Vacationers traveling from the United States should not even need to exchange currency when visiting St. Kitts and Nevis. ATMs are readily available throughout the islands and cash and credit cards are both widely accepted.
Although the official unit of currency on St. Kitts and Nevis is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, the U.S. Dollar is widely accepted. Those who choose to pay in U.S. dollars, however, should be aware that coins are not accepted on the island, and change will be given in Eastern Caribbean Dollars; a currency without use after leaving the Caribbean. Banks throughout the islands will gladly change currencies other than the U.S. Dollar for travelers coming from different countries.
Banks are open Monday-Thursday 8am-2pm; Friday 8am-4pm. Each bank provides 24 hour ATM services where you can get cash advances from your VISA or MasterCard. You can also withdraw from or check the balance of the primary checking and savings accounts linked to your bankcard, via the PLUS/Electron or Cirrus/Maestro networks.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, fixed to the U.S. Dollar, has a current exchange rate of EC$2.70 to $1.00(USD). If prices are quoted in the local currency, but pay with U.S. dollars you might experience a slightly worse exchange rate -- closer to EC$2.60 to $1.00(USD).
Bills are issued in denominations of EC$5, 10, 20, 50, and 100, while coins are issued in EC$0.01, $0.02, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, and $1.00. Always be sure to be clear on what currency you are being quoted in when dealing with vendors and services.
Credit cards are widely accepted at major hotels, restaurants, other major services, but smaller operations may only accept cash or Visa and Mastercard. ATMs are also widely available for Visa and Mastercard owners (PLUS/Electron and Cirrus/Maestro networks). Select locations in Basseterre and in the Marriot Royal Resort will dispense U.S. Dollars The following is a list of banks which should all have 24 hour ATM services.
Bank of Nova Scotia
First Caribbean International
Royal Bank of Canada
St. Kitts Nevis-Anguilla National Bank
Development Bank of St. Kitts & Nevis
Paying bills on St. Kitts and Nevis should not be a problem with accessible ATMs and widespread acceptance of two currencies.
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