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Currency

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Tavistock, United...
posts: 2
reviews: 49
Currency

Can anyone advise me on the best currency to take to St Lucia, US dollars or East Caribbean dollars? Or a combination of both? I am considering loading a holiday cash card with US dollars and taking cash in the form of EC dollars.

leeds
posts: 361
reviews: 7
1. Re: Currency

Neither- Sterling.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 131
reviews: 17
2. Re: Currency

Our plan is to get some EC dollars once we arrive from the US. Some things we can still pay in cash. Then we use a CC for anywhere that accepts CC. I am hoping this plan works out.

St. Lucia
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
posts: 6,666
reviews: 10
3. Re: Currency

As you are coming from the UK, bring sterling travelers checks and exchange on-island; that will give you the very best exchange rate. No need to do 2 conversions to US, then EC. Simply bring sterling and change here, or use your ATM to withdraw EC once on island.

See following very recent thread: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147344-i1692-k651…

Toronto, Canada
posts: 21
4. Re: Currency

We just got back from St. Lucia a couple of weeks ago. My advice would be to bring US dollars. It seemed to us that they prefer to use US dollars. There are instances where the cost in US dollars were even better than EC dollars (albeit by $1). Should you need EC dollars, you can always just withdraw from the ATM while you're there. That would be our plan if we ever go back to St. Lucia.

leeds
posts: 361
reviews: 7
5. Re: Currency

With all due respect , what you are advising is wrong .

St. Lucia
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
posts: 6,666
reviews: 10
6. Re: Currency

Second Stevo....what you are advising is simply wrong, especially when coming from the UK. As the currency of the country is EC, using EC will get you the best prices.

if coming from the US, bringing US dollars would be OK, especially if you changed them to EC once here. If coming from Canada, if you have US lying around for whatever reason, then OK too, but Canadien $$ will get you a slighty (very slight) better exchange rate. In a bank, US $1 will get you $2.67/on the strret, from vendors, hotel desks, etc, $1 will get you $2.50.

As the OP is coming from UK - doing two currency exchanges will cost you $$ on both. Sterling travelers checks get the best exchange at the banks here. Cash sterling will get you about $4.10 EC. Travelers checks will get you about $4.20EC rate. While not signifigant, it can add up. Best bet is to bring a little sterling, change at the bank at the airport (same rate all around the island at all banks) and then use CC & ATM as needed.

There is a TOP Question about this at the top right of the page and about a thousand threads about it also.

All the best.

Ps: jenjia- would love to know where you got better rates for US than EC. If you had specifics, that would be great.

Philadelphia, PA
posts: 1
reviews: 9
7. Re: Currency

I'm in St Lucia right now and brought US currency. On our first day, we went to the grocery and using anything over $20 bills was problematic--and even they were closely scrutinized. No one seems to have a "counterfeit pen" to verify them, but they wouldn't take $100 bills and some $50s. Crisp, unmarked, unfolded $20 bills or smaller work best. Waiting in line for a cashier using his own discretion to inspect your cash can be frustrating and timeconsuming.

Tavistock, United...
posts: 2
reviews: 49
8. Re: Currency

Hello Phillygirl,

I'm actually in St Lucia right now too! And it seems that US Dollars are more widely accepted than the local currency. I have a couple of excursions coming up soon, so that is when I shall probably have an even better idea of what is preferred among the locals. Many thanks for your reply to my query.

UK
posts: 1,769
reviews: 10
9. Re: Currency

I suspect US dollars may seem to be "more widely accepted" than ECD because they can hose you on the exchange rate more easily.

The street rate is EC 2.50 per US so if they take a US$ from you at 2.50 and change it into EC at a bank for 2.67 then they've scooped 0.17 per $ off the top.

Edited: 10:23 am, August 22, 2013
Buffalo, New York
posts: 720
reviews: 3
10. Re: Currency

Getting EC from an ATM on the island is the best and easiest way, You may avoid international ATM exchange/ transaction fees, if your bank charges them, if you exchange sterling at the banks on the island, but that could involve waiting in a long queue if the bank is busy. Most banks will also ask for ID to do the exchange. It is next to impossible to use US $50 or $100 notes at many of the stores due to counterfieting concerns.