- Currency exchange in the street/town *Best rate
- Currency exchange in airport
- Currency exchange in hotel
- Currency exchange in your home country *Worst rate
Exchanging money upon arrival
Money changers at Ngurah Rai International Airport are open from early morning until late at night, so there's no need to worry if you didn't arrive with any local currency in your pocket.
You'll get a better rate outside the airport, so exchange just enough for one day's taxi/hotel/dinner etc., after which you can use one of the many currency exchanges located on the streets or at your hotel. It's also possible to ask your driver to stop somewhere on the way to your hotel to get a better rate than at the airport.
Once you've collected your luggage and cleared the "Goods to Declare" security check point, head out towards the Arrivals Gate and you'll walk past over 10 money changers who will be only too happy to assist you.
Exchanging money in resort areas
Money exchangers are everywhere in the shopping areas and main streets of popular tourist areas in Bali. Some are private operations, while others are government-approved and the rates often vary quite considerably. It's unfortunately not uncommon to be ripped off when changing money, and you should always pay good attention while the transaction is taking place.
- × Dodgy, dark setups
- × Unprofessional atmosphere
- × Small exchange offices at the back of souvenir shops
- × Unusually high exchange rates
- × Being distracted while counting your money
Common tricks used
- You use a money changer down a back alley that promises an unusually high exchange rate. When the staff counted our your bills there were 10 notes, however when you count yourself there are only seven. When you ask the staff to recount there are only seven, at which point they will come up with some story to explain why they miscounted in the first place. Best to just get up and walk out in this situation and find some place else.
- The amount calculated is at the rate of travelers checks rather than the cash rate. Always make it clear to the staff which rate you are after.
- In busy tourist places like Legian Street, it's commonplace for some money changers to try and make a quick buck or two by confusing unsuspecting tourists. For example, the amount you should receive might be Rp1.105.000 but they only give you Rp1.015,000. The two amounts look similar at first glance, however there's a difference of Rp100,000.
To avoid situations like the above, pay attention to the following:
Check 4 Things
- use official government marked exchange offices
- use currency exchange offices that look professional, often with a security guard out front
- keep a keen eye on exchange staff during the transaction
- even after staff have counted your money, always check again yourself before leaving