The Caribbean's currency options

Currency varies, but Euros and dollars are accepted throughout the Caribbean

Photo credit: © Yuri Arcurs |

The Caribbean's Currency and Money

The economy of the Caribbean is closely connected to that of the United States. Some of the islands' currencies are directly linked to the United States dollar (USD), keeping a fixed exchange rate at all times.

For the most part, independent Caribbean nations have their own forms of currency or are grouped together in economic unions that share a currency like the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. Islands that are still territories or departments of other countries use the currency of their sovereign nations. Guadeloupe, for example uses the Euro, while Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands use the U.S. dollar.  U.S. currency is accepted nearly everywhere you go on the islands. Even many Jamaican shops often accept the U.S. dollar, despite a law which dictates that all business transactions within the borders must take place in Jamaican currency.

Currency can be exchanged at all banks and at many Caribbean airports. Many island hotels will exchange currency for you as well, although for slightly higher than the standard exchange rate. The import and exchange of currency is not limited in most cases, but the export is usually limited to the same amount declared imported.

Nearly all major American and European credit cards are accepted throughout the islands. It's also a good idea to carry some cash for emergencies; plus, bargaining with vendors at Caribbean street markets is a large part of the local culture and an experience you may find enjoyable. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are widely available, just check with your bank to make sure your card is ready for use abroad. If you have a personal identification number (PIN) for your credit card, you can also receive cash advances from your credit card at most ATMs.  Don't forget to notify your bank and credit card providers that you will be traveling out of the country.  This will prevent them from suspecting fraud and putting your card on hold when they see international charges tied to your account.


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