Indonesia, the land of sprawling beaches and orangutans, is the perfect trip to give your sore nerves some much-needed rest. But before you hop aboard to the Emerald of the Equator, brush yourself on the currency of Indonesia, so that you’ll never get a hitch on your joyride. The official currency of the Republic of Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah, symbolized by Rp. The international code for the Indonesian Rupiah is IDR.
The Official Currency of Indonesia - Rupiah
The currency of Indonesia, the Rupiah has been maintained in circulation from 1946, post-independence from Dutch rule. It is named after the Indian currency, which was in ancient and common tongue called Rupiya. It is also referred to as Perak by the locals, informally. It is commonly abbreviated as Rp and globally referred to as the IDR. The Bank of Indonesia is in charge of monetary flow and circulation in the country.
Currency notes are widespread in circulation in the denomination of Rp 2000, Rp 5000, Rp 10,000, Rp 20,000, Rp 50,000 and Rp 100,000. You can also expect to find coins of Rp 50, Rp 100, Rp 200, Rp 500 and Rp 1000 in circulation.
However, there is not much you can buy in coinage, as most of the transactions are in ‘thousands’, (which is not as pricey as it sounds, Rp 30,000 would translate to about $ 2 or INR 150). The table below shows the currency of Indonesia to USD, EURO and INR. (Updated for December 2020)
|1 USD||14043.35 IDR|
|1 EURO||17250 IDR|
|1 INR||191.79 IDR|
Exchanging Currency in Indonesia
Majorly, you can get your currency exchanged from the nearest banks or at the airport itself. You can also consider the safe means of Currency Exchange Retail that is available throughout the country that clearly displays important information such as the present exchange rate. You will also find the currency of Indonesia being available in prominent tourist areas. USD and Euros (in some areas) are commonly accepted for exchange.
Commonly, you will be able to exchange your currency directly at the airport, with a variety of competitive money changers at your disposal, in case you’re in a hurry. We would also advise you to retrieve a small amount of money, just so you can parry with the initial expenses like hiring a cab, or checking in and buying food. However, you are most likely to find a better rate of exchange outside the airport. Here are a list of money exchange centres across major cities in Indonesia:
Best Money Exchange centres in Bali:
1. PT Bali Maspintjinra
2. Central Kuta Melasti 1
3. PT. Dirgahayu Valuta Prima (Money Changer)
Best Money Exchange centres in Jakarta:
1. Dua Sisi Money Changer
Best Money Exchange Centres in East Java:
1. SMART DEAL Money Changer Semarang
Most banks also mostly accept the foreign currency for exchange. The banks are conveniently timed from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. They provide with a range of facilities, like over the counter services which are of most importance to tourists. You can also request for cash- advance from the bank counters. However, the exchange rate is considerably higher, so beware of the transactions you indulge in.
Using ATMs in Indonesia
When you’re in the quick fix for some cash for splurging in the local shops or just enjoying a day out, an ATM can be your saviour. They are widely available across the country and are open throughout. However, a fee is charged per withdrawal and it varies from bank to bank. Consider both the rate of exchange for the currency of Indonesia and the withdrawal fee before you go ahead with the transaction. Even with these limitations, it is probably the safest means of obtaining money as you won’t unnecessarily need to carry around a thick wad of cash and will be able to withdraw at your convenience, making it much more feasible.
Consider using ATMs that are associated with prominent banks like Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat (BRI), Bank Nagara, BNI etc. This will ensure you won’t be duped and can rely upon their efficiency.
Using Credit Cards in Indonesia
We would suggest you to not totally rely upon credit cards while touring in Indonesia for the simple reason that it might not be accepted everywhere. It is, however, most likely to be accepted in large stores and cities like Jakarta and Bali that are prominent tourist hotspots. Cards like Mastercard, Visa etc are the ones commonly used.
It is highly recommended that you inform your bank about your travel plans well in advance so that they can learn of any suspicious activity or are aware of your international credit card usage.
Tips and Additional Information
- Please be wary of potential scamsters who might pose very attractive rates of conversion in order to exploit you.
- In addition, engage in safe ATM measures like checking the ATM keypad, covering your hand while entering your pin etc. We would also suggest that you keep the receipt received upon said exchange safely, in case there is a case of counterfeit currency.
- Beware of self-titled and unreliable kiosks that function under titles like ‘Authorised’ and ‘No commissions are taken’, which although might pose attractive offers, would most likely dupe you.
- Tipping in Indonesia is not compulsory. However, you can most definitely hand in a generous tip to service providers.
- Please ensure you bring denomination clean, crisp and undamaged banknotes for exchange purposes. Also, bring higher denomination notes for exchange. You are likely to be charged higher as the exchange rate if the notes are creased or bear markings.
- Always ask for the highest denomination notes for exchange. This reduces the likelihood of being conned and simplifies the exchange. Please check your transacted amount twice to be sure.
- Withdraw from local ATMs to directly obtain Rupiah. Alternatively, check for the withdrawal charge.
Now that we've covered these comprehensive set of guidelines about the currency of Indonesia, you’re now set to having an amazing experience of Indonesian culture with a free mind and bags full of souvenirs!