NOTE: This page will be constantly updated as soon as we get new information from banks.

Using your Philippine ATM card in Indonesia can be very daunting. Based on my experience, the thing that took me time to acquaint myself  with is the so many zeros you see on the ATM screen. Imagine someone getting so overwhelmed after learning that he has 1.45 million, er, Rupiah (US$ 104.95*) in his account, but later realises that he has to be careful with the currency rate adjustments, apart from the charges for the transaction.

Who doesn’t think this is confusing? It is, and in this post, I’ll share you some of my tips on how to use your Philippine ATM card in Indonesia.

Before leaving the Philippines, make sure you have requested your bank to activate your ATM card’s international service

Many banks in the Philippines require their clients to request for an activation by contacting their hotline before they leave the country. This is to protect their ATM cardholders from fraud.

  1. Bank of the Philippine Islands: 89-100 or 1-800-188-89100 (toll-free)
  2. Metrobank: 8700-700 or 1-800-1888-5775 (toll-free)

Indonesian ATMs recognise three of the popular interbank networks in the Philippines: VISA, MasterCard, and Cirrus

bca-atm

Take note of the service charges

Foreign Transactions via Cirrus ATMs (Source: BPI)
    – Withdrawals of USD 175.00 and below USD 3.50
    – Withdrawals above USD 175.00 2% of withdrawn amount
    – Balance Inquiries USD 1.00
    – Denials USD 0.50
Note: Some ATMs abroad charge an additional access fee. Fees are displayed on the ATM screen at the time of transaction.

And don’t forget that Indonesian ATMs have their rules, too

By rules, I mean the cash denominations you can get from that machine. Some ATMs only have Rp 50,000 (Php 171.97) bills, while others will only let you withdraw IDR 100,000.00 (Php 343.00) bills.

Mandiri, for instance, puts a limit for each withdrawal in their ATMs:

  • Rp 500,000 (Php 1,721.48) in ATM with Rp. 20,000 (Php 68.86)  denomination
  • Rp 1,250,000 (Php 4,303.16) in ATM with Rp. 50,000 (Php 171.97) denomination
  • Rp 2,500,000 (Php 8,608.31)  in ATM with Rp. 100,000 (Php 343.40) denomination

This is confusing to the Filipino because back home, ATMs have Php 100 (Rp 29,114.69), Php 200 (Rp 58,245.05), Php 500 (Rp 145,494.55), and P1,000 (Rp 290,989.10) bills.

To avoid balance inquiry charges, use your bank’s mobile app

What I do before I head to the bank is that I would open my BPI app to check my balance (it’s free of charge) to save that US$ 1.00 (Rp 13,839.95 / Php 47.65).

Convert your balance to Indonesian Rupiah

So, if your balance is Php 20,500.00, you have to convert  it first (I recommend using XE for Android/iOS). Today, January 20, 2016, your balance is equal to Rp 290,936.11. Let’s say you’re using a machine that only releases Rp 100,000 bills, then it means you can only withdraw Rp 200,000.00 (US$ 14.41 / Php 687.29). On top of that you will be charged for such transaction.

To recall, since Rp 200,000.00 (US$ 14.41) is below US$ 175.00, you will be charged 2% of your withdrawn amount, which is Rp 4,000 (US$ 0.29 / Php 13.75).All in all, you have deducted Rp 204,000.00 from your account, with a remaining balance of around Rp 86,936.11 (Php 298.41). And in my experience, any amount below Rp 100,000.00 is almost impossible to be withdrawn.

Any suggestions/corrections? Write your comments below.

 

Photo courtesy of Indoboom.com

*Php 1 = Rp 291.30 / US$ 1 = Rp 13,861.73 = Php 47.63

2 thoughts on “Tips on using your Philippine ATM card in Indonesia

  1. Hi,

    Did you buy IDR here in the Phils? Or just USD and exchange it to IDR in indonesia?

    I convert PHP20k in google and it cost IDR5.6M but BPI gave me only IDR4.2M in exchange with PHP19,800.00.

    1. Hi Ronnie,

      The safest way is to carry US$. Both countries (Indonesia & PHL) have very low exchange rates for each others’ currencies.

      I would usually change my US$ at money changers in big Indonesia airports (Surabaya / Jakarta / Denpasar). They’re far reliable than banks (they tend to be very picky with the notes, and worse they would buy your US$ for as low as 11,000 IDR = $1.

      Money changers have their own rates and they’re never the same with what you find on Google or XE.com, same goes with banks. They usually inflate the rates to save themselves from the fluctuation.

      Anyway, going back, the safest way really is to bring US$.

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