Malaysian Ringgit – What you should know before coming to Malaysia
RM? Ringgit? MYR?
One of the most important things to do before traveling to a new country is to get your money changed, in this case, changing into Malaysian Ringgit. Usually, you will head to your trusted money changer for this matter, but travelers often wonder if they are getting the most current banknotes, not some discontinued and demonetised ones?
The currency symbol for Ringgit Malaysia is RM, internationally the currency code for Malaysian Ringgit is MYR. Often referred by local as only Ringgit & Cent, for example RM1.20 as One Ringgit Twenty Cents.
* Confusingly Dollar & Cents still used amongst the older generation due to the fact that Ringgit were only officially adopted as the sole official names in August 1975.
The current banknotes released by Bank Negara (BNM or Central Bank of Malaysia) is the Fourth Series and features traditional expressions in the art and craft, natural wonders, flora and fauna, economy and tradition.
All 4 series of banknotes (except for RM500 and RM1000) are technically still legal tender, so this means that you will be getting some very old series of banknote that are still circulating amongst the public and this will be a confusing mess especially for visitors to Malaysia.
Below we list out all the current available banknotes
* All images are taken from BNM official website https://www.bnm.gov.my
- Some people still use Dollar, as in Malaysian Dollar of old when talking about money.
- The correct way of writing Ten Ringgit is RM10 instead of MYR10.
- There are multiple series/versions of the banknotes still circulating.
- All series/versions are still legal tender, but it is up to the receiver who decides.
- Coinage guide is still in making, check back later 🙂
Currently the highest value banknote after the demonetising of RM500 & RM1000 back in 1999.
The top 100 Ringgit is the 4th Series banknote, the one below is the 3rd Series, both are still remain in circulation.
The most common banknote you will come across when withdrawing from an ATM is the 50 Ringgit.
For the lucky ones, you might come across a limited edition RM50 ringgit banknote to commemorate Malaysia's 50th Anniversary of Independence with a special logo on the top right side on the back part of the banknote.
Here shows the 4th Series on the top and 3rd Series on the bottom.
The 20 Ringgit was not included in the 3rd Series due to its unpopularity during the time of the 2nd Series and were discontinued and removed.
The current 4th Series reintroduced 20 Ringgit back into circulation.
Often get confused with 10 Ringgit Banknote due to the similarity in size and under dim lighting and streetlights
One of the most used banknote nowadays is the 10 Ringgit. Here you can find the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd Series.
All 3 Series of banknotes shown here are technically still legal tender, but some vendors may not accept the 2nd Series $10 banknotes which is a rare find and worth to keep as a memento of your travel!
Often get confused with 20 Ringgit Banknote due to the similarity in size and under dim lighting and streetlights
Here shows the 4th and 3rd Series of 5 Ringgit, both were made of Polymer.
There exist 2 version of the 3rd Series RM5, originally came in paper banknote (not shown here). In 2004, a new RM5 polymer note was released featuring the same design but with a distinct transparent window.
All 3 versions are still accepted by all without problems.
2 Ringgit banknote was the first denomination of a new Malaysian banknote to be designed with the "Vision 2020" theme.
These notes were eventually discontinued but remained legal tender and due to the practicality of 2 Ringgit, some are still in circulation until now. For some, it is worth much more as a collector’s item as compared to using it for day to day purchase!
The lower value 1 Ringgit usually subject to more wear and tear and made of Polymer for durability and lifespan.
Here showcasing the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd Series of RM1 note.
You can still occasionally receives the 2nd Series $1 banknote which are still in circulation and remained legal tender, but some vendors may not accept it. If you do find one in good condition, do keep it as a souvenir!