The Indonesia Rupiah is also called IDR. Information of daily exchange rate can be found in newspapers or from the net. Some Indonesia banks provide this on their websites. IDR and US$ are the most acceptable currencies.
Most tourism resorts have money changer facilities. When you are travelling to remote areas it is advisable to exchange your money and clear your check. Credit cards are only acceptable in big hotels, restaurants, shops and travelling agencies.
The import and export of local currency is limited to Rp5,000,000, amounts more than that must be declared. The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited. However, amounts exceeding the equivalent of Rp100,000,000 must be declared.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and Eurocard are widely accepted in Jakarta and the main tourist areas. In more remote areas, it is best to carry cash in small denominations. ATMs are available in towns.
ATMs are available in cities and larger towns.
There is limited merchant acceptance but they can be exchanged at banks and larger hotels, although they are becoming less common and more difficult to exchange. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars. American Express is the most widely accepted.
Standard banking hours are from 8am to 3pm from Monday to Friday. However several banks open their branches in hotels (and some in malls) longer than office hour, a few are open on Saturdays so you might want to check first. Jakarta has a number of international banks, even though you can also exchange currencies in some hotel cashiers and official money changers. Exchange Rate Indicators (Feb 2014) $1.00 = 11,437 IDR €1.00 = 15,803 IDR £1.00 = 19,222 IDR For up-to-date exchange rates, please visit e.g. www.oanda.com
Hints on tipping & Bargaining
- Check everything you can check before handing over your money
- Smile, smile, and smile. And bargain for only what you really want to buy..
- Rely and use body language for up to 80% of the bargaining.
- The more subtle and vague you can be, the better your position is. Do not be firm about your limit or indicate your real intention.
- Avoid open confrontation at all cost. If unfortunately it escalates to one, your chance of a good bargain is ruined already and it is best to just do not buy there and go look somewhere else.
- The less words you say, almost always the better. Even if you can’t speak much Indonesian, just smile and repeat: “more” and point down with your hand (to indicate I want more bargain/can you lower more).
- To disagree, move your head from right to left, or even pout a little, but try not to say loudly: no, no, no.