Bali Currency (Indonesia Rupiah History + Facts)

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If you’re planning a trip to Bali, it’s important to know about the currency used in the country. The official currency of Bali is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR), which is abbreviated as Rp. It’s the only widely accepted currency in Bali, and all other Indonesian islands.

Bali Rupiah

The Indonesian rupiah comes in various denominations, including notes of 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000. You’ll also find coins in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 rupiah.

This article explores the rupiah’s journey from its post-war origins to its current role in the Indonesian economy, providing insights into its denominations, exchange rates, and interesting facts.

Historical Journey of Bali Currency

Bali, being a part of Indonesia, uses the Indonesian rupiah (IDR) as its official currency. The history of Bali currency is closely linked to the history of Indonesia’s currency. The currency has gone through various changes over the years, and here is a brief overview of its historical journey.

History of Coins

The evolution of Indonesian rupiah coins mirrors the nation’s historical and economic changes. Following Indonesia’s independence, the first series of rupiah coins were minted between 1951 and 1952, slightly after the initial issuance of rupiah banknotes

This period succeeded the peace treaty with the Netherlands in 1949, transitioning from the previous era of paper currency issued by the provisional Indonesian government from 1945 to 1949, a time when metal scarcity due to international isolation hindered coin production.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, rampant inflation led to the cessation of coin minting after 1961, with existing coins losing their value. To combat this, a devalued ‘new rupiah’ was introduced in 1965, featuring banknotes from as low as Rp0.01 to as high as Rp100, but without accompanying coinage.

Stability returned under Suharto’s New Order by 1971, enabling the reintroduction of coins in denominations ranging from Rp1 to Rp50, with Rp100 coins added later. However, persistent inflation has led to the current coinage consisting of Rp25, Rp50, Rp100, Rp200, Rp500, and Rp1,000 denominations, with older Rp1 coins still recognized as legal tender.

Unlike the silver or gold coins of the Dutch era, rupiah coins have consistently been made of base metals. In the early years, coins included denominations from Rp0.01 to Rp0.50. 

The smaller denominations, particularly the Rp0.01 and Rp0.05 coins, were less valuable and were minted in limited numbers. The designs of these early coins changed, including the removal of the Jawi script in favor of Indonesian text.

The coinage system saw significant updates in the subsequent years. In 1971, new coins were introduced, featuring cultural motifs and inscriptions of “Bank Indonesia.” These included designs like the white-browed fantail, rice and cotton stalk, black drongo bird, Victoria crowned pigeon, and greater bird of paradise.

Throughout the years, various redesigns and new introductions marked the evolution of Indonesian coins. In 1991, new designs featured the national Garuda Pancasila emblem. 

Notable coins included the 25 rupiah with nutmeg imagery and the 50 rupiah featuring a Komodo dragon. The 100 rupiah coin depicted running bulls, symbolizing bull racing, a popular sport in Indonesia.

In 1993, the 1,000 rupiah coin was introduced, a significant addition to the rupiah’s denominational range. This bimetallic coin featured an oil palm design and was minted in several subsequent years.

Later revisions, such as in 1997 and 1999, included updates to the 500 rupiah and 50 rupiah coins, showcasing elements of Indonesian fauna and flora. The 2003 revisions introduced an aluminum 200 rupiah coin with the Bali starling and a redesigned jasmine-themed 500 rupiah coin.

The latest significant revision occurred in 2016, aligning with new banknote releases. These coins featured prominent Indonesian figures, enhancing the cultural and historical value of the rupiah.

As of 2022, the Indonesian rupiah’s coin series includes a range of denominations, with older series becoming collectors’ items due to their rarity.

History of Bills

The history of banknotes in Indonesia dates back to the 18th century, starting with the credit letters of the rijksdaalder issued by the United East India Company between 1783 and 1811.

This was followed by the Netherlands Indies gulden government credit paper in 1815, and the gulden notes of De Javasche Bank from 1827 to 1842 and again from 1866 to 1948. 

Due to wartime metal shortages, the government issued lower denominations (below 5 gulden) in 1919–1920 and 1939–1940, while higher transactions typically relied on coinage.

During the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies from 1942, the Japanese government issued gulden notes, which in 1943 became known as “roepiah.”

The first authentic Indonesian rupiah notes appeared in 1946, amidst the war of independence against the Dutch, following Indonesia’s declaration of independence on 17 August 1945. This currency was called Oeang Republik Indonesia (ORI), with “oeang” being the old spelling for “uang,” meaning “money.”

After the 1949 peace treaty in The Hague, the ORI was replaced by the internationally recognized Indonesian rupiah. The rupiah has experienced several devaluations, notably in 1965 when the existing currency was replaced with a new rupiah at a rate of 1,000 to 1.

Regarding money from the independence period, the first series of Indonesian rupiah banknotes, dated 17 October 1945 and bearing the authority of “Republik Indonesia,” was intended for release on 1 February 1946. 

However, most notes were captured, and only a few were released initially. Widespread circulation began in Java on 10 October 1946, with denominations including Rp0.01, Rp0.05, Rp0.10, Rp0.5, Rp1, Rp5, Rp10, and Rp100.

The current series of Indonesian banknotes includes various denominations issued from 2000 to 2020. The Rp1,000 note was introduced in 2000, followed by the Rp5,000 note in 2001. In 2004, the Rp20,000 and Rp100,000 notes were issued, and in 2005, the Rp10,000 and Rp50,000 notes were released. 

A new denomination, the Rp2,000 note, was introduced in 2009. In 2010, a revised version of the Rp10,000 note was issued, and in 2011, revised versions of the Rp20,000, Rp50,000, and Rp100,000 notes were released. Additionally, a commemorative Rp75,000 note was issued in 2020.

Banknotes issued between 1998 and 1999 ceased to be legal tender after 31 December 2008, but they were exchangeable at Bank Indonesia until 30 December 2018. 

Older banknotes, particularly those associated with the Suharto regime (such as the 1993 and 1995 issues of the Rp50,000 note), are no longer legal tender due to the lack of modern security features. However, they could be exchanged at Bank Indonesia offices until 20 August 2010.

In daily transactions, even small amounts like bus fares are typically handled using banknotes, with the Rp1,000 note being more common than the Rp1,000 coin. 

The government had planned to replace the Rp1,000 note with the Rp2,000 note, eventually phasing out the former in favor of the equivalent coin. However, this plan was delayed and later revised.

The Rp2,000 banknotes were eventually launched by Bank Indonesia on 9 July 2009 and entered circulation the following day, but the Rp1,000 note was not withdrawn and remains in use.

Inflation and Buying Power of Bali Currency

When it comes to the buying power of the Bali currency, it is important to consider inflation. Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and it affects the value of money.

Bali has experienced some inflation in recent years, which has affected the buying power of the Bali currency.

According to Balipod, certain things have been hit hard in Bali due to inflation, namely rent and fuel. However, the overall inflation rate in Bali is still lower compared to other countries. Bali’s inflation rate was 1.4% in 2021, which is relatively low compared to other countries in the region.

The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) has experienced significant inflation over the longer term. According to, the inflation rate in Indonesia between 1969 and 2023 was 16,348.24%, which translates into a total increase of Rp16,348.24. 

This means that 100 rupiahs in 1969 were equivalent to 16,448.24 rupiahs in 2023. In other words, the purchasing power of Rp100 in 1969 equals Rp16,448.24 in 2023.

The rupiah had an average inflation rate of 23.17% per year between 1960 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 61,982,640.73%, according to

Indonesian Rupiah

The 2016 series of Indonesian rupiah banknotes, introduced after Presidential Decree No. 31 on 5 September 2016, features seven denominations with unique designs, each showcasing national heroes and cultural elements:

Rp1,000 Note

Rp1,000 Note: Yellow-Grey in color, featuring Cut Nyak Meutia on the obverse and the Tifa dance, Banda Neira, and Cooktown Orchid on the reverse.

Rp2,000 Note

Rp2,000 Note: Grey, depicting Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin on the obverse, and the Piring dance, Sianok Canyon, and Mangnolia champaca on the reverse.

Rp5,000 Note

Rp5,000 Note: Light Brown, with Idham Chalid on the obverse, and the Gambyong dance, Mount Bromo, and Tuberose on the reverse.

Rp10,000 Note

Rp10,000 Note: Purple, featuring Frans Kaisiepo on the obverse, and the Pakarena dance, Wakatobi National Park, and Magnolia vrieseana on the reverse.

Rp20,000 Note

Rp20,000 Note: Light Green, showing Sam Ratulangi on the obverse, and the Gong dance, Derawan Islands, and Coelogyne pandurata on the reverse.

Rp50,000 Note

Rp50,000 Note: Blue, with Djuanda Kartawidjaja on the obverse, and the Legong dance, Komodo National Park, and Plumeria on the reverse.

Rp100,000 Note

Rp100,000 Note: Red, portraying Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta on the obverse, and the Topeng Betawi dance, Raja Ampat Islands, and Moon Orchid on the reverse.

Each note in this series is distinct in color and design, featuring a national hero, traditional dance, natural scenery, and a native flower or plant.

Currency Usage in Bali

If you’re planning to visit Bali, it’s important to know what currency is used in the region. The official currency used in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR), which is abbreviated as Rp.

Bali is one of the many islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago, and therefore, the Indonesian rupiah is the only widely accepted currency in Bali.

Is USD accepted in Bali?

While the Indonesian rupiah is the official currency of Bali, some businesses may accept the US dollar (USD) as payment. However, it’s important to note that the exchange rate may not be favorable, and you may end up paying more for goods and services.

When exchanging your currency, it’s important to check the exchange rate to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal. You can also use a currency converter to get an idea of how much IDR you’ll receive for your USD.

In Bali, most businesses accept cash as payment, but some may also accept credit cards. It’s important to note that some businesses may charge a fee for credit card transactions. To avoid any surprises, it’s recommended that you carry cash with you at all times.

Overall, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local currency when traveling to Bali. By exchanging your currency for IDR, you’ll be able to get the best exchange rate and avoid any unnecessary fees or charges.

Exchanging Currency in Bali

If you’re planning a trip to Bali, you’ll need to exchange your currency for Indonesian rupiah (IDR) to pay for goods and services. Here are some things to keep in mind when exchanging currency in Bali.

Where can I exchange Bali currency?

There are several options for exchanging currency in Bali. You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, or authorized money changers.

Banks are generally the safest option, but they may have longer lines and stricter requirements for exchanging currency. Exchange offices and authorized money changers are more convenient, but you should be cautious when using them.

What to know before exchanging currency in Bali

Before exchanging currency in Bali, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Exchange rates vary. Exchange rates can vary from place to place, so it’s a good idea to shop around for the best rate. You can check the current exchange rate online or using a currency converter app.
  • Fees and commissions. Some exchange offices and money changers may charge fees or commissions, which can eat into your exchange rate. Look for places that offer no commission and a fair exchange rate.
  • Counterfeit money. Counterfeit money is a problem in Bali, so it’s important to be vigilant when exchanging currency. Check the money carefully for signs of counterfeiting, such as blurry printing or missing security features.
  • Bring cash in good condition. Money changers may refuse to exchange currency that is torn, crumpled, or in poor condition. Make sure to bring bills that are in good condition to avoid any issues.
  • Be wary of scams. Some money changers may try to scam you by giving you less money than you’re owed or using sleight of hand to swap bills. Always count the money you receive carefully and don’t be afraid to speak up if something seems off.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can exchange your currency safely and get the best exchange rate possible.

Choosing Between USD and Bali Currency

When traveling to Bali, you may wonder whether to carry US dollars or Indonesian rupiah. Here are some factors to consider:

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate between USD and IDR fluctuates frequently. It is essential to check the most up-to-date exchange rate before your trip as rates can vary. Keep in mind that the international inter-bank rate tends to be more favorable than the rate you would get from local money changers in Bali.


While US dollars are widely accepted in Bali, you may find it more convenient to carry Indonesian rupiah. Some small shops and restaurants may not accept USD, and you may need to pay a higher price for goods and services if you use USD. Additionally, carrying IDR may help you avoid confusion and potential scams when receiving change.


When exchanging currency, you may incur fees and commissions. Some money changers in Bali may charge a higher commission for exchanging USD compared to IDR.

Additionally, your bank may charge fees for withdrawing cash or making purchases with your debit or credit card in Bali. Be sure to check with your bank for any applicable fees before your trip.


If you decide to carry USD, it’s recommended to bring smaller denominations such as $1, $5, and $10 bills. Some money changers and vendors may not accept larger bills, and you may have difficulty getting change. Additionally, be sure to inspect your bills for any damage or marks, as some money changers may reject damaged bills.

Overall, the choice of whether to carry USD or IDR ultimately depends on your personal preference and travel plans. It’s a good idea to have a mix of both currencies on hand and to be aware of the exchange rate and potential fees.

Cost of Living in Bali

If you are planning to live in Bali, it is essential to understand the cost of living to budget your expenses accordingly. Bali is relatively cheap compared to other popular tourist destinations, but the prices can vary depending on the location and lifestyle.

The cost of accommodation in Bali is relatively cheap, and you can find a wide range of options to suit your budget.

According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Bali is around $300 to $500 per month, while a three-bedroom villa can cost between $800 to $1,500 per month. The prices can vary depending on the location, facilities, and lease terms.

The cost of food and drinks in Bali is relatively cheap, and you can find a variety of options to suit your taste and budget. The average cost of a meal in a local restaurant is around $2 to $5, while a meal in a mid-range restaurant can cost between $10 to $20. The prices can vary depending on the location, cuisine, and restaurant type.

The cost of transportation in Bali is relatively cheap, and you can find a variety of options to get around the island. The average cost of a taxi ride in Bali is around $0.30 to $0.50 per km, while a motorbike rental can cost between $3 to $5 per day. The prices can vary depending on the location, distance, and rental terms.

Apart from accommodation, food, and transportation, there are other expenses that you need to consider when living in Bali. These expenses include utilities, internet, entertainment, and healthcare.

The average cost of utilities in Bali is around $50 to $100 per month, while the cost of the internet can range from $20 to $50 per month. The prices can vary depending on the usage and service provider.

Overall, Bali is a relatively cheap place to live, and you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. However, it is essential to budget your expenses and plan accordingly to avoid any financial stress.

Don’t Get Scammed Tips

When exchanging money in Bali, it’s important to be aware of potential scams. Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:

  1. Avoid exchanging money on the street: Money changers on the street may offer higher exchange rates, but they are often scams. Stick to reputable money changers in established locations.
  2. Check the exchange rate: Before exchanging money, check the current exchange rate online or with your bank. This will give you an idea of what the rate should be.
  3. Count your money: When exchanging money, count it carefully before leaving the money changer. Make sure you receive the correct amount and that the bills are not fake.
  4. Don’t fall for “no commission” scams: Some money changers advertise “no commission”, but they make up for it by offering a lower exchange rate. Always compare rates and fees before exchanging money.
  5. Use ATMs inside banks: ATMs inside banks are generally safer than those on the street. Make sure to cover the keypad when entering your PIN and check for any suspicious devices attached to the ATM.
  6. Be cautious of strangers offering to exchange money: It’s common for scammers to approach tourists on the street and offer to exchange money. Avoid these offers and stick to reputable money changers.

By following these tips, you can avoid getting scammed when exchanging money in Bali.

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