The Best Places to Buy Indonesian Rupiah in New Zealand 2024

If you’re off to Bali to hit the beaches or take in the unique culture - or if you’ve got a trip planned elsewhere in Indonesia - you’ll need to get your IDR (Indonesian rupiah) travel money arranged before you travel. You can exchange some NZD to IDR at home in advance if you’d like to - or you can order a travel money card from a provider like Wise or Revolut which supports international spending for a cheap, convenient and secure way to pay when you’re in Indonesia or elsewhere.

Buy Indonesian Rupiah IDR

How to buy Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) with NZD

IDR travel card

An Indonesian travel card is a secure, convenient - and usually cheap - way to spend money abroad. You can use your IDR travel card to pay in person at a merchant or store, or if you’d prefer to manage your money in cash you can make withdrawals when you need to from an ATM in Indonesia. Travel money cards aren’t linked to your main NZD everyday account, which means they’re secure and you can’t accidentally blow your budget while you’re away.

Wise debit card

A Wise debit card can be an easy way to exchange and spend the currency you need when travelling to Bali or anywhere else in Indonesia. You’ll just have to top up your card balance in New Zealand dollars, and convert to IDR or any other currency you may need when travelling.

With a Wise card you’ll always get the mid-market rate to convert between currencies, with a low, transparent fee that can be as low as 0.43%. Once you’ve got a balance, you’re all set for spending in IDR and 40+ other currencies.

You can also withdraw money from an ATM whenever you need cash and spend like a local in person or online.

It's free to open a Wise account and you can order the travel debit card for a one-off $14 charge.

Revolut travel card

Recently launched in New Zealand, Revolut is a financial super app and travel card service which already has 35 million customers globally. You’ll be able to pick from 3 different account plans, including a Standard plan which has no ongoing fees to pay, and 2 upgraded account options - Premium and Metal - which have monthly charges but which unlock more features.

Revolut cards let you hold a multi-currency balance and spend in 150+ countries including Bali and the rest of Indonesia. Depending on the account plan you pick you’ll get some no fee currency conversion which uses the mid-market exchange rate, and some low or no cost ATM withdrawals, with fair usage fees once you’ve exhausted your particular account plan limits.

Buy IDR Online

If you’d prefer to have rupiah on you in cash when you leave home, you can order your travel cash online and have it delivered to your home, or for collection at a branch of the exchange service. This can work out cheaper than doing an on the spot currency conversion at a money changer - but bear in mind that providers may not have IDR in stock for instant delivery, particularly if you’re doing a high value exchange. Leave enough time to get everything sorted, to avoid unnecessary stress.

Click and collect using Travelex

  • Use a promo code to get a much better rate. Click here to learn how it works
  • Don't pay by card. There is card processing fee you can avoid by using bill pay
  • There is a minimum of $250 and a maximum amount of $10,000 per transaction

Currency exchange stores

This is the best way to get currency in cash if you’re really in a hurry. You will be able to walk into a currency exchange store in a major shopping centre or in any town - but bear in mind that the exchange rates are likely to include a variable markup, and you may have to pay extra if you want to buy IDR with a credit or debit card. Read more with our full guide to currency exchange in New Zealand.

Money Tips

  • Make sure you know the mid-market exchange rate for IDR before you go out, so you’ve got a benchmark to compare providers to
  • The IDR 'buy' rates are usually better in a city centre. So it can be worth a trip to town, particularly if you're exchanging a higher amount of money
  • Always ask for a better rate. We've found you can often get a better deal just by asking, particularly if you're buying more than $100

Get IDR through a bank

Most banks do exchange currency, particularly if you also have an account with them. The issue is that they often have high fees, and don't always offer very good rates. You’ll want to compare rates from a few different services before deciding, but as a standard rule it's best to avoid your bank, even if it can feel like a safe, reliable and familiar way to arrange your travel money.


Most major airports will have one or more currency exchange desks available - but they’ll usually offer pretty poor exchange rates, and may not stock all currencies. Leaving it to the last minute to get your IDR at an airport will likely mean you pay more - and you might end up stuck if the desk you visit doesn’t have IDR or doesn’t have enough to cover your transaction. 

Ordering your currency online for collection at the airport may be a good compromise as you’ll know in advance that the money is available, and you may even get a better rate. Or, to cut costs even further, why not get a travel card from a provider like Revolut or Wise - you’ll be able to simply make an ATM withdrawal on arrival in Indonesia, which means there’s no need to arrange your travel money in advance at all.

What is the cheapest way to buy IDR in New Zealand?

The costs of buying IDR in New Zealand can include both an upfront fee or commission, and extra charges which are rolled into the exchange rates used for the conversion. Usually using a travel card like the Wise card or one of the new Revolut cards available in New Zealand will get you a fair exchange rate with low conversion costs. You may also get extra perks like free or low cost ATM withdrawals, depending on the service you pick.

Using a bank or city centre currency exchange provider is an alternative if you really want to have cash in your pocket when you leave home - but remember to shop around for the best available rate. Generally, avoiding exchange services in the airport or your hotel is also a good idea, as the captive market here tends to mean worse rates and higher overall costs.

How to get IDR in New Zealand

There are various different ways to get IDR in New Zealand, which have their own processes, features and fees. For cash you’ll be able to buy IDR in a bank or at a currency exchange store. You’ll usually just need to visit in person and take along NZD in cash or a payment card. Some services may add an extra fee if you pay with a card - and using a credit card will also normally mean you have to pay a cash advance fee from your card issuer, which can work out pretty expensive.

How to buy IDR online

If you have the time, ordering your travel cash online can get you a better exchange rate and lower overall costs. It’s still worth shopping around a bit, and you’ll need to either collect your money in a branch or make sure someone is home to take delivery of your money.

For an even easier way to get IDR in New Zealand, order a travel card from Wise or Revolut. You’ll still need to be a bit organised as you’ll have to wait for the card to be delivered - but once it’s arrived you can just add money in NZD and then withdraw at an ATM in Indonesia to get all the travel cash you need.

Where can I get the best exchange rate for IDR?

It’s pretty common to find that exchange rates used for converting NZD to IDR include a markup. That’s a fee added onto the rate, which makes it hard to spot and pushes up the price you pay in the end. Markups vary widely by currency and depending on the provider - but they’re not inevitable. Finding a service that offers the mid-market rate or as close as possible to it is a good way to make sure you get a decent deal.

Here’s a summary of the typical exchange rates available for the options we’ve explored so far:

Wise exchange rate: All currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate, with low fees from 0.43% which are split out transparently so you can see what you’re paying

Revolut exchange rate: Revolut account plans all offer some currency exchange which uses the mid-market exchange rate. Fair usage fees may apply if you exceed the exchange limit for your specific plan

Banks: Many banks offer currency exchange, but the exchange rates aren’t necessarily the best available, and they’ll be fixed centrally which means individual bank staff can not negotiate on the costs

Currency exchange stores: Exchange rates can vary and usually include a markup - you may find providers are willing to price match local competitors, or give a better rate for a higher value transaction

Airports: Airport exchange services usually add a fairly high markup to the exchange rates offered, but you might find a more competitive rate if you order in advance online and just collect your money as you pass through the airport

Conclusion: Best ways to buy IDR in New Zealand

You’ve got a few options to set up your travel money for your trip to Indonesia. If you want to buy cash before you leave you may order online or visit a physical branch location - such as a bank or a Travelex. It’s worth shopping around, and usually best to avoid the last minute options like airport exchange services as they’ll often use pretty high exchange rate markups.

For many travellers, using a travel money card to buy IDR instead is the most convenient option. With a card like the Wise card you can add a balance in NZD and convert to IDR before you travel, or just let the card convert at the point of payment. Revolut may not let you hold an IDR balance, but you can still spend in IDR with no foreign transaction fee, and with some no-fee currency conversion based on your plan type. In both cases, cards can be used for contactless and mobile spending, and for cash withdrawals as and when you need them.

Use this guide to kickstart your research and see what the best way to get Indonesian rupiah will be for your personal preferences and needs.

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Our most frequently asked questions

1. What is the cheapest way to buy Indonesian rupiah?

When you buy Indonesian rupiah the amount you pay will come down to both the commission or conversion fee, and the exchange rate being offered by any provider. Currency exchange services and banks often add an extra fee in the exchange rate being used, which pushes up prices without you realising. This means the cheapest way to buy IDR is often to use a travel debit card or a specialist multi-currency account to spend and make card withdrawals with low fees and the real exchange rate.

2. Is it better to exchange money in New Zealand or Indonesia?

Whether you choose to buy your travel money in New Zealand or Indonesia comes down to personal preference. However, to make sure you get the best deal it’s important to look at the exchange rate being offered, to make sure it’s fair. Find the live mid-market exchange rate for your currency with a Google search, and look for a provider which offers this - or as close as possible to it. For many travellers the most reliable way to get a good rate is to use a travel debit card to spend or make cash withdrawals on arrival in Indonesia.

3. Should I exchange money before I travel?

It’s not usually necessary to buy IDR before you leave New Zealand. Many travellers find it more convenient to make a cash withdrawal at an ATM on arrival in Indonesia instead of exchanging money in advance. This can also mean you get a better exchange rate compared to using a currency exchange service before departure.

If you’re concerned about heading off to Indonesia with no cash in your pocket, just exchange a small amount before departing, and use your card to withdraw the bulk of the cash you need as and when you need it.

4. Do airports charge more for currency exchange?

Airport currency exchange services tend to be a very expensive way to get your travel money. While they may not have high upfront fees, the exchange rates offered are often pretty poor, which means you pay more than you need to when buying your IDR. If you really want to use an airport currency exchange service you might get a slightly better rate if you order your IDR in advance online and collect it at a kiosk in the airport - but making a cash withdrawal at an ATM on arrival is often the cheaper option.

5. Do banks charge for currency exchange?

Banks may charge an upfront fee for converting currencies as well as adding an extra fee in the form of an exchange rate markup. Often the upfront fee may look quite low, but the exchange rate markup can push up costs significantly.

6. How do you know if an exchange rate is good?

To get the best available exchange rate you’ll need to find a currency exchange service which offers the mid-market exchange rate or as close as possible to it. Find the live mid-market rate for your currency using a Google search or a reputable currency conversion app, and look for providers offering this rate if you can. Usually you’ll get the best deal when you use an online specialist service rather than a bank or airport currency exchange provider.

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Ileana Ionescu
Content manager
With a background in business journalism, Ileana is an experienced content manager, creating content for Exiap that helps its audience make informed decisions about their finances.
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Last updated
December 17th, 2023