Foreign exchange guide to the United States and the US dollar
What's in this United States currency guide?
The official currency of the United States (country code: US) is the US dollar, with symbol $ and currency code USD.
Here are a few things you may want to know about the U.S. dollar:
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the United States and is used for all transactions within the country.
It is abbreviated as "USD": The U.S. dollar is abbreviated as "USD," and the symbol for the dollar is "$."
It is accepted worldwide: The U.S. dollar is a widely accepted currency and can be used for transactions in many countries around the world.
Its value fluctuates: The value of the U.S. dollar can fluctuate based on a variety of economic factors, such as interest rates, inflation, and the strength of the U.S. economy.
It is issued by the Federal Reserve: The U.S. dollar is issued by the Federal Reserve, which is responsible for managing the country's monetary policy. The Federal Reserve is a quasi-independent agency that is responsible for setting interest rates and regulating the money supply in the U.S.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of several countries outside the United States, including:
East Timor: The U.S. dollar is the official currency of East Timor, a country located in Southeast Asia.
El Salvador: The U.S. dollar is the official currency of El Salvador, a country located in Central America.
Zimbabwe: The U.S. dollar is one of the official currencies of Zimbabwe, a country located in Southern Africa.
The British Virgin Islands: The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands located in the Caribbean Sea.
The Marshall Islands: The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the Marshall Islands, a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean.
The Federated States of Micronesia: The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the Federated States of Micronesia, a country located in the Pacific Ocean.
The physical currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 1 cent (¢), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), and 50 cents (half dollar). The banknotes come in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
The banknotes feature images of famous American historical figures, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Franklin. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.
Save money and time by Ordering your US dollar online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the USD cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in US dollar otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
America is the birthplace of LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Boston and New York City – each a brimming metropolis whose name alone conjures a million different notions of culture, cuisine and entertainment.
This is a country of road trips and great open skies, where 4 million miles of highways lead past red-rock deserts, below towering mountain peaks and through fertile wheat fields that roll off toward the horizon. The sun-bleached hillsides of the Great Plains, the lush rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, the sultry swamplands of the South and the scenic country lanes of New England are a few fine starting points for the great American road trip.
When time is tight, book a flight. The domestic air system is extensive and reliable, with dozens of competing airlines, hundreds of airports and thousands of flights daily. Flying is usually more expensive than traveling by bus, train or car, but it's the way to go when you're in a hurry. Main 'hub' airports in the USA include all international gateways plus many other large cities. Most cities and towns have a local or county airport, but you usually have to travel via a hub airport to reach them.
International travelers who plan on doing a lot of flying might consider buying a North American air pass. Passes are normally available only to non–North American citizens, and they must be purchased in conjunction with an international ticket. Conditions and cost structures can be complicated, but all passes include a certain number of domestic flights (from as few as two to as many as 16, depending on airline network) that typically must be used within a 60-day period.
For maximum flexibility and convenience, and to explore rural America and its wide-open spaces, a car is essential. Although gas prices are high, you can often score fairly inexpensive rentals (NYC excluded), with rates as low as $20 per day.
Most cities and larger towns have dependable local bus systems, though they are often designed for commuters and provide limited service in the evening and on weekends. Getting around between cities via bus or train can often be a bit cheaper than getting a cheap flight, so its something to consider depending on your travel taste and how much time you want to save travelling. Middle-class Americans prefer to fly or drive, but buses let you see the countryside and meet folks along the way. As a rule, buses are reliable, cleanish and comfortable, with air-conditioning, barely reclining seats, lavatories and no smoking.
Compared with other modes of travel, trains are rarely the quickest, cheapest, timeliest or most convenient option, but they turn the journey into a relaxing, social and scenic all-American experience, especially on western routes, where double-decker Superliner trains boast spacious lounge cars with panoramic windows.
Don't just stick to the cities, National Parks in the USA are some of the best things about the US. Stunning landscapes, Ranger guided tours and facilities and consistently excellent, while the information handed out for free is amazing. And you you don't need to be a hardcore hiker to explore rugged, remote parks. The policy of putting in drive-up viewpoints and easy, flat paths makes the parks remarkably easy to travel round, even if you've limited mobility.
Eating out is relatively cheap and you may find that one meal could easily feed two. When tipping for food 15%-20% of the cost of the meal is expected as it is considered part of a waiter's wage.
The USA has made tremendous contributions to the arts. Georgia O'Keeffe's wild landscapes, Robert Rauschenberg's surreal collages, Alexander Calder's elegant mobiles and Jackson Pollock's drip paintings have entered the vernacular of 20th-century art. Chicago and New York have become veritable drawing boards for the great architects of the modern era. And from the soulful blues born in the Mississippi Delta to the bluegrass of Appalachia and Detroit's Motown sound – plus jazz, funk, hip-hop, country, and rock and roll – America has invented sounds integral to modern music.
One of the best ways to see a good chunk of the states is to hit the road with your best mates or family. A road trip is like your own personal hop on hop off bus except you get to make the rules. Try a scenic drive on California’s Pacific Highway 1!
If you’re planning a trip on the East Coast during the winter months (December - February) just remember it can get very cold and chances are it will snow. The roads can be extremely icy and be very hazardous in winter.
The domestic currency in the United States is the US dollar.
The three letter currency code for the US dollar is USD — symbol is $.
No, the US dollar is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?
To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to the United States you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).
The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.
You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
When sending money to the United States it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
Use the above calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more US dollar deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in the United States.
Setting up a business in the US as a foreigner is generally the same process as setting up a business as a US citizen. However, there may be additional legal requirements and regulations that apply to foreign nationals. It is advisable to consult with a lawyer who specializes in immigration and business law to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, obtaining a valid work visa may be necessary in order to work in the US as a foreigner. It's important to research the specific requirements for the type of business you plan to start and the state where you plan to set it up.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in the United States:
Understand US dollar currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the USD exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local US dollar bank account: A local USD bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in the United States. It may also be more convenient to use a local USD bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in the United States. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in the United States. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in the United States, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.
You can read about the best providers and compare the latest deals for international money transfers to the United States in our Send Money to the United States guide.