Foreign Exchange Guide to Indonesia
In this guide we review :
- Indonesian rupiah info - general info about the Indonesian rupiah
- Indonesian rupiah in the markets - recent IDR moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Indonesia - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Indonesian rupiah cash online - travel money for Indonesia
- Sending money to Indonesia - save on Indonesian rupiah bank transfers to Indonesia
- Indonesian rupiah exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Indonesian rupiah (IDR) general currency information
The Indonesian rupiah is the world’s thirty-first most traded currency (as of 2016) and contributes to 0.2% of foreign exchange market turnover.
Having been ravaged by inflation for much of its history, the rupiah is now one of the least valuable units of currency in the world, requiring more than 13,000 of them to buy a single US dollar (as of 2017).
Officially, the rupiah is subdivided into 100 sen, although sen are not in active use in Indonesia since they are essentially worthless.
As an ‘exotic’ currency, participation in the market for rupiahs is naturally less than in the markets for more established currencies, such as euros or New Zealand dollars. For this reason, the price you will pay to change your money into or from rupiahs (the “price” being equivalent to a money changer’s buy-sell spread) will be significantly higher relative to the amount being changed than it would be for one of those other, more established currencies.
As an exotic, the rupiah is also considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against the FX majors (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.
Since 1998, the rupiah’s lowest valuation against the US dollar came in June 1998 at the height of the Asian currency crisis, when USD/IDR reached 16,650. Its post-1998 high occurred in July 1999 when USD/IDR fell to 6,515.
What is the Indonesian rupiah currency code and symbol?
The three letter currency code for the Indonesian rupiah is IDR and the symbol is Rp.
Which countries use the Indonesian rupiah?
It is the domestic currency in Indonesia.
Indonesian rupiah (IDR) in the markets
Against the US dollar, the rupiah has been remarkably stable since late 2016, having spent most of its time trading within a 3% range between 13,250 and 13,650. FX rates in late February 2018 were approaching the upper end of this range.
Needless to say, the USD/IDR rate is being assisted (managed) by Indonesia’s central bank, which is unlikely to want to see a return to the volatility of the 2013-2015 period, during which the rupiah lost 35% of its value against the greenback.
A Reuters poll of analysts in February 2018 indicated that most firms were bearish the rupiah versus the dollar over the medium term. The rupiah was one of only two Asian currencies that were not expected to appreciate.
Against the euro, the rupiah is far from stable. A EUR/IDR rate of 17,007 in mid-February marked the rupiah’s weakest level on record. The rupiah has fallen steadily against the euro since April 2017.
Readers should note that a EUR/IDR rate of 17,000 marks significant resistance – that being 2013’s high – and rates above this level are not a given. Following the test of 17,000 in 2013, the rupiah spent the next 16 months appreciating.
The interactive chart below shows the IDR to USD exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.
Currency and money saving tips for Indonesia
The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the local currency, commonly also abbreviated to Rp. Tell your bank about your travel plans two weeks before you leave. Card activity in a foreign country could be mistaken for fraud and you could find your account frozen. Pack your credit card, but you'll probably only be able to use it in the more high-end hotels, shops and restaurants. Most businesses prefer to deal in cash.
ATMs are common in towns and cities, and you'll have no trouble finding them in Bali. When ATMs detect a foreign card, they'll offer you the choice of instructions in English or Indonesian. Remember that you'll be charged a foreign exchange fee and a withdrawal fee for every transaction - which can add up to as much as $20. You'll have no trouble finding money changers in tourist areas. Most will exchange Australian dollars, US dollars and Euros for Indonesian Rupiah. Once you go off the beaten path, your options become more limited so you'll need to make sure you have plenty of Rupiah already on you
When changing to Rupiah in Bali you should be very careful. There are a lot of dodgy currency exchange providers looking to cheat you with a poor exchange rate. Consider ordering Rupiah online before you leave or if you must convert in Bali then check the exchange rates against the market rate below.
Unless you are a foreign national from a few select countries, you will need an Indonesian visa to enter Bali. According to Directorate General of Immigration Indonesia, citizens from a number of regions can enter Indonesia visa free for short visits of up to 30 days so be sure to check when planning your trip.
Indonesia Trip Checklist
- Compare IDR travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
- Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Indonesia
- Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)
Travel money for Indonesia
Save money and time by Ordering your Indonesian rupiah online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the IDR cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Indonesian rupiah otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared
Buying IDR Cash with USD 1,000
Fees: USD 10 (1%)
Fees: USD 0
Rate timestamp : Mon Apr 23 2018 18:00:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Sending money to Indonesia
When sending money to Indonesia it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Indonesian rupiah amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted IDR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Indonesia.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Indonesian rupiah deposited into the recipient bank account in Indonesia and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
Sending a LARGER international money transfer? Request a Free Multi-Vendor Quote
Compare Foreign Transfers
Sending USD 10,000 to IDR
Fees: USD 0
Rate timestamp : Mon Apr 23 2018 18:04:35 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Fees: USD 15