so you have full control.


The negatives of a travel card are:

  • Some places in Indonesia just may not accept them. Avoid loading one up with the entire budget for your trip.
  • No travel money cards let you load up with Indonesian Rupiah. However the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card will not charge a conversion fee for transactions in the currency that you have loaded the card with.


Using a Credit Card in Indonesia

Credit cards are good for paying hotel accommodation costs and they have the added bonus that your transactions come with that extra level of insurance.


Always remember however, the cost per transaction of using a credit card is expensive and soon adds up. Find a card that offers low fees, minimal charges for ATM withdrawals and cash advances as well as low currency conversion fees. It is also worth considering the interest charged when you are paying back your spending money.


Should you use Traveller’s Cheques when travelling to Indonesia?

This is a method of taking money abroad that has lost popularity but does give you some advantages.


They are secure as you will need to show ID when cashing them. They also offer protection from theft as they can simply be replaced if stolen.


Using a Debit Card in Indonesia

As you are only using money that you already have in your bank account debit cards are a good way to avoid unwanted interest charges.


You will still be charged for using ATMs and conversion fees for purchases. Find out what these fees are before using a debit card to make sure that the charges don’t end up as a nasty surprise.


Visa and MasterCard debit cards are widely accepted but it is always wise to carry cash, especially in more rural areas.


For the most up to date information on accessing your money in Indonesia, feel free to speak to one of our experts at The Currency Shop.


Case Study

Bob is travelling to Indonesia for a week long business trip. He will be staying in a 5 star hotel that has already been paid for by his company.


Dinner and breakfast is also paid for but he needs to pay for lunches and other expenses whilst he is there. His stay will also include travel to some more rural communities.


He takes as much Indonesian Rupiah as he estimates he will need for his stay. In addition, he also takes a debit card which he can use to pay for transactions if needed, as well as withdraw money from ATMs. He chooses a low fee debit card based on advice given to him by an expert at The Currency Shop.

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