ATMS Maldives

ATMs in the Maldives – Currency & Payments

If you’re just traveling to the Maldives and specifically to the local islands of the Maldives, then understanding how to pay for things is key.  This island nation has 187 inhabited islands, out of the 1192 islands in the chain of 26 atolls (grouped into 20 administrative atolls) that make up the country.  On a resort island, it’s common practice to use a credit card, but on local islands, there are certain goods and services that you’ll need cash for.  So here’s our guide to whether you need cash in the Maldives.  We’ve included details on where you can find ATMs in the Maldives, which ATMs work with foreign cards in the Maldives?  What are the ATM charges in the Maldives and can you pay on a card in the Maldives?  These are all questions that we try and find the answers to before we travel.  And so here’s our guide to the Maldives ATMs, ATM fees and charges.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED AND AFFILIATE LINKS MORE INFORMATION IN OUR DISCLAIMER

How to Pay For Things in the Maldives

There are certain things that you’ll need cash for in the Maldives, taking local ferries for instance (read our guide to public ferries in the Maldives here to understand what else to know about them), although the buses in Malé City are both cashless and extremely modern.  This is an interesting country!

The TLDR of the situation for cash in the Maldives is that if you’re traveling to local islands (and that’s the best way to travel to the Maldives on a budget, then you will need some cash.

We took cash out of the Bank of Maldives ATM at Velana International Airport in Malé, before taking our speedboat from Malé to Maafushi, the first stop on our Maldives Itinerary.

There are two ATMs at the airport in Malé, one for the Bank of the Maldives and the other for Habib Bank. 

#1 TIP FOR CASH & CARDS

Wise card

Get a Fee Free Card to Use

Get a WISE Card to take to on your travels. Two free ATM withdrawals per month, plus free to use to pay by card with zero foreign transaction fees.

While in the Maldives we visited 6 local islands and one resort island.  We went diving from Fulidhoo Island, we took local ferries, we took a resort island speedboat and an inter-island speedboat.  We stayed in the city of Malé to explore.  We paid for things in the Maldives with cash, we paid with a card, and we also paid by bank transfer too.

We bought several items in the Maldives (new snorkels and masks at the fabulous Apnea Dive shop in Malé and a new rashguard) and paid for these with cash, although we could have used a card. One thing you might struggle to buy in the Maldives is a power adapter, so read our guide here and make sure that you’ve got everything you need to keep everything charged.

Some of the places we ate at accepted cards, and some didn’t.  When we paid cash in some places we got a better deal if we used US dollars.  Others just wanted local currency, the Maldivian Rufiyaa.

Powered by GetYourGuide

ATMs in the Maldives

The Maldives may have 187 inhabited islands, but there’s not an ATM on all of them.  For this article, I’m going to focus on the local islands (although I will put some brief details about paying for things on resort islands).

ATMS at the Airport in Malé

There are two easy-to-find ATMs in the arrivals hall of Velana International Airport.  As soon as you exit arrivals, just turn left and you’ll find them.  One is for the Bank of the Maldives and the other is for Habib Bank.  We were warned by locals that the ATM for the Habib Bank had a habit of swallowing cards and you’d have to wait a couple of hours for someone to come out and retrieve your card for you.  “So don’t”, they said, “use it if you’ve got a transfer in the next few hours”.

ATMs at Velana Airport Maldives

You will, of course, be approached by locals offering money-changing services.  Do this at your own risk.  Know the exchange rate and also know what the Maldivian Rufiyaa looks like.

The Bank of the Maldives worked just fine for us, although their ATM at the airport is VERY slow.  And you need to be very firm in pressing the buttons.  Keep pressing until something happens.  Don’t be like the guy ahead of us and walk away while your details are still live in the system, thinking that it’s just stopped. 

Powered by GetYourGuide

ATMS in Malé City

Malé is the capital city of the Maldives and it’s here that you’ll find all the major banking services and have the most chance of finding an ATM.  The banks are clustered on Boduthakurufaanu Magu, which is very close to the MTCC Ferry building.  You can’t miss them and they’re all marked on Google Maps.

ATMS on Local Islands in the Maldives

When you’re traveling to the local islands in the Maldives a general rule of thumb is that the smaller the island the less chance that it will have an ATM.  If the weather is bad service might be out, but you know, people have to live, so they fix those problems quickly, because if you can’t get money out then you can’t spend it with them.

There are 96 Bank of the Maldives ATMs in the Maldives.  There’s an ATM locator for Maldives ATMs here.

So which islands in the Maldives have ATMs?

You will find an ATM on Maafushi (find out what else there is on Maafushi in our guide here), there’s an ATM on Thulusdhoo, and an ATM on Dhiffushi. 

Maafushi ATM

There are no ATMs on Fulidhoo.

Here’s a list of the islands in the Maldives that have ATMs, I’ve detailed the name/location of the ATM and the name of the island.

  • Malé’ International Airport, Hulhule’
  • STO ATM Centre, Orchid Magu, Malé’
  • BML Islamic, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé’
  • Ameenee Magu, Malé’
  • Renaatus Ithaa Muiy, Saimaa Hingun, HulhuMalé’
  • HulhuMalé’ Branch, Bageechaa Higun, HulhuMalé’
  • IGMH ATM, Kanbaa Aisaa Rani Hingun, Malé’
  • Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé’
  • USD ATM Centre, M. Star Cloud, Malé’
  • Velaanaage ATM, Ameeru Ahmed Magu, Malé’
  • Velana International Airport ATM, Malé’ International Airport, Hulhule’
  • Sheikh Abdul Rahman Magu, ViliMalé’
  • Alifushi ATM, Bandharu Magu, R. Alifushi
  • Baarah ATM, Bandharu Magu , Ha. Baarah
  • Dharavandhoo ATM, Dhonbandaara Hingun, B. Dharavandhoo
  • Dhidhdhoo Branch, Ghazee Magu, Ha. Dhidhdhoo
  • Dhuvaafaru ATM, Dhuvaafaru Bodu Magu, R. Dhuvaafaru
  • Eydhafushi Branch, Yoosuf Kaleyfaan Magu, B. Eydhafushi
  • Fares Maathoda ATM, Bandharumathy Magu, G. Dh. Fares Maathoda
  • Felidhoo Branch, Karankaa Magu, V. Felidhoo
  • Feydhoo ATM, Shamsudheen B. F. Th. Magu, S. Feydhoo
  • Fonadhoo Branch, Andhaleebu Magu, L. Fonadhoo
  • Funadhoo Branch, Minivan Hingun, Sh. Funadhoo
  • Fuvahmulak Branch, Valifannu Magu, Gn. Fuvahmulak
  • Gadhdhoo ATM, Vathabandeyri Magu, G. Dh. Gadhdhoo
  • Gamu Branch, Gamu Branch, L. Gamu
  • Gan Branch, Shamsudheen B. F. Th. Magu, S. Gan
  • Gan International Airport ATM, S. Gan
  • Gemanafushi ATM, Habour Front Area, Ga. Gemanafushi
  • Guraidhoo Branch, Haveeree Hingun, Th. Guraidhoo
  • Hanimaadhoo ATM, Hanimaadhoo Airport, H. Dh. Hanimaadhoo
  • Hithadhoo Branch, Shamsudheen B. F. Th. Magu, S. Hithadhoo
  • Hithadhoo Hospital ATM, Shamsudheen B. F. TH Magu, S. Hithadhoo
  • Hoarafushi Branch, Hoarafushi Branch, Ha. Hoarafushi
  • Holhudhoo Branch, Moosa Kaleyfaanu Magu, N. Holhudhoo
  • Hulhumeedhoo Branch, Bahaaudheen Magu, S. Hulhumeedhoo
  • Kaashidhoo Branch, Beach Road, K. Kaashidhoo
  • Kelaa ATM, Bandharu Magu, Ha. Kelaa
  • Kolamaafushi ATM, Moosa Kaleygefaanu Magu, GA. Kolamaafushi
  • Kooddoo ATM, Arrival Terminal, Ga. Kooddoo
  • Kudahuvadhoo Branch, Wadaigeh Magu, Dh. Kudahuvadhoo
  • Kulhudhuffushi Branch, Dhanbu Goalhi, H. Dh. Kulhudhuffushi
  • Kulhudhufushi Hospital ATM, Dhanbu Goalhi, H. Dh. Kulhudhuffushi
  • Maafushi Branch, Haveeree Hingun, K. Maafushi
  • Maavah ATM, Bandharu Magu, L. Maavah
  • Mahibadhoo Branch, Ameenee Magu, A. Dh. Mahibadhoo
  • Manadhoo Branch, Nooraanee Magu, N. Manadhoo
  • Meedhoo Branch, Bandharu Magu, R. Meedhoo
  • Milandhoo ATM, Rehendhi Magu, Sh. Milandhoo
  • Muli Branch, Rankokaa Magu, M. Muli
  • Naifaru Branch, Beach Road, Lh. Naifaru
  • Nilandhoo Branch, Nilandhoo Ameenee Magu, F. Nilandhoo
  • Rasdhoo Branch, Cooperation Magu, AA Rasdhoo
  • Thinadhoo Branch, Daisy Magu, G. Dh. Thinadhoo
  • Thulhaadhoo ATM, Bandharu Magu, B. Thulhaadhoo
  • Thulusdhoo ATM, Ran Dhoadhi Magu, K. Thulhusdhoo
ATM Thulusdoo
  • Tree Top Hospital ATM, Asurumaa Hingun, HulhuMalé’
  • Ungoofaaru Branch, Miskih Magu, R. Ungoofaaru
  • Velidhoo ATM, Sosun Magu, N. Velidhoo
  • Veymandoo Branch, Haveeree Hingun, Th. Veymandoo
  • Vilingili Branch, Beach Road, G. A. Villingili
  • Dhaandhoo ATM, G.A Dhaandhoo
  • Maamendhoo ATM, G.A. Maamendhoo
  • Nilandhoo ATM, G.A. Nilandhoo
  • Kendhikulhudhoo ATM, N. Kendhikulhudhoo
  • Kendhikulhudhoo, Kendhikulhudhoo
  • Thoddoo, AA. Thoddoo
  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif, Ukulhas
  • Dhigurah, Alifu Dhaalu Dhigurah
  • Guraidhoo ATM, Kaafu Guraidhoo
  • Kulhudhuffushi Branch, H.Dh. Kulhudhuffushi
  • Maaungoodhoo ATM, S. Maaungoodhoo
  • Komandoo ATM, S. Komandoo
  • Star ATM Centre, Star Cloud
  • Velana INTL Airport – MACL Office, Airport
  • Ihavandhoo ATM, HA. Ihavandhoo
  • Makunudhoo ATM, Hdh. Makunudhoo
  • Hinnavaru ATM, Lh. Hinnavaru
  • Maamigili ATM, A.Dh Maamigili
  • Thimarafushi ATM, Th. Thimarafushi
  • Kurendhoo ATM, Lh. Kurendhoo
  • Himmafushi ATM, K. Himmafushi
  • Dhiffushi ATM, K. Dhiffushi
Dhiffushi ATM
  • Nilandhoo ATM, Ga. Nilandhoo
  • Maamendhoo ATM, Ga. Maamendhoo
  • Maradhoo – Feydhoo, S. Maradhoo – Feydhoo
  • Madduvvari ATM, Maduvvari
  • Dhangethi ATM, ADh. Dhangethi
  • Dhevvadhoo ATM, GA. Dhevvadhoo
  • Hirilandhoo ATM, Th. Hirilandhoo
  • Crossroads ATM, Cross Roads Maldives, 3300514
  • Filladhoo ATM, HA. Filladhoo
  • Vaadhoo ATM, G Dh. Vaadhoo
  • Thimarafushi ATM, Th. Thimarafushi
  • Vashafaru ATM, HA. Vashafaru
  • Mathiveri ATM, Asrafee Goalhi, Mathiveri

ATM Withdrawal Charges in the Maldives

If your foreign currency card works in an ATM in the Maldives then you should be aware that there is a charge for all foreign cards.  It costs 100 Maldivian Rufiyaa to take cash out.  That’s about US$6.50.

So make sure you take out the maximum that you need in one transaction.

There is a message on the screen telling you of this when you make a withdrawal, so you’re able to accept it or decline (and then not get any money).  Make sure that the amount that you’re asking for + the withdrawal charge is under your daily withdrawal limit.

Currency in the Maldives

The currency in the Maldives is the Rufiyaa.  The Rufiyaa has been pegged to the dollar at the rate of US$1 = 15.42 MVR since 1994.  In many places, you’ll be able to pay using US dollars.   You may also be able to pay in Euros, but you’ll need to ask.  There were certainly no menus or price lists that we found that were in anything other than MVR or US$

Maldives Rufiyaa

The Rufiyaa is a closed currency, meaning that you cannot obtain Rufiyaa when you are outside of the Maldives.  You’ll have to wait until you arrive to get hold of some.

Also, if you have any Rufiyaa left at the end of your trip you’re going to want to spend it, as you won’t be able to change it when you get home. 

  • The Rufiyaa is referenced as either MVR or Rf
  • There are 100 laari in a Rufiyaa.
  • The Rufiyaa name comes from the Sanskrit “wrought silver”
  • The Rufiyaa notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Rufiyaa
  • Maldives coins are available in denominations of 1 or 2 Rufiyaa.

Many items, especially watersports trips and speedboats are priced in US Dollars, you’ll be able to pay in Rufiyaa, so just remember the exchange rate.

Powered by GetYourGuide

Currency Exchanges and Banks in the Maldives

Each bank in the Maldives offers currency exchange, and there are also currency exchanges at the airport.  While banking hours in the Maldives are usually from 08:30 until 14:00 Saturday until Thursday, you may find some currency exchanges open until later.

Banks and exchanges will be closed on Fridays. (aside from some airport exchanges).

Paying For Things in the Maldives

We took local ferries, a resort island speedboat, and an inter-island speedboat.  We ate out, went for juice and coffee in cafes, and also bought some new snorkeling gear while we were in the Maldives.  And we used a combination of cash, US dollars, Rufiyya, and our foreign credit and debit cards to pay for it all.

On some islands, like Fulidhoo, not all of the cafes accepted cards, so we needed cash.  We used cards for dive trips, others used US dollars.

Using Debit or Credit Cards in the Maldives

The use of cards in the Maldives is relatively widespread.  On Maafushi Island for instance, everywhere we ate accepted a card, with no additional charges.  On Fulidhoo Island only one of the places we ate accepted a card.  The dive shop on Fulidhoo accepts cards, but there’s a 3.5% charge. There’s more on our visit to Fulidhoo here.

Equally, if you book accommodation (I’ve listed the hotels that we stayed at below), then check to see if your hotel room is prepaid or if you have to pay locally.  Prepaying is a GREAT way for you to save on charges, as all the places we had to pay locally added a 3.5 % credit/debit card charge.  I don’t have an issue with this, as they’re just passing on the charges from the credit card company, but it’s something you should be aware of.

Sun Shine Villa, Maafushi (excellent place to stay, great host and super snorkel gear)

Malas Island View, Fulidhoo (friendly, great room, huge bathroom, laundry service for 100 MVR)

Malahini Island Resort (our resort island in the Maldives.  Gorgeous, fabulous food, great room, stunning snorkeling)

Batuta Maldives Surf View, Thulusdhoo (right on the beach, great location, excellent breakfast, our room was comfortable but we didn’t get the room with a view!)

Isla, Dhiffushi, Dhiffushi (the best room of the local islands, fabulous room, great location)

UMET Sea View, Malé (great location, good, if small room, lovely staff, and a free transfer to AND from the airport).

All of these, and indeed all the accommodation that we considered in the Maldives has WiFi, but for the best (and a faster way) to stay online in the Maldives, get yourself an eSIM – this is the best option.

When we were able to we used both credit and debit cards when paying for meals with no problems at all.   Our debit card of choice is the card from Wise – (I wrote about that here ).

Which Credit Cards are accepted in the Maldives?

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted by many businesses.  Some businesses will levy a charge for card usage.

Can I use digital payments in the Maldives?

Some businesses will accept Apple Pay or Google Pay in the Maldives, through the Bank of Maldives (BML) Merchant Portal, although we didn’t attempt this or use it ourselves.

Powered by GetYourGuide

Using Cash in the Maldives

We used a combination of cash and cards in the Maldives.  We needed to use cash for some places that we ate and for the local ferries.  We used a few US dollars but tried to conserve them as we’ll need them for some visas on upcoming travels.  What we did make sure of, was that we spent all our Rufiyaa before leaving the country.

Using Rufiyaa at the Velana International Airport

After you pass through security at Velana International Airport there are a host of places to eat, as well as stores and duty-free.  While all the pricing here is in US Dollars, you can still pay in Rufiyaa (unlike our recent experience in Tunisia Airport, where you cannot pay in Tunisian Dinar after security).

You’ll still get the same pegged rate of US$1 = 15.42 MVR, but be aware that your money doesn’t go very far here.  We used the last of our Rufiyaa on a large espresso for the equivalent of US$6.50.  Bottled water will cost you US$1, but there’s also a filtered water fountain available near the food concession.

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Final Words on Paying, Using Cash & ATMs in the Maldives

If you’re just heading to a resort island then you won’t need any cash at all in the Maldives (unless you want to tip staff and then you can use US dollars or Euros).  However, if you’re traveling to the local islands and doing a little island hopping then cash will make it both possible and easier.  There’s no need to take cash out of the ATM if you have US Dollars, as you’ll be able to use them for most payments, although you may receive change in MVR.  We found that a combination of cash and cards worked the best for us in the Maldives.

We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using our affiliate links. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

ASocialNomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *