Money in Malaysia: Things to Know About Malaysian Ringgit and Currency Exchange


Money in Malaysia: Things to Know About Malaysian Ringgit and Currency Exchange

Malaysia is a very popular tourist destination with about 27 million annual visitors. Malaysia has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Popular places like Kaula Lumpur is fast becoming a business hub for most entrepreneurs who intend staying longer in the country.

Money in Malaysia

No wonder, most Nigerian are moving in their hundreds to this beautiful country.

Whatever you are going to do in Malaysia, you will surely need some money in your pocket to enjoy your stay.

This article put together by will help you answer some salient questions such as:

  • What currency is being used in Malaysia?
  • Where can I exchange money (US dollars, British Pound) in Malaysia?
  • Can I use my traveler’s cheques in Malaysia?
  • Can I use my credit and debit card in Malaysia?
  • Where can I get ATMs in Malaysia?
  • Where can I find a bank (International) in Malaysia

What Currency is Use Malaysia?

The Malaysia currency is known as the Ringgit.

It is abbreviated as MYR (in currency exchange), and as RM (to express prices). 1MYR is divided into 100 Sen i.e 100 Sen makes up 1MYR.

Does MYR has a coin? The answer is yes.

The MYR coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 Sen denominations in a variety of different materials and finishes.

Also, the MYR banknotes are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Ringgits.

The smaller value notes of RM1 and RM5 are polymer while the other notes are paper printed.

Where Can I Exchange Currency in Malaysia?

It is worthy of note that the Ringgit cannot be legally traded outside of Malaysia, and as such you will need to exchange your money when you arrive the country.

However, some bureau de change has found a way of circumventing this, and as such, you may find a way of exchanging your money in Nigeria right before you travel.

But don’t expect the get it at the same rate as you would get when you arrive the country.

Tips for Exchanging Money in Malaysia

To exchange money in Malaysia is quite easy. You can change your money at a bank, with a money changer, at a hotel or airport.

Also, if you intend to change a large amount of money, it is best to use money changers in town as they offer you a good exchange rate. Why is that so?

There is a steep competition among the money changers and you stand a better chance of getting a good exchange rate than those offered in hotels and airport.

Importantly, before you commit your money to anyone it is much better to have a fair idea of the current exchange rate against the currency you wish to change

Can I Use my  Traveller’s Cheques in Malaysia?

Unfortunately, traveller’s cheques cannot be used in Malaysia as a form of direct payment. However, some bans and exchange services may help you cash the cheques, but be rest assured that a fee will be attached to each cheque.

Can I Use my credit cards and debit cards in Malaysia?

The question of credit and debit card is a serious one and we will take our time to explain this in details.

Inform your Bank before Traveling

If you intend using your credit or debit card in Malaysia, tell your bank right before you leave Nigeria. This is because some financial institutions may have Malaysia on their ‘watch list’ for some suspected activity.

And as such, it is pertinent you inform your bank in advance so that your card isn’t blocked. Also, find out if your bank has any affiliation with any bank in Malaysia or any other International bank domiciled in Malaysia.

This act will help you avoid some embarrassing situation and help you enjoy your stay in the country.

Not all Business Accept cards

Smaller business premises do not accept credit/debit card payment in Malaysia, but that shouldn’t be an issue with large businesses in tourist areas.

But just to be on a safer side, you must be with cash at all times to avoid unforeseen circumstance.

Don’t let foreign ATMs convert for you

Many travelers prefer spending on credit or debit cards because it is a convenient option for larger purchase and hotel bills.

When you are using your foreign card, you might be asked if you want to be charged in your local/home currency.

If you are being charged in your local/home currency, it is called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). This avails you the opportunity of seeing the cost of your transaction listed in your local currency when you pay.

This might sound interesting, but DCC leaves you exposed to hidden fees with poorer exchange rate assigned by your local bank.

Most importantly, apply necessary precautions when using card in Malaysia. Just like in most countries, tourists are easy targets for scam, so always keep your card save.

Where Can I Get ATMs in Malaysia?

Like in most country of the world, ATMs are common in Malaysia and can be found in banks, large shopping malls, and transport hubs.

We have provided you with some tool that can help you locate the nearest ATM around you.

But before you use the ATMs, there are some things you need to know.

  • You must know that your home/local bank will apply a fee for the overseas transaction. Also, some Malaysian ATM may add its own fees.
  • Choose to be charged in your local currency; this will afford you to know the exact amount you will be charged. It also implies that the exchange rate applied is selected by the Malaysian ATM provider. Although this might be quite beneficial to your local bank.

Banks in Malaysia

There are numerous banks in Malaysia, but we have compiled a list of Malaysian banks with wide ATM coverage and excellent branches.

As mentioned earlier, it is important to ask your home bank if they have/work in partnership with any Malaysian banks.

Now, if they do, the advantage is that you might be able to use their ATMs for free during your travel.

Here are the lists of top 5 retail banks in Malaysia.

Top 5 Major Retail Banks in Malaysia

  • Maybank
  • CIMB
  • Public Bank
  • RHB
  • Hong Leong Bank

Top 5 International Banks Operating in Malaysia

  • HSBC Malaysia
  • BNP Paribas Malaysia
  • Deutsche Bank Malaysia
  • Bank of America Malaysia
  • Citibank Malaysia


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