Although Grand Cayman now has more than 259 licensed banks, only a handful are full-service retail banks providing customer banking services as visitors know it. These include Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd., Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited, Royal Bank of Canada, Cayman National Bank Ltd., First Caribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited. Regular banking hours are 9: 00 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Cayman Islands has its own currency, first issued in 1972, whose basic unit is the dollar, issued in notes with denominations of CI$100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 and coins valued at 25 cents, 10, 5 and 1 cent. The CI dollar has a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar of CI$1.00 equals US$1.25. Or, the US dollar equals CI $.80.
There is no need for visitors to exchange their US dollars into local currency. The US dollar is accepted throughout the islands at a rate of CI 80 cents. However, this can be confusing to visitors: for example, a US$20 note becomes CI$16. Banks do NOT give a better rate of exchange! Major credit cards (with the exception of the Discover Card) and travellers checks are widely accepted. Canadian dollars, Euro dollars and pounds sterling can be exchanged for CI dollars at local banks.
In addition, Automatic Teller Machines accepting VISA and MasterCard with Cirrus affiliation are located at Cayman National Bank and other banks and at Owen Roberts International Airport as well as a few other locations such as the grocery stores.
Many Stores and operations within the Cayman Islands will quote products in Cayman Island Dollars (CI$) and American Dollars (US$). Both currencies are accepted anywhere, however return change will generally be given in Cayman currency.The chart below shows the exchange rate from Cayman Island Dollars to American Dollars. One American Dollar is the equivalent to 80 cents Cayman Island Dollar. Banking hours are generally Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 4.00pm and on Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.