It’s always wise to travel to a new place fully prepared. Knowing how to obtain local currency is one way in which you should prepare for your travels. We want to help you identify the best money changers in Kuala Lumpur as well as telling you where to find them.
So, we’ve put together this blog post, which is a complete guide for exchanging currency in Kuala Lumpur. We answer the questions relating to what, where, when, and how to exchange money when you’re visiting KL.
Complete KL currency guide, what’s covered?
Everything you need to know about exchanging currency in Kuala Lumpur
One of the things you need to understand before visiting Kuala Lumpur is how to exchange your currency most effectively. Of course, everybody wants to, quite literally, get the most for their money and we are here to tell you how!
What is the currency in Kuala Lumpur?
The currency in Kuala Lumpur is the Malaysian ringgit (MYR) and is generally abbreviated as RM. The lower denominations of the Malaysian Ringgit are called ‘Sen’ and come in 5,10,20 and 50 Sen coins.
Typical exchange rates for the Malaysian Ringgit:
- GBP 1= 5.0 – 5.4 MYR
- EUR 1= 4 – 4.5 MYR
- USD 1= 3.5 – 4.1 MYR
- AUD 1= 2.74 – 3 MYR
**These exchange rates are subject to change daily. However, we have found these rates, over time, to be a good benchmark for what you can expect to receive for your money.
When to exchange your currency in Kuala Lumpur?
We are regularly asked by travellers about when they should exchange their money. Is it best to find a currency exchange in your home country or your destination country?
It’s not always a clear answer. However, in this case, we’d always recommend acquiring your currency in Kuala Lumpur.
To put it simply, the exchange rates you’ll find on the ground here in Malaysia will always beat those you’ll find at home.
How and Where to exchange currency in Kuala Lumpur?
Fortunately, exchanging currency in Kuala Lumpur couldn’t be easier. You won’t have a hard time finding a reliable currency exchange in KL, as there are simply so many of them.
Exchanging currency in KLIA 2 (KL International Airport)
Once you arrive at KLIA 2 you’ll find that there are multiple places to exchange your money. There are a number of currency exchanges, but also a few banks who also offer the service. These are all legitimate exchangers who offer competitive and fair exchange rates.
In KLIA 2 you’ll find:
- Bank Islam
- CIMB Bank
- RHB Bank
- Vital Rate’ (operated by Merchant Trade)
There’s also a number of ATM machines that you can use to withdraw the local currency too.
Good to know: People often say that airport money exchangers have the worst rates. This is usually true for those found on the security side of the airport. Pass customs and into the arrivals area to find reliable money changers in KLIA 2.
Exchanging currency in Kuala Lumpur City Centre
If you don’t arrive in KL through the airport, or just happen to wait to change your money, then that’s not a problem. There are tons of money changers in KLCC. In fact, there are money changers in just about every shopping mall.
The most common, reliable and best money changers in Kuala Lumpur are:
- UAE Exchange
- Vital Rate
- Merchant Trade
- NS Cashpoint
- Max Money
- Metro Exchange
To tell you the truth, all of the main exchangers offer good/competitive rates. So, it’s probably not worth your time looking for ‘better rates’ as you’ll only end up a few cents better off.
Our best advice is to check out the website below, where you can check up to date exchange rates. You can also find where the money changers are located.
Top tips for exchanging currency in Kuala Lumpur
- Avoid exchanging money at your hotel. Generally, hotels charge higher commission fees, which ultimately means worse exchange rates.
- Only use money changers located in ‘reliable’ places like the shopping malls.
- Always double count your money. Accidents do happen, so do purposeful currency exchange scams. You’d be wise to double-check your money before leaving the exchange desk.
- Make sure to bring your passport. Whilst it’s not always required, we have been asked for it on numerous occasions.
The real ‘best money changers in Kuala Lumpur’
Hands down, the best money changer in Kuala Lumpur for international travellers is the trusty old ATM.
You’ll be glad to know that ATM machines in KL don’t charge for using a foreign card. So, you’re free to withdraw the local currency subject to the fees imposed by your own bank.
Obviously, ATM’s can be found all around the city. Not only do they offer good exchange rates, but they’re also trustworthy and won’t “accidentally” miscount your money.
However, be sure to take precautions when using ATM’s in KL. We’d advise only using them in shopping malls or banks, where security and/or CCTV is present. You know, just to guard yourself against having your card skimmed.
Top tips for using ATM’s in Kuala Lumpur
- Only use the machines that are located in secure areas. I.e. busy malls or banks.
- Check which notes the machine dispenses. There’s nothing more painful than only being given RM100 notes, as they’re hard to make small purchases with.
- Try to withdraw to the nearest 40 or 90. I.e. RM 840 or RM 990. This way, you can ensure you’re at least given some smaller notes.
- Make sure you’re clear on your own bank fees for using your card abroad. Some banks won’t charge you anything, others have some steep fees that they’ll hit you with.
Our best advice for using your currency in Kuala Lumpur
In Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole, small businesses and vendors don’t have access to a large amount of cash. So, it’s not always easy to pass off a big note to them when trying to make a purchase. This also applies when trying to pay for taxis.
We have, on more than one occasion, been turned away by vendors because we’ve tried to pay with a large note. It’s not that they don’t want our money, it’s that they can’t afford to give us the change.
The same goes for purchasing public transport tickets at a machine. Many of them won’t accept notes above RM5 or RM10.
You’d be mindful, and right, to try and break up your larger notes whenever possible in larger stores and supermarkets.
Have we helped you to find the best money changers in Kuala Lumpur?
We hope that by the end of this blogpost we’ve answered all your questions for exchanging currency in Kuala Lumpur.
The intention of this blogpost was actually to highlight the best money changers in Kuala Lumpur (those with the best rates.) However, after conducting our research and going out to look for ourselves, we’ve found that they all offer good rates. This is fortunate, as the same can’t be said for other popular travel destinations around the world.
The bottom line is that good rates can be found everywhere. However, the best exchange rates in KL will be found by withdrawing money directly from the ATM. This is providing that your bank doesn’t have crazy international usage fees.
We’d love to know if you found our currency exchange guide useful. If you do have any more questions or any feedback, don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below. Otherwise, hit us up on Instagram!
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