A common misconception is that there are no ATM’S in the Gili Islands and this was true… a long time ago. Back when there were also just a handful of places to stay.
Here is everything you need to know about money in the Gilis.
Nowadays, there are plenty of ATM’s on the Gilis. Gili Trawangan has the most ATM’s, which makes sense seeing as it is also the most visited island out of the three islands. Most of the ATM’s can be found on the ‘main strip’ in Gili Trawangan which is on the East side of the Island, around the harbour area.
On Gili Air there are currently 6 ATM’s also spread across the East side of the Island. There is a mix of ATM’s from different banks. There is a maximum withdrawal limit which varies between IDR 1,500,000 and IDR 3,000,000. However, you can normally make multiple withdrawals in one transaction.
Gili Meno is still the quietest island and for a long time remained as the only Island without ATM’s however, they now also have several.
Top tip: Remember that in Indonesia, your money is dispensed before you bank card. Therefore, don’t forget to wait for your card. If you do lose your card in the ATM, go back and leave a sign inside with your name and some contact details, that way you can be easily contacted if it is found.
Many of the larger hotels, bars and restaurants in the Gilis have card machines as an alternative to making cash payment however, there are still many businesses that are cash only. We advise that you take enough cash out with you at all times. All dive shops accept card payments but when booking many other activities and Boat Tickets you must pay by cash.
The currency in Indonesia is Indonesian Rupiah which is abbreviated to ‘RP’. This is the only currency accepted on the Gili Islands. The currency exchange is roughly: US $1 = RP 13,000
The largest note is IDR 100,000 and therefore, you will be carrying a lot of money around with you.
Top tip: Put a small piece of paper in your wallet and write down how much each Indonesian note is worth. That way you can refer to it when spending.
Exchange rates offered by money changers in the Gilis are noticeably lower than on the mainland of Bali and Lombok. However, there are a lot of money changers around the Islands. It is a good idea to change your money before arriving on the Islands.
In January 2016, the first and only bank was set up in Gili Trawangan. Mandiri Bank is located on the East side close to the boat Jetty. The services available include: General Enquiries, Domestic/International Transfers, Electronic Banking, Withdrawals, Money Exchange, Bank Insurance. Mandiri can also provide Chip and Pin swipe, Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines for all businesses on the island.
Although the Islands are still very much back to basics, accessing money here is now not an issue like it was 5 years ago when there was only one ATM across the three islands. As with anywhere in the world remember to be cautious when withdrawing/changing money, for more information on how to keep safe in the Gili Islands, click here.