The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD), also known as “TT” (pronounced teetee). US dollars are also widely accepted and the exchange rate in September 2014 was 1 USD = TTTD6.23.
Visa and MasterCards are accepted in many shops. American Express, Diners’ Club, Discover, JCB and other cards are accepted in only a few upscale establishments. Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards using the Cirrus and Plus networks work at local ATMs and allow TTD withdrawals that are converted into your home currency. The exchange rate when withdrawing from an ATM is slightly better than when exchanging cash. Some places, such as shopping centres, also have ATMs that dispense US dollars. Note that most ATMs in Trinidad and Tobago do not accept PIN codes longer than four digits. Remember to change them to four digits before you travel. Since December 2011, Republic Bank ATMs (blue machines) accept six-digit PIN codes.
Tipping is not a custom, but it has become more common lately. Some restaurants, especially those in hotels or those serving foreign tourists, expect a tip. Most do not. Only airport taxis expect a tip. Local taxis do not.
Prices in shops and shops are usually posted and do not change depending on the customer. However, it is a different story for outdoor vendors: They will probably charge a different and higher price for a foreigner than for a local. Some will even suggest or demand payment in US dollars. They may try to haggle or simply sulk.
Most items, with the exception of everyday goods and certain other zero-rated items, are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) at the rate of 15%. The tax is levied at the time of sale.