Official Currency: East Caribbean Dollars (XCD)
Current Exchange Rate: https://www.xe.com/currency/xcd-east-caribbean-dollar
Currency was one of the big question marks when booking to go to Saint Lucia, many posts on TripAdvisor advised USD whilst others suggested XCD. However, from experience it seems that resorts tend to use USD, whilst local stores/markets etc. use XCD. Fortunately, with the Starling card this isn’t such an issue when paying with plastic.
All ATMs I have come across dispense XCD only.
Using your Starling Card In-store
Some of the bigger stores have card machines and accept the usual mix of VISA and Mastercard. Personally I haven’t attempted using the card in-store, mainly because we’re all inclusive and haven’t really needed to but cash appears to be much more popular with the locals.
Our resort preferred card payment. However, it may be worth checking in advance, especially if you’ll need some USD in cash form.
Usage of the ATMs varied. Out of the 5 attempts at using the ATM I had 2 declined services and 3 successful.
All 3 successful uses were at ATMs located within bank branches and varied in amount from EC$50 (approx. £14) to EC$500 (approx. £140).
The 2 unsuccessful attempt were at the airport and within a Massy’s Store. Although the receptionist at our hotel did say the Massy’s Store wouldn’t work, I still had to try.
ATM Charges: Between EC$10 (approx. £2.75) and EC$15 (approx. £4.20). The in-branch ATM at Bank of Saint Lucia on Bridge Street in Castries was Free of Charge.
We showed up at the airport without any currency, of any sort, (clearly a silly mistake), so when the ATM at the airport didn’t work this left us a little nervous. The taxi driver was more than happy to stop at a bank on the way to our destination but I would advise that you have enough cash on arrival to pay for the taxi.
Using the ATM is easy as English is the main spoken language in Saint Lucia. The machines give you the option of “Checking Account”, “Savings Account” and “Credit Card” when starting your transaction. Each time I selected “Checking Account” which seemed to work fine.
Based on this posts feedback from @CanadianSpruce and @MIROW, I tried both ATM’s again that failed but instead of selecting “Checking Account” I selected “Credit Card”. On both occasions I was able to withdrawn from my Starling account. So if you’re having trouble try using the “Credit Card” option as suggested below.
Saint Lucia ATMs
Most ATMs are located within 24 hour vestibules (similar to the one Chandler got stuck in). Some are located in branch or within stores, so you may need to check for any opening times. During my visit I used ATMS at; 1st National Bank, Bank of Saint Lucia and CIBC. CIBC was the only one that asked if I’d prefer the transaction to be in GBP or XCD (I chose XCD, ATM exchange rates = ). Curiously the CIBC ATM also gave me the usage charge in USD which was odd. Just make sure you read everything as you’re using the machines. Below is a list of banks with ATMs.
1st National Bank
The website for 1st National Bank isn’t particularly helpful.
From what I have found I believe there are a total of 4 branches.
Locations: http://1stnationalbankonline.com/home/1stbranchlocator.html (Website Currently Not Working)
Bank of Saint Lucia
Number of ATMs: 27 (13 located within BoSL branches)
CIBC (First Caribbean Bank)
Number of ATMs: 7 (6 located within CIBC branches)
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Number of ATMs: 3 (2 located within RBC branches)
Number of ATMs: 9 (8 located within Scotiabank Branches)
Edit 1, 2 & 3: Grammar
Edit 4: Included some extra information based on feedback.