If you are planning to live in Bali or have actually settled there, there are many things that you need to get used to. One of them is having two different currencies (or more, depending on what you do), usually consisting of Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), your home currency, and maybe staple currencies that are good to hold while being there like the US or Australian Dollars. Because of that, you will need to find a way to exchange that money with one another. Maybe it’s due to an emergency, or maybe it’s for simply wanting to make things more convenient for you in the near or far future, exchanging money is a commonly done thing for expats living there.
Despite it being a paradise, you have to be careful with exchanging your money as there are a lot of shady dealings and practices going about the island. Stay safe and untouchable with these easy tips for using money changers in Bali.
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1. Credibility is key
We get it, you are on holiday. You don’t want the hassle of going far or searching up for money changer locations on your phone. While looking for a place to exchange your money, you might stumble upon a place that writes ‘money exchange’ in their front window. Going in there might be a good idea, except it’s not. It’s better that you practice due diligence in checking the credibility of the money changer that you are going for. Down below we have a list of credible money changer companies that will sort out the searching for you.
2. Don’t accept extra charges on an exchange
When you are exchanging your precious USD or AUD or other currencies, you should not be charged extras for exchanging your money. If your money changer is doing that, then they might be a bit suspicious and you should get out of dodge. Make sure to hold on to your money until you’re fully sure what you are going in for. Giving them your money recklessly is certainly not a good idea. Better be safe than sorry.
3. Don’t haggle or bargain rates
This is more like something on your end, but don’t haggle or bargain rates. Credible money changers have fixed daily rates for you to decide with. Bargaining for a higher rate will make you look rude and very entitled.
4. Be aware of sleight-of-hand scams
This is probably why you’re here in the first place. Scams do happen in Bali. For one, sleazy tellers will try to do a sleight-of-hand trick against you while exchanging the money. They will attract unknowing expats by placing their rates higher than usual. So remember that higher rates often means higher chances of it being a scam.
5. Check and re-check
Another important thing to do is to count the money again once everything is done and you are about to leave the store. Again, you are on holiday so we understand if you don’t want the hassle. But, if you got yourself caught in a shady-looking shack or kiosk where you’re exchanging money with the clerk, best to make sure you got what you came for.
6. Bring someone with you when exchanging money
If you are the type of person who is not really good with details and tends to be a klutz, it’s best to bring someone else along. You will at least feel safe when exchanging the money, with an extra pair of eyes watching your back. Of course, this isn’t an option if you are living alone. Plus, if you know your nearest credible money exchange centre you won’t need a companion. But still, it’s better to have someone come with you when exchanging money.
7. Don’t worry about your currency being undervalued
Moving on from the scams, you might ask yourself ‘what currency is good in Bali to keep’? Well, the good news is since Bali has a large expat community and is also a tourist destination, you can just about bring any kind of currency and they will give you good rates of exchange.
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Last but not least, we can also recommend some places for you to exchange your money. These are credible money changers so you shouldn’t worry about getting scammed here.
1. Central Kuta Money Changer
Long-standing money changing service in Bali, they have been at it since 1985. They are probably one of the best places to go to for exchanging your money in Bali. Here are a few locations where they operate:
- Legian: Jl. Melasti, Legian, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Kartika Plaza: Jl. Kartika Plaza No.168, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Kerobokan Kelod: Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361 or Jl. Kayu Jati No.2a, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Seminyak: Jl. Sunset Road No.168, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
2. PT Dirgahayu Valuta Prima Money Changer
Also a long-standing money changer in Bali, Dirgahayu Valuta Prima Money Changer emphasizes the importance of security. Here are their locations:
- Sanur: Jl. Danau Tamblingan No.66, Sanur, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80228
- Center Kuta: Jl. Raya Kuta No.10a, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Denpasar: Jalan By Pass Ngurah, Tuban, Kuta, Tuban, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
3. PT Bali Maspintjinra (BMC)
If you are staying around Seminyak and its surrounding districts, then this money changer should definitely be your go-to. They have a few locations as well:
- Legian: Jl. Sriwijaya No.18, Legian, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Seminyak: Jl. Raya Seminyak No.16A, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Ubud: Jl. Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
- Kerobokan: Jl. Raya Kerobokan No.19, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
4. MPB money exchange
Last but not least we have MPB money exchange. You can find them in three places: Kartika Plaza, Petitenget, and Sanur. Here are their exact locations:
- Kartika Plaza: Jl. Kartika Plaza No.99, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361. Open currently from 9am-5pm
- Petitenget: Jl. Petitenget No.98b, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361. Open currently from 9am-5pm
- Sanur: Jl. Danau Tamblingan No.50, Sanur, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80228. Open currently from 9am-5pm
And that’s that, we hope you find these easy tips for using money changers in Bali useful. Please tell us if we are missing anything, like your recommended spots for exchanging money or maybe your own experience in dealing with scams while exchanging your money. Keep up to date with us to know more about lifestyle and living in Bali!
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