What is currency in Bali?
Bali's banks use ultraviolet light to check for counterfeit bills. (Photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images )
Bali, one of the Indonesian islands in the South Pacific, uses Indonesia's rupiah as its main form of currency. Travelers heading to the island must ensure they have an understanding of the rupiah in advance to avoid being given an incorrect amount of change or an unfair exchange rate. In addition to the rupiah, credit cards are used on the island, though caution must be taken when paying with plastic.
Rupiah bills are issued in denominations of Rp 1, 000, 2, 000, 5, 000, 10, 000, 20, 000, 50, 000 and 100, 000. The Living in Indonesia website notes that Rp 500 bills are in limited circulation, but are no longer being produced. Rupiah coins come in denominations of Rp 25, 50, 100, 500 and a new gold and silver Rp 1, 000 coin, with both old and newly issued coin designs in circulation for Rp 500, 100 and 50 coins. As of publication, a U.S. dollar is worth just over 10, 000 rupiahs.
Obtaining and Using Rupiahs
Rupiahs are available at banks and currency exchange centers in the United States and upon arrival in Bali. ATMs also are available to withdraw rupiahs from a bank account, though the amount of rupiahs issued varies by machine and an international withdraw fee and transaction fees are charged on most ATM transactions, notes the Frommer's travel website. An assortment of low denomination bills and coins are a must when exploring Bali, as cash is used for most transactions and businesses and cab drivers often expect the customer to provide exact change.
Using a Credit Card
Credit cards are accepted at most high-end hotels, restaurants, stores and nightclubs, with Visa and MasterCard being the most commonly accepted cards, followed by American Express and Diners Club, notes Frommer's. Most transactions are completed in rupiahs and a surcharge frequently is added for credit card payments. When using a credit card in Bali, keep the card in sight at all times, avoid completing online transactions in public places and monitor card statements closely, as the U.S. State Department notes that credit card fraud and theft is a common problem in Indonesia.
Counterfeiting is a widespread problem in Bali, with Rp 20, 000 and Rp 50, 000 notes being the most commonly counterfeited bills. When exchanging money in Bali, inspect all bills and ask for new notes if the original bills do not seem authentic or have been damaged. Due to counterfeiting, Indonesian establishments accepting American money do not take bills that are worn, torn, defaced or issued prior to 1996, notes the U.S. State Department.