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  • Where to Change Money in Bali

    Most Recommended Bali Money Changers

    Where to change money in Bali is an issue that every visitor will face. If you’ve just struck a great bargain at a shop, only to realise that all you have are dollar bills, or when you need to get back to your hotel after a walk down Jalan Legian or Kuta Beach but don’t want the trouble of handing the driver dollar bills and getting no change in return, this handy list can help you when your short of local cash.

    Money changers in Bali are easy to find, from the airport to your hotel, and in and around Bali’s major resort areas. Most display street-side whiteboards, which list amazing exchange rates under the usual mantras such as ‘Authorised Money Changer, and ‘No Commission’. However, it’s good to know the most recommended Bali money changers around, as well as being aware of the tricks used by some unscrupulous kiosks.

  • Money Matters

    The largest value Indonesian rupiah bill is the IDR 100,000 note, in a red colour scheme and featuring the portraits of the founding fathers, Soekarno and Hatta on one side, and the parliament building (DPR/MPR RI) on the other. The IDR 50,000 bill, is blue and featuring Balinese hero Gusti Ngurah Rai on one side, and Bali’s Ulun Danu Beratan Temple on the other. These two are the main banknotes you should receive when exchanging your money.

    Smaller denominations are IDR 20,000, IDR 10,000, and IDR 5,000, while the smallest are IDR 2,000 and IDR 1,000. The IDR 500, IDR 200 and IDR 100 are silver coins. Banknote security features include faint watermarking, gold patches and holographic security threads. Always have or ask for a copy of the money changer’s receipt and keep it whenever you change your money, in case you receive and use Indonesian rupiah notes that turn out to be counterfeit.

    At the time of writing this article (May 2016), USD 1 = IDR 13,565. It’s always good to have mobile internet access on your travels in Bali, so you can easily check out the latest rates for general comparison. Most money changers are self-titled ‘Authorised’, but you can never be so sure. Some are very small kiosks and outright dodgy, but tempt the gullible with boards listing rates too good to be true (because, indeed, they usually are!).

    Where to Change your Money

    The moment you land, you’ll find several money changers at the International Arrivals of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, which offer fairly competitive rates and are conveniently open around the clock, however you may find better rates outside the airport. Thus, it’s good to change just a fair amount for your taxi fare or spare change on the trip to your hotel. IDR 500,000 or USD 40 should be more than enough.

    Then, you can either change your money at your hotel (usually at not very competitive rates), or head out to any of these authorised and recommended money changers in Bali, some of which have branches spread out well throughout Bali’s popular resort areas.

    PT. Central Kuta

    This long-established money changer has the most number of branches in the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak strip, and is also present in Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa, Ubud, Sanur and Bali’s capital of Denpasar. Its head office is on Kuta’s Sunset Road, however its busiest office is on the Jalan Raya Kuta main road. It has maintained a good reputation over the years as the go-to place for the most updated and competitive rates, no commissions, as well as service and security.

    • Opening Hours: 08.00 - 21.30
    • Location: Jalan Raya Kuta No. 168, Kuta
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 762 970
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    PT. Dirgahayu Valuta Prima

    Dirgahayu Valuta Prima, otherwise known as Bali Best Rate, has been around since 1984, and has expanded with three branches in Kuta, two in Sanur; three in Ubud and one near Tanah Lot Temple. They’ll usually ask for your valid passport or ID for each transaction at their branches.

    • Opening Hours: 08.00 - 21.30
    • Location: Jalan Raya Kuta No. 168, Kuta
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 762 970
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    PT. Bali Maspintjinra

    Also known as BMC, this authorised money changer has been in business since 1993, and has branches in Kerobokan, Legian, Sanur and Ubud. Its main office is on Jalan Raya Seminyak, but its busiest branch is in Banjar Taman on Jalan Raya Kerobokan, which you’ll easily identify by its large roadside mural of a US dollar banknote.

    • Opening Hours: 08:00 – 21:00
    • Location: Jalan Raya Kerobokan No.50/87, Banjar Taman, Kerobokan
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 737 070
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    Changing your Money

    It is very common for money changers in Bali to check the quality of your bills, particularly when you’re changing USD notes. They always accept newly issued, clean and stiff notes, while creased, torn and wrinkled notes will often be rejected. The exchange rates also usually specifically applies to USD 100 notes, while smaller denominations have a different set of rates. Coins are not accepted.

    Figure out the general rate versus the advertised rates. Use your calculator app to make some quick comparisons, as some scams involve rigged office calculators, though in very isolated and rare cases. Always recount your money, no matter how much time you need.

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