The national currency is the Indonesian Rupiah, the IDR, on pricetags denoted as Rp. The rate fluctuates daily and is quickly checked by clicking this link.
The smallest banknote is worth 1000 Rp, followed by 2000 - 5000 - 10,000 - 20,000 - 50,000 and 100,000
All those zeros are quite confusing. Especially the difference between the 10,000 (purple or red) and the 100,000 (mainly red and pink) notes is hard to see. Simply counting the digits is the best way to prevent mistakes.
There are also coins, worth 50 - 100 - 200 - 500 and 1000 Rp.
Like in most countries there's also a lack of coins in Bali. To compensate the missing 100 Rp in your return money after paying, shops sometimes offer you single-packed candy, such as Mentos or Fruitella, as a kind of change. Officially it's not allowed, but many shops want to compensate for the coin-problem. If you don't have a sweet tooth, the children outside will accept your gift with pleasure.
Since a few years Candidasa sees itself in the proud possession of 7 ATM cabins. Nearly all bank cards and credit cards are accepted. After putting your card in the card reader you can choose the English or Indonesian language on screen. ATMs dispense only rupiahs, in 50,000 or 100,000 notes. A sticker on the machine indicates in which denomination the money comes out.
There is a limit per withdrawal, depending on your bank and type of credit card.
Skimming or scamming is not limited to the western world only.
- Check the keypad cover for hidden camera holes.
- Check the card reader.
- Cover your hand while entering your pin code.
Find some smart tricks to discover an ATM skimmer before loosing money on:
General advice: Chose for an ATM in or next to a bank.
In Candidasa there is a BRI bank opposite Lotus Seaview Restaurant with an ATM outside.
Another remarkable and risky fact: the money comes out before the card is returned. So don't start spending the Rupiahs before you have your card back.
Along the Jalang Raya Candidasa -the main street- are many shops and offices offering money change services. The rates are published on signboards outside, updated every morning and afternoon. It pays to compare the various rates. If you just changed AUS$ 100 and notice a much better rate within 200 meters you'll feel a bit ripped off. The exchange rates at the official banks are always a few points lower than those of the money changers.
In Candidasa the money changers won't play tricks with you. It's a small village, with a strong social control among the local people. A bad reputation blemishes the whole family. But changing money in the bigger cities, like Kuta, Sanur, Ubud or Gianyar, can be a hazardous competition between your intelligence against their magical disappearing acts.
RULE NR 1: they don't have the right to ask for your passport.
RULE NR 2: never hand over your money before you have the agreed amount of rupiahs in your hands. And don't let them touch that pile again, as many of the money changers in those areas are professional jugglers.Some of the notes disappear under your eyes.
Credit cards are an easy way to cover your bigger expenses. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Bali, Amex is less popular. Most of the hotels and dive resorts in Candidasa accept payment by credit card, though some will add a small surcharge as a handling fee. In some of the restaurants it's also possible to use your credit card but most of them, especially the local 'warungs' (small local restaurant), can't handle the plastic money. Supermarkets usually only accept credit cards from an Indonesian bank.