Before you travel to the Bahamas, it is important to know what currency is used in the Bahamas.
The official currency of The Bahamas is the Bahamian Dollar (BSD). The ISO code for the dollar is BSD which is also abbreviated as B$ to differentiate it from other dollars like the US dollars ($). The value of the BSD is pegged on a one-to-one basis to the US dollar, so they are always equal. The Bahamian dollar is also the official currency of Turks & Caicos Island.
The Bahamian economy is largely dependent on tourism, the fishing industry, and a major offshore banking center as its main income source.
Origin of the Bahamian Dollar
Up until 1966, the official currency of the Bahamas was The Bahamian Pound or Pound Sterling as it was part of the British colony from 1793 to 1973. But after World War 2, the British government started losing power and the Bahamas became self-governing in 1964 and issued the Bahamian dollar in 1966.
In 1973, the Bahamas finally achieved its independence and the Bahamian dollar replaced the pound at a rate of 7 shillings per BSD. And in 1974, The Central Bank of the Bahamas became the official supplier of banknotes.
Also Read: Fun Facts About The Bahamas
Details of the Bahamian Currency
Name: Bahamian Dollar
ISO 4217 Code: BSD
Central Bank: The Bahamas Central Bank
Minor Unit: Cent = 1/100 of a dollar
Coins: Cent1, Cent5, Cent 25, Cent50, $1, $2
Notes: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100
Details About The Bahamian Notes & Coins
Bahamian banknotes and coins have some intriguing colors, designs, and pictures that make them unique in their own way.
The B$0.50, B$3 banknotes feature the former queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II.
The coins have the Bahamas coat of arms on one side and different unique features like starfish, flowers, blue marlin, pineapple, etc. on the other side.
Also Read: Why Is The Water So Blue In The Bahamas?
Sand Dollars (The Bahamas Digital Currency)
The sand dollar is the digital version of the Bahamian dollar (B$) that was introduced in the Bahamas in October 2020. It was one of the world’s first central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
Since the 1960s and up until 2019, the Bahamas’ chosen way of payment was with dollars and coins. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and the expanding demand for cryptocurrency, the central bank of the Bahamas introduced its digital currency Sand Dollar, through authorized financial institutions (AFIs).
The usage of the Sand Dollar is pretty simple. You can access it easily with a smartphone app or via a physical payment card. You can make all kinds of wholesale or retail purchases and it keeps a record of all of your online income, expenses, and other details.
Using US Dollars in the Bahamas
As the US and the Bahamian dollars are of the same value, you can use both currencies when you are in the Bahamas.
However, if you use the Bahamian dollars, you’ll get only Bahamian dollar change and the same goes with the US dollars.
If you visit from a different country, you’ll have to exchange your money for Bahamian dollars. You can exchange your money at the nearest ATMs that are widely available in the main islands of the Bahamas. It’s safer to exchange money before visiting the country or using credit cards and other online methods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is the Bahamas a tax-free country?
Yes, it is one of the tax-free countries in the West Indies.
Q: Are the Bahamas cheap?
It is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
The Bahamas is an expensive country and if you want to avoid unwanted spending, it’s best to check out all the money rates and additional expenses before visiting the country.