Best Ways to Take Money to Bali, Indonesia in 2024

Bali is a popular destination in Indonesia, known for offering the best of both beach life and spiritual retreats. Whether you want to surf and join in the party, or get away from it all among the rice terraces, you’ll find a perfect place to head in Bali. And of course, Indonesia’s attractions go far beyond Bali - combine your trip with shopping in Jakarta, visiting temples in Java, or spotting the wildlife in Komodo National Park.

No matter what you’re planning on doing when you’re in Indonesia, you’re going to need some money to pay for yourself. Read on as we explore 4 possible ways to take money to Bali and the rest of Indonesia, including their benefits and drawbacks, to help you pick the right way for you. 

Best ways to take money to Bali

In this guide we’ll walk through 4 of the most practical and popular ways to take money to Bali in Indonesia, including our top picks for providers to look at, pros and cons. Here are the common ways to pay overseas that we’ll investigate:

Prepaid travel cards to use in Bali

Ideal for: setting your travel budget ahead of time or on the go, converting between currencies anytime in an app, and making secure and convenient payments and withdrawals

Prepaid travel cards are usually linked to a digital account you can top up by card or with a bank transfer in USD. Depending on the card you pick you might be able to convert your balance to IDR in advance so you can lock in the exchange rate - or you might prefer to leave your money in dollars and let the card convert for you when you transact. 

Most prepaid travel cards support a selection of major currencies, so you can simply hold on to your card once you're back from Bali/Indonesia, to top up and use on your next foreign trip. If you plan on doing this, it’s also worth looking for a card with no inactivity fee and no ongoing charges, so you can just pop it in your pocket whenever you’re headed overseas, with no maintenance costs to worry about.

Bear in mind that not all travel prepaid cards support IDR for holding. If your chosen card doesn’t support IDR balances you’ll want to check your card won’t charge a foreign transaction fee when you use it in Bali. 

Wise - good value prepaid travel card

With this card:

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies - including IDR - in your linked Wise account
  • No annual or monthly fees to pay, and no minimum balance requirement
  • Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup
  • Some free ATM withdrawals available every month
  • Receive payments to your Wise account in multiple currencies conveniently
Wise card prosWise card cons
✅ Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate

✅ No foreign transaction fees apply

✅ Free to spend from any enough currency balance you hold in your account, , including Indonesian rupiah

✅ Conversion fees from 0.43% if you need to exchange from one currency to another, or spend in a currency you don't hold balance in

✅ Receive payments to your Wise account in a selection of global currencies

✅ No minimum balance or ongoing fees

❌ 9 USD fee to get a card in the first place

❌ Free ATM withdrawals are limited to 2 per month, to the value of 100 USD. Fees of 2% + 1.5 USD after that

❌ No branch network or face to face service

Pros and cons of taking money to Bali Indonesia with a prepaid travel card

  • Convenient for both spending and cash withdrawals
  • Secure as not linked to your everyday USD account
  • Cards are often available with no ongoing fees to pay
  • Currency exchange may have better rates than a bank will offer
  • ATM fees may apply, depending on the card you pick
  • Some transaction fees usually apply
  • Some cards charge a fee if you spend in an unsupported currency, or if you spend a currency you don’t hold in your account already

Travel debit cards to use in Bali Indonesia

Ideal for: saving and budgeting for your trip, and spending once you’re away with an account and card that is not linked to your main USD account

Travel debit cards are often available from specialist online services, and allow you to top up a balance in a linked account, to spend and withdraw in IDR and a selection of other foreign currencies conveniently. Different cards have their own features, often including extra travel perks and benefits. Plus, because they’re debit cards not credit cards, there are no restrictive eligibility requirements, and there’s no chance of accidentally overspending and blowing your budget.

As with prepaid cards, you’ll often find that travel debit cards are linked to a multi-currency account you can use whenever you’re abroad. However, bear in mind that not all prepaid cards support IDR for holding and exchange. If that’s the case for the card you pick you’ll still be able to spend when you’re in Indonesia, but you won’t be able to convert your funds over to rupiah in advance.

We’ll go into more detail about our top pick for a travel debit card - Revolut - next.

Revolut - good value travel debit card

With this card:

  • Hold and exchange 25+ currencies, no fee to spend currencies you hold (IDR not supported for hold and exchange)
  • Choose the account plan that suits your needs and spending, including some with no monthly fees
  • Some no-fee ATM withdrawals and currency exchange with the mid-market rate, based on the account tier you choose
  • Extra perks like accounts for under 18s
  • Travel benefits offered for some account plans
Revolut card prosRevolut card cons
✅ Hold and exchange 25+ currencies, spend currencies you hold for no extra fee

✅ Choose from different account tiers to suit different customer needs

✅ Get some no-fee ATM withdrawals every month, depending on the plan you pick

✅ Get some currency exchange every month which uses the mid-market rate - limits vary by account plan

✅ No card order fee

❌ Ongoing fees apply for some account tiers

❌ Out of hours fees push up currency exchange costs on the weekend

❌ ATM fees of 2% apply once you exhaust your free withdrawals

❌ Indonesian Rupiah is not supported for holding a balance, but you can spend from other balances you hold (conversion fees would apply)


Pros and cons of taking money to Bali Indonesia with a travel debit card

  • Convenient and safe as you won’t need to carry a lot of cash at any one time
  • Many cards come with linked accounts you can use to hold a selection of foreign currencies
  • No interest or penalty fees - just top up the amount you want to spend and you’re done
  • Not connected to your main USD account, adding a layer of security when you’re overseas
  • Not all cards support IDR for holding and exchange
  • ATM fees might apply - and cash is still important in Indonesia
  • Some transaction fees usually apply
  • Some cards have monthly fees to pay to get full feature access

Taking cash to Bali Indonesia

Ideal for: many day to day and low value purchases - cash is still very commonly used in Bali 

Cash is still a popular payment method in Bali and in many other popular destinations in Indonesia. In resorts, chain stores and large hotels or restaurants you may be able to make a card payment, but it’s not something to rely on. Because many places prefer cash, you’ll definitely need some rupiah in your pocket for times your card can’t be used. 

The best strategy for your IDR cash depends on where you’re heading. You can get your IDR before you travel, or you could choose to take some dollars to convert when you’re there if you’ll be in tourist areas. Or, as an alternative you can just make ATM withdrawals once you’re there, instead. If you use a prepaid travel card from a provider like Wise you might also find you get some fee free withdrawals and a great exchange rate.

Generally having a few different payment options at any one time is a good plan. Carry some IDR cash (either converted in advance or by making an ATM withdrawal at the airport on arrival), make ATM withdrawals when you can, and have some USD cash to convert too, and you should be covered for all eventualities. 

Do I need cash in Bali/Indonesia?

Yes. Cash is very commonly the preferred payment method for transactions in Bali and other popular destinations in Indonesia so you’ll need to have some IDR with you at all times, ideally including some smaller notes for low value purchases. 

Generally having more than one payment option with you is a smart plan, so taking some cash in IDR and USD, plus one or more cards should mean you’re prepared for anything. In cities and major tourist draws like Bali ATMs are easy to find - so if you’re staying in busier areas,  making ATM withdrawals as you go should be enough to get the cash you need.

How to buy the currency or currencies needed on arrival in Bali/Indonesia?

You’ll usually be able to exchange a major currency like USD with money changing services in cities and tourist areas. There are commonly exchange desks in airports and railway stations, too, serving international arrivals from all over the world. Check the exchange rates and fees before you switch your dollars for Indonesian rupiah - airport exchange services are often not great value, so you may be better waiting until you reach the city center instead.

How to buy Indonesian rupiah in the US?

If you choose to, you can also often exchange USD to IDR in advance in the US. Try a service like CXI which has 90+ US branches and also allows you to order whatever you need online for collection or delivery. Fees and exchange rate markups may apply, so do compare your options before you commit.

Best place to get Indonesian rupiah from

There’s no single best place to get your travel cash - it’ll all depend on where you’re heading and how good a rate you can find either at home or on arrival. Compare a few options and bear in mind that it’s usually worth avoiding currency exchange in the airport or in your hotel.


Pros and cons of taking cash to Bali, Indonesia

  • Cash is the only accepted payment method in smaller places
  • Convert in advance or take dollars and switch on arrival
  • Set your budget in advance so you know exactly what you have to spend
  • Carrying a lot of cash isn't safe - tourists may be targeted by petty thieves
  • You’ll have to invest time during your break or in advance, shopping round to get a good deal
  • Exchange rates vary widely and usually include a markup - an extra fee

Travel credit cards to use in Bali

Ideal for: secure spending in IDR with bonus rewards and features, and ways to spread out the cost of your trip over a few months

Travel credit cards usually have specific features which make them good for overseas use. This might include low or no foreign transaction fees, or more ways to earn rewards when you spend in foreign currencies. You can also often trade your rewards for discounts on future travel bookings, and you may find some cards come with complimentary insurance.

Spending with a credit card overseas can be a good option if you’d rather pay for your trip over a few months - although interest will apply in this case, pushing up the overall cost. There are also a few scenarios where a credit card is preferred, such as when you check into a hotel or rent a car, where a credit card may be accepted as a payment guarantee. Bear in mind though, that using a credit card at an ATM is a very expensive option, with cash advance fees and interest mounting up quickly.

Capital One Venture Rewards - our pick for travel credit card

With this card:

  • Check if you’ll be pre-approved online to get a card quickly
  • 95 USD annual fee
  • No foreign transaction or currency conversion fees
  • Make ATM withdrawals overseas with relatively low 3% cash advance fees
  • Earn rewards you can trade for travel benefits later
Capital One Rewards Venture card
Capital One Venture Rewards prosCapital One Venture Rewards cons
✅ No foreign transaction fees - your payment is converted to USD using the network exchange rate

✅ Earn rewards you can trade for travel benefits

✅ Repay your bill in full monthly to avoid interest or penalty fees

✅ Travel extras like some fee free insurance available

❌ Cash advance fee of 3% or 3 USD (whichever is greater), plus interest, when making an ATM withdrawal

❌ Interest charges apply if you don’t repay your bill in full monthly

❌ Subject to eligibility and credit checks


Pros and cons of taking travel credit cards to Bali Indonesia

  • Some cards have low or no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn rewards and discounts, or get travel perks - depending on the card you pick
  • Spread your costs out over a few months
  • Credit cards are useful as a payment guarantee in some situations
  • Interest and fees usually apply if you don’t pay back your bill immediately
  • Cash advance and interest costs apply when using an ATM
  • Eligibility rules apply

Travel requirements from the US to Bali Indonesia

To travel to Bali or Indonesia from the US you’ll need either a visa, a visa on arrival, or an electronic visa on arrival. Standard and electronic visas on arrival are valid for 30 days, and can be renewed once without needing to leave the country.

Electronic visas on arrival are available only when entering by air, landing at either Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta or Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. Apply in advance if you think this visa type is available for your trip.

If you’re eligible for a visa on arrival you’ll need to apply on landing, and pay a small fee. Other visa types - for example if you intend to work or study in Indonesia, are available by application at the Indonesian embassy or consulate closest to your residence. In all cases you’ll need 6 months left on your passport from your intended date of leaving Indonesia, and proof of having at least 2 Covid vaccinations, to cross the border.

Check the State Department’s travel website to learn more, and to get up to the minute information for US visitors to Bali/Indonesia.



Does Bali/Indonesia accept US dollars?

No. You won’t be able to spend USD anywhere in Bali/Indonesia. If you’re carrying dollars with you you'll need to exchange them for IDR at a money changer on arrival.

Best currency to take to Bali/Indonesia

The currency in Bali/Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah - IDR. If you’re planning on exchanging your dollars in advance, you’ll need to switch over to IDR for spending once you arrive in Bali/Indonesia. On the other hand, if you’re planning on exchanging cash in Bali/Indonesia you’ll be fine to carry USD, as clean, undamaged notes will usually be accepted by money changers in major cities and tourist areas.

Top travel money tips to Bali/Indonesia

Here are a few final tips to help your money go further while you’re away:

  • Cash is still very commonly used in Bali/Indonesia - make sure you have some cash in your pocket at all times, to avoid unnecessary problems
  • Have several different payment methods in case one isn't accepted wherever you are
  • Get a travel money card before you leave to make it easier and cheaper to spend and withdraw in Bali/Indonesia

Learn more: Best travel cards to use in Indonesia

How much money do I need per day in Bali/Indonesia?

Exactly what you’ll need to pay for your visit will depend a lot on what you like to do, and where in Bali/Indonesia you’ll stay. The good news is that there’s a pretty good choice of accommodation price points wherever you go. That means you can design your trip to suit your budget.

Generally, the cost of living in Indonesia is pretty low which means your money can go a long way during your visit. To put this in context, in Bali, a 3 course lunch for 2 will set you back under 25 USD on average, a cheap lunch for one will be around 3 dollars - and a domestic beer about 3.2 USD. Public transport tickets in Bali are on average just 30 cents for a single journey, making this an attractive option for getting around during your trip.

Do some detailed research to see how much things are likely to cost wherever you’re headed, so you can plan your budget. Get more detailed cost information by country and city, from

How much does it cost to fly from the US to Bali/Indonesia?

Flight costs vary widely depending on where in the US you’ll leave from and where exactly you need to be in Indonesia. At the time of writing (January 2024), you can find flight deals to Bali from around 700 USD return, including a layover. Flights to Jakarta are a little more expensive - from around 800 USD. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Indonesia is a large country, so if you’re planning your trip to cover several destinations you may well need one or more internal flights too.



There’s no single best way to take money to Bali/Indonesia. You’ll need Indonesian rupiah to pay for things during your trip - but having several different ways to pay is usually a good bet, just in case one option isn’t accepted by a merchant or hotel. 

One good idea is to get a travel card - such as a prepaid travel card from Wise or a travel debit card from Revolut - to use for spending and withdrawals, and to carry this alongside your regular debit or credit card for emergencies, and a little cash. This will often mean you can cut the costs of overseas spending - plus if you pick the Wise card you can hold a balance in IDR so you can lock in your exchange rate and set your budget in advance.

Use this guide to decide which option to take money to Bali/Indonesia will work best for you, based on your own preferences and needs.

FAQs - Best ways to take money to Bali Indonesia

Should I exchange money before I travel to Bali?

You’ll need to have some cash in Bali/Indonesia, so you can exchange in advance or make an ATM withdrawal on arrival at the airport. Using an ATM can also be cheaper than advance exchange, particularly if you have a travel card from a provider like Wise or Revolut.

Can I withdraw Indonesian rupiah from a local ATM?

You can’t withdraw Indonesian rupiah at an ATM in the US, but you can use a travel card to make an ATM withdrawal on arrival in Bali/Indonesia. Learn more: How to avoid international ATM fees

Are prepaid travel cards a good way to take money to Bali Indonesia?

International prepaid debit cards from services like Wise have some great features like linked multi currency accounts and low or no ATM fees. Plus, the Wise card supports IDR for holding and exchange which means you can lock in an exchange rate in advance. Alternatively, Revolut doesn’t let you hold a balance in IDR but can still offer low overall costs and some currency exchange which uses the mid-market exchange rate.

Can I use cash in Bali Indonesia?

Yes. Cash is the only payment method accepted by many smaller merchants, so having some cash to use alongside your cards is pretty much essential when you’re in Bali/Indonesia.

Claire Millard
Fintech Content Writer
Claire Millard is a content and copywriter with a specialty in international finance. Her work has featured in The Times and The Telegraph, as well as industry magazines and leading personal finance blogs.
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Seyma Mektepli
Seyma is an experienced content writer and editor-in-chief at Exiap, delivering informative articles on personal finance, and money transfers.
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Last updated
March 18th, 2024