Barbados has its own currency, which is tied to the US dollar. The exchange rate is pre-set at BDS $1.98 to the US dollar. The rate varies slightly according to the form of currency you are using (traveler's checks, cash, wire transfers), and of course other currencies fluctuate against the US dollar. Check the bank or print media for daily rates on other currencies. You can usually pay in US or local cash when dealing with most ancillary services such as taxis and vendors. On the street the US rate of exchange is generally two to one.

Hotels, restaurants, department and duty free stores, along with most shops catering to visitors readily accept most major credit cards. Barbados has a fleet of banks around the island-the greatest concentration being in Bridgetown, and many banks now sport ATM machines. You need your PIN# to get a credit card cash advance and the machines dispense local currency only. However, if your credit card does not have a PIN# you can get cash advances in most banks.

As a rule, bank hours are open Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 3 pm and on Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm.

*TIP: Banks generally require customers to show their passport and ticket when converting foreign dollars, particularly when converting back to your home currency. This is because Barbadians are allowed a fixed amount of foreign exchange each year. You should also carry your passport to do cash advances off your credit card in the bank.