The official currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar. Although the US Dollar isn’t an official currency, it is often accepted too. This mainly happens in popular tourist areas and in All Inclusive hotels. Knowing what currency is used in Jamaica depends on where you’ll be spending money.
What’s the best currency to use in Jamaica?
If you’re staying in an All Inclusive hotel or resort, prices for extras like tours, spa sessions, and souvenirs will be in US Dollars. This is the same for large hotels that aren’t All Inclusive.
Smaller hotels and guesthouses might use US Dollars or Jamaican Dollars, so it’s best to enquire before you go. Jamaican Dollars will most likely be the best currency to use in Jamaica for shops in less touristy areas, as well as local street vendors, bars, and market stalls.
Even when small vendors have both Jamaican and US pricing, you’ll find it cheaper to pay in Jamaican Dollars as vendors often use their own exchange rates!
Are credit and debit cards accepted?
In popular tourist areas, hotels and restaurants will accept major cards. ATMs will also accept major foreign bank cards but you can only withdraw Jamaican Dollars.
Smaller bars, shops, and hotels may only accept cash, which will be US Dollars in tourist areas and Jamaican Dollars in more rural areas.
Notes and coins
While US Dollars are accepted in tourist areas, US currency in coin form is not. This means that if you pay for something in US Dollars and require small change, the change will be given in Jamaican Dollars. This is often at an unfavourable rate to you.
If you plan on making smaller purchases from shops or stalls in non-tourist areas, having a supply of Jamaica currency means you can get the best prices.
Where can I get currency for Jamaica?
You can change money at banks, cambios (currency exchanges) and at hotels or resorts. You can also get Jamaican Dollars from ATMs.
If you think you’ll use more US Dollars than Jamaican Dollars, it’s best to change British Pounds to US Dollars before you go. Why not make it easy and put some US Dollars on a Thomas Cook Cash Passport card and take it with you?
You can order all your Jamaica currency, both Jamaican Dollars and US Dollars, in advance from ThomasCook.com or in-store. This way, you’ll be set from the moment you step off the plane.