Money & Shopping in Bahamas

North AmericaThe BahamasMoney & Shopping in Bahamas

The national currency is the Bahamian dollar (B$), but it is pegged to the US dollar on a 1:1 basis, and US dollars are accepted everywhere at face value. Therefore, Americans do not need to exchange money, and many tourist shops even give change in US dollars. Look out for the famous (but now rare) three-dollar note and 15-cent coin, both originally developed to ease the transition from sterling to dollars in 1966, with $3 being roughly equivalent to 1 pound and $0.15 being roughly equivalent to a shilling.

There are very few products made in the Bahamas, but some luxury goods can be bought at bargain prices. Sellers at the straw market have a very direct but often humorous way of negotiating the price of a product. A sense of humour is highly valued in this island nation.

Beware when buying Cuban cigars. The vast majority of “Cubans” sold in the Bahamas are fakes. Buy cigars only from reputable and dedicated tobacconists, do not buy on the street, at the market or in cigar and liquor shops. Genuine Cubans cost more than $30 per cigar. If the price is $10, it is 100% fauxhiba. If you are considering buying cigars, an online search can help you identify authentic Cubans. The sites “The Ultimate Counterfeit Cuban Cigar Primer” [www] and “The Havana Journal Counterfeit vs Real Cohibas” [www] can be particularly useful.

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