With over 2,000 islands that each features beautiful, romantic views, the Bahamas is rightly known as paradise on earth.
It is, hands down, one of the best vacation destinations you could ever hope to go to.
If you have plans to visit here, you may wonder what currency does Bahamas use? Then again, you could also just be plain curious.
Either way, allow us to help enlighten you by talking about the Bahamian currency and some other interesting facts that will help make your trip more successful.
What Currency Does Bahamas Use?
The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar. It is also the official currency of the Caicos Islands and the Turks.
The ISO 4217 code for the Bahamian dollar is BSD. However, to distinguish it from the other dollars, it is also sometimes represented by B$.
Aside from the Bahamian dollars, US dollars are also accepted in the Bahamas.
It might also be useful to know that the Bahamas dollar is divided into 100 cents.
History of the Bahamian Dollar
The Bahamas was another colony of the British Empire.
After World War II, due to changed circumstances, England’s government started losing power over its colonies worldwide.
Hence, in 1964, the Bahamas became independent and self-governing. Soon after this, in 1966, they issued the Bahamian dollar.
However, the Bahamas were not fully independent until then. Hence, the British currency was still in use.
In 1973, after becoming fully independent, the Bahamian government replaced the pound with the Bahamian dollar at a rate of one dollar to seven shillings.
At first, coins were introduced. In 1974, the Central Bank of Bahamas started issuing the Bahamian banknotes officially.
What Are the Denominations of the Bahamian Currency?
You can get bills of the Bahamian dollar in the following amounts: B$½, B$1, B$3, B$5, B$10, B$20, B$50, and B$100.
The Central Bank of Bahamas has been changing these banknotes over the years to avoid forgeries. Hence, make sure to get the updated ones at the foreign exchange.
You can also get some change. The Bahamian currency is available in coins of one cent, five cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and B$ 1.
Is Bahamian Dollar Pegged to Any Other Currency?
Yes, the Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US Dollar. Hence, all businesses in the Bahamas accept US currency.
However, if you are holding any other currency, you might want to exchange it before landing in the Bahamas.
Features and Landmarks on the Bahamian Dollars
Since the Bahamas was under significant influence of the British Empire, various Bahamian banknotes feature Queen Elizabeth II.
You will find her portrait on B$0.5, B$10, and B$100.
Other banknotes feature the famous political leaders of the Bahamas, including Milo Butler and Roland Theodore Symonette.
Similarly, each banknote has an engraved watermark of a national landmark, such as the Central Bank of Bahamas and Nassau Harbor.
These watermarks are printed as electrotypes. The B$ 100 has an engravement of blue marlin, the national animal of the Bahamas.
Value of the Bahamian Dollar
The Central Bank of the Bahamas intends to keep parity between the Bahamian dollar and the US dollar.
The Bahamian economy is mostly dependent on tourism and the fishing industry. They manage to stabilize their dollar by trading.
The Bahamian gross national product (GNP) is one of the highest in the regions. Hence, its currency value is high.
How Can You Exchange Money in the Bahamas?
There are two ways to do so. Find an exchange window at the airport and get the money exchanged quickly. Of course, you will have to pay for the exchange rates, so come prepared.
The second option will be visiting a local bank. You will find their exchange rates better, but do not forget that you will have to pay for the bank trip.
Banking Hours in the Bahamas
A wise decision would be exchanging the money beforehand. Nevertheless, you can visit a Bahamian bank if you still need some assistance.
Most Bahamian banks are open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.
On Fridays, they are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How About ATMs?
Yes, many Bahamian banks are now offering ATMs for easy access. However, most of these ATMs offer the Bahamian currency.
There are very few ATMs located in the tourist spots that deal with the US currency.
However, if you plan to go to the Out Islands, make sure to take some money out beforehand as you might not find any ATM there.
Bahamian Dollar vs. US Dollar
If you are going to the Bahamas, which is the better currency to have in your pocket: Bahamian or US dollar?
Well, if you can use the money you already have, why would you want to pay for the exchange rates?
If you ask us, we'd just use the US dollars we already have and do not exchange them.
First of all, using a new currency can be confusing. You can mix up the banknotes and end up paying more.
Secondly, you will not have to pay for the exchange rates.
Thirdly, using your currency will save you time. You will not waste time figuring out the banknotes.
Lastly, the vendors love to get the US currency. You might get a better deal by paying the US currency.
We hope we answered what currency does Bahamas use for you. We also discussed other important things to help you with the journey.
Simply put, if you are an American citizen or have US dollars in your pocket, you do not need to worry about the currency exchange before visiting the Bahamas.
However, if you have a currency other than US dollars, you might want to check the exchange rate.
That’s all you need to know about the Bahamas currency. Next, you might want to know how much is an average trip to the Bahamas.
Once you do all the calculations, get the money and board that plane.
Also, if you are traveling on a budget, you can search for the cheapest month to go to the Bahamas. Have a fantastic trip!