The official currency of Belize is the Belizean dollar, but many establishments also accept American dollars, so find out what currency vendors are using when they quote rates.
Around the country, most tourist-driven businesses, including hotels, quote prices in U.S. dollars, but local businesses are more likely to quote prices in Belizean dollars.
Coins are in denominations of BZ$0.05, BZ$0.10, BZ$0.25, BZ$0.50, and even BZ$1. Bills themselves are in denominations of BZ$1, BZ$2, BZ$5, BZ$10, BZ$20, BZ$50, and BZ$100.
Credit cards are often accepted, but many locations only accept one or two different types. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. American Express is accepted somewhat less frequently, and Discover hardly at all. Be aware, however, that some locations charge a two to 10 percent fee for credit card purchases.
The fixed rate of exchange between the Belizean dollar(BZ$) and the U.S. dollar(USD) is 2 to 1, but street money changers may give you a slightly better rate. Most locations will accept U.S. currency, Belizean currency, traveler's cheques, and credit cards.
If you carry any currency other than the USD or BZ$, you'll need to go to a bank for an exchange. Exchanging USD will cost a fee, usually 1 percent to 2 percent of the total exchanged. Banks are almost all located in Belize City, but you'll find branches in most larger cities as well.
|Alliance Bank||Princess Margaret Dr., Belize City||501-223-5698|
|Atlantic Bank||Freetown Rd., Belize City||501-223-4123|
|Bank of Nova Scotia||Albert St., Belize City||501-227-7027|
|Barclays Bank||21 Albert St., Belize City||501-227-7211|
|Belize Bank||60 Market Sq., Belize City||501-227-7132|
While most banks have automated teller machines, only Barclays Bank offers ATMs that accept foreign cards. This could be a problem because there are only two Barclays Banks in Belize - one in Belize City and the other in Dangriga. Travelers along the northern border can venture across the border and use ATMs in Chetumal, Mexico, but will need to have the Mexican pesos converted into either USD or BZ$ for use in Belize.
While it's not a good idea to carry around large amounts of money, it may be difficult to avoid. After all, there are few places where travelers may retrieve money from their home banking accounts in Belize.
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