27 Countries That Accept U.S. Dollars as Currency

The buck starts here.
27 Countries That Accept U.S. Dollars as Currency Getty Images

One of the biggest hassles of traveling internationally is having to exchange money. But the U.S. dollar (USD) is widely accepted in many countries, both officially and unofficially. Some nations have adopted our currency as their own while others use dollars in addition to their own accepted legal tender.

Plagued by hyperinflation, Zimbabwe ditched its currency in April 2009. (Customers got tired of trying to break 100 trillion-dollar bills.). And while South African rands, Botswana pulas, Chinese yuans and British pounds all used, prices are marked in dollars in the capital city of Harare.

As U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands all use the U.S. dollar as their official tender. But so do two British Overseas Territories—Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands.

Some countries have pegged their currency to the dollar at a set ratio, a process called "dollarization": Barbados has permanently tied the Barbadian dollar to the USD at a rate of 2:1, making converting prices simple.

Panama has been using the dollar since it gained independence at the start of the 20th century. Coins, called balboas, are used for change and small items. Balboa banknotes were briefly printed in 1941 by President Arnulfo Arias but were recalled and burned several days later by the new regime, giving them the name "The Seven Day Dollar."

After becoming independent, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the other former members of the U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands chose not to issue their own currency: Insead, they've all relied on American tender since 1944.

The U.S. dollar is also the world's foremost reserve currency. (Most American banknotes are actually held outside the United States.) Economist like Milton Friedman have long maintained that demand for dollars has allowed the U.S. to incur serious trade deficits without devaluing the currency or upsetting trade.

So where is the American dollar accepted? Slide through and find out.

British Virgin Islands Getty Images