Jamaican Currency (J$ or JA$)
The official currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar (J $ or JA $). Jamaican banknotes have a face value of $ 100, $ 500, $ 1,000 and $ 5,000. Jamaican coins have a face value of $ 1, $ 5, $ 10, and $ 20 (older coins that currently have no real value but are still legal are denominated in 1, 10, and 25 Jamaican cents).
Most Jamaican places, even in remote areas of the island related to the tourism industry, accept Jamaican dollars and US dollars.
Places that are far from the main tourist areas, far from Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril, etc., and that are not related to the tourism industry, usually use only Jamaican dollars.
Exchanging British Pound to Jamaican Dollars
Jamaican dollars are available from banks, stock exchanges and hotels. However, because each merchant can set their own exchange rate, places located outside tourist areas usually offer very low exchange rates for all foreign currencies if they usually price their goods and services in Jamaican dollars. Also, be careful with airport exchange rates. Credit and debit cards are accepted in major tourist areas, and Jamaican dollars can be withdrawn from ATMs.
However, holding cash British pounds still requires conversion. The British Pound is a highly convertible currency. The same goes for the Euro and the Canadian dollar. If you have pounds, you have two options.
You can only convert them to U.S. dollars if you plan to use this currency first, but we recommend that you convert them directly to Jamaican dollars. The use of Jamaican dollars is often cheaper in smaller guest houses, local shops, and restaurants because of local exchange rates.
What to be aware of when exchanging Jamaican currency
You should also exchange Jamaican coins back to your local currency, if possible, before leaving Jamaica, as they won’t have any when you return home. We recommend that you convert only the amount you need to avoid charging two exchange fees (fees for converting currency into Jamaican dollars or US dollars and then back to British pounds).
Also, do not Convert British Pounds to US Dollars in your home country, and then Convert US Dollars to Jamaican Dollars in Jamaica. Avoid additional conversion fees by converting only from British Pounds to Jamaican Dollars or US Dollars, and preferably do the conversion in Jamaica.
Note: The Scottish Pound is not considered a highly convertible currency in Jamaica. They need to be converted to British Pounds in the UK if you plan to bring pound banknotes to Jamaica if you move there or on holiday.