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St Maarten is a Dutch Caribbean island with Maho beach famously photographed as planes usually fly below an altitude of 100 feet as they approach their landing.
Additionally, the island is the smallest place in the world that shares its landmass with another nation. St Martin is an overseas territory of France and hence part of the European Union.
If you love the excellent shopping in St Maarten’s capital Philipsburg, the bustling nightlife that the island offers and its amazing beaches such as Mullet Bay then St Maarten is your perfect vacation spot.
Alternatively, you may enjoy the friendliness of the locals and preparing to visit the island, you may be wondering what currency is ideal for your trip.
In this article, we explore what is the best currency you should carry for your visit to St Maarten.
The best currency to use in St Maarten is the Netherlands Antillean Guilders or Florins. The US Dollar is accepted everywhere on the island. Prices are quoted in US dollars and change is given in US dollars. This includes US coins. ATMs on the island also dispense both Florins and US dollars.
What Is The Official Currency of St Maarten
The official currency of St Maarten is the Netherland Antillean Guilders or Florins. The Netherland Antillean Guilder is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of USD $1 to $1.79 ANG.
This currency is also used by Curacao and there is a Central bank for Curacao and St Maarten responsible for managing the stability of the currency.
The local currency is available in bank notes and coins. Bank notes are available in $10, $25, $50, $100 Guilders. Coins are available $1 Guilder, $5 Guilders, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents pieces.
Do I need cash in St Maarten?
Cash is required for ease of doing business in St Maarten. Generally, small businesses, vendors and taxi drivers do not have facilities to accept credit and debit card payments.
Therefore, for a smooth experience it is best to carry cash.
Can you use US dollars in St Maarten?
The US dollar is accepted everywhere on the island and it is used by both locals and visitors to the island. Prices of goods and services are quoted in US dollars.
Change is given in US coins. Therefore as an example if an item costs USD$8.50 and you pay with $10, the 50 cents change will be US coins.
Can you use Canadian dollars in St Maarten?
Alternatively, Canadian dollars are not accepted on the island as the rate changes daily.
Commercial banks are usually issued daily exchange rates from the Central Bank of Curacao and St Maarten.
If you attempt to use Canadian dollars at local businesses, you will be referred to a commercial bank to have the notes converted.
Kindly note that you may be required to sign a source of funds declaration at the bank.
Can you use British Pound Sterling dollars in St Maarten?
British Pound Sterling is not accepted by businesses on the island. This is due to the volatility of the Pound Sterling.
Businesses will generally refer you to a commercial bank to have your notes converted.
Banks only exchange bank notes and coins are rejected.
Can you use Euro dollars in St Maarten?
As indicated above, St Maarten is a dual nation island and due to its French counterparts, Euros are accepted in St Maarten.
Kindly note however, that the rates of exchange offered by businesses on the Dutch side may not be favorable.
General Tips To Remember In St Maarten
- Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted by larger businesses such as restaurants, hotels and supermarkets on the island.
- Windward Islands Bank have ATM machine available at the Princess Juliana International Airport.
- ATM machines on the island can either dispense US dollars or Florins. Pay special attention to which button you press.
- Certain hotels may provide currency exchange services. Kindly note that the exchange rate may not be favorable.
- Depending on the card of origin withdrawing money via the ATM may attract a foreign exchange conversion fee.
- It is best to have two pieces of identification if you plan on doing business with a commercial bank. One may be sufficient. However, in certain instances two may be required.
- If you are relocating to the island, consider getting a bank letter which details your history with your home bank. This will be helpful if you want to open a bank account on island.
- Generally commercial banks are open Mondays to Fridays. If possible avoid visiting at the end of the month and around lunch times to evade long lines. Two of the main banks of the island are Windward Islands Bank and Republic Bank Ltd which are open on weekdays. Banks of the French side tends to do business as well on Saturday mornings.
As a general rule, the best currency to use in St Maarten is the Netherland Antillean Guilders or Florins. US Dollars is accepted everywhere. This includes US coins. Credit Cards and Debit Cards are easy to use at large businesses. ATMs on the island dispenses both Florins and US Dollars.
If you are contemplating traveling to St Maarten 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?
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