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Antigua & Barbuda is well known as the island in the Caribbean with 365 beaches. That is a beach for every day of the year. In addition, the caves at Hells Gate Island are breath taking and a unique feature of the twin island state.

If you are preparing for an upcoming trip to the island you may be asking yourself what is the best currency to use in Antigua and Barbuda.

The best currency to use in Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. The US Dollar is readily accepted by most businesses on the island. If you are planning on using US Dollar, it is advised to carry smaller denominations. Change is usually given in the local EC Dollar.

What Is The Official Currency of Antigua and Barbuda

The official currency of Antigua & Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which has been pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.

This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.

The Eastern Caribbean currency has bank notes as well as coins. Bank notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. 

Coins are available in 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, $1 and $2 denominations.  Coins in 1 cents and 2 cents pieces were recently discontinued.Antigua and Barbuda

Do I need cash in Antigua?

Cash is required for ease of transactions on the island. Credit cards are generally accepted by larger businesses such as hotels, car rentals and major supermarkets.

However, if you are planning on visiting the town of St John and want to support local businesses and vendors, credit card machines may not be available.

Can you use US dollars in Antigua?

The US dollar is readily accepted by businesses on the island. However, expect to get change in the Eastern Caribbean (XCD) dollar.

As with every other country, at times a business may be skeptical to accept larger currencies such as USD$100 bills but the smaller denominations are easy to spend around the island. Worn and torn notes are usually rejected by businesses as banks do not accept them.

US coins cannot be used on the island and only the bank notes from USD$1.

Can you use Canadian dollars in Antigua?

Businesses on the island are generally reluctant to accept Canadian dollars and will refer you to a commercial bank to have your notes converted.

This is due to the fact that the exchange rate changes daily and is issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to the local commercial banks to transact business for that day.

Banks only convert bank notes denominations.  Coins are usually rejected. There may be a limit of how much banks will convert at each of your visit. In addition, be prepared to sign a source of funds declaration.

To avoid the crowd, it is best to avoid visiting banks during the local lunch hour as many individuals go to the bank at this time.

Can you use British Pound Sterling dollars in Antigua?

As with the Canadian dollar, businesses on the island are generally reluctant to accept the Pound Sterling and will refer you to a commercial bank to have your notes converted.

This is due to the fact that the exchange rate changes daily and is issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to the local commercial banks to transact business for that day.

The fluctuation of the exchange rate of the Pound Sterling to the XCD dollar is usually the most volatile among the main foreign currencies.

Banks only convert bank notes denominations and coins are usually rejected. There may be a limit of how much banks will convert at each of your visit. In addition, be prepared to sign a source of funds declaration.

Antigua & Barbuda

Can you use Euro dollars in Antigua?

As stated above, businesses on the island are generally reluctant to accept Euro dollars and will refer you to a commercial bank to have your notes converted.

This is due to the fact that the exchange rate changes daily and is issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to the local commercial banks to transact business for that day.

Banks only convert bank notes denominations and coins are usually rejected. There may be a limit of how much banks will convert at each of your visit. In addition, be prepared to sign a source of funds declaration.

Can you use a debit card in Antigua?

Foreign debit cards can be used in Antigua and Barbuda as long as cirrus is enabled.

Most Visa and MasterCard tend to work on the island. Kindly note that there is usually a fee that is charged by your bank for each transaction.

General Tips To Remember In Antigua & Barbuda

Credit cards are not readily accepted across the island especially by smaller businesses. Therefore, it is advisable to have some cash on you to get around.

Ensure and notify your banks prior to traveling to prevent credit cards from being blocked as you begin using it on the island.

Carry at least two pieces of identification especially if you need to change money at the banks. At times, an additional piece of id may be required.

Some banks may require you to fill out a source of funds declaration if you want to exchange foreign currency for EC dollars.

If you are staying at the popular Sandals Grande Resort, the nearest ATM is First Choice Supermarket. This supermarket is just a few minutes from the resort. There are also several ATM machines at Epicurean supermarket near Dickenson Bay.

Antigua Commercial Bank has an ATM machine on the airport. Kindly note there may be a maximum daily limit on how much you can withdraw each day.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Government has been a leader in the use of cryptocurrency in the Caribbean. Antigua and Barbuda allows individuals to make Citizenship By Investment payments via Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

Some hotels usually provide some currency conversion at their front desk area. Kindly note that the rate may not be as favorable as a commercial bank.

what currency is best to use in Antigua and Barbuda

Final Thoughts

As a general rule, the best currency to use in Antigua & Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. US Dollars are readily accepted by businesses on the island. For ease of use, travel with US Dollars of smaller denominations. Credit Cards and Debit Cards are easy to use at large businesses.

If you are contemplating traveling to Antigua & Barbuda or the rest of the Caribbean, cruising is an affordable option to consider. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.

This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.

Need More Information?

Feel free to browse our website for more content on Antigua & Barbuda and the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page. The following are some of our articles which we believe may be suitable for you.

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