Currency in Belize
So are you planning to buy property in Belize? Then you should know two things; very important…
- What’s the currency in Belize?
- What’s the exchange rate of the Belizean currency vs the U.S. Dollar?
The unit of currency in Belize is the Belize Dollar. The Belize Dollar is tied to the U.S. Dollar. 1 Belize Dollar costs 0.5 U.S. Dollar.
This is so when you buy Belize Dollar from the foreign exchange department at the Central Bank of Belize. Generally, when you buy from the parallel market, $1 USD equals BZ$2.05.
U.S. Dollars are widely accepted in Belize. In fact, you don’t even have to change your USD into the local BZ dollars. Why?
Well, for one, nobody really accepts BZ dollars outside of Belize. Sure, you can get the BZ dollar exchanged in Guatemala and at the Mexican border town of Chetumal. But beyond that, let’s be honest, nobody uses the Belize Dollar. Indeed, the Belize Dollar is not even accepted at Corozal Free Zone, which is at the northern border of Belize.
Apart from the U.S. Dollar, Mexican Pesos are also considered as valuable in Belize. They are accepted by most commercial establishments here.
Restrictions on the U.S. Dollar
Belize has certain restrictions on the amount of foreign exchange foreign travelers can bring into the country. You can bring in a maximum of $5,000 USD only, whether it is in the form of cash, checks or other instruments.
This restriction applies to each adult individual. This means if you have a family of 4 adults, you can bring in a maximum of $20,000 USD. All financial instruments have to be declared at the customs department.
Belize Currency Conversion
The USD to BZ Dollar conversion is pretty simple. You don’t need a separate currency converter for this. One U.S. Dollar equals Two BZ Dollars. It can’t get easier than that.
The Belize Currency
The Belize currency is printed in Britain by a private company. All Belizean notes carry the image of Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of England on the front. Belize has strong ties with the United Kingdom and is a member of the British Commonwealth.
Interestingly, local citizens of Belize are not supposed to hold any currency other than the BZ$. Non-residents or foreigners can hold any currency they want, but there are laws against Belizean citizens holding any currency other than the Belize Dollar.
Of course, this law is never adhered to in practice. Most Belizean nationals have no compunction about holding USD or Mexican Pesos.
Hot Tip for Expats Moving to Belize
If you’re moving to Belize and plan to buy property there, you will do well to open a local offshore account first, before applying for citizenship or residency.
An offshore account allows you to withdraw or deposit your foreign exchange in the form of cash or check without asking for any permission from the local administration.
You can open an offshore account outside Belize, such as in the Cayman Islands. Most wealthy expats who buy property in Belize do that.
For more great advice on currency in Belize or help with buying property there, do get in touch with WILL MITCHELL of REMAX Belize Secret Beach.