When traveling in Indonesia, you’re likely to run into parts of the country where plastic isn’t widely accepted. That means you’re going to need to have cash on hand during your trip. But how do you get your hands on Indonesian rupiah?
Luckily, ATMs can be found pretty easily in Indonesia, so getting the cash you need shouldn’t be too much of a chore. However, ATMs are less common in Indonesia than in many parts of the Western world, so read on for some tips and tricks for making sure you have enough cash on hand to fund your trip.
ATMs in Indonesia are common in bigger cities and in tourist hotspots, like Bali. In more rural areas, though, you may have a hard time finding one. If you’re headed into Indonesia’s smaller towns, you may want to stock up on rupiah beforehand.
You can find some local bank ATMs by using the online locator tools for some of Indonesia’s biggest banks.
- Bank Mandiri ATM locator
- Bank Rakyat Indonesia ATM locator
- Bank Central Asia ATM locator
- Bank Negra Indonesia ATM locator
Visa and Mastercard are most widely accepted in Indonesia, but credit and debit cards are mainly only used in bigger cities and tourist hotspots like Jakarta and Bali. Many places will only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to always have some on hand.
You may also be able to find ATMs from the same network as your credit or debit card using these locators:
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- Discover ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
Indonesian bank cards typically have “chip and pin” systems, meaning they are outfitted with a microchip rather than a magnetic swiping strip. PIN codes in Indonesia are typically 6 digits. However, since “chip and pin” systems are not universally implemented (the US, for example, still widely uses magnetic strips), cards can still be swiped at merchants that accept them, and magnetic strip cards can be used at ATMs.
Limits on individual transactions will vary, though few ATMs will allow more than 3 million rupiah per transaction. Your home bank may also set a daily withdrawal limit for your account, and it’s important to check that with your bank before you leave for Indonesia, as you may want to temporarily raise your limit to make sure you can access enough cash daily to fund your trip.
In that same vein, it’s important to let your bank know ahead of time when you plan to travel abroad. Otherwise, you risk having your card shut down for what the bank thinks is suspicious activity, which can leave you stranded with no money while you’re on your trip.
Nobody likes paying ATM fees, especially on vacation. Here’s what you need to know about fees in Indonesia.
When you use a foreign debit or credit card at an ATM in Indonesia, you may be given the option to view the transaction in your home currency instead of in rupiah. This seemingly helpful “service” is actually a dynamic currency conversion scam, which allows the ATM to set its own exchange rate, often marked up, meaning you’re paying a hefty hidden fee to withdraw your cash. Instead, always choose to view your transaction in the local currency. You’ll have to do the math on the conversion yourself, but you’ll save on hidden fees.
ATMs in Indonesia can come with fees per transaction, and your home bank may also charge either flat fees or a percentage on your withdrawal as a withdrawal fee. Some bank cards also come with foreign transaction fees. It’s important to check with your bank before you travel so you know what to expect and pay close attention at ATMs to see what fees you’re being charged.
Some banks offer to reimburse ATM fees for their customers. Some also offer cards that have no foreign transaction fees. By choosing the right card, you can definitely save on ATM fees, or avoid them altogether. It’s also a good idea to make fewer withdrawals if you can, since fees are often charged by the withdrawal. Try to make large withdrawals so you pay fewer fees. Lastly, while this may be tough in Indonesia where ATMs aren’t terribly common, try to avoid ATMs in airports or at hotels, as they often have higher fees to target tourists.
If you have a friend or relative with a bank account in Indonesia, transfer money ahead of time with TransferWise. This will allow you to move money at the exact mid-market rate, or the exchange rate you see when you Google it, with no markups or hidden fees -- just a small, fair transfer fee. TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and manage money in multiple global currencies all at once.
Safe travels, and enjoy your time in Indonesia!
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