Money in Bali/Indonesia

Feb 25th, 2010, 11:55 AM
  #1  
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Money in Bali/Indonesia

Now that the countdown clock has begun for our April trip, I'm starting to think about logistics.

For carrying cash, what's the best way to go in Bali and Yogyakarta? I assume ATMs are prevalent in both places, but will we want mostly rupiah on us or do we also want US cash as well?

We're hiring Putu and he quotes us in $$ so I'm not sure if he gets paid in $$ or not.

Also assuming it makes send to get cash at the ATM upon arrival at Denpasar airport vs getting anything beforehand?
filmwill is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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There's an ATM in the Denpasar arrival hall. Get about 3,000,000 rupiah and you can feel rich for a short amount of time.
Gpanda is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Get rupiah on arrival from the ATM (yes, they are everywhere). Rupiah are another curency that is worthless outside the country, so you wouldn't be able to get it at an official exchange. I don't know about Putu. We never used anything but rupiah anywhere in Indonesia.

Once when Cheryl took money out of an ATM in Bali, it gave her the account balance in rupiah... she suddenly felt very, very rich.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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Do remember to have the $25 in exact change on you for the visa on arrival purchase. The practice now seems to be to give you change in Rupiah, at who knows what exchange rate.

Also, as has been noted many times, they can be quite fussy about the quality of the US$ bills.

Lastly, when using an ATM, check the signs on it to see what the largest denomination they give out is - some give out 50,000 others 100,000. It's a bit uncomfortable sitting on 3M in 50's in your wallet.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 05:24 PM
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filmwill,

Putu knows good money changers around town and I find their rates better than the banks by about 5%. I would change only the amount you need as converting the Rupaih back to $ is more difficult or you will loose out in the exchange rate.
Hanuman is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Hmm...I guess I just get nervous about carrying all the cash we'd need for our entire stay on us in USD (to then change @ banks.)

...and traveler's checks just seem such a dated concept.

Looks like the best bet is to bring a couple hundred in USD (for emergencies and for visas, etc.) and then just use ATMs as needed for rupiah.
filmwill is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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A lot of places accept credit cards as well and even Putu might accept them too - although you better check with him first!
Hanuman is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 05:42 PM
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many atm's only allow small w/d's like 400,000 so if you home bank charges per transaction it can add up....some allow more...you can do multiple transactions...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:02 PM
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I had no problem with ATMs allowing large withdrawals, but I'm sure it varies from one machine to another.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:07 PM
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I think Bob is wanted in Bali so if you inform the authority of his upcoming trip you might get a cash reward that will pay for your whole trip.
Hanuman is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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kathie is a VIP and her a/c is so recorded
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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I have never encountered an ATM in Indonesia with a maximum withdrawal of less than 1 Million (and I've seen quick-cash buttons for more than that). I think the problem Bob had was with his home bank, not the ATM.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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almost every atm i have been to in bali has a low withdrawal limit....maybe something has changed in the last 2 years... i hope so... its the machine not my bank
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 08:50 AM
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Last time we were in Bali with his Bobness, he and I went to the ATM's together several times. I did not watch his transactions, but each time I was able to withdraw 3,000,000 Rupiah. I suspect that he once again delusional. FW, you'll be able to withdraw as much as I.
Gpanda is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Funny, Putu quoted us in rupiahs.
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 04:56 PM
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Yes, well, all those zeros can be confusing. I also wonder if they make the 10,000 RP and 100,000 RP notes almost the same color just to fool the tourists.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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Agree, I think they should drop some zeros the way the French did with the franc. The pricy restaurants already quote prices in thousands which is very annoying.

Actually it always amazes me that when you buy something at a local market you get change in one Rupiah coins. I can't even calculate how little that is. A good example of the parallel economies (universes, almost) in Indonesia.

You should be aware that there was a major ATM scam operating in Bali and other parts of Indonesia earlier this year. Google "ATM Scam Bali" to read about it. I believe the perps were arrested but it still makes me wary of ATMs. Not that money changers are any better, though.
marmot is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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We used ATMs in Bali -- they were prevalent in any of the tourist areas. Have a wonderful time !! I truly miss Bali.
jenskar2 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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of course putu quoted you in rp....its the currency there.... just drop the 3 zeros and move the decimile one place to the left....viola an approximation of the US cost
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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There are ATM's everywhere, I travel with 50.00 US no matter where I go and then just use the ATM, for me that works best. ATM's at a minimum dispense 1 million although most common amount is 1.5 million is what I found except down south by the beaches 2-3 million, I thin it's called DANOM the ATM machine with yellow sign that's the one I usually use.
have fun
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