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Currency in Jamaica

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Leicester
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Currency in Jamaica

I'm visiting the Riu Ocho Rios in July and just wondered what is the best currency take?

Kingston, Jamaica
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11. Re: Currency in Jamaica

J550 for a Red Stripe is insane unless you're getting a litre bottle, and even then it's a bit overpriced. This is also the first time that I have heard of a price being the same in J$ as US$. J$100-US$1 is a bad rate unless this was 9 months ago.

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio
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12. Re: Currency in Jamaica

Rick's charges $4US for a red stripe so Mystic Mountain charging $5 doesn't surprise me. Captive audience up there.

London, United...
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13. Re: Currency in Jamaica

I just arrived in Ochi today! I exchanged a small amount of sterling into JA$ in the UK just so I would have enough to last me until the Cambio opens in the morning! I've bought some sterling to change up and my ATM card for the remainder. In the past I have exchanged to US$ in the UK prior to leaving but I find it complicated

North Yorkshire...
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14. Re: Currency in Jamaica

Mystic Mountain charges US$5 for a bottle of Red Stripe? What the H*ll. There are bars on Long Bay beach where I can get a bottle for JA$150

yes i know the red stripe was overpriced at Mystic Mountain, but if u want a cool beer sat in the bar at the top of Mystic Mountain enjoying the beautiful views thats the price to pay,

CTDT- the exchange rates were what i got in the UK in February this year,

Edited: 12 May 2014, 07:52
Kingston, Jamaica
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15. Re: Currency in Jamaica

jeh103 - Next time exchange the bulk of your money in Jamaica, you would have gotten a much better rate.

North Yorkshire...
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16. Re: Currency in Jamaica

yes CTDT i understand i would have got a better rate in Jamaica, but not too sure where?

We stayed at the Riu and didnt venture into Ocho Rios itself till well into our holiday so needed dollars for trips and tips etc before we went into town.

although i didnt check rates at the Riu,usually hotel exchange rates are not so competitive in other countries i have visited

Kingston, Jamaica
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17. Re: Currency in Jamaica

I don't know the cambios in and around Ochie, but any taxi driver could take you. In February, I was usually seeing J180-GBP1. I suspect the hotel rate would have been marginally better than what you got in the UK, but still not as good as just about any cambio.

In any case, usually I would recommend just withdrawing J$ from the ATM once you're here. There should be at least 2 at the airport.

North Yorkshire...
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18. Re: Currency in Jamaica

thanks for the advice CTDT, much appreciated, but for me to use my bank cards in any country abroad works out expensive with bank charges for any purchases or ATM withdrawels

some UK bank cards i believe are free to use abroad but unfortunately not mine.

i know i could get a pre loaded card but its simpler for me to just take cash.

just checked exchange rate i got in Feb here in the UK was JD161 to 1 GBP

Edited: 12 May 2014, 16:35
Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio
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19. Re: Currency in Jamaica

I find the exchange rate (for US) is in this order with worst rate first:

1. Buying JA$ at home in the US. Always a terrible rate.

2. Exchanging at the airport cambio.

3. Using USD at restaurants and shops that used their own rate (usually about like airport but a little better)

4. Cambio or ATM (ATM depends a lot on the fees you pay, my bank's are very low)

5. Credit card (again, if fees are high the good rate is lost somewhat).

In mid-April the airport cambio and my US bank were giving 88 to 1 while the cambios and ATMs NOT at the airport (standalone or at Hi-Lo, etc) were giving 107-1. Most shops were doing 100-1.

So to change cash at a Jamaican cambio/ATM (or use my CC) rather than change at the airport or at home saved me almost $20J per USD, or about $2000J per US hundred dollars changed. That's a pretty decent chunk of change.

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20. Re: Currency in Jamaica

I always bring US and Jamaican depending on what I'm doing and where I'm going . Cause they like to give you back Jamaican change . Always have an small bills for tipping lots of US ones . There is a scotia bank right in the main strip in ochie that you can pull US or Jamaican . Stay away from the Independant street exchange fellas by the market and the airport after customs . Generally 1US - 100 j . And if you are getting US keep small bills in one pocket bigger bills in another cause they all look the same and you don't want to pull out a stack in public .