Yes, you can use US dollars in the Bahamas. There is no need to change your US dollars to Bahamian dollars because both currencies are commonly used in transactions. It is also noteworthy to remember that the Bahamian dollar is pegged to the USD at a rate of 1 USD per BSD.
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 might not exchange currency for you (primarily casinos and shopkeepers) so just to be on the safe side carry both currencies.
Also, any Bahamian currency can be exchanged back to US dollars before you leave while it won’t be as easy to exchange Bahamian dollars once you are in the United States.
What Is The Currency Used In the Bahamas?
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 mentioned earlier, currency from the United States is also widely accepted in the country 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 the square 15¢ coin and the $3 bill.
Learn More on how to spend a day in Nassau, Bahamas
Do The Bahamas Accept Canadian Dollars And 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.
If you prefer using a credit card, 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 would expect to incur while on vacation.
Pro tip: If you are planning to use your credit card, notify your bank before the overseas tour, especially if you don’t travel overseas that often. Otherwise, your payments might get halted with a blocked card for unusual activity.
Are There ATMs And Banks In The Bahamas?
Banks and their respective ATMs are widely available for tourists to do their banking activities, 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, and 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-banking 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.
The main banks are typically open from Monday to Thursday 9.30 am to 4.00 pm and 9.00 am – 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.
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 and merchants will be reluctant to use credit cards.