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Money and duty free for Jamaica

Currency and Money

Currency information

Jamaican Dollar (JMD; symbol J$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of J$1,000, 500, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of J$20, 10, 5 and 1, and 25, 10 and 1 cents.

Jamaican law requires that local currency be used when paying for all goods and services, though that law is followed very loosely and the US Dollar is accepted almost universally. To avoid confusion determine which dollar unit is being quoted in the price prior to any transaction being made.

Credit cards

Plastic is invaluable when travelling in Jamaica. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are all widely accepted as are other cards bearing the Cirrus or Plus logo. Most Jamaican ATMs accept international bank cards and many banks give credit card cash advances.


Most Jamaican ATMs accept international bank cards and can be found at the airports, in larger towns and in major hotels and resorts. However the island’s ATMs still have a reputation for unreliability and shouldn’t be relied on exclusively. Bank cards supported by Visa and Mastercard will work in most situations and the island’s Scotia Bank cashpoints are generally considered the most reliable. As a precaution it’s recommended that you use ATMs during business hours and avoid visiting them after dark. If a bank is open but the ATM isn’t functioning, many banks will give cash advances on a credit card.

Travellers cheques

Although the concept of traveller's cheques has become antiquated in recent years, thanks to Jamaica’s erratic ATMs, traveller’s cheques in US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Jamaica.

Banking hours

Mon-Thurs 0830-1700; Fri 0830-1600, with 24-hour ATMs in major cities and resort areas.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$10,000 or equivalent must be declared.

Currency exchange

Exchange bureaux are located in airports, hotels, cruise ports and commercial banks. Hold onto receipts when changing money as black market exchange is illegal.

Jamaica duty free


The following goods may be imported into Jamaica without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 230g of tobacco.
• 1L of spirits and 1L of wine.
• 170ml of perfume and 340ml of eau de toilette.
• US$500 of other goods (Jamaican passport holders and residents only).

Banned Imports

Prohibited items include dangerous drugs, dog racing equipment, and pornographic material. If you wish to import meat products, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, firearms, ammunition, used tyres, two way radios, or motor vehicles, you must obtain a specific import licence.

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