A practical foreign exchange and currency guide on sending money and travel to Kiribati
What's in this Kiribati currency guide?
English is Kiribati’s official language, but most natives also speak the local Gilbertese tongue. You shouldn’t have a problem communicating wherever you go, although the farther you get from Tarawa and Christmas Island, the less English is used. Kiribati and the Islands use the Australian dollar; a major currency that can be exchanged anywhere. You can also change money at the Bank of Kiribati or ANZ bank on Tarawa or Christmas Island. Kiribati is a mostly cash-oriented country, though major cards are accepted in hotels and some shops. Traveler’s checks should be in Aussie dollars.
Transportation: the only transportation are minivans. They don’t have timetables. They are run by private people who decide randomly the start and the end of the trip. Often they are full and for this reason they won’t stop to pick you up. Sometimes the engine breaks and you have to find another one. But in spite of all these problems they are ok. There are no taxis in the Gilbert Islands. The local transportation is carried out by Air Kiribati. There are regular flights to every island in the Gilbert group except for Banaba, price around 50 AUD one way three times a week for the near islands (until Kuria and Aranuka), and price around 100 – 150 AUD one way once a week for the further ones (for instance, Nonouti, Nikunau, Beru).
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Australian dollar.
The Australian dollar is the fifth most traded currency in the world and is popular with currency traders, because of the high interest rates in Australia, the freedom of the foreign exchange market from government intervention, the stability of Australia’s economy and political system, and the view that the Australian dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing the major world currencies, especially because of its greater exposure to Asian economies and the commodities cycle.
The currency is commonly referred to by foreign-exchange traders as the “Aussie dollar”.
Australians are more focussed on their currency exchange rate than are the citizens of most other countries, along with perhaps the British and Canadians. This is may be due to the open and trading nature of the Australian economy and also due to their love of ‘overseas’ travel.
Aussie Ups and Downs 2011-20
The Aussie is very volatile for a major currency, for example between 2008 and 2011, AUD rose 80 per cent against the US dollar, ultimately going up through parity at one point.
Then during 2011-12 AUD started to track the Chinese economy much more than it tracked any of the traditional domestic economic and monetary indicators.
From 2013 to 2015 it dropped against the US dollar, especially when the Chinese stock market sold off in 2015, followed by a decent cyclical 17 per cent rally in 2016-17.
Then from early 2018 it again began its steady way down before being king-hit by the Covid pandemic flight to safety in March of 2020 which took AUD/USD all the way back to its 2008 lows to $60 cents.
The Aussie dollar hit a recent high near 0.755 USD in late October but has since dropped back to 0.74 into November. The catalyst was a successfully dovish Reserve Bank of Australia. The RBA reiterated that it doesn’t see rate hikes until 2024, as wages are expected to increase only moderately.
At the same time, Australia’s narrowing trade surplus and the worst retail sales quarter on record added more fuel to a weak Australian dollar, the worst G10 performer last week.AUD-USD Outlook
19 Nov 2021
04 Sep 2021
03 Dec 2020
04 Dec 2016
06 Dec 2011
08 Dec 2001