Views from Flagstaff Hill at Charlotteville

Money Matters

The currency of Trinidad & Tobago is the T&T dollar (TTD). Banknotes are available in denominations of $1 (red), $5 (green), $10 (grey), $20 (purple), $50 (olive) and $100 (blue). The dollar is subdivided into 100 cents, with coins available in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and 50¢ denominations.

MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted by most Tobago hotels, restaurants and shops. American Express is accepted in larger hotels, but not widely elsewhere. You are unlikely to be able to pay by card at smaller guesthouses, shops, stalls and bars, especially in the rural areas of Tobago. You will often be asked to provide identification when paying by credit card in supermarkets and stores, so be sure to carry your passport, id or photocard driving licence. This also applies when visiting any of the local banks to withdraw cash or cash travellers cheques.

Many businesses in Tobago will accept payment in US dollars. However, the exchange rate will not be in your favour. It can be a very expensive way of paying for things.

ATM cash machines are often the easiest and most convenient way of drawing cash while in Tobago. However, this assumes that you pay your credit card balance in full in each month and that your card company does not make excessive charges for cash withdrawals.

Exchange Rates

Our accommodation listings offer the option to display accommodation rates in various currencies. Our mid-market exchange rates, as displayed on this page, are compiled from various sources and updated every four hours. Actual rates may differ, due to bank commission and other charges. Our exchange rates are therefore only intended as a rough guide. Use the following links to check the rates being offered by local banks.

  • First Citizens Bank   (www.rbcroyalbank.com)
    • Canaan - LP#127, Milford Road
    • Roxborough - Windward Main Road
    • Scarborough - Lower Milford Road
  • RBC Royal Bank   (www.firstcitizenstt.com)
    • Crown Point – Milford Road, Store Bay
    • Scarborough – Burnett Street
  • Republic Bank   (www.republictt.com)
    • Crown Point – Pelican Plaza, Milford Estate
    • Carnbee – Corner Claude Noel Highway
      & Auchenskeoch Buccoo Bay Road
    • Scarborough – Main Street
  • Scotiabank   (www.scotiabank.com/tt/)
    • Lowlands – Gulf City Mall
    • Scarborough – Milford Road

Every ATM cash dispenser currently operational in Tobago is listed here and the location shown on the map below.

There are very few ATMs in rural Tobago. Those that exist appear to suffer from infrequent maintenance and servicing. As a consequence, they are often out of operation.

In theory, all the ATMs accept any credit/debit card bearing the international VISA or MasterCard logo. However, the government-owned First Citizens Bank declined to honour cards issued by non-local banks for a year or two until late 2016. We understand that this incomprehensible decision has now been reversed and that First Citizen ATM machines will now issue cash to foreign cards.

In addition to the overview map below, you can also view the location of all ATMs and banks on our interactive map page.

Bon Accord Republic Bank, Pennysavers, Milford Road
Carnbee Republic Bank, Pennysavers, Auchenskeoch Road
  Republic Bank, Junction Claude Noel Highway & Auckenskeoch Road
Castara First Citizens, Castara Community Centre
Charlotteville First Citizens, Main Road
Crown Point First Citizens, airport precinct
  Eastern Credit Union, D'Colosseum Mall, Milford Road
  RBC Royal Bank, (branch) Milford Road, Store Bay
  Republic Bank, (branch) Pelican Plaza, Milford Estate
  Scotia Bank, junction Milford Road and Pigeon Point Road
Grafton Republic Bank, Grafton Road, Pleasant Prospect
Lowlands Scotia Bank, (branch), Gulf City Mall
Orange Hill Republic Bank, LP#12 Orange Hill Road (filling station)
Plymouth First Citizens, Supreme Plaza
Roxborough First Citizens, (branch), Windward Road
Scarborough First Citizens, Port Authority Complex
  RBC Royal Bank, (main branch) Burnett Street
  Republic Bank, Assad Plaza, 14-16 Wilson Road
  Republic Bank, (main branch), Main Street
  Scotia Bank, (main branch) Milford Road

This is an emotive subject and I bow to different opinions on the subject. This article is very much my personal take on the subject. I should also point out that these comments only apply to Tobago. Trinidadians neither give nor expect gratuities. Tipping has never been part of Trinidadian culture. Well done Trinidad!

Tobagonians are a wonderfully warm and hospitable people. They are, however, fiercely proud. Many of them have difficulty differentiating between service and servitude, possibly for historical and ethnic reasons. When tipping, it is vital that you are discreet. If you make the recipient feel that they are being "bought", you will cause offence. Do not be surprised if the recipient declines a tip, and do not cause further embarrassment by pressing the issue.

When staying in rental villas, we feel that a gratuity of TTD$100 per week is about right. This assumes that the housekeeper has not undertaken additional duties, such as cooking or personal laundry. Similarly, a gratuity of around TT$10 for each day of your stay is probably appropriate for the room maid at your hotel. NEVER tip in advance.

Given the motives of this website, the last thing I would wish to do is deprive the local service industry workers their just reward. Just the opposite - I urge every visitor to recognise good service in the traditional way, but please do so sensitively.