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anectar

US Dollars in Roatan

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Going on Western Caribbean NCL cruice next month. I've read that you might not get change back in USD while in Roatan. Anyone experience this? I know to bring crisp bills in smaller denominations.  Do I need to exchange to pecos for Cozemel & Costa. Maya ports?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Feel free to request change back in dollars... the merchant may or may not be able to accommodate you.  One could plan to bring enough denominations of US that little change is needed, this way you are less likely to be stuck with local currency. 

 

as a side note, there are no coins used on the island. 

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Plan ahead and bring a pocket full of 1, 5, and 10 dollar bills. We are doing several excursions and will make sure we have plenty of small denominations so that we don't have to worry about getting change.

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Bring plenty of small bills and always ask if they have change in US $$ before handing them any larger bills.  

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On 1/15/2019 at 1:18 PM, anectar said:

I know to bring crisp bills in smaller denominations. 

 

Thanks in advance!

and when they say "crisp," they mean it.  those bills better be near perfect.  we had a couple of bills rejected, but we had enough so it wasn't an issue.

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13 hours ago, bstel said:

and when they say "crisp," they mean it.  those bills better be near perfect.  we had a couple of bills rejected, but we had enough so it wasn't an issue.

I have found this to be somewhat true when dealing with tour operators but if you go to local grocery stores, restaurants, or gas stations they aren’t nearly as picky. In all my times there I never had near perfect bills, but they need to be in decent shape. I just came back from spending a week there and they were far from “crisp”. I did make sure they didn’t have any tears or marks on them (which is what they are concerned about), but you could tell they have been around. No one batted an eye. 

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3 hours ago, aknguyen said:

Why won't they accept bills with marks or tears?

from what i understand (may or may not be true) is that it has to do with the banks accepting them for exchange, so the operators dont want to get stuck with them.  seems to be a bit overblown.

 

but as Firemanbobswife said it appears to vary.  my only experience with a bill being rejected was from Victor Bodden Tours, and that was because they said the bill had to many folds/creases in it.  no tears or markings.  but its definately not like here in the US where the bill can be torn in half and taped back together and most establishments will still take it.

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Wow. I've been saving my small bills whenever I get them in preparation for the cruise. Should I exchange them at the bank and request brand new bills?

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5 hours ago, aknguyen said:

Wow. I've been saving my small bills whenever I get them in preparation for the cruise. Should I exchange them at the bank and request brand new bills?

When I going down I look through all my saved small bills. Any I believe questionable I take to my local bank to exchange for ones in better shape. 

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On ‎2‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 1:59 PM, Guest 2000 said:

When I going down I look through all my saved small bills. Any I believe questionable I take to my local bank to exchange for ones in better shape. 

Perhaps they don't really want my dollars. I guess I'll spend them in other ports that do want them. :classic_huh: 

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8 hours ago, aknguyen said:

Perhaps they don't really want my dollars. I guess I'll spend them in other ports that do want them. :classic_huh: 

 

Perhaps I am misunderstanding.

 

I don't see any reason to believe the locals don't want and need your money. The banks are picky  and I do not find it a hardship to switch out my old nasty notes knowing I am heaping people living in a third world county feed their families. 

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding. It sounds like Roatan as a whole will only accept perfect bills. Is this a way to dissuade purchases for some reason? Is there something about American money that the banks don't want? I'm not up to speed on the politics of the area. The banks in the other usual cruise port stops don't seem to have this issue so why Roatan?

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Posted (edited)

Google, it truly is your friend. 

 

https://www.mybanktracker.com/credit-cards/travel/crisp-clean-us-dollar-bills-travel-country-275899

 

 

U.S. dollars must be in the most crisp, pristine, and well-kept condition to be accepted at foreign vendors, or even exchanged, with local currency exchanges. Why is this the case? Many foreign countries local currency is unreliable, so therefore they are much more skeptical to accept any dollars that appear to be worn, damaged, or potentially counterfeit.

Edited by Guest 2000

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No need to take a wad of small bills with you to the ship.  Just get your large bills broken down to 1's, 5's, 10's at the puser's desk (Guest Services).

 

In Roatan they have always happily accepted our $US.   

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As I said before they will take less than pristine, perfect bills on the island. The places that I have found the most fussy about it is the tour operators. Probably because they are going right to the bank to deposit possibly thousands of dollars at one time and it’s the banks that won’t accept torn or ripped bills. The smaller local places primarily do business in lempiras but also accept dollars. They have the opportunity to “get rid of” anything that could be questionable before they deposit it in the bank by giving it back as change. Just my observation and experience. 

 

This last time I went to the bank I didn’t get one crisp, new looking bill out of all the money I got which was made up of $20s, $10s, lots of $5s and $1s. I never had one issue the entire week. In fact when going to a restaurant, bar, gas station, or tipping my taxi driver, they didn’t give them a second glance. Sometimes I got lemps for change, sometimes dollars. 

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All stores in the ports will price things in US and local currency.  They prefer US money.  We always try to have smaller bills to pay exact amount on purchases.  I wouldn't expect to go into a store and hand them a $50 bill and easily get back $48 in change.  When in doubt, ask them FIRST if they have adequate US change.  Most will.  On our first cruise many years ago, I had forgotten to take off my timex watch when we went snorkling so wanted to buy myself another cheap one for the rest of the cruise.  Watch was $10 and I handed them a $20 bill.  The clerk handed me back all local money.  When I told her I wanted US change, she said she didn't have any.  (probably not true!)  So, I handed her the watch back and told her to go get my $20 bill back from the register.  

 

A few years ago I was shopping at a local grocery store in Cozumel to buy a bottle of hair conditioner.  I don't bring coins with me into port.  Found a bottle marked for $2.25.  I asked the lady working in that department if they would take $2.00 for it since I had no coins.  She told me yes.  

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