Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Bali is mainly a cash-based island. Especially when it comes to transportation, scooter rental, tour organizers. In restaurants and coffees you can often pay with credit card but don't rely full on it. You wont make it around to have cash in your pocket for yoru holiday. Also with USD some hotels will accept them happily but in smaller places you wont be able to pay with foreign currency. Here is the most comfortable and safest way to change money.
The best rate compared to your home country is mostly in Bali, so don't change to much cash or even none in your home country.
If you arrive in Bali during the day we recommend to change money on the way to your accommodation. Rates within the airport are around 5% lower than on the island. Look out for one along the main road and ask your driver to stop. If you are only taking a few minutes he should not ask for additional money. Count your money in front of the officer before you leave - always!
If you arriving in the night you best ask within your accommodation where the closes money changes is.
Try to avoid non authorized money changers which advertise with "no commission
". They may play a trick with handing you your cash, take it back to recount for you and loose a few notes within that process. Below is typical picture of such places especially if the rates look to good to be true.
The biggest note is 100.000 Indonesia Rupia (short IDR) (red) which is at the time of writing around 7 USD. Smaller notes are IDR 50.000 (blue), IDR 20.000 (green) , IDR 10.000, and IDR 5.000 (brown). The smallest is IDR 2.000 and IDR 1.000. The IDR 500, IDR 200 and IDR 100 are silver coins.
There are also ATM all over the island. So you can pick up from your home bank account in IDR at ATM's as well. There is a maximum limit per draw which is usually 2-2.500.000 IDR, so if you need more you need draw a few times after each other until you hit the daily limit.