Penang Island and its main city Georgetown in Malaysia attract many visitors who here often need to use cash in local currency (Malaysian Ringgit). There are plenty of banks and money changers in Penang but the best currency exchange rates we could find in Georgetown were at money changer near Komtar.
Currency Exchange at Penang Airport (PEN)
When you are coming to Penang from Kuala Lumpur or any other Malaysian destination, most probably your pockets are full of these plastic Malaysian Ringgits and you don’t need to worry about getting local currency. However, everything is completely different, if you’re arriving directly to Penang International Airport (PEN).
You can find a couple of currency exchange booths at Penang Airport but foreign exchange rates here are far from good as the banks don’t have any competition and set more or less the same rates for most of the currencies. You can get much better currency exchange rates in Georgetown so exchange at the airport as little as you would need for getting into the city.
How bad currency exchange rates at Penang Airport really are? Check here: Currency Exchange at Penang Airport (PEN).
Best Money Changer in Penang
Even if you won’t find money changers on every street corner in Georgetown, you can get really good deals for currency exchange here. The best foreign exchange rates we could find in Penang were offered by Munawarah Exchange currency exchange which is conveniently located outside Prangin Mall near Komtar.
Munawarah Exchange at Prangin Mall is open daily, from 10:00 to 19:00.
The address of the branch: 33, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Tel: 04 – 261 0355
Currency Exchange Rates in Georgetown, Penang
Currency exchange rates at Munawarah Exchange are significantly better than at Penang Airport. How good are the rates offered by this money changer in Georgetown? Let’s see!
USD to MYR exchange rate in Georgetown, Penang
The official USD exchange rate at the time was 4.08 MYR for 1 US Dollar and the rate offered at Munawarah Exchange (4.05 MYR/USD) was lower than the official rate only by 0.03 MYR. If compared with the rates offered at Penang Airport (3.80 MYR/USD), the difference is huge as you are saving at least 0.25 MYR or 0.06 USD for every dollar changed. By exchanging 100 US Dollars in Georgetown and not at the airport you can save as much as 6 US Dollars.
Spending this money for pleasing your tummy with local delicacies of Penang Island sounds like a much better idea than feeding these greedy banks!
EUR to MYR exchange rate in Georgetown, Penang
The official EUR exchange rate at the time was 4.63 MYR for 1 euro and the rate offered at Munawarah Exchange (4.58 MYR/EUR) was lower than the official rate only by 0.05 MYR. If compared with the best exchange rate at the airport (4.46 MYR/EUR), the difference is huge as you are saving at least 0.12 MYR or 0.025 EUR for every euro changed.
Exchange rates of other currencies in Georgetown, Penang
GBP exchange rate at the money changer in Georgetown, Penang was better than at the airport by 0.16 MYR or more than 3%. At the same time, AUD to MYR exchange rate was better by 0.08 MYR/AUD (almost 3%) and SGD to MYR exchange rate was better by 0.13 MYR/SGD (about 4.4%).
The less popular is the currency, the worse rate can be but they are still much better than you can get at Penang Airport and the range of exchanged currencies here is really wide. You can exchange JPY, HKD, WON, NT, NZD, PHP, THB, YUAN, INR and few other currencies here with no problem.
Book a discounted private transfer from the airport to your hotel and you won't need cash for getting into the city.
If your final stop in Malaysia is Penang Island and you will be departing from Penang Airport, exchange your Malaysian Ringgit leftovers to USD, EUR or any other currency while in Georgetown as selling rates for foreign currencies at Penang Airport are just as bad as buying rates.
More tips for traveling in Malaysia can be found here: Malaysia Travel Tips.