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"Best" way to exchange money for OS Holiday

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G'day guys,

What is the 'best' way to get the best rate when exchanging money for an OS holiday to Bali?

I am well traveled, but am sick of paying the money changers exorbitant fees. So what is the best way to get local currency?

Many many years ago I would have purchase travelers cheques in $A, then changed them when OS.

More recently on a longer trip in Europe I just used my ATM (Maestro) card and withdrew local currency straight from an ATM. This left me hit with unattractive exchange rates and also a fee for the effort.

This time round I am considering shopping around in Sydney, and purchasing some cold hard Indonesian cash before going over (well aware of the risk of carrying cash). Obviously exchanging cash at hotels, airports etc. is were you get the uglier exchange rates.

I do have an IB account; is there any 'magical' way of buying currency on IB and somehow getting your hands on it? I'm guessing not? I guess travelers will always be at the mercy of the money lenders, and the banks.

Are $US dollars accepted in Bali?
 
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G'day guys,

What is the 'best' way to get the best rate when exchanging money for an OS holiday to Bali?

I am well traveled, but am sick of paying the money changers exorbitant fees. So what is the best way to get local currency?

Many many years ago I would have purchase travelers cheques in $A, then changed them when OS.

More recently on a longer trip in Europe I just used my ATM (Maestro) card and withdrew local currency straight from an ATM. This left me hit with unattractive exchange rates and also a fee for the effort.

This time round I am considering shopping around in Sydney, and purchasing some cold hard Indonesian cash before going over (well aware of the risk of carrying cash). Obviously exchanging cash at hotels, airports etc. is were you get the uglier exchange rates.

I do have an IB account; is there any 'magical' way of buying currency on IB and somehow getting your hands on it? I'm guessing not? I guess travelers will always be at the mercy of the money lenders, and the banks.

Are $US dollars accepted in Bali?
If your going to take cash take the Oz$ you will get a better rate in just about any shop in Bali,they advertise rates out the front dont take the best as they will be shonky for sure.
The normal con is when they count it out in front of you but drop a zero.
Because of there large denomination notes they will try giving you say 800 000 rather than 8million.watch them very closely as they will have the good looking shop girl trying to distract you as you go through the exchange,count it back in front of them BEFORE you hand over your hard earned cash.
Usually the lack of a good tan will make you target.
Be aware of what you should roughly get they will try flustering you,but after the first time they realize your onto them repeat visits are usually easy
Have fun
 
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Yes definitely better taking it out in the Asian countries than here in Aus.
Interesting, I didn't realise that Aussie dollars over there would have as much buying power VS buying Indo money here.

As for the lack of Tan, as per the Avatar pic (<----) I've got that covered! :)
 
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Perth-Bali $500 hotel and flights 5 nights,hope you like West Aussies
 
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When I am in Indo I usually just withdraw the maximum the ATM will let me. The exchange rate on the ATMs is good and after even after factoring in the $5 fee you are still ahead of the getting it in Australia.

BTW maximum withdrawal is usually only about 2.5 - 3 million. Not much in AUD terms.
 
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Wizard Clear advantage is the BEST card for travelling .
(note, it is through GEMoney and not wizard home loans)

I have had one for years .... you pay NO FEE's at all and get very close to the Xe.com TT interchange rate for each country.

Load up your cash onto the card (put it into credit with your money) before you travel and withdraw your cash in the currency/country of your choice.

There simply is NO better way ... the only fee you will be is the FOREIGN ATM fee. . which was $0 until recently in Thailand (now 150B .. ~$5) ,.. but from memory it is nothing in Bali!

Also ... Changing money in Australia is NEVER a good idea ... the banks are Nazi's that will give you a significantly lower exchange rate than the off shore international mid market rate (xe.com)

Always change your money in another country ... however as previously mentioned ... be wary of dodgy money changers. .. make sure you check the notes for security features and the correct amount of $$$$ for your transaction
 
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I forgot to mention .... The best thing about the Wizard card is that they DO NOT charge the normal mastercard/visa 2% of the overall transaction amount in fee's that almost ALL other banks/cards will charge you.. check your statement skcots .. you will notice your fee's are more than the "$5" in fee's...

I think a few of the Platinum or GOLD cards may have a lower rate .. but the standard is 2 - 3% of the overall transaction amount on top of other fee's (AMT fees etc..)
 

Knobby22

Mmmmmm 2nd breakfast
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THanks for that.

Not that long ago, all the banks gave good exchange rates with no fees. Westpac were first to start ripping us off, then they all joined in.

It really does pay to do your research on this.
 
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I have to backup what cobyau said regarding the Wizard mastercard. We have used it to travel numerous times as it has no O/S transaction fees and exchange rates are at wholesale rates. When we go overseas we just put cash on it as required. In fact, we have only kept the card so we can use it for O/S trips.

Only problem is, since GE Money took over Wizard, I'm not sure if they're accepting new applicants anymore.
 
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Another option worth looking at is using an ATM card from one of the big international banks if you do a lot of traveling. Think banks like CITIBANK and HSBC. They have branches here in OZ that you can deal with as well as a global network of ATMS, so long as you use the banks ATMS you can avoid the fees and the exchange rates are usually reasonable. Not such a big issue in Bali as there are a lot of OZ bank ATMs that spit out the local cash over there. Not sure what the exchange rates are like out of them though. None of the above is advice or a endorsement of any kind.
 
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