Belize’s currency is pegged at $2Bz for $1US. Using American currency in Belize has never been an issue as most establishments accept the currency for payment. But until just recently island folk have started complaining that most, if not all businesses, are giving a hard time accepting US currency.
Some business have put up signs that read, “Due to new bank rules we are not accepting any US bills that are torn, old or have any markings on it”. And when it comes to bank deposits and credit card payments, customers have been getting frustrated when most US bills have been rejected.
Ambergris Today spoke with a representative of the Central Bank of Belize who stated that they have not issued any rules to any banks stating that they are not accepting the US Currency but that it might be that each bank has set up their own policies and standards in regards to the matter.
We made checks at the Belize Bank San Pedro Branch and were told that all their countrywide branches are being strict on accepting US currency. Belize Bank is not accepting any mutilated bills, meaning they are not taking any bills that are torn, have been taped up or written on; the reason being that they cannot re-sell unfit cash to foreign investors.
Making checks at other banks, Atlantic Bank confirmed that they do have policies as well but that US Bills are accepted based on the appearance of the note. As for Heritage Bank, a representative stated that they do not take bills that are torn or have been patched together with adhesive tape. All the banks in the country have had these policies before but it seems that Belize Bank is being the strictest at accepting US currency.
Nevertheless residents and tourists will find it more difficult to make payments with US currency. Residents are being asked to be careful when accepting US currency and to take care of their money so as not to have any problems at any business or banks. Tourists are also recommended to change their money to Belizean dollars at any bank upon arrival.