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Can You Use US Dollars In The Bahamas? (Read Before Visiting!)

Can You Use US Dollars In The Bahamas? (Read Before Visiting!)

If you plan to visit these exotic Caribbean islands, there is no need to change your US Dollars to Bahamian Dollars because both are commonly and equally used in transactions. Since the Bahamian Dollar and the US Dollar are also on par with the same value in currency, you don’t need to worry about foreign exchange. 

There can be advantages to carrying US Dollars in the Bahamas too. Merchants may sometimes offer better deals if you are willing to pay in US Dollars and you can avoid hefty exchange fees through this. As a standard, if you pay in US Dollars, you will get the balance in US Dollars and likewise for Bahamian Dollars.

But keep in mind that some merchants might have their own preference of currency and they will not exchange currency for you (primarily casinos and shopkeepers) so you will need to be sure to carry both currencies just in case the situation arises.

There have been warnings issued for tourists, to avoid carrying USD 100 bills around since theft rates are high, so you will need to carry cash in small bills and coins. Any Bahamian currency can be exchanged back to US Dollars before you leave. It will be challenging to exchange Bahamian Dollars once you are in the United States. 

What Is The Currency Used In the Bahamas?

Bahamian Dollar

The Bahamian dollar (BSD) is the official currency in the Commonwealth of Bahamas. To distinguish it from other currencies denominated in dollars, the Bahamian dollar is made up of 100 cents and is typically indicated by the symbol B$ to set it apart from the other dollar rate currencies. As we mentioned earlier, currency from the United States is also widely accepted as the Bahamian dollar is equally linked in value to the US Dollar rate. Some Bahamian currency and coins are considered to be “original and unusual” and will make a good souvenir to take back home, especially coins such as the square 15¢ coin and the $3 bill. 

Click here to check out our guide on how to spend a day in Nassau, Bahamas

Do Bahamas Accept Canadian Dollars or Euros? 

If you are travelling from Canada or Europe, don’t count on using Canadian Dollars or Euros (or for merchants to accept a different currency) unless you are using Bahamian Dollars in conjunction with a credit card.

Also keep in mind that most smaller tourist islands will prefer to accept cash over credit cards so you can prepare with some loose bills and coins in US Dollars or Bahamian Dollars, either will be gladly accepted. It’s always recommended to exchange at least a few Canadian Dollars or Euros to cover tipping, travel and other small expenses that any tourist is expected to have while on vacation.

But if you are planning on using credit cards in the Bahamas, a pro tip is to notify your bank before the overseas tour, especially if you don’t travel overseas often. Otherwise, your payment might get halted with a blocked card for unusual activity – and that can be a buzzkill when you are planning to have a relaxing getaway.  

Are There ATMs And Banks In The Bahamas?

Banks and their respective ATMs are widely available for tourists to do their banking activities while on vacation except on the most remote islands. In the Bahamas, you will be able to find ATMs at banks, shopping malls, resorts and shops in the main islands – and Visa, Mastercard, American Express are commonly accepted, as well as Travelers’ Cheques.

It is recommended to speak to your bank about their placement in the Bahamas and their international transaction fee for non-bank activities (this is usually imposed by all banks if transactions happen from a different bank and the fee could go up to $5 or more).

You can even exchange your currency for Bahamian Dollars at the banks with a better exchange rate. Otherwise, your next best option is to exchange currency at the airport as other third parties will include an additional service fee. The main banks are typically open from Monday to Thursday 9.30 am to 4.00 pm and 9.00 – 5.00 pm on Fridays (opening on weekends is uncertain and would depend on the bank). Most banks tender local Bahamian currency but typically in areas with a high volume of tourists, you can find a handful of banks operating in US currency.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, it is important that tourists don’t forget to notify their bank about the overseas trip to the Bahamas – if you don’t, there is a high chance of your card being blocked from making any payments due to suspicious foreign activities. Also, keep in mind to have enough cash if you are travelling to remote islands for excursions as you will not find any banks or ATMs there and merchants will be reluctant to use credit cards.

Is It Expensive Or Cheap To Travel To The Bahamas? 

At any cost, a trip to these beautiful paradise islands will be truly worth it – you can experience true exotic leisure blended with tropical tourism while sipping on some of the best cocktails you’ve tasted. And all on a budget if you are creative! You should estimate roughly BS$200 ($200) a day for your Bahamas trip, which is the average daily spending for a tourist.

In the past, tourists have spent an average of BS$45 ($45) on meals and BS$31 ($31) on local transportation for one day. To make this even better, you can find cheap flights in August which is the cheapest month to travel to the Bahamas. 

However, if you are keen on having a lavish vacation in the Bahamas and don’t mind splashing out a bit, this tropical getaway can also be one of the most expensive destinations to visit. Usually, November and December months are considered to be busy months and the prices will peak during this season. Stay at a Caribbean luxury resort to enjoy the Bahamas in all its glory.

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