The official unit of currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar. As of December 2011, $1 USD equaled approximately 89.10 JMD, but the rate of exchange changes almost daily, and visitors are advised to wait until they arrive in Jamaica to exchange their money. This will ensure they receive the most up-to-date rate.
Jamaican currency is issued in increments of one cent, ten cent, twenty five cent, one dollar, five dollar, and ten dollar coins; as well as 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 dollar bills. All coins feature portraits of historic Rt. Excellents; except for the one cent coin, which showcases an image of Ackee, the Jamaican national dish. Bills are colorful, with portraits of historic figures on the front of the bill, and images of popular locations on the back.
Jamaican law requires that Jamaican currency be used when paying for all goods and services, though that law is followed very loosely and the U.S. dollar is accepted almost universally. Keep in mind that this does not mean you will receive your change in US currency. Credit cards may also be used, with Visa and Mastercard being the most widely accepted.
There are exchange bureaus in airports, hotels, and commercial banks, and ATMs can often be found at gas stations. When you make an exchange, keep all receipts because you must present them upon departure when you reconvert unspent currency.
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