Are you planning to travel to Antigua and Barbuda? Whether it be for a quick visit to indulge in tropical leisure or a more drastic move such as relocation, you may be wondering what currency is accepted and used in the country. Well, the main Antigua and Barbuda currency are the Eastern Caribbean Dollar – XCD-, which is the currency not only of Antigua & Barbuda but of a total of 7 islands in the West Indies. Apart from the Eastern Caribbean Dollar-XCD (also ECD), the United States Dollar USD is also accepted here.
Antigua’s Currency- The Eastern Caribbean Dollar
The Antigua Dollar was not always the XCD. Decades ago in 1821, Britain adopted the gold standard which resulted in Antigua adopting the sterling currency later in 1847. However, a few years later in 1873, an unfortunate financial crisis known as the silver crisis occurred causing a major economic depression in France and Britain. In 1949 the British West Indies dollar was introduced and was used in British Caribbean territories such as British Guiana. By 1965, The EC Dollar was introduced to replace the BWID.
Today the Eastern Caribbean states dollar is issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and is used by 6 independent states- Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, and two British Overseas Territories. – Anguilla and Montserrat. The EC Dollar is divided into 100 cents and has been pegged to the USD at a fixed rate of EC$EC2.70 per USD 1.00 since 1976.
Banknotes are issued in denominations of 1,5,20,50 and 100.
Coins are issued in denominations of 10 and 25 cents and $1.
Tips and FAQS
Can I use US Dollars in Antigua?
Yes! The USD is widely accepted throughout Antigua and is somewhat like a second currency being that is pegged to the EC Dollar. The exchange rate is US$1.00 = EC$2.60-EC$2.70 You should take with you as much USD as you wish and exchange it for XCD upon arriving in Antigua. You can also change Antigua currency to USD at any bank in Antigua or, even more conveniently, withdraw ECD at the ATM in Antigua that accepts your type of card. Cards that are widely accepted are Master Card and VISA Card.
Important to know is that it is not possible to withdraw USD from the ATM in Antigua, therefore only withdraw as much as you are planning on spending. Alternatively, at the end of your stay, you can exchange your ECD for USD again.
What is the best currency to use in Antigua?
Although USD is widely accepted in Antigua, the best currency to use in XCD. If you use USD, you are more than likely to receive a change in XCD.
Where can I get the best Exchange rates?
Banks in Antigua are generally the best place to get the most accurate and satisfactory exchange rates as businesses can determine their exchange rates ranging between EC$2.60- EC$2.70 per US$1.00. At the banks, however, the fixed rate is normally EC$2.70 per US$1.00.
What about credit cards?
Credit cards are generally accepted across Antigua in business places that are equipped to accept them. Many stores, grocery stores, and major supermarkets accept credit cards Visas and Mastercards are widely accepted and American Express is accepted at some business places.
Is it better to exchange money or withdraw from an ATM?
The smarter and safer option would be to withdraw money when needed in contrast to walking around with lots of cash whether EC or US. Note that you can only withdraw XCD from ATMs, so it is wise to withdraw just the amount that you need. ATMs can be found at various locations across the island including St.John, Jolly Harbor, and at different businesses on Friars Hill Road.
Here are some currency exchange tips:
1. Exchange some cash before arriving in Antigua.
2. Avoid exchanging currency at small local businesses. The banks are the best places to exchange currency.
3. Use ATM machines to get the best exchange rates directly from the banks.
Antigua currency exchange:
In Antigua, money can be changed at most banks with different costs based on the establishment. Antigua money exchange rate is the same as other countries with USD being the only fixed currency pegged to the eastern Caribbean Dollar. Other currencies’ rates fluctuate regularly so there is no fixed rate. Here is a list of banks in Antigua:
- Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank
Thames Street, St. John’s, contact #: 1268-480-6112
Opens Monday-Thursday, 8am-2pm, Friday 8am-4pm
- Antigua Commercial Bank–
Thames Street, St. John’s, contact #: 1268-481-4200
- Scotia Bank–
Market Street/Woods Mall-Friars Hill Road/St/John’s, contact #: 1268-480-1600
Opens Monday-Thursday 8am-2pm, 8am-4pm on Friday
- Royal Bank of Canada
High Street, St. John’s, contact #: 1268-480-1150
Opens 8am-2pm, Monday- Friday
- CIBC First Caribbean International bank
Old param Road, Cassada Gardens, contact #: 1268-480-5000
Opens 8am-2pm, Monday-Friday
- Caribbean Union Bank
Friars Hill Road, St. John’s, contact #: 1268-481-4278
Opens 8am-2pm, Monday- Friday
ATMs in Antigua
Although other currencies are accepted, the best currency for Antigua is the Antigua currency- XCD or the USD. When traveling to this beautiful paradise, be sure to get prepared beforehand.
We will provide you with all the necessary tools and information to ensure a smooth transition into the country. For more Antigua currency advice, get in touch with us.