The Malaysian Ringgit is the currency unit of the Malaysian currency with the code MYR. Ringgit have banknotes worth RM100, RM50, RM20, RM10, RM5, RM1 and 50 sen (cent) coins, as well as 20 sen, 10 sen, and 5 sen coins. The Name “Ringgit” derived from the Spanish silver money which was widely used in ancient times. Since August 1975, the name “Ringgit” was officially accepted as the proper name for the Malaysian currency. Earlier, money was known as dollar in English and ringgit in Malay. However, the “$” symbol continued to be used until it was changed to “RM” in 1993 and continue to be used until today.
The Malaysian ringgit
The Malaysian Ringgit (also known as Malaysian dollar) is the official currency of the Malaysian Federation since June 1967. The Ringgit has the ISO 4217 MYR code and is represented by the RM symbol.
The Malaysian Ringgit is divided into 100 sen. These two names (Ringgit and Sen) were officially adopted in August 1975.
Today, Ringgit coins and bills are issued by the Central Bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia).
Banknotes and coins of the Malaysian ringgit in use
Sens coins that you can find in circulation are 5, 10, 20 and 50 sen.
On the other hand, Ringgit bank notes that you can find in circulation have the following denominations: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Ringgit.
Did you know?
- The word “ringgit” means jagged in Malay and refers to the serrated edges of the Castilian reales that circulated in the area during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
- The Ringgit shares the denomination with the Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar, which are also known in Malay as ringgit.
- Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, maintained an Agreement on interchangeability until May 8, 1973, when Malaysia left the economic space.
What is the currency in Malaysia?
The currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian ringgit. Each ringgit is divided into 100 sen.
When you’re buying currency for Malaysia, look out for the currency code MYR. And once you’re in Malaysia, you’ll see the symbol RM used to show prices.
You’ll find Malaysian banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100
Sen come in coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50.
Use the Wise Malaysian ringgit card to spend in Malaysian currency.
The Wise Malaysian ringgit travel money card lets you top up in your local currency, and switch to ringgit to spend when you’re in Malaysia. You’ll get the best rate for spending in Malaysian ringgit – and can also hold and spend 50+ other currencies with the same card.
Get your Wise travel money card online for free, to send and spend money around the world at the real exchange rate.
Simply top up your card and convert to the currency you need in real time using the Wise app.
You’ll always get the real exchange rate with no hidden costs, and you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees while withdrawing from ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights.
Tips for exchanging currency in Malaysia.
Familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.
The mid-market rate is the true exchange rate – with no sneaky hidden fees. Use an online currency converter before your trip to get a feel for what your money is worth and make sure you get a fair rate when you buy your travel money.
Choose to be charged in Malaysia currency when withdrawing from ATMs.
Being offered to pay in your own currency at an ATM is a sneaky trick and causes many travellers to pay more than they need to. Always choose to pay in the local currency – in this case, ringgit – to cut your costs and get the best rates available.
Avoid changing currency at airports or hotels.
Currency exchange desks at airports and hotels often markup the exchange rates they use, and may charge hidden fees. Avoid this expensive option whenever you can.
Use the Wise debit card to spend in Malaysia without rip-off fees.
Withdraw money, pay for meals in restaurants or spend in shops in Malaysian ringgit, all at the real exchange rate with the Wise debit card.
Spending money in Malaysia.
Paying by credit or debit card in Malaysia
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in cities and tourist areas in Malaysia. You won’t have a problem using your card at shopping centres, large restaurants and hotels.
ATMs in Malaysia
Cities and tourist areas in Malaysia have many ATMs which accept major card networks.
However, if you’re heading to a more remote area you’ll need to withdraw cash in advance as ATM coverage will be limited.
To get the best deal when spending on card or withdrawing money in Malaysia, don’t forget to use the Wise travel money card to avoid sneaky exchange rate markups and excessive fees.
Malaysian Ringgit Currency MYR
The Malaysian ringgit (MYR), unofficially called the Malaysian dollar, is the official currency of Malaysia. The Malaysian ringgit is divided into 100 sen.
- Malaysia has the fourth largest economy in Southeast Asia.
- Malaysia’s economy previously relied on the production of agricultural export commodities and minerals. Currently, it relies on industry and services sectors, accounting for almost 37 percent and over 56 percent of GDP.
- The country’s economy experienced an economic revolution in the late 20th century.
- Malaysia is the world’s second largest exporter of palm oil products.
- In 1967, the central bank of Malaysia issued the Malaysian dollar, replacing the British Borneo and Malayan dollar at par.
- In 1975, the official name of Malaysia’s currency was changed to ‘ringgit’.
- In 1998, the Malaysian ringgit was pegged to the US dollar at the exchange rate of 1 USD = 3.80 MYR.
- In 2005, the peg was abandoned and the ringgit became a floating currency.
|ISO 4217 code||MYR|
|Central bank||Bank Negara Malaysia|
|Currency subunits||Sen = 1/100|
|Denominations||Banknotes: RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100|
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50 sen
|Countries using this currency||Malaysia|
|Currencies pegged to MYR||None|
|MYR is pegged to||None|
What Is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)?
The Malaysian ringgit is the currency of the Malaysian Federation. The currency abbreviation for the currency is RM, and the currency code is MYR. This is the code seen when requesting a currency quote, such as USD/MYR, which shows the rate of exchange between the U.S. dollar (USD) and the Malaysian ringgit.
In the Malay language, ringgit means jagged, a reference to the serrated edges of Spanish coins commonly used in the region in the 16th and 17th centuries.
- The Malaysian ringgit is sometimes referred to as the Malaysian dollar. Its abbreviation is RM and its currency code is MYR.
- The currency’s exchange rate is free-floating but is not traded offshore.
- The currency circulates widely in denominations of one, five, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Larger denominations are unusable in practice.
- Travelers to Malaysia can obtain ringgits at currency exchanges online or in stores before they travel or in Malaysia.
- Expect to pay the official exchange rate minus 3% to 5% in exchange fees.
Understanding the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
The Malaysian ringgit is made up of 100 sen. It is issued in denominations of one, five, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ringgits.
Earlier issues of 500 and 1,000 denominations were removed from circulation in the 1990s to help curb money laundering. These denominations have been demonetized and have no value.
The Malaysian ringgit is used officially by Malaysia and is also accepted in border areas of Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Malaysian dollar replaced the Malaya and British Borneo dollar in June 1967 at par. The new currency was officially referred to in dollars and cents until August 1975, when its name was officially changed to ringgit and sen.
Malaysian Ringgit Price History
After the 3.8 peg was dropped in 2005, the currency appreciated to 3.08 against the USD in 2008. It then fell back to 3.73 in 2009. After that it experienced several more ears of appreciation, rising to about 3 ringgits per USD in 2011 through the first half of 2013.
The ringgit then lost value, hitting 4.47 in 2016.
Through early 2022, the MYR was moving between 4.17 and 4.21 per USD
The Malaysian Economy
The Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s caused periods of extreme volatility in the Malaysian currency. In response, in 1998 the central bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara) chose to peg the ringgit to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 3.80.3
Because of the surge in capital outflows during the crisis, trading ringgit outside of Malaysia was banned.
The peg remained intact until 2005 when Bank Negara went back to a floating ringgit after the People’s Bank of China removed the peg on the renminbi. As a result, the ringgit appreciated in value against the U.S. dollar, the Hong Kong dollar, and the Chinese renminbi.
What Affects the Ringgit’s Value
The value of the ringgit is susceptible to changes in global emerging markets and political sentiment in Malaysia. In addition, the ringgit has some correlation to commodity prices, as Malaysia is an exporter of oil and natural gas.
Offshore banks that don’t have an onshore presence in Malaysia will trade the ringgit as a non-deliverable forward. In 2016 the Bank Negara started cracking down on these as well. The currency remains non-tradable off-shore.
Example of Buying and Selling Malaysian Ringgits
Assume you want to travel to Malaysia. Once you get there, you look up a quote online and see that the current exchange rate is 4.15 USD/MYR. That means that a U.S. dollar is worth 4.15 ringgits in the forex markets.
You won’t be able to get that exchange rate when you exchange your dollars for ringgits, though. Whether you buy ringgits through a bank, a currency exchange outlet, or a credit card, the rate you get will include fees.
Currency exchanges post their current rates, which include fees. Banks and credit cards usually post their fee as a percentage to be added to the amount of money exchanged.
Expected Exchange Fees
You can expect the rate you get to be 3% to 5% above the current exchange rate. So if you want to buy MYR with $500, instead of getting 4.15 for each USD, you’ll likely get 3.94 (5% less). In other words, your $500 buys 1,970 MYR (500 x 3.94) instead of the 2,075 (500 x 4.15).
The same applies when you leave Malaysia and want to convert your remaining cash back into U.S. dollars. Say you have 1,000 MYR left. The exchange rate online is still 4.15. This time, since you are buying USD, currency exchanges and banks will give you less for your ringgits, giving a rate of 4.36 (5% more) for example. Therefore, your 1,000 MYR converts to $229.36 (1,000 / 4.36) instead of $240.96 (1,000 / 4.15).
Where Can I Exchange Malaysian Ringgits?
Like any foreign currency, Malaysian ringgits can be purchased online or at retail outlets operated by foreign currency exchange companies. Visitors to Malaysia can exchange their home currency for ringgits at currency exchange outlets, banks, or bank ATMs there.
What Is the Historical Exchange Rate for U.S. Dollars to Malaysian Ringgit?
In the five years ending in mid-March 2022, the ringgit’s value moved in a fairly tight range, from a low of 3.86 ringgits per U.S. dollar to a high of 4.34.6 The value of the ringgit is sensitive to political trends in emerging markets and to energy prices, as Malaysia is an exporter of natural gas and oil.
Is MYR Pegged to USD?
The Malaysian currency is not pegged to the U.S. dollar. It has been a floating currency since 1995.
Currency of Malaysia – An Essential Guide to the Malaysian Ringgit
Malaysian Ringgit is the official currency of Malaysia, that is generally accepted both at a professional and at the local level. The currency code is MYR and 100 sens (cents) make up 1 MYR.
Malaysian Currency Code: MYR
Malaysian Currency Symbol: RM
Top MYR Conversion: Into USD (US Dollars)
Malaysian Coins: sen5, sen10, sen20, sen50
Malaysian Currency Notes: RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50, RM100
Issuing Bank: Bank Negara Malaysia
Currency Exchange Rate
Malaysia practises a floating exchange rate system. It is determined solely by the demand for and supply of the currency on the foreign exchange market.
|Currency||1 MYR (as on 1 February 2020)|
RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50 and RM100 are the banknotes accepted in Malaysia. These are issued by Bank Negara Malaysia.
The Malaysian notes contain a picture of Tuanku (King) Abdul Rahman, country’s first yand di-pertuan agong (paramount ruler) in its obverse while its back features pictures of Malaysia’s economic infrastructure.
5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen are the Malaysian coins issued by Bank Negara Malaysia. They have the name of the bank engraved on them.
Places to Exchange Currency in Malaysia
U.S Dollars, Australian Dollars, British Pound, Indian Rupees, Euro, Canadian Dollars and more can be exchanged for Malaysian Ringgit. One can easily exchange funds in the larger cities of Malaysia for a small fee.
- Banks and licensed money changers are the best options if you want the best exchange rates.
- Hotels and airports are also an option. However, their rates are just not as viable as the others mentioned above and are much higher.
- Bank hours are 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM during weekdays and 9:30 AM – 11:00 PM on a Saturday.
ATM and Credit Cards
ATMs are available in most Malaysian cities- in banks, shopping malls, transport hubs, etc. However, they charge a fee for every transaction on top of your bank charging overseas fees. They do accept Mastercard and Visa.
Note: Always check with your bank regarding withdrawal limits and transaction fee before you travel.
American Express traveller’s cheque is usually accepted even though there’s a decline in their usage. One has to pay a fee per cheque to the bank so it is advisory to bring larger denomination. Recording serial number is suggested as they can be replaced if or when damaged or stolen.
Tipping in Malaysia
It is not usual for someone to tip in Malaysia. There’s a ten per cent service tax already added to your final bill. However, luxury establishments and five-star joints do accept tips.
Tips for Currency Exchange in Malaysia
- You’ll need cash to experience some of the best food and culture Malaysia has to offer, therefore don’t be too dependent on your card.
- Malaysia’s alcohol tax rate is the third-highest in the world, so you may want to think before you splurge much on your favourite margaritas.
- Save your cash for night bazaar and the world-famous street vendors, while using your debit and credit cards for major shopping outlets.
- Don’t haggle too much with the vendors for a bargain as it is not a part of Malaysian shopping culture.
These are some of the best tips you can use in order to have a stress free vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Now, with money out of the way, be sure to experience everything this unique and diverse culture has to offer!
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