The 6 Best Travel Money Cards for Bali 2024
Bali has it all, from pristine beaches perfect for surfing, a wild party scene, spiritual sites and unique culture - plus places to get away from it all, practice yoga, wander rice terraces and eat fantastic food.
Getting to Bali from the UK isn’t the cheapest or easiest journey. Make sure you can get as much from your trip as possible with a travel debit, prepaid or credit card which can let you cut your overall costs, beat foreign transaction fees, or earn cash back and rewards. This guide walks through your travel money card options and touches on 6 of our favourites to kickstart your research.
Wise - our pick for travel debit card when travelling to Bali
Wise accounts can hold and exchange 40+ currencies, and you can get a linked Wise card for a one time delivery fee. Top up your account in GBP and switch to IDR before you travel. All currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate, with low fees from 0.41%. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Wise travel money debit card, to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Hold and exchange 40+ currencies, including GBP-IDR
No fee to spend any currency you hold, low conversion fees from 0.41%
Mid market exchange rate on all currency conversion
Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month
No ongoing fees and no interest to pay
7 GBP delivery fee
No option to earn points or rewards
What is a travel money card?
A travel money card can be used for contactless payments in stores, online shopping and cash withdrawals. Where it’s different to any other card you might hold is that your travel card will have been optimised for international spending, to make spending in a foreign currency cheaper and easier.
The UK is well served for travel money cards, and while individual cards all have their own features and benefits, you may find you can hold a balance in multiple currencies, avoid foreign transaction fees, or earn cash back or rewards overseas.
What are different types of travel cards?
Generally you can split the different types of travel cards available in the UK into the following categories. We’ll walk through the features and benefits of each in a moment:
Quick summary: Best travel cards for Bali
Bali is part of Indonesia - so while you’re there you’ll need to spend Indonesian rupiah (IDR). This review of travel cards offers 6 convenient cards to let you do just that. Here’s what we’ll be looking at:
Wise travel debit card: Hold 40+ currencies, including IDR, with no ongoing fees, and spend with the mid-market exchange rate with no foreign transaction fee and low conversion costs from 0.43%
Revolut travel debit card: Hold a balance in GBP or around 25+ other currencies, then spend in IDR with mid-market exchange rates to the plan limit. Pick from 4 different plan types, including some with no monthly fee, and some which come with ongoing costs but which unlock more benefits and no fee transactions
Post Office travel money card: Hold GBP and 21 other currencies, with a secure card you can pick up in person at a Post Office. A 3% fee applies when spending IDR
Monese travel money card: Hold a balance in GBP, then spend in IDR with no fees, up to your plan’s limit. Different plans on offer, including Simple which has no ongoing fees to pay
Barclays Rewards Visa travel credit card: Spend with the Visa exchange rate, and earn 0.25% cash back, with no foreign transaction fee and no cash advance fee. Interest and penalties can apply
Halifax Clarity Mastercard travel credit card: No foreign transaction fee, no annual fee, and no cash advance fee if you withdraw money at an ATM. Variable interest and penalties can apply
Travel money cards for Bali compared
Here’s a brief comparison of all the cards we’ve picked out - in a moment we’ll also look at each card in more detail.
|Bali ATM fee
|7 GBP order and delivery fee
|2 withdrawals, to 200 GBP value per month for free, then 0.5 GBP + 1.75%
|Free to spend currencies you hold in the account
|Mid-market rate with conversion costs from 0.43%
|Variable fees may apply depending on account plan
|No fees to plan limit, 2% fair usage fee may apply once you exhaust your plan no fee limit
|No fee to spend currencies you hold in the account
Mid-market rate to plan limit
Fair usage fees of 0.5% - 1% apply after you exhaust your plan limit
|No fee for spending up to your account limit, which varies based on plan chosen
|Network exchange rate
|Equivalent of 1.5 GBP
3% fee to spend in IDR
Variable exchange rate depending on how you top up
|No cash advance fee, but interest may apply
|28.9% representative APR
|No fee - interest may apply
|Network exchange rate
|No cash advance fee, but interest applies instantly
|Variable based on credit score
|No fee - interest may apply
|Network exchange rate
Before you order a new travel money card, you’ll need to weigh up which type of card, and which specific provider might suit your needs. Travel debit cards from a service like Wise can let you hold an IDR balance which is handy if you want to see your travel budget for Bali in advance.
Monese cards come with some currency exchange with no fees, depending on the plan you pick. And while credit cards can be pretty costly they can also offer ways to earn rewards as you spend. This guide helps you compare different card types and providers so you can pick the right one for your needs.
Travel Debit Cards for Bali
Travel debit cards from a specialist provider come with a linked digital account you’ll manage from your phone. Depending on the specific travel debit card you select you may be able to add money in GBP and just convert to IDR at the point of payment automatically, or to hold a balance in IDR in your account so you can see exactly what you have to spend in advance. That can be handy if you spot a good exchange rate and want to lock it in, or if you’re working to a strict budget and want to see exactly how much you have to play with before you start spending.
Below we’ll walk through two popular travel debit card picks which each have their own specific features and fees, so you can compare.
Travel debit card option 1: Wise
There’s no fee to open a personal Wise account, but you’ll pay a one time card order fee of 7 GBP. After that there’s no minimum balance and no monthly charge. Wise accounts can support 40+ currencies for holding and exchange, with low fees from 0.43% when you convert currencies, and transparent ATM fees when you exhaust the monthly free transactions available with your account.
No fee to open a personal Wise account, no minimum balance requirement
7 GBP one time fee to get your Wise card
2 withdrawals, to 200 GBP value per month for free, then 0.5 GBP + 1.75%
Hold IDR and 40+ other currencies, convert between them with the mid-market rate
Get local account details to receive GBP, NZD, EUR, USD and a selection of other major currencies conveniently
Travel debit card option 2: Revolut
Revolut has a selection of different account tiers for personal customers in the UK, including Standard plans with no monthly fee, to the top end Ultra plan which has a 45 GBP/month fee and comes with loads of perks including a fancy platinum plated card.
You can hold around 25 currencies, although IDR isn't supported for holding and exchange. Instead you’ll add money in GBP and your card will convert automatically with the mid-market rate to your plan’s allowance, whenever you spend or make a cash withdrawal. The higher account tiers also come with extras like various different forms of complimentary insurance, discounts, cash back opportunities and travel benefits.
No monthly fee for a Standard Revolut account, or upgrade to one of 4 different account plans which have monthly fees running from 3.99 GBP/month to 45 GBP/month
All accounts have some no fee weekday currency conversion with fair usage fees after that which are 1% for Standard plan holders
Standard plan holders can withdraw 200 GBP overseas per month for free
Hold around 25 currencies
Pros and cons of using debit travel cards in Bali
|Pros of using debit travel cards in Bali
|Cons of using debit travel cards when travelling overseas
✅ Hold and exchange 25+ currencies in the same account
✅ Spend in 150+ countries - including spending in currencies the card can’t support for holding balances
✅ Order your physical card and get instant access to a virtual card for mobile payments
✅ Accounts can be opened and managed digitally
✅ Safe for spending and withdrawals in Bali
❌ Some account plans have ongoing monthly costs
❌ Transaction and currency conversion fees may apply
❌ You may need to wait a few days for delivery of your physical card
How much does a travel debit card cost?
The costs of a travel debit card depend on the provider you pick and the way you transact.
For the cards we’ve looked at here, the Wise travel debit card has a one time fee to get your physical card, but there are no monthly charges or minimum balance requirements after that. You can add a balance in GBP and then switch over to IDR in advance with a small currency conversion cost which can be as low as 0.43%. Or you can leave your money in GBP and the card can convert for you with the same great rates and low fees.
Revolut works a little differently, with 4 different account plans available including a Standard account with no ongoing charges but relatively limited features, and 3 personal account plans which have a monthly fee but which offer more no-fee transactions. You can’t hold a balance in IDR so you’ll need to rely on the card to convert for you. There are no fees until you hit your plan conversion limit, but there are then fair usage fees of 0.5% - 1% for some account tiers after that.
How to choose the best travel debit card in Bali?
The best travel debit card for Bali will depend to an extent on your personal preference. If you’d prefer to see your travel budget in IDR ahead of time, you might consider Wise as you can add a balance and then convert to IDR for spending later.
As an alternative, you might choose Revolut which lets you add money in GBP and spend in IDR with no conversion fees up to your plan limit. To unlock more no-fee conversion you’ll need to pay monthly fees so it’s worth comparing your options based on how frequently you might use your card.
Is there a spending limit with a travel debit card in Bali?
You’ll probably find there’s a spending limit for your travel debit card. However, this limit can vary quite significantly, depending on the provider you pick. You can also usually adjust your spending limits for security in the provider’s app which means you can set the limit you’re comfortable with.
For the providers mentioned above, Revolut UK travel debit card holders have some spending caps based on merchant and transaction type. This applies to things like sending money to others, buying travellers cheques or money orders, and betting. Wise caps monthly card spending at 30,000 GBP but you can also move your limit lower if you’d like to, for security reasons.
ATM withdrawals with a travel debit card are also likely to be subject to limits. Revolut applies a 3,000 GBP limit based on any given 24 hour period. Wise ATM withdrawal limits are 4,000 GBP per month. Both providers allow you to make some no fee ATM withdrawals monthly, but the exact amount you can withdraw will depend on your account type.
Prepaid Travel Cards for Bali
[Prepaid travel cards] (https://exiap.co.uk/guides/best-prepaid-travel-cards) are another common option for your trip to Bali. As with travel debit cards, you’ll have an extra layer of security because your card isn’t linked to your main UK bank account. But because prepaid cards don’t commonly support IDR for holding a balance, there could be a few extra transaction fees which push up the overall cost, depending on the specific card you select. Here are a couple of strong contenders for prepaid travel cards in the UK:
Prepaid travel card option 1: Post Office Travel Money Card
You can order a Post Office Travel Money Card online or pick one up in person at a branch as long as you have a valid ID on you. Cards allow you to top up and hold 22 currencies, although bear in mind a fee applies when you spend in IDR as it’s not a currency supported by the card. That means that when you spend in Bali, payments will be deducted from your GBP balance instead, with a 3% fee.
3% cross border fee when you spend in IDR
22 currencies are supported for holding and exchange
No fee to spend a currency you hold on your card
ATM withdrawal fee will be deducted from your GBP balance, and will be the equivalent of 1.5 GBP
Manage your account and card from the Post Office travel money app
Prepaid travel card option 2: Monese Travel Money Card
Monese offers several different account plans which come with linked cards you can use while overseas. Depending on the plan you pick you’ll get some free international spending and some free ATM withdrawals. Simple account plans have no monthly fees, but are more limited in terms of no-fee transactions compared to the other account tiers. While Monese does offer foreign currency account plans, these are not available in IDR.
Pick the account plan that suits your needs, including a Simple plan with no monthly costs and some plans which do have a fee to pay every month
Accounts offered in GBP, EUR and RON
Simple account plan holders can spend up to 2,000 GBP a month in foreign currencies with no fees - other account plans have unlimited overseas spending with no extra fees
All accounts have some fee free ATM withdrawals every month, with variable limits based on account plan
Virtual cards available
Pros and cons of using prepaid travel cards in Bali
|Pros of using prepaid travel cards when travelling to Bali
|Cons of using prepaid travel cards when to Bali
✅ Secure way to hold a balance and make overseas payments
✅ Cards available with no monthly fees
✅ Usually free to spend a currency you hold
✅ Issued on globally supported networks for easy spending and withdrawals
✅ Some cards can be picked up instantly if you’re in a hurry
❌ Ongoing charges may apply to your account
❌ Not all providers offer multi-currency holding options
❌ Transaction fees apply to most accounts
How much does a prepaid card cost?
The costs of a prepaid travel card can vary quite a lot. The Post Office travel card has no initial fee, but as IDR isn’t supported for holding and exchange, you’ll pay a 3% cross border fee when you’re in Bali.
Monese has account plans which offer some currency conversion with no fees every month, so this can still be an attractive option based on cost, but you’ll need to weigh up any monthly fees that apply for your specific card plan.
How to choose the best travel prepaid card for Bali?
The best prepaid travel card for Bali really depends on your personal preferences. The Post Office card has the advantage that you can pop into a Post Office branch and get one in person if you’re in a hurry - but the downside that using it in Indonesia comes with a hefty 3% cross border fee. The Monese cards on offer include a Simple card which has no monthly fee but which only lets you spend up to 2,000 GBP internationally a month before extra costs apply. If you’re spending more, upgrading to a Monese account with a monthly fee may actually be better value - plus you can downgrade again any time you like.
Prepaid travel card spending limit
The Post Office travel card lets you top up to 5,000 GBP at a time, with the maximum balance at any given time set at 10,000 GBP, or 30,000 GBP annually. Monese accounts may have different limits based on the tier you pick - usually set at a maximum holding balance at any time of 40,000 GBP. You may be limited to spending up to 7,000 GBP a day, depending on your account type.
With the Post Office card, you can make up to 17,000 THB maximum daily withdrawals and each withdrawal costs 80 THB. Monese accounts may have a maximum ATM withdrawal of 300 GBP a day, depending on the specific account you pick, so it’s worth reading the fee schedule carefully to understand the details.
Travel credit cards for Bali
Travel credit cards don’t let you hold a balance in IDR, but instead when you spend your payment is converted from Indonesian rupiah to GBP using the network rate to be added to your bill. With travel credit cards you’ll often find that the foreign transaction fees which many credit cards use for foreign currency spending are waived, which can mean it’s around 3% cheaper to use a travel credit card abroad compared to using a normal credit card.
However, as with all credit cards, there are some fees you’re likely to run into with a travel credit card which can mean it’s a more expensive option than using a debit card.
Travel credit card option 1: Barclaycard Rewards Visa
The Barclaycard Rewards Visa credit card is a good, straightforward option for UK customers looking for a credit card which does not have foreign transaction fees, and which doesn’t have an annual fee. As with any credit card, some costs can apply including interest fees if you don’t clear your bill monthly, but you’ll be able to earn 0.25% cash back on all your card spending at home and abroad.
No annual fee, with 0.25% cash back on card spending
Currency exchange uses the network rate and no foreign transaction fee
No ATM withdrawal fee - but interest can still apply
28.9% representative APR, with penalty fees for late payments
Secure spending with extra protection on some purchases
Travel credit card option 2: Halifax Clarity Mastercard
The Halifax Clarity Mastercard has a variable interest rate which is based on your creditworthiness, but doesn’t use different rates for different transaction types as some cards do. There’s no foreign transaction fee when you spend or withdraw in foreign currencies, but bear in mind that an ATM operator might charge a fee, and interest accrues instantly for cash advance transactions.
No foreign transaction fee when spending or making a cash withdrawal overseas
Interest applies instantly when making cash withdrawals
Same interest rate applies on all purchase categories
Variable APR based on your credit score - you’ll need to check your eligibility online to see the APR you’d be offered
Spending is covered by the Consumer Credit act which means extra protections for purchases from 100 GBP to 30,000 GBP in value
Pros and cons of using credit cards for Bali
|Pros of using credit cards in Bali
|Cons of using credit cards in Bali
✅ Spread the cost of your travel over several months
✅ Check eligibility for a card online with no impact on your credit score
✅ You may pay no foreign transaction fee
✅ Can be used where a payment guarantee is required
✅ Network exchange rates usually apply, which are pretty fair
❌ Interest can accrue instantly on ATM withdrawals
❌ Interest charged on POS spending if you don’t repay in full every month
❌ Eligibility rules apply
How much does a travel credit card cost?
Travel credit cards may have no annual charge and no foreign transaction fee to pay when spending overseas. However, variable interest, which is set based on your credit score, will still apply if you don’t pay your bill in full every month. It’s also important to note that although the cards we’ve featured above have no cash advance fee for making ATM withdrawals, interest usually accrues instantly. Overall that can mean credit card spending costs more in the end than using a debit or prepaid travel card.
How to choose the best travel credit card for Bali?
If you’re planning on spreading the costs of your spending over a few months it’s worth looking for the card which has the lowest available interest, particularly if it has no annual fee to worry about. If you’ll usually repay your bill in full monthly it may be more important to you to find a card which offers cash back or rewards. Weigh up a few different options while you decide, to make sure you get the right match for your specific needs.
Travel credit card spending limit
Your travel credit card spending limit will be set by the card provider, and will depend on your credit score. You’ll be shown details of your spending limit when you’re approved for a travel credit card.
The cards we’ve looked at earlier don’t charge a cash advance fee, but this is a common cost when using a credit card at an ATM, so worth looking out for when you select any credit card. It’s also worth noting that it’s very common for ATM withdrawals to start accruing interest instantly, so you’ll end up needing to repay some charges whenever you use your credit card in an ATM.
How much money do I need in Bali?
Bali doesn’t have to be an expensive destination. While you can opt for high end luxury, there are nice hotels at a reasonable price and food shouldn’t break the bank either. Here’s a quick look at some common costs in Bali:
|✈️ Flights to Bali
|At the time of writing (November 2023), flights are available from around 700 GBP return with one stop, for spring 2024
|Bali has everything from top end beachside all inclusive hotels, through to homestays in the rice fields, plus plenty of hostels. That means you can find accommodation with pretty much any budget, depending on your taste
|🥣 Lunch in a restaurant
|3 course meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant will cost around 20 GBP on average
|Local transportation can cost around 0.2 GBP a ticket. Taxis should cost about 0.4 GBP a mile, making this an attractive option if you can haggle a decent journey cost
Conclusion: Which travel money card is best for Bali?
Using a travel money card when you’re overseas is secure and convenient, and can help you cut costs and manage foreign transaction fees.
The right travel card for Bali will depend on what you prefer. Check out a few while you’re shopping around - the Wise travel debit card might suit if you want to convert to IDR either in advance or at the point of payment, with low fees and the mid-market exchange rate. A Monese travel prepaid card might be a good pick if you’ll only exchange money to the free currency conversion limit set in your specific plan. Or, a travel credit card like the Barclays Rewards Visa could work if you want a card for earning cash back and for using as a payment guarantee.
FAQ - Best travel cards for Bali
Can you withdraw cash with a credit card in Bali?
Yes. You can use your credit card to make an ATM withdrawal at any ATM in Bali where your card network is accepted. However, bear in mind you’ll pay interest instantly when you use a credit card in an ATM. Choosing to withdraw with a low cost travel debit card from Wise or Revolut may bring down your overall fees.
Can I use a debit card in Bali?
Cards aren’t universally accepted in Bali. You should have no problems paying in larger and chain stores, hotels and restaurants in the cities, but bear in mind that you may not be able to pay with card in smaller merchants or at markets, so having both a prepaid or travel debit card and some Indonesian rupiah in cash is a smart plan.
Are prepaid cards safe?
Yes. Prepaid cards are not linked to your normal UK bank account which means that they’re safe to use. Even if you were unlucky and someone stole your card while you’re in Bali, they would not be able to access your main account - and you could freeze your prepaid card in the app easily if you needed to.
What is the best way to pay in Bali?
In some places, cash will be the only option for making payments in Bali. In general, making sure you always have some cash in Indonesian rupiah, and a travel card for spending or getting cash from an ATM, is a good choice so you have a back up plan if you ever need it.