What is the 2% Foreign Exchange Fee?

When you exchange Barbados Dollars for foreign currency, the Central Bank of Barbados applies a 2% Foreign Exchange Fee (FXF) on the Barbados Dollar value of the transaction.

For example, if you exchange BBD $100 for US Dollars at an authorised dealer, the 2% Foreign Exchange Fee will be applied ($100 - 2% = $98). You would receive back, less any bank fees, the equivalent of BBD $98 in US Dollars at the advertised exchange rate.

Likewise, if you make an overseas purchase using a credit or debit card (i.e. a transaction in which the settlement currency is not the Barbados Dollar), the 2% Foreign Exchange Fee is applied. This is always calculated on the Barbados Dollar value of the transaction, not the foreign currency value.

For card payments and wire transfers, your bank is responsible for collecting and remitting the FXF to the Central Bank of Barbados. Your account will automatically be debited as required. FXF charges are always in Barbados Dollars and appear separately on your bank statement.

Please note the FXF also applies to External Accounts.

Note: The FXF does not apply when exchanging foreign currency for Barbados Dollars because in that scenario the Central Bank is gaining foreign currency, not losing foreign currency.

Paying for online orders in Barbados Dollars

You may still be charged the FXF even if an online retailer, or overseas merchant, offers you the option to pay in Barbados Dollars. It is the settlement currency that determines whether the FXF is applied. For example, if you choose to pay for an Amazon.com order using BBD, you will be charged the FXF because the settlement currency would be US dollars.

Please note some local companies that accept online orders use foreign payment processors which may cause the settlement currency to be in US dollars or some other foreign currency, thereby triggering the FXF.

Local companies that do not trigger the FXF

The following list is not exhaustive and is provided for convenience only. No guarantees can be made with respect to its accuracy.

Lavazza Caribbean: lavazza.bb

Phillips Pharmacy: phillipspharmacy.org

PriceSmart Barbados: pricesmart.com/site/bb/en

Massy Stores Barbados: shopmassystoresbb.com