Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) is the largest and busiest airport in Malaysia which is made up of two main terminals KLIA1 and KLIA2. KLIA2 is serving low-cost carriers that operate international flights from Singapore, Thailand and other countries in the region. What currency exchange options you have at Kuala Lumpur Airport Terminal 2?
Cash is still very widely used in Malaysia and you will definitely need some local currency (Malaysian Ringgit - MYR) when shopping at Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street or Central Market. If you need cash right at the airport for buying a bus ticket or getting Malaysian SIM card, you can either withdraw Malaysian Ringgits from one of ATMs found at the airport or exchange your home currency at currency exchange counters of KLIA2.
What money changers operate at KLIA2 and how good or bad foreign exchange rates you can expect to get at Kuala Lumpur Airport Terminal 2?
Currency Exchange at Kuala Lumpur Airport
At the time of our arrival at Kuala Lumpur Airport, we’ve found 3 currency exchange booths at the arrivals of KLIA2 (Level 2).
Two of these currency exchange booths were the branches of CIMB Bank that seems to have the leading position for currency exchange in Malaysian airports. One of CIMB Bank branches can be found just after passing passport control, another one – nearby the exit (door 3).
By the way, there’s also a branch of CIMB Bank in the transportation hub at Level 1. Foreign exchange rates are the same in all the branches of CIMB Bank and they are the worst you can get at KLIA2.
If you are planning to exchange EUR or GBP, we would recommend skipping CIMB Bank and finding AmBank Currency Exchange instead as it was offering significantly better exchange rates for these 2 currencies. However, exchange rates for other currencies were the same.
AmBank Currency Exchange booth is located near Aerotel (Airport Hotel). Just pass a big shining sign of the hotel, walk by a row of ATM’s and you will notice AmBank Currency Exchange on your left.
AmBank Currency Exchange is open 24x7.
Foreign Exchange Rates at KLIA2
Foreign exchange rates at Kuala Lumpur Airport Terminal 2 are far from good as the banks here don’t have any competition. At least AmBank fights the monopoly of CIMB Bank and offers a bit fairer rates at KLIA2. However, you can get much better currency exchange rates in the center of Kuala Lumpur so exchange at the airport as little as you will need for getting into the city.
USD exchange rate was exactly the same in both banks (3.70 MYR during our visit) but AmBank was offering significantly better rates for EUR and GBP.
What foreign exchange rates can be expected at Kuala Lumpur Airport Terminal 2?
USD to MYR exchange rate at KLIA2
The official USD exchange rate at the time was 4.08 MYR for 1 US Dollar, so the rate offered at the airport (3.70 MYR/USD) was even by 0.38 MYR lower than the official rate. For every dollar exchanged here you’re losing about 0.09 USD or 9 USD per 100 USD. Losing 9% of your money just for exchanging it sounds like a robbery for us.
EUR to MYR exchange rate at KLIA2
The official EUR exchange rate at the time was 4.61 MYR for 1 euro, so the best rate offered at the airport (4.28 MYR/EUR) was by 0.33 MYR lower than the official rate. For every euro exchanged here you’re losing about 0.072 EUR or about 7.2 EUR per 100 EUR. Surprisingly euro exchange rate is not as bad as USD exchange rate offered here but it is still far worse than the rate that you can get for your money in the center of Kuala Lumpur.
During the time of our visit, euro exchange rate was by 0.13 MYR or 2.6% better at AmBank than at CIMB Bank.
Exchange rates of other currencies at KLIA2
The official GBP exchange rate at the time was 5.26 MYR for 1 British Pound, so the best rate offered at the airport (4.93 MYR/GBP) was by 0.33 MYR or 6.3% lower than the official rate. AmBank was again offering the best GBP exchange rate at KLIA2 and it was by 0.13 MYR higher than at CIMB.
The official AUD exchange rate at the time was 2.92 MYR for 1 Australian Dollar, so the best rate offered at the airport (2.65 MYR/AUD) was by 0.27 MYR or about 9.2% lower than the official rate. AUD exchange rate was the same at both banks and it was the worse we could see during our trip in Malaysia.
The official SGD exchange rate at the time was 3.01 MYR for 1 Singapore Dollar, so the rate offered at Kuala Lumpur Airport (2.75 MYR/SGD) was by 0.26 MYR or about 8.6% lower than the official rate. SGD exchange rate was the same in both banks and it was less than attractive.
Best Exchange Rates at KLIA2
During our visit, currency exchange rates for most of the currencies were equally bad in both banks but at least for EUR and GBP it was possible to bet better exchange rates at AmBank.
However, if you can survive without exchanging your currency at KLIA2, don’t exchange your currency here!
Save money and book a discounted Malaysian SIM card online.
Take KLIA Ekspres train from the airport to Kuala Lumpur cheaper by booking a discounted train ticket online.
If you are traveling as a group, booking a private transfer from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city will be cheaper than taking KLIA Ekspres train.
If your final stop in Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and you will be departing from Kuala Lumpur Airport, exchange your Malaysian Ringgit leftovers to USD, EUR or any other currency while in the city as selling rates for foreign currencies at KLIA2 are just as bad as buying rates. You can easily exchange currency in Kuala Lumpur City Center and get much better exchange rate.
Kuala Lumpur money changers on the streets around Chinatown and Central Market offer even better foreign exchange rates. Just look around to find the best money changer in Kuala Lumpur.
More tips for traveling in Malaysia can be found here: Malaysia Travel Tips.