The official currency of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Islands Dollar. However, the United States Dollar is widely accepted throughout the Islands as well.
This article is part of our free series on banking in the Cayman Islands which shares unique insights on the country, account opening for foreign non-residents, available banking services, and much more.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- What is the Currency of the Cayman Islands?
- Where Can You Exchange Money in the Cayman Islands?
- Can You Use Foreign Credit Cards in the Cayman Islands?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?
What is the Currency of the Cayman Islands?
The official currency of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD or CI$). The Cayman Islands Dollar is pegged to the United States Dollar (USD or $) at a rate of KYD 1 to USD 1.20.
However, if you plan on visiting the Cayman Islands, it’s important to note that USD is frequently used and widely accepted throughout the Islands as an alternative currency.
In the following sections of the article, we will discuss currency exchange, local payments, banking and financial services, and answer common questions we receive from our members on the topic. These factors will be especially important to anyone looking to send money to the Cayman Islands frequently. But also, for anyone considering opening a personal bank account in the Cayman Islands. The same goes for anyone looking to open a private bank account here as a foreign non-resident.
Likewise, businesses considering local operations or opening a business bank account in the Cayman Islands will want to understand how their home currency compares to KYD and USD.
But, before diving in, it’s important to note that even though the Cayman Islands is a dollarized economy, Cayman banks do offer access to a wide range of foreign currency and multi-currency accounts.
So, if you are looking for an offshore bank account with access to USD and other major currencies, the Cayman Islands could be an option worth considering. That said, the risks of banking in the Cayman Islands could impact access to certain currencies, so it’s worth looking at these risks before opening accounts. Additionally, it’s important to consider the costs of banking in the Cayman Islands before contacting banks directly. Not to mention, the benefits of banking in the Cayman Islands and how your specific client profile can benefit from banking here.
To get more insight on banking in the Cayman Islands, access any of our resources covering the requirements for opening accounts in the Cayman Islands and much more. Of course, if you want to unlock instant access to the best banks in the Cayman Islands, you can use GlobalBanks IQ to get started immediately.
Where Can You Exchange Money In the Cayman Islands?
Where you can exchange money in the Cayman Islands depends on the amount you want to exchange, the fees you’re willing to pay, and where in the country you are located. That said, most people elect to either exchange money at currency exchanges, branches of major banks, the airport, or hotels.
Fortunately, since the USD is widely accepted here, you have the option to use an ATM to withdraw US funds via a US debit card. Likewise, if you already have USD, you will not need to exchange it for KYD in order to make purchases locally.
Of course, exchange rates and fees will vary drastically between each of the options mentioned above. So, it’s very important that you compare the exchange rates and fees that each of these options will charge you before choosing which method to use.
Can You Use Foreign Credit Cards in the Cayman Islands?
Yes, you can use foreign credit cards in the Cayman Islands. In fact, all major credit cards are widely accepted in the Cayman Islands. However, it’s important to know that any transactions using a foreign credit card will be automatically charged in USD.
It’s also important to keep in mind that if you are using a foreign credit card to complete a purchase in the Cayman Islands, you will likely be charged foreign exchange fee if your home currency is not USD. Of course, if you have a foreign credit card that has zero foreign exchange fees, this won’t apply to you.
Can You Use Foreign Money in the Cayman Islands?
No, you cannot use foreign money in the Cayman Islands. Instead, you have the choice of using either Cayman Islands Dollars (KYD) or United States Dollars (USD). So, if you have foreign currency, you will have to exchange your money into KYD or USD before or when you arrive in the Cayman Islands.
That said, popular tourist destinations including hotels and casinos may accept major currencies. However, you will likely pay significantly higher exchange rates for the privilege of exchanging currency at these locations.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people asking about the official currency of the Cayman Islands. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What’s the Best Way to Get Cayman Islands Dollars in the Cayman Islands?
The best way to get Cayman Islands Dollars in the Cayman Islands is by visiting a bank or ATM. However, if you are traveling from the United States, you have the option to use your USD instead of exchanging your money.
What Is the Best Currency to Use in the Cayman Islands?
The best currency to use in the Cayman Islands when transacting in cash is the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD). It is the official currency of the island and is available at ATMs and currency exchanges. That said, you can also use USD, which is widely accepted here.
Can I Use USD In the Cayman Islands?
Yes, you can use USD in the Cayman Islands. In fact, USD is widely accepted throughout the Cayman Islands and is used for everyday purchases. In fact, if transactions are made with non domestic credit cards, charges to the credit card will automatically be in USD.
Is the Cayman Dollar Higher Than the US Dollar?
Yes, the Cayman Dollar is higher than the US Dollar, pegged at a rate of 1 KYD to 1.2 USD. In other words, to buy 1 USD, you require .83 KYD. That said, both currencies are often used in the Cayman Islands.
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