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About the US dollar
Where else the US dollar is used
The US dollar is the official currency of the United States of America, along with a few other countries and regions outside the USA, including:
- The Caribbean
- El Salvador
So if you’re hitting up the US of A or one of these places on your next vacation, you’re going to need some United States currency to get you through your travels (room service, anyone?).
Coins and notes
The US dollar ($) is subdivided into 100 cents (c). Commonly used coins include 1c (penny), 5c (nickel), 10c (dime), and $¼ (quarter), and rarely used coins include $½ and $1 (so you can just forget about those silly ones unless you’re a coin collector).
Banknotes include $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, as well as the less frequently used $2 (another variation that’s about as useful as a screen door on a submarine).
Facts about the currency
- The US dollar coin was originally based on the value and appearance of the Spanish dollar, used in Spanish America from the 16th to 19th Century.
- The early currency of the USA didn’t feature presidents as it does today. Up until the 20th Century, it showed figures from Greek and Roman mythology and composite Native Americans.
- The largest note ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 Gold Certificate, Series 1934. These notes were only used for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and weren’t available to the general public.
The historical rates chart tells you how the US dollar has trended against the Australian dollar recently. If you're interested in factors that influence the exchange rate, you can learn more by reading our Traveller's Guide to USD Forecasting.
You can even sign up for currency alerts so you don’t miss out on those great exchange rates.