I’m so excited for you! You have booked your flights, found a great villa and are all ready to go to Bali! Yay!!! But what about money in Bali? Do you know what the currency is, or the conversion rate? What happens when you run out of money and your card won’t work!? What then? Read on to discover all the answers.
For help in finding THE best Bali Villa, read this.
Do you need travel vaccinations for Bali?
What’s the weather like in Bali?
Check here to find out if you need a visa!
The Money in Bali is the IDR
IDR stands for Indonesian Rupiah and is the only currency you need to worry about when on holiday in Bali.
- IDR notes come in denominations of 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000.
- You will come across plenty of coins too, these include 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50 coins.
For the latest up to date exchange rates check XE.com.
On this very day:
- $1 Australian buys around 10,000IDR (easy for working out costs on the run!)
- $1 US buys about 14,100IDR
- £1 gets 18,200!
How Much Money Do I Need?
The great thing here is that your money in Bali goes pretty far. It is no accident why we keep going back to Bali again and again. It has become our favourite place to take our family thanks in part to its cheap cheeriness!
Try Canggu for our favourite place to stay in a beautiful Bali Villa!
Share the Cost
For a family of 6, it is possible to find a fantastic villa on Airbnb for between $30 and $60 AUD per night. These places have pools, are close to the ocean and are fully staffed too! The thing I love about staying in a Villa like this is the attention to detail from the beautiful staff, and the feeling like you have your very own luxury beach house. You definitely get more bang for your buck on Airbnb.
Another great thing about booking a large villa is that you can share the house, and the cost with family or friends!
For example, our last stay in Bali was booked for on average $55 a night – this is for a family of 6. Previous holidays we have shared with a couple of families and booked a 5 bedroom private villa for no more than $500 a night (which was then split between the parties.
Follow this link to have a browse on Airbnb and be prepared to be impressed. It’s free to join up, and you can get a genuine $55 off your first stay!
Find a Well Priced Resort
If a resort stay is more your style, you can find a room here and the prices are around $100+ per night.
So the bottom line is, depending on your numbers, and your level of luxury, you can spend as little as $20 for a backpacker’s, $30 for a basic villa with a shared pool, $50 for a 3 bed family villa with your own pool, $100 at a resort, or more.
Food is cheap, taxis are cheap. There is a lot of shopping to be done, especially at the stylish boutiques around Seminyak/Legian and the markets at Seminyak Square, Kuta and Ubud.
Save Money on Transport
To save money on taxis, make sure to download the Grab App for Apple or Grab App for Android before you go. This is like Asian Uber. Cheap taxis, food delivery and cashless. GoJek is similar: Check it out here. While both Grab and GoJek are great options for getting around Bali, just be aware that they are not allowed everywhere. Bluebird Taxi is still your best bet otherwise.
For a 2 week stay for a family of 6, with our flights and accommodation already paid for on credit card, we had $2000 spending money.
For the Ultimate Bali Travel Guide, read this.
Our next trip is Bali for one month and our budget including accommodation, food and activities for all 6 of us is $100AUD per day. Follow us on Facebook to see if we manage to stick to budget!
How to Handle Money in Bali
Here are some tips to make your money in Bali easier to manage:
Credit Cards in Bali
- Pay for as much as you can with your credit card. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted at shops and restaurants. Using your plastic here will save your cash for more important things. The fees are negligible as the bank will always give you the best exchange rate.
Find all the best Bali Surf Spots here!
ATMs in Bali
- ATMs are everywhere in Bali. There is literally a little ATM booth on every street corner, and inside every convenience store.
- Use your Visa or Mastercard to get cash advance at these machines.
- These ATMs are VERY SLOW! You really feel like pacing up and down in the tiny booth, and the person before you always seems to take half an hour and then leave with nothing. Balinese also do their depositing via ATM, so this could be a reason they are taking so long.
- The booths are air-conditioned and sometimes it’s a good excuse to get money out, just to enjoy a 5 minute reprieve from the heat outside!
- You will pay a small ATM fee, plus an international transaction fee, plus a cash advance fee in most cases. To minimise this, try to withdraw a decent amount each time.
- ING Bank in Australia is one of the few banks I know of which is International Transaction fee free. For more info on their Orange Everyday Account see here.
- Watch the withdrawal limit – usually between 1,250,000IDR and 3,000,000IDR. I try the limit first, but as these machines frequently run out of money, you may need to reduce your amount and keep trying until it gives you something.
- There are actually more than 10 CBA ATMs (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) throughout Bali which lets you use your debit card as well. These are conveniently located in Kuta, Canggu, Denpasar and Nusa Dua. There is even one within the Waterbom Waterpark!
- Citibank also has ATMs in Denpasar, Kuta and Sanur.
- We haven’t personally suffered from card skimming activities in Bali ATMs but just keep your wits about you and still remember to cover you PIN, just like you would at home.
What to do if the ATM steals your card in Bali
This is the hottest tip!!! Unfortunately it is one we learned the hard way. As a traveller you know that sinking feeling you get when the ATM just sucks your card away and refuses to give it back! You quickly go through all the scenarios in your head, how to contact the bank, what back up cards you have, ahhhh. What a pain! However, there is a secret hack that hopefully will save you the heartache:
- Simply turn the ATM off and on again at the power point and hope for the best. In some circumstances, this makes the machine spit out your card and live another day! (Thanks for the tip Wylde Travel Family)
- Please go to another ATM before trying again.
What about Money Changers in Bali?
Like an ATM, there are money changers on every other corner! It is easy enough to shop around and find a good rate. US dollars seem to be favoured by money changers, and always make sure your notes are late issue, and free from creases and rips.
Changing your money at Denpasar Airport tends to give you a worse exchange rate.
Money for Arrival in Bali
To save extra hassle at the airport, I always like to arrive with a pocketful of cash into Denpasar. About a week before leaving, I change $500 or so Australian dollars to IDR. I like to get a feel for the money before I go to a different country and educating our kids on foreign currencies is essential too. They think it’s fake money though LOL!
You will need cash on hand for a bottle of water on landing, a taxi or to pay a porter. I always arrange my airport transfer beforehand with my accomodation, but it is still expected to tip these guys a couple of dollars too. Especially because they will carry your bags for you.
Keeping Money Safe
At any stage when travelling in SE Asia I don’t recommend carrying any more money on your person than you feel comfortable losing. 99.9% of the time you are safe as, but it wouldn’t be the first time a drunk traveller has been fleeced. We have never had a problem with dishonest people in Bali but if you are worried, there are cool anti-theft style backpacks you can invest in for peace of mind.
In our backpacking youth, it was more often your fellow backpackers that you had to watch for thievery anyway!
I often will carry all my money on my person, up to 3,000,000IDR. Then I have a smaller purse which is easy to access with only 500,000IDR in it, or money in my pocket for frequent use.
Hotels or villas will usually have an in-room safe for you to use if you feel uncomfortable carrying cash.
Wearing a wallet close to your body can help with money security, but in all honesty, it is really to hot to wear one of these for me.
Other Ways to Manage Money in Bali
Like every good traveller knows, you can’t rely solely on one money source while abroad. That is why we travel with:
- At least 2 different credit cards
- A Visa Debit card
- $200 or so of US Dollars (I have this same $200 for years now and never needed it, but I am glad it is still there)
- Keep these sources separate. My husband and I have a credit card each on us, then we have another back up card in a different bag, and back up cash stashed elsewhere.
- The key is to keep your options open!
Tipping in Bali
While tipping in Bali is not a requirement, it kind of is expected. We always leave a 10% tip in appreciation of good service. Balinese people really go out of their way to make your stay a good one. Whenever we find someone who is extra wonderful, we give them a tip. Taxi drivers, porters, someone who gives you directions. It is nice to tip your villa staff as well.
I hope that you have found some answers on how to manage your money in Bali. Money is a big issue when travelling but after travelling the world for over 15 years, first with my husband and now with 4 children, I have picked up a few tips along the way.
With your money sorted, you can now kick back and enjoy your trip to Bali!
Get all the practical info here such as your vaccinations, Bali weather and visa requirements and you are ready to go!
How many sleeps to Bali?
Comment your answer below and make sure you share this post with anyone you know who’s headed to my favourite island paradise!
Read more about great Bali destinations below:
This is actually interesting. I just have clear idea how my easter holiday might look like after reading this post. The fact that I can easily make use of my mastercard out there in Bali and the banks there giving me good exchange rate is quite interesting. Trip to Bali is what I gonna consider for my easter holiday
Just do it Kehinde! You will not regret it one little bit. It is such an amazing place to visit!
An interesting article there on vacation to bali .it so informative and educative on what to expect on vacation to Bali
one of advantage of going on vacation to Bali that I like most is the cheap accommodation compare to some other places where you will be worrying about the huge expenses it entails.with all the information you post in this article Bali is really the next place to go on vacation
It is really cheap depending on where you stay. You can do it on a strict budget or you can also spend up big time! Choose the style that suits your travel needs and your budget. Book a flight to Bali this year for sure.
Let us know how you get on and if you would like further information on Bali. Thanks.
Thanks for this informative and educative review, I am glad I came across this post, I have always wanted to visit Bali and what you have done here is provide safety measures for cash and valuables and also provision for a better exchange rate. I’m going to bookmark this post for future reference on my trip to Bali.
Glad we could help you out Seun! You have to get yourself to Bali soon to experience the ultimate in holiday satisfaction. It is definitely a place where you will get a bang for your buck! Thanks.
This is lovely and i appreciate you for putting up a relevant post of this nature. I have heard of bali before now and i am hooeful i will visit the site someday. From your review, i think everything at bali is not too costly, they are affordable and cheap which i so much appreciate.
With respect to your last question… Mine is 30 sleeps
30 nights of sleep and counting!! We now have 14 days and counting until our Bali paradise.
Bali is the best place to visit for a holiday. See you there! Thanks.
Wow, I never knew it is so much affordable to visit Bali. I always go to Thailand for vacation because I can do lots of luxury things at an affordable cost there. But, when I read your article, I found lots of things in Bali is also affordable. I think I will plan my next vacation to Bali. And thanks for your tips to manage money in Bali. Actually, these tips will be also useful for other destinations, especially in Asia.
Thailand is getting more and more expensive. We used to stay in Thailand years ago for cheap, but now I think the prices are getting higher and higher.
Bali is cheaper than Thailand for most things, except beer and maybe certain fashion. It is the best place to visit, so much to do and so easy. Enjoy your visit!
Bali is such a place that one really need to plan very well before vacating to balli to avoid certain issues and challenges of being stranded in Bali. You have really done so well in this your honest review about the vacations to Bali. I love it and this gonna help me plan my next trip to Bali once am ready.
Hope we can be of service to you! Shout out if you need any further help when traveling to Bali. Goodluck!
Hi! Thank you very much for this very interesting post. There are so many interesting facts that you have mentioned concerning Bali, that I’ll share your post with friends and family. While preparing to our trip to Bali, I believe it’s so useful to consider beforehand these things concerning currency, exchange rates, and ATMS.
Thank you for mentioning Grab and GoJek.
And thank you too for the tip of turning the ATM off and on again at the power point when it steals our card. 🙂
There are always little tricks and secrets about overseas travel. Remember not all ATM’s eat your card, and maybe not all ATM’s will give your card back if turned off. So still try to avoid this scenario if possible and always have a backup plan for if your money in Bali becomes inaccessible. Thanks.
This is awesome. I love the simplicity at which you write, precise and straight to point. I once considered going to Bali for vacation, but I didn’t get enough information about it, all I got then was beautiful Ocean View and pool images. Thank God I landed here. I should bookmark this page right away.
There is a lot more to Bali than meets the eye! As long as you have some money in Bali everything will be fine, we will be covering Bali in detail over the up and coming months. Thanks.
hi, I have read through the post and I am impressed because you have covered everything that could ever make me anxious in terms of money if I want to vacation at Bali. I especially like the tip on what to do when the ATM swallows your card because that will be scary having now to worry while trying to enjoy yourself. I agree is very cheap for a family of six to use that amount of money.
Just remember to always have a backup plan! You never know what is really going to happen on holidays.
And don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Hope you liked the tips, and don’t be scared!
Awsesome article, I really enjoyed the reading!
We are planning a trip to Bali next year, and this article came just in time. I didn’t know how much money to bring and how safe it is, there. When I go on vacation, I usually don’t take cash with me, only a rechargeable visa in Dollars or Euro. Thank you for the ATM tip! I happened to me so many times that the machine swallowed my card and I didn’t know what to do:)
Just a question, please. How do you manage to travel with four kids? I have two kids, and on vacation, I am having a hard time:)
It’s been a while now I think of renting a villa through AirBNB now. I’ll check this further now.
I have bookmarked your website so I can start to plan my trip. Thank you!
Bali is so easy to travel in, especially with the kids. We just make sure we have most things booked, like airport transfers, a driver to take us into the town or eating out.
We use Airbnb and book a villa that suits a couple of families which usually comes with cooks, cleaners and a driver to take you around to see the attractions.
We have never really had too much go wrong in the way of money problems in Bali by following these steps we outlined in the article. Thanks, I hope we have helped in some way.
I have read your great informative article. This article will help slightly for those who wish to go or go to Bali. Bali Island is the most beautiful place I have seen. There is so much to see in a place that cannot be found anywhere else. So should take the time to visit Bali. This is Bali’s place to spend millions of rupees. Dollar rupture must be done from a fixed money changer; otherwise there is a possibility of being cheated. Since the middle of this year, I was thinking of going anywhere outside of the country in Madhuchanchrima and Bali Island was my favorite place. You can also visit Bali Island at a very low cost.In my passport the credit card and my wife’s passport were cash endorsed. I got this rate at 1 USD = 13200. That means we got 13 lakhs rupees for every 100 dollars. There is a maximum of 1 lakh notes in Indonesia. Besides, we saw 50 thousand, 20 thousand, 10 thousand, 5 thousand, 1 thousand rupees note. I bought the dollar at 82 rupees. As such, when I bought any item, I would calculate the following: Rs. 1 lakh = about 620 Rs 10 thousand = about 62 rupees = 1000 rupees = about 6 rupees. In Indonesia, in most cases, thousands of things are not known when it comes to price. Like they say 80 thousand rupees 80 100 will say 1 million. There will be thousands of references in many places or written by K. Like 50 thousand means 50k I’ve bookmarked the article in the future if this note helps someone with information about someone going to Bali, then I would be happy to myself. Thanks for awesome post.
Thanks!! It is amazing how high the values seem for their currency. Money in Bali is really cool, especially when you are withdrawing 2 million rupees and only getting 200 bucks out.
You feel like a millionaire!!
Thanks a lot, very useful informations on ” Money in Bali(what to take on vacation)”.There is so much in this article that will guide anyone that desire to go on vacation in Bali, your content gives the right motive on the right aspects on money like how to pay in Bali, all you need to know about using money, paying cash, using ATM to get cash, using your credit card, and keeping money save, with this been sorted we can enjoy our trip in Bali.Thank you!
I know Mary! I hope this info helps you plan your next trip to the amazing Bali!! Cheers.