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using VISA / Bank card in Bali

Perth, Australia
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143 posts
9 reviews
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using VISA / Bank card in Bali

I’m getting a little confused about how I can use a VISA (debit) card in Bali.

I am hoping there is a simple answer.

I expect it will depend on my particular bank. But are there any standard charges for making withdrawals in Bali? Do I need to use a particular ATM? Will I get charges from my bank & also the bank in Bali? How does the exchange rate work (is it close to the street rate or will it be the same as the poor rate in Oz)? Are any banks or particular cards better than others?

Any answers or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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446 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

Hi Pembo

My husband and I recently travelled to Bali in Sept to Oct this year and we used 28 Degrees Mastercard. This is the link: http://www.28degreescard.com.au/

The card doesn't charge overseas fees but only ATM fees. We used Maybank.

If you apply to get this card and use this particular ATM, I highly recommend to select *With Conversion Rate* as opposed to *Without Conversion Rate*. This will give you more Rupiah to the Australian Dollar.

Can't really advise anymore than that.

San Francisco, CA
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964 posts
76 reviews
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2. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

Yes, there are two factors with overseas credit card/debit card use:

One is whether they charge for foreign exchange (usually 2-3%)

The other is whether your bank or the bank with the ATM charges a fee for withdrawals, usually a few dollars on each end.

Both sets of fees are unnecessary.

I have a Visa that doesn't charge for foreign exchange and a bank account that refunds all fees. They do exist. (In the US, Capitol One and Schwab bank, though there are others.) I don't know the Australian equivalents.

Call the customer service number on the back of your card and ask if they charge foreign exchange fees. In the US, the first person I call usually doesn't know the answer to this question. Also ask at your main bank.

Sydney, Australia
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863 posts
130 reviews
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3. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

The 28 Degrees Card starts charging fees commencing at 4% for every ATM withdrawal from January 1st. There are still NO fees for credit card transactions with this card.

The Citibank Plus Transaction card allows you absolutely 100% free ATM fees for ATMs showing the VISA sign.

Sounds like you already have a VISA debit card you want to use - the very best advice, is to ask the Bank with which the card is attached. They will tell you everything you need to know, as every bank or financial institution has different fees - none are the same, so better get the facts from the source.

if you don't already have a VISA Debit card affiliated with a bank, then I suggest you apply for the Citibank Card - it really is very, very good.

Or............as many do, just take cash and lock it away when you arrive and exchange as you need it.

Hope that helps.

Los Angeles...
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5 posts
74 reviews
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4. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

Before you use your ATM in a foreign country, you need to call your bank and let them know that you'll be using your debit card outside of your home country. This way they don't flag it as possible fraud and freeze the account.

I can't really speak for all tourists because I'm not sure if all debit cards fall under the same bank networks. Typically on the back side of your debit card are symbols such as Star, Plus, and Interlink for Visa. If you match the symbols for Plus and Visa with what's printed on the ATM, then it is highly likely you can use that ATM to withdraw money. From my experience, if you withdraw money from an ATM connected to a major bank, then you'll be charged a rate very close to the interbank rate at the same of the transaction. That is from Indonesia Rupiah to your home currency. Your bank may also charge you a percentage (often called foreign transaction fee) ranging from 0 - 3 % of the amount withdrawn. Just remember to use an ATM connected to a major Indonesian bank; preferably one connected to a bank branch. Also ,there are withdrawal limits on ATMs which is separate from the maximum you can withdraw set by your bank.

Happy travels.

Sydney, Australia
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446 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

Thanks for the additional info about 28 Degrees Mullos.

Had no idea about this.

Sydney, Australia
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863 posts
130 reviews
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6. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

No prob petit_njc

Yeah, I've had the card for a number of years and got an email, then a letter in the mail a few weeks ago advising the change to their terms and conditions.

Even though everyone who has had the card has used it as a fee free debit card, it was never intended to be that way. So, the good times are over :(

3% (sorry I said 4% before) or AUD$4 for every withdrawal (whichever is the greater) so it will start to add up pretty quickly. See this news from their website 28degreescard.com.au/cash-advance-fee.html

So, you can continue to use it fee free as a credit card which is good. Check out the Citibank Plus Transaction Card. Great debit card option and totally fee free at any ATM across the world that has a VISA logo.

Hope that helps.

Sydney, Australia
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446 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

Thanks Mullos.

Can't remember if I did receive a letter explaining the changes to their terms and conditions. Maybe I did but didn't register because I only use the card overseas.

But I will keep Citibank in mind if I decide to change.

8. Re: using VISA / Bank card in Bali

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