In recent years Credit and Debit Cards have been commonly used as a method of payment in Indonesia. Indonesian people especially living in major cities have opted to bring less cash at hand and use Credit or Debit Cards for practical and convenient reasons. So foreigners traveling to Indonesia need not worry to use credit or debit cards for your traveling pleasure.
Most international credit card networks are acceptable in Indonesia’s major cities and tourist hotspots like Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, etc.
Cards such as JCB (Japan Credit Bureau) is acceptable in Indonesia because it is affiliated with some of Indonesia’s major well-known bank such as BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia), CIMB Niaga, Mandiri, BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia). While American Express (Amex) is also acceptable however Amex has fewer affiliated local banks in Indonesia. Bank Danamon is currently one of the local banks affiliated with Amex. The most widely accepted card in all merchants in Indonesia is Visa and Mastercard.
There will be instances where stores may not display the symbols of the cards they accept. Be sure to check with the salesperson in the store prior to using your card if your card is acceptable or not.
Although credit, debit and prepaid cards of well-known brands are generally accepted in the major cities, carrying rupiah in a sufficient amount at hand is highly advisable. Especially when traveling to smaller towns and remote areas, it would probably be quite a problem finding ATMs around and local stores could only accept cash.
The amount of cash allowed into Indonesia or taking it outside the country is in the amount of IDR100,000,000.00 (one hundred million rupiahs) or other currency equivalent to this amount. More than this amount, then travelers must declare it to Indonesian Customs.
ATM's are widespread throughout Indonesia’s major cities. Cards with Cirrus, Maestro, Plus network seems to be the most prevalent card accepted and could withdraw cash nationwide in most of Indonesia’s major bank ATMs. Cirrus and Maestro logo are associated with Mastercard, while Plus is associated with Visa. Be sure to check if the Cirrus, Maestro or Plus logo is displayed in the ATM machine prior to inserting your card.
JCB cardholder could withdraw cash in Indonesia’s affiliated banks such as BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia), CIMB Niaga, Mandiri, BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia). Be sure to check if the JCB or Cirrus Logo is displayed in the ATMs. While American Express cardholders could use the facility of express cash and withdraw cash from Danamon Bank ATMs throughout Indonesia.
Although it is practical to carry credit or debit cards around for your traveling pleasure, when traveling to remote areas and visiting local or traditional markets, it is highly wise and preferable to have some small change at hand for purchasing purposes. This way you are set to have a smooth and fun vacation in Indonesia. Enjoy your stay!