How to exchange currency in the Maldives in 2021
- The official currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa. This is a closed currency and cannot be bought or be sold outside the Maldives.
Where to Exchange currency
- The easiest and most convenient place to exchange currency is at the Bank of Maldives foreign exchange counter at the arrivals halls in Male international airport. This is the only foreign exchange facility at the airport. Only major currencies can be exchanged. The US dollar is the most popular and most easily accepted foreign currency in the Maldives.
- In Male and other large inhabited islands, you'll find banks like HSBC, Bank of Ceylon, and State bank of India. You can exchange foreign currency or withdraw from their ATMs. Banks also cash US dollar traveler cheques into US dollar cash, they charge a commission of USD 5 for this service. Traveler's cheques in other currencies are not easily cashed. Most banks in Male are located at the harbor end of Chandani Magu and along East Marine Drive. The Monetary Authority is also located in Chandani Magu and has the same rates as the Bank of Maldives. This is the best place to exchange currency in Male. Banks open from Sunday to Thursday from 8.00 am to 1.30 pm. Banks stay closed on Friday and Saturday.
- In case you exchange a large sum of money, don't lose the exchange receipt. They'll ask for it at the airport if you want to exchange any remaining Maldivian Rufiyaa back to foreign currency. The maximum amount of money you can bring in cash into the Maldives is USD 30,000.
ATM withdrawals in the Maldives
- ATMs in the Maldives only dispense Maldivian Rufiyaa.
Caution: Only withdraw the amount you need. Any remaining Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) obtained by ATM withdrawal will not be exchanged back into foreign currency at banks and forex bureaus when you're leaving the Maldives. Since you can't also sell or use MVR outside the Maldives, you'll end up losing your money.
How to Pay for things in the Maldives: Cash or Card?
- This depends on where you stay. If you're staying in a resort you won't need cash. Everything is included in your bill that you'll settle when you're leaving the hotel. You can pay by credit card, travelers' cheque, or cash.
- People staying in guest houses need to have some cash to make minor purchases including buying food and drinks.
- Every major resort accepts American Express and Visa credit cards, most accept Mastercard and a few will take Diners cards.