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Cash & ATMs in Maldives: All on cash, cards, fees, limits and forex

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cash currency exchange atms in maldives

The Maldives are an archipelago of more than a thousand islands in the Indian Ocean. The islands are known for their luxury, clear waters, and amazing sea life. The Maldives has a piece of paradise for every traveller. There are overwater bungalows at high-end resorts, coral reefs full of marine life, and beautiful white-sand beaches. To make the most of your time in this tropical paradise, it’s important to understand the local cash, ATMs in Maldives and payment options. This guide will give you the financial information you need to enjoy the Maldives’ peaceful beauty with ease and confidence.

Do I need cash in Maldives, or can I just use a card?

At resorts in the Maldives, most people don’t carry cash. Instead, they use a wristband or card system to charge expenses to their room, which makes transactions easy and doesn’t require cash. However, you may still need cash for some things, like tips or small purchases outside of resorts. Credit and debit cards and other currencies like USD are accepted at most resorts and tourist spots. However, it’s a good idea to bring some local currency with you in case you need to pay for something on a small island or somewhere that doesn’t accept cards.

You’ll need cash for…
Island cafes and shops that don’t take cards.
Fees to enter some local attractions or activities that take place in the community.
Local ferries that go between islands, where credit card readers might not work.

You can use card for…
Resorts and hotels.
Resort islands with high-end restaurants and bars.
Water sports and other fun activities that are booked through resorts.
Gift shops and boutiques that are inside or connected to resorts.

What currency is accepted? Can I pay with US dollars, euros, or pounds?

The Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) is the currency used there. There are notes worth 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 MVR. This is the preferred currency.

In the Maldives, US Dollars are widely accepted, especially at resorts, hotels, and places that offer services for tourists. Also, Euros are usually accepted in a lot of tourist spots. But for smaller purchases outside of resorts, you might need to use local currency. The pound is not as widely accepted as the US dollar or the Euro.

How to Get Money in the Maldives?

In Maldives, there are three main ways to get cash. These are:

ATMs, Currency Exchange, or Money Transfer

Tip – don’t buy Rufiyaa in your own country. It’s not a common currency around the world, so it will be hard to find at home. If you do find it, the exchange rate will not be good.

Where to find the ATMs in the Maldives?

Maldives has around 150 ATMs. These are mostly run by the six largest commercial banks. You can find some of them on the main streets in cities and on some popular islands. You won’t find them on every island.

Currency exchanges in Maldives

You can use these places to exchange money in Maldives:

Authorised currency exchange centres: You will find them in the centre of town in Male.
Banks: Bank branches can also easily convert your currency to Rufiyaa, especially from currencies like US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars. Expect a pay a commission of 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
Hotels and airports: Airports have lots of currency exchanges and so do many large and small hotels. But the exchange rates are not great.

Pro-tip:

Don’t exchange at airports – Rates are poor
Don’t exchange at black market – You’re likely to be scammed
Bring new notes – Damaged, dirty notes will get you lesser rates or higher fees.

What kinds of cards do they accept in Maldives?

Most ATMs in Maldives will accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, JCB, UnionPay, Amex, and Diners. Many of them probably won’t take Discover or Rupay cards.

It’s also possible to swipe most of the cards listed above.

The best way to exchange money is with cash. Currency exchanges do accept Visa and MasterCard usually, but please pay attention to the fees you’ll have to pay if you use your card to exchange money.

Are Maldives’ ATMs the same as those in other countries?

Yes, these ATMs look and work like ones in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. Some of them take your card all the way inside while you use it, so don’t forget to take it out again when you’re done.

You can also choose to convert currencies at an ATM by pressing With Conversion or Accept Conversion or Without Conversion or Decline Conversion. If you want to avoid extra fees, it’s usually best to choose Without Conversion or Decline Conversion.

Banks in Maldives with ATMs

Bank of Maldives
Commercial Bank of Maldives
Islamic Bank
Habib Bank

How are ATMs in Maldives branded?

The word ‘ATM’ is used or there is a signage with the bank’s name on it.

ATMs and PINs in the Maldives

ATM PIN Length: Usually, 4-digit PINs are fine.

Card requirements for merchants: Chip-and-PIN cards are standard, but magnetic stripe cards are still widely used.

Languages at Maldives ATMs and currency exchanges

By default, ATMs in Maldives offer two languages: Dhivehi and English. If you don’t understand these languages, you can use the camera feature of Google Translate to translate the options on your phone in real-time. Note: These translations aren’t always right, so be patient and don’t rush through the transaction.

To get your money in Maldives, you can also talk to people in the two languages listed above at places that exchange money.

Withdrawal limits and ATM fees in the Maldives

Withdrawal limit: Most ATMs limit the amount you can take out in a single transaction to Rf 2000.

In the Maldives, ATM fees range from Rf 0 to Rf 100. However, only certain card types for specific countries can use the fee-free ATM. Most foreign cardholders end up paying ATM Fees in Maldives.

Use the ATM Fee Saver mobile and web app to find free ATMs in the Maldives, as well as places to exchange money and send money. The app tells foreign cardholders how much they can withdraw and the ATM fees on their card. You can also find out exactly how much it costs you to withdraw any amount in Maldives using the app’s calculator. Once you choose an ATM, the app’s navigation tool will show you how to get there. The app gives you information about 50 countries, including the Maldives.

Ways to avoid high fees at Maldives ATMs and currency exchanges

Use ATMs in the country that don’t charge a fee.
Find ATMs with low fees with the ATM Fee Saver app.
When you use an ATM, choose Decline Conversion or Without Conversion.
You could get cards from your home country that don’t charge anything.

For exchanging money:

In the Maldives, you should never go to a no-fee exchange office to get cash. It means that the fee is built into the exchange rate. When you exchange money, nothing is ever free.
Don’t use credit and debit cards for currency exchange transactions.
Take care not to buy Rufiyaa in your own country – There aren’t many people who use it, so the exchange rate is poor.
Do not bring back too much Rufiyaa – The exchange rate to sell will be poor. Money exchanges outside of Maldives won’t even buy it back most of the time.

Is it safe to use ATMs and currency exchanges in the Maldives?

Most of the time, yes. A lot of the ATMs have cameras and security guards. There isn’t much crime near ATMs.

For safety at ATMs:
Choose ATMs that are inside of banks over machines that are outside of banks.
Use your bank’s mobile app or online banking to check your credit card transactions often. Report any unauthorised transactions to your bank.
When you use public Wi-Fi to do things like online banking or use your credit card, be careful. For extra safety, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Make sure you can see your credit or debit card at all times while you’re making a purchase. Don’t give your card to a store clerk who takes it away.
When you travel, it’s smart to bring two credit cards with you. This way, you have a backup card in case one of them stops working.

For safety at currency exchanges:
Only go to authorised and registered exchange places.

In the Maldives, it is safe to carry cash?

When you’re travelling in the Maldives, it is safe to carry cash. Here are some ways to make sure your money stays safe in the Maldives:

You shouldn’t keep all of your cash in one pocket or wallet. Instead, spread it out.
You could put cash in a safety belt or a fanny pack.
Don’t show off a lot of cash in public.
Try not to show all of your cash when you pay.
This is a better place to keep your wallet.
Keep your purses, wallets, and bags close to your body and out of the way when you’re in a crowded place, like the street, a train, or a bus.

FAQs

Is it free to get cash in the Maldives?

Not often, no. A lot of banks charge to use an ATM. One bank doesn’t charge a fee to use an ATM, but it allows so only for certain cards from specific countries.

Do credit cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other places work in Maldives?

Without a doubt! Most ATMs in Maldives accept credit cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other places.

Is there a Bitcoin ATM in the Maldives?

Maldives does not have any bitcoin ATMs.

Are there any ATMs for Bank of America in Maldives?

There aren’t any Bank of America ATMs in Maldives.

Any ATMs from Barclays Bank in the Maldives?

For the record, Maldives does not have any Barclays ATMs.

Any HSBC ATMs in the Maldives?

Maldives does not have any HSBC ATMs.

Any ATMs from Standard Chartered in the Maldives?

Maldives does not have any Standard Chartered ATMs.

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