We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Wanted US $$

Moncton, Canada
Level Contributor
594 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Wanted US $$

On several trips to Barbados a common occurence has been that locals will ask if I wish to change US$ TO BB$..this request has happened frequently by clerks,bus drivers,local people at the race track or waitstaff at restaurants..never could understand why this request!!..can anyone explain?....Laurie

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
17,283 posts
353 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Wanted US $$

andylulu

It happens because many of us travel frequently to destinations such as Miami, New York, San Juan and Port of Spain for shopping purposes so we need the USD to shop there. Additionally, if we purchase it on the street we pay $2 BBD for $1 USD. If we go to the bank we pay $2.04 for $1 USD so if I bought $500 USD on the street it would cost me $1000 BBD but in three bank it would cost $1020 BBD which is a sizeable difference for most persons myself included. Lastly, the Central Bank of Barbados stipulates that one may only purchase up to $1000 BBD equivalent in a foreign currency per return airline ticket. Also, one's passport must be stamped by the bank indicating the amount of foreign currency bought. This is a very stringent limit, but government's aim is to keep as much foreign exchange on the island as possible. If I go to New York I'd need $1500 USD minimum. So to get around that, we purchase from visitors, friends who work in the tourism industry etc.

Hope this helps

Regards

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
4,912 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Wanted US $$

Each Barbadian is allowed by law a maximum amount of Foreign currency in a year. Technically it's not legal to obtain that any way except via the bank (and subsequently through the Central Bank). Your passport is stamped. and you must also show proof of travel.. however..you can't get USD if you are going to another Caribbean Island (except San Juan, which of course is US). I think you can get an amount of USD if you are traveling to the UK or Europe, but not sure how much.

Also.. if you purchase an item from the US (or UK etc..) on a credit card the amount also technically is part of your allowance for the year..

So.. to say that is to say.. that .. many people will ask visitors (usually it's their own family or friends who are visiting) to "be the bank" and change their USD for BBD.. Some business houses who take in USD will "sell" it to their employees.. but this is not legal anyway. but done.. (and I'm sure Central Bank knows it.. so it's no big news to anyone).

Moncton, Canada
Level Contributor
594 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Wanted US $$

Thank you both for your explanation...unfortunately being Canadian I don't carry US$....but knowing this now I will bring some with me as our $$ is valued equal to US$ therefore not a problem.....must say though a crazy law....c'est la vie.....Laurie!

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
17,283 posts
353 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Wanted US $$

andylulu

You're welcome!

Regards

Aberdeen, United...
Level Contributor
4,115 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Wanted US $$

Not crazy at all. Most countries used to have exchange control regulations and many still do. Typically, countries that employ exchange controls are those with weaker economies. These controls allow countries a greater degree of economic stability by limiting the amount of exchange rate volatility due to currency inflows/outflows.

6. Re: Wanted US $$

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 May 2013, 10:27