|

Money in Indonesia: A Tourist Guide to ATMs, Cards and Exchange

So you’re traveling to Indonesia and wonder if you can use your foreign bank card or easily exchange money. The quick answer to both is a resounding yes!

Foreign cards work in Indonesia to both pay and withdraw cash from an ATM. Moreover, fees are minimal or zero: I have never had to pay a fee to withdraw money with my Revolut card.

You will also have no trouble exchanging your foreign currency for millions of rupiahs. Yes, millions!

It’s time for the details, so let me tell you all about money in Indonesia as a tourist! I have spent over 6 months (and counting) in Java and Bali, so I know the details, tips, and tricks!

Currency in Indonesia

The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah with code IDR.

100.000 Indonesian rupiah - the money in Indonesia
100.000 IDR – the biggest denomination banknote in Indonesia (for now)

Indonesia is one of those countries where you instantly become a millionaire the first time you exchange money. Look at all those zeros! They appeared after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and even though there are plans to remove the zeros, for now, they stay.

The Rupiah has been somewhat stable since then. One million IDR (called “one juta” by Indonesians) is around 65$. Please check the current rate though – these change daily of course.

The banknotes in circulation are of denominations 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000, and 100.000 IDR.

Coins still exist even though their value is quite low. There are 100, 200, 500, and 1.000 IDR coins. You may find a 50 IDR coin (0.003 USD) on the ground but nobody ever uses it. Keep it as a souvenir.

Indonesian Money Vocabulary

Some money vocabulary you will need when coming to Indonesia:

  • Money: Uang;
  • Pay: Bayar;
  • Card: Kartu;
  • Hundred: Ratus
  • Thousand: Ribu;
  • One hundred thousand: Seratus Ribu;
  • Million: Juta.
  • Satu: 1;
  • Dua: 2;
  • Tiga: 3;
  • Empat: 4;
  • Lima: 5;
  • Enam: 6;
  • Tujuh: 7;
  • Delapan: 8;
  • Sembilan: 9;
  • Sepuluh: 10.

Can you use you use your card in Indonesia?

Yes, you can use your foreign card to pay while in Indonesia.

In bigger supermarkets, hotels, some bars, and shinier restaurants, you will have no trouble paying on a POS terminal using your international bank card.

Forget about using your card in small warung-style restaurants, street food vendors, family-owned guesthouses, most museums, and bus transportation.

Convenience stores like Alfamart and Indomaret are a gray area. They have POS terminals but only accept domestic cards. I’ve still managed to pay with my foreign card a few times though. However. when I prompt the cashier to at least try, they usually refuse. Go figure.

Indonesia is quickly transitioning towards digital money and cashless payments. Many have started using GoPay to quickly scan a QR code and pay.

Also called QRIS (QR Indonesian Standard), you as a foreigner can use it by setting up a GoJek account and depositing some money. Then it’s just a matter of paying by scanning the QR code.

If you see these QR codes at merchants, it means you can pay by QRIS

It is not necessary to set it up to ‘survive’ in Indonesia. After 6 months here, I am yet to use it for anything else but booking train tickets on the Commuter Lines.

Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro are accepted on most POS terminals. American Express cards are accepted only in very high-end resorts and hotels.

ATMs in Indonesia

There is no shortage of ATMs all across Indonesia. I feel there may even be way too many, really!

Then again, I remember I spend most of my time on Java where the population density is one of the largest in the world. Of course, people need access to their money.

BCA ATM open 24 hours inside an air-conditioned cubicle
A 24-hour ATM

You as a tourist can use all these ATMs too! Unless you’re somewhere in the jungles of Borneo or Sumatra, I bet there’s an ATM just around the corner where you can withdraw cash.

None of the ATMs in Indonesia charge a withdrawal fee!

This means it doesn’t matter that much which bank’s ATM you use to withdraw cash. Some of the most popular banks are:

  • BCA
  • Mandiri
  • BRI
  • CIMB Niaga
  • BNI
  • OCBC
  • Bank Syariah Indonesia

All ATMs will certainly accept Visa and Mastercard. Some ATMs may also accept Maestro cards. Almost no ATMs accept American Express though.

Popular banks logos in Indonesia
Some of the most popular banks in Indonesia

The withdrawal limit on ATMs varies between 1 million and 2.5 million IDR (65 to 160 USD). Since there are no withdrawal fees, it doesn’t matter if you withdraw twice or even 3 times in a row.

The highest withdrawal limit is on the ATMs of BCA – 2.5 million IDR.

On most ATMs you will see a number written/pasted on the front – either 50.000 or 100.000. This is the denomination of banknotes that the ATM dispenses. If you don’t want your wallet to burst, opt for the bigger banknotes.

Remember: Always choose to be charged in the local (IDR) currency for ATM withdrawals! NEVER accept currency conversion!

Your bank will convert automatically at a much better rate than the ATM and save you a ton of money!

Withdrawal Fees

None of the ATMs in Indonesia charge a withdrawal fee on their end.

This doesn’t mean your bank doesn’t charge an “access” or “foreign currency withdrawal” fee. Check with your bank first.

I can confirm that Revolut does NOT charge for withdrawals (up to a limit depending on your plan). For over 6 months in Indonesia, I have not paid a single dime in transaction or withdrawal fees using Revolut.

ATMs that dispense USD

As far as I know and seen, there are no ATMs that dispense USD in Indonesia.

To obtain greenbacks, you will have to withdraw Rupiah and then exchange to USD in an office.

What currency to bring to Indonesia

Coming to Indonesia as a tourist and want to have tangible currency? Bring one of the most traded ones – US dollar or euro.

Other currencies that are traded and exchangeable in Indonesia are:

  • Australian dollar;
  • British Pounds;
  • Canadian dollars;
  • Swiss Francs;
  • Japanese Yen;

Some exchange bureaus may offer better rates for higher denomination banknotes. In general, 50 and 100 USD notes are seen as “better” and may yield a slightly higher rate.

It’s similar with euro notes, except that 200 and 500 euro notes may be outright rejected at some places due to fear of fakes. This is quite rare though.

Make sure your banknotes are crisp and new. Exchange bureaus abroad are notoriously picky when it comes to foreign currency banknotes.

Currency Exchange in Indonesia

In this section, I will share with you all there is to know about exchanging money in Indonesia.

Exchanging at an Authorized Money Changer

Go to Google Maps and search for an Authorized Money Changer. That’s how exchange bureaus are branded. They usually have the rates on a digital display board.

Money Changer Yogyakarta
A money changer in Yogyakarta

Mind these points:

  • Bring your passport with you. A picture of the passport is usually enough too;
  • Your foreign currency banknotes must be clean, crisp, and have no signs of wear or tear;
  • Most banks’ opening times are 09:00 to 17:00, closed on the weekends;
  • You can exchange money at the airport, but will face a little worse exchange rate;
  • The more foreigners that frequent the location, the poorer the exchange rate.

Exchanging Rupiah back to any foreign currency is quite easy too. The money changer will not ask any additional questions.

How much cash to bring to Indonesia?

As with many things in life – it depends. Since using your card to obtain cash in Indonesia is pretty easy, you don’t need to bring as much foreign currency inside the country.

My advice is to have at least 200$ just in case something goes wrong with your bank cards and you need emergency cash until you sort it out.

When I went to Indonesia I had less than that stashed away. In all my months of being here, I have not exchanged any money as withdrawing with my Revolut Card has been free and easy. On the contrary – I exchanged rupiah for USD once for my trip to Timor Leste!

On the other hand, if you’re wondering how much money you need to travel to Indonesia, you can check out my backpacker’s budget report for Indonesia.

Example Prices

The following price ranges are from late 2023 in Indonesian Rupiah. You can expect a 5-10% increase in 2024. More touristy places in Bali charge more.

Mie Ayam
This mie ayam portion costs 12k IDR (~0.8$)

Bargaining

Bargaining is incredibly common in Indonesia. Locals haggle all the time.

You can haggle even if the price is already displayed but only at smaller markets.

Don’t bargain for street food prices.

In Bali, especially in more touristic areas, expect to pay more than locals no matter what. Knowing that a good rule of thumb is to counter the first offer with 50% of it and then meet the vendor in the middle.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Indonesia.

Registered restaurants will add 10% to the bill. Street food vendors will not.

If you think the service was good, your tip will be appreciated, although it may get refused at first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some of the internet’s (and most certainly your) most burning questions about money in Indonesia.

What is the ATM withdrawal limit in Indonesia?

The maximum withdrawal limit on most ATMs in Indonesia is 1.000.000 IDR (65$) but some ATMs dispense up to 2.500.000 IDR (160$). Look for the BCA bank ATMs for higher withdrawals.

Where to exchange money in Indonesia?

Only exchange money at Authorized Money Changers.

If you want the best rates, avoid the airport or the main backpacker/tourist areas.

Can you use US dollars in Indonesia?

You cannot use US dollars to pay for things in Indonesia. However, the US dollar is easily exchanged for the local Indonesian Rupiah.

Can you use Revolut in Indonesia?

Yes, Revolut cards work in Indonesia. Both VISA and Mastercard work. Similar fintech apps like Wise, Monese, and Curve also work there.


If you’re traveling to Java and don’t know which places to visit, I’m your guy. Check out my 2 week Java itinerary for an overview of Indonesia’s most populous island.

Or maybe you’re stuck applying for the Indonesian eVOA? This damn glitchy Molina website… Check out the linked step-by-step guide on how to apply and fix common issues.

If you are going to other Southeast Asian countries, you may want to read my money guides for them too:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *