If you are planning a trip to Jamaica then somehow you may have thoughts about the type of currency that is used there. You may have also asked yourself about credit and debit cards along with traveler's cheques. Well, rest assure because Jamaica is a premium vacation destination and the country has ensured that collecting money is made easy. In fact this is one of the principal laws of sales; making it as easy as possible for clients to pay for goods and services.
The Jamaican Dollar (JMD) is the official currency of the island. It is supposedly illegal to use other currencies on the island without first converting them to JMD, however this law is lax. Businesses that cater to the tourism industry usually priced items in both local and US currencies while accepting all major foreign currencies.
There are many bureau de exchanges on the island. They are called Cambio which is a Latin word for exchange. These Jamaican Cambios are scattered densely all over the island starting at the airports. You can also find them in the banks, plazas and shopping centers. There is no need to rush into changing your home currency before getting to Jamaica. In fact it would be better if the exchange is done in Jamaica because this will enable you to get the best rates available.
If you like traveling with plastic instead of cash there is no need to be concerned. Almost all the businesses accept major credit cards. There are also many ATM booths placed at your convenience. Many of the automated banking machines will make the conversion at the present rate and issue the required amount in JMD. However there are few which will present you with United States Dollar (USD).
The Jamaican currency started circulation in 1969 and was quite strong at that stage. At one point 1USD valued 0.75cents Jamaican. However that was then, today the currency has devalued to an embarrassing low at 89.00JMD to 1.00 USD. Many might be thinking well, I could take few hundred bucks to Jamaica and I will be rich. Unfortunately the cost of goods and services are pegged to the USD.
Since Jamaica is not a manufacturing country importing goods is the order of the day. So while visiting you will get a blend of local and imported products which blend well together. A Jamaican vacation will not cost you more than any other vacations. The truth is that Jamaica has a lot more to offer than other islands. Jamaica has great hospitality, sumptuous cuisine, reggae music, stunning beaches, aromatic rums, beautiful weather and the warm people all combining well to create the perfect vacation atmosphere.
Stevert Mckenzie, Travel Enthusiast.