Money Exchange in the Maldives

June 23, 2024

The currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa, shortened as MVR. The ISO code for the Maldivian Rufiyaa is 4217, and it is divided into 100 laari.

MVR notes in circulation are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 rufiyaa. As of the current exchange rate, 1 USD is equal to 15.42 MVR.

When you visit the Maldives, we recommend using a credit card to pay for services. You can carry some USD as cash for emergencies.

Who Needs Money Exchange in the Maldives?

If you are only visiting a resort in the Maldives, it is not necessary to exchange your currency for MVR.

Most resorts in the Maldives accept USD for all transactions. This includes payments for accommodation, food, activities, and services. Therefore, you can use USD throughout your stay at the resort without converting it to Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR). Resorts also accept other major currencies.

You should have some MVR on hand if you plan to visit local islands, go shopping, or dine at local restaurants. Local businesses, smaller shops, and eateries are more likely to prefer transactions in the local currency. Having some MVR will make these transactions smoother.

Where to Exchange Money in the Maldives

Exterior of a money exchange shop in Malé, Maldives

For those who need to exchange money, there are options available in Malé, Hulhumalé, and the Velana International Airport (MLE).

You can exchange money to MVR at dedicated money exchange centres, bank ATMs, and some hotels and guesthouses. However, remember that the exchange rates at hotels and guesthouses may not be as favourable. Here are some money exchanges in Malé and Hulhumalé:

Inter Ocean Money Exchange

  • Contact: +960 779-5456
  • Location: SP Villa, Roashanee Magu, Malé (view on map)

MS Finance Currency Exchange

  • Contact: +960 777-9292
  • Location: No. 29 Chaandhanee Magu, Malé (view on map)

My Zone Tuck Shop

  • Contact: +960 777-5042
  • Location: Next to MMA, Chaandhanee Magu, Malé (view on map)

Aqsa Forex

  • Contact: +960 797-6196
  • Location: Lot 10488 (Next to Bombay Darbar Restaurant) Nirolhu Magu, Hulhumalé (view on map)

You can also withdraw money from MVR bank ATMs. However, we do not recommend this as there will be a cross-border fee of up to 10%, plus an additional fee from your bank. It is advisable that you withdraw money from a USD ATM or bring USD and then exchange it to MVR at a money exchange.

You can also exchange money from USD to MVR when you arrive in the Maldives at the Bank of Maldives Velana International Airport Exchange Services. And you can exchange MVR for USD if you have any leftovers when you depart.

Using Credit Cards in the Maldives

Visa, MasterCard, and other major credit cards are widely accepted across the Maldives. You can use your cards at resorts, hotels, restaurants, and larger shops. For ATM withdrawals, there is a USD ATM available in Malé, Hulhumalé, Maafushi, and Velana International Airport.

Other ATMs across the Maldives will only dispense MVR. Keep in mind that using ATMs can incur local bank fees as well as fees from your home bank.

USD ATM Locations

Signboard of Bank of Maldives ATM at Velana International Airport in the Maldives
  • Bank of Maldives Malé USD ATM: Located at M. Star Cloud, Majeedhee Magu, K. Malé
  • Bank of Maldives Hulhumalé USD ATM: Located at Renaatus Ithaa Muiy, Saimaa Hingun, Hulhumalé
  • Bank of Maldives Velana International Airport USD ATM: Located at Outside the international arrivals terminal at Velana International Airport (MLE)
  • Bank of Maldives K. Maafushi USD ATM: Located at Bank of Maldives Maafushi Branch
  • Habib Bank USD ATM: Located at Outside the international arrivals terminal at Velana International Airport (MLE)

Price of Common Items in the Maldives

Here are some common items and their approximate prices in the Maldives:

  • Bottle of water: 5 MVR for a 500ml bottle
  • Meal: 65-150 MVR per person
  • Coffee: 30-65 MVR per person
  • Can of tuna: MVR 20
  • Bottle of coke: 15 MVR for a 500ml bottle
  • Bus ticket: 10 MVR

Tips for Exchanging Money in the Maldives

BML and Habib Bank ATM at Velana International Airport in the Maldives
  • Bring USD: It is advisable to bring USD as it is widely accepted. By doing so, you can avoid the need to exchange currency frequently.
  • Check Rates: Always compare exchange rates at different places to get the best deal.
  • Use Authorised Exchanges: Use authorised money exchange centres rather than hotels and guesthouses for better rates.
  • Small Denominations: Keep some small denominations in MVR for minor expenses in local areas.
  • Crisp Bills: Ensure the USD bills you bring are in good condition. Damaged notes may be refused.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use USD throughout the Maldives? Yes, especially in resorts and tourist areas, USD is widely accepted. However, for local islands, it’s better to have some MVR.

Are credit cards accepted in the Maldives? Yes, major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere in the Maldives.

Where can I exchange currency in the Maldives? You can exchange currency at banks, money exchange centres in Male and Hulhumale, and at the airport.

Is it expensive to withdraw money from ATMs in the Maldives? Yes, withdrawing money from ATMs can be expensive due to local bank fees and your home bank’s fees.

What is the best currency to bring to the Maldives? The best currency to bring is USD as it is widely accepted and easy to exchange.

Can I exchange currency at my hotel in the Maldives? Many hotels and guesthouses offer currency exchange services, but the rates may not be as favourable as those offered by banks and dedicated exchange centres.

Can I use ATMs to withdraw USD in the Maldives? Yes, there are USD-dispensing ATMs at Velana International Airport, Malé City,Hulhumalé, and Maafushi. Keep in mind that other ATMs will only dispense MVR.

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