Credit cards are widely accepted. But be careful of possible scamming and do not let the card out of your sight. Use credit cards for hotel deposits or payments or purchases in department shops. Use an ATM for topping up your cash. ATMs to get out cash as needed – usually use Maybank or Public Bank with no problems as long as you tell your bank before you go. ATM/Credit Cards will usually give good exchange rates but some banks do make a charge, check which bank cards give the best deal.The easiest and most secure method of getting your currency in Malaysia is no different than almost anywhere in the world. ATM’s are located at the major bank branches, most shopping malls, airports, bus terminals, etc. info from Trip Advisor
How would I know if my debit, credit or ATM card is accepted overseas?
Check if your ATM card has a Visa or PLUS logo. If it does, it will be accepted at any ATM that is marked with the same logos.* To be sure, you may ask your bank if there are any restrictions regarding the use of your card overseas or, whether you need to notify them before you travel.
*Some ATMs in Canada may not accept all cards.
I don’t have a debit card. Can I withdraw cash with my ATM or credit card?
Yes. As long as your ATM or credit card has either a Visa or PLUS logo, you can withdraw cash at ATMs that are part of the Visa or PLUS network.
How do I find an ATM in the country that I’m traveling to?
Visa is accepted at over 200 countries and territories around the world. You can find an ATM in your destination by using our ATM locator. Alternatively, look out for ATMs that carry the Visa or PLUS logos.
Will my PIN work in a different country?
Yes.* The PIN that you use in your home country will work overseas as well. However, some ATMs will only accept a 4-digit PIN. Please contact your bank if your PIN is longer than 4 digits or if it contains letters.
*Some issuers may require you to change your PIN. Please check with your card issuer prior to travel.
ATMs are widely available in cities, but do stock up on cash if heading out into the smaller islands or the jungle. Credit cards can be used in most shops, restaurants and hotels, although skimming can be a problem in dodgier outlets.
Banks in Malaysia do handle international transactions. These ranges from a nominal fee if you are an account holder to a slightly more expensive amount if you are only walking in to use a certain service. International banks such as citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, OCBC, UOB, Mizuho Bank have their presence in Malaysia, with the latter having branches throughout the country. Local banking giants are MAYBANK & CIMB, & they are a very good alternative to the earlier mentioned banks, especially in terms of pricing,local knowledge & presence as well as international services available e.g. money transfers. For any enquiries and transactions, get a number, sit down and wait for your turn to be served. (There is no need to queue while you wait in air-conditioned comfort!)
Banks are open Monday to Friday 09:30-16:00 and selected banks are open on Saturday 09:30-11:30 except on the first and third Saturdays of each month. In the states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, they are open Sunday to Thursday 09:30-16:00 and Saturday 09:30-11:30.
The Malaysian currency is the ringgit, informally known as the dollar (the “$” symbol can be seen on older notes) and abbreviated RM or MYR, is divided into 100 sen. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen as well as bills of RM1, 2 (rare), 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. 5 sen coins are mainly given as change in large establishments and supermarkets, peddlers and street vendors might be reluctant to accept them. Note that the Brunei dollar is also known as ringgit in Malay, so when near border areas you might want to check to be sure which currency they are quoting the price in.
Ringgits are freely convertible. Foreign currencies are not generally accepted, although you might get away with exchanging some euros or US dollars even in more remote areas, but do expect a lot of stares and some persuasion. An exception is the Singapore dollar, which is accepted by some tourist attractions and toll roads near the border at a highly unfavourable 1:1 exchange rate, but this might have changed as the toll roads have moved towards electronic toll collection using the Touch ‘n Go smart card.
Banks and airports are not the best places to exchange money if it’s not urgent. Licensed money changers in major shopping malls often have the best rates – be sure to say the amount you wish to exchange and ask for the ‘best quote’ as rates displayed on the board are often negotiable, especially for larger amounts.
The import and export of local currency is limited to RM1,000 cash. There are no restrictions on the import and export of foreign currency, subject to declarations for amounts of US$10,000 or higher.
The best currency for exchange is the Pound Sterling, but US Dollars are also widely accepted. All commercial banks are authorised foreign exchange dealers; major hotels are only licensed to buy or accept foreign currency in the form of notes and traveller’s cheques. It may be difficult to exchange foreign currencies outside the main tourist centres.
Types of Visa
The Malaysian Government issues Three (3) types of visas to foreign nationals:
1. Single Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for a social visit. It is normally valid for a single entry and for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue.