Currency of Panama

The local currency of Panama is the Balboa being the legal means of payment in Panama since 1904. The Balboa is linked

to the US-Dollar in the rate 1:1. Prices are often completed by the sign “$“ or  “B/.“.

1 Balboa = 1 US-Dollar
100 Centavos = 100 Cents

There are two legal means of payment in Panama: the Balboa and the US-Dollar. Panama does not have any bank notes of its own; there are only Balboa-coins in the value of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Centavos. US-Dollar coins are available in the value of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Centavos as well as US-Dollar bank notes in the value of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Dollars.

Money Exchange in Panama

There are only two banks in Panama which exchange foreign currencies. You can exchange your local currency into Balbao respectively US-Dollar directly at the airport Tocumen. Moreover foreign currencies are exchanged by all HSBC-banks in Panama. In addition to these two banks some exchange offices, the so-called  "Casas de Cambio", exchange foreign currencies, however mostly at low exchange rates. It is easy to exchange Euros in Panama.

Due to the risk of forgery bank notes exceeding 20 US-Dollars are not accepted in 90% of all shops.

Exchange rate (28th May 2009)

1 Euro = 1,392 USD (Balboa)
1 Swiss franc = 0,921 USD (Balboa)

Credit Cards

The payment via credit card is also very common. It is not at all a problem to pay with usual credit cards such as VISA, Eurocard or Mastercard in superior travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, boutiques and shops in Panama City. Since credit cards are less accepted in remote areas, you should always dispose of sufficient cash.

Cash Points

In every larger town in Panama you will find cash points accepting Maestro-, Mastercard- and Visa cards as well as credit cards of the Cirrus- and Plus system. Cash points accepting these credit cards are marked with the red sign "sistema clave".

Traveller’s Cheques

Traveller’s cheques are to be issued in US-Dollar; their acceptance is, however, relatively low. Traveller’s cheques, preferably American Express, are almost exclusively accepted by banks.

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