Maldives Money & Costs
Currency of Maldives
One Maldivian Rufiya (MVR; symbol MRF) = 100 Laari. Notes are in denominations of MRF 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of MRF 2, 1, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Laari. Currently the Rufiya is floated against the US dollar and allowed to fluctuate within a band of ± 20% where the mid point is 12.85, i.e. between 10.28 Rufiyaa and 15.42 Rufiyaa. Most resort and other travel expenses will be billed in US Dollars, Euro and other Major currencies also amybe accepted from the Hotels. If you’re staying in a resort, all extras (including diving costs and other excursions/activities bills) will be billed to your room, and you will be required to pay the day before departure when your credit closes. All resorts accept cash, credit cards or travellers cheques in all major currencies.
Major currencies including the Dollar, Euro and others can be exchanged at the banks, resort islands, hotels and authorized Money Exchange shops or dealers. Payments in hotels can be made in most hard currencies (particularly US Dollars) in cash, traveller’s cheques or credit cards.
To view full list of current exchange rates for Major currencies please click here.
Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs
All the resort and most local souvenir shops will accept major credit cards including Visa, Amex and MasterCard even though arrangements may vary from island to island. ATMs are widely available in Malé the Capital – most of them will allow you to withdraw funds from international accounts.
It’s perfectly possible to have a holiday in the Maldives without the need for carrying much cash with you, as in resorts everything will be credited to your room number and can be paid by credit card or travellers cheques on time of your departure. However, it’s a good idea to have some cash with you – small-denomination US dollars are most handy for tipping staff. You won’t be needing any Maldivian Rufiya unless you plan to visit local shops and use local services that are not tourist oriented and inteded mostly for locals, even then Dollars maybe happily accepted although you maybe given change in Rufiya.
Major Banks in Male’ will change travellers cheques and cash in US dollars, and possibly UK pounds, Euros, Japanese Yen and Swiss Francs. Most will change US-Dollar travellers cheques into US Dollars cash with a commission of US$5. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars.