The official currency of Trinidad and Tobago is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$), divided into one hundred cents. Coins come in 1, 5, 10 and 25-cent pieces, while notes come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 100. Currently, the exchange rate was around TT$6.29 to US$1, and TT$12.34 to the UK pound. Because Trinidad and Tobago are not known as a tourist destination, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the cheapest Caribbean destinations available.
Although the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$) is the official currency, the American dollar is widely accepted throughout both islands. The American dollar is widely used and accepted everywhere in Trinidad. In fact, some accommodations only indicate their rates in American dollars
Banks in Trinidad
Banking hours vary slightly, but are usually Monday to Thursday 8am–2pm and Fridays 8am–noon and 3–5pm. Most banks in Trinidad’s larger malls open and close later (9am–6pm) with no break. Some of the most popular banks are:
- Republic Bank Ltd
- Royal Bank of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd
- Bank of Nova Scotia
- Bank of Commerce
- First Citizens Bank
Exchanging your Money in Trinidad
For Trinidad, Piarco Airport Exchange Bureau (daily 24hr) has reasonable rates, although it is not as competitive as the banks in Port of Spain; there are several on Independence Square, and there is a Republic bank on Ariapita Avenue and on the Western Main Road in St James. Most shops and vendors will accept American dollars – pay in small denominations and be prepared to receive your change in local currency.
Exchanging Your Money in Tobago
In Tobago, travellers can change money at the airport bureau de change or the Republic Bank opposite the terminal; there’s also a Royal Bank on Airport Road. There are several banks in Scarborough, including Republic on Carrington Street. Most shops and vendors will accept American dollars – pay in small denominations and be prepared to receive your change in local currency.
There are ATMs in all cities and towns, and some machines (in West Mall, Trinidad, and around Crown Point, Tobago) will dispense in US dollars. ATM machines are usually well-indicated in the larger cities. Just look for the “Blue Machine” sign. Most ATMs are available 24 hours a day.
Travellers Checks and Credit Cards
Traveller’s cheques and credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, high-class shops and hotels. The major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) are widely accepted throughout both islands, other than small local boutiques and some rum-shops. Most hotels and guesthouses accept traveler’s checks. However, in smaller establishments and rural areas they are unlikely to take anything but local currency.
Money and Costs during Carnival
During Carnival season, all accommodation rates in Port of Spain increase by 10 to 70 percent, as do other prices, including entrance fees, drinks and taxi fares. If you want to enjoy yourself during Carnival, plan on a budget of at least £100/US$140 a day.