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A dollar is a dollar... Or is it? It can also be a plastic card sometimes. But only sometimes....



The US dollar is divided into 100 cents. All currency notes (bills) are the same size. Denominations are $1, $2 (rare), $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

The $20 bill is the most common note in use. Most Americans would rather have five $20s than one $100 bill, and many clerks and cashiers also prefer $20s to larger bills.

Many establishments do not welcome $50 or $100 bills for a small purchase.

Coins are 1¢ ("penny"), 5¢ ("nickel"), 10¢ ("dime"), and 25¢ ("quarter"). The 50¢ ("half-dollar") is a collector's item, and $1 coins are used mostly for vending-machine transactions. (Cashiers hate them because their cash register drawers have no proper place for them.)

Most coins are made of a silvery chromium alloy except the penny, which is of copper. The Sacajawea dollar coin, rarely seen in daily commerce, is of a gold-colored alloy.

Credit cards are accepted in most businesses. In high summer, some inns and restaurants in the most popular resorts may require payment in cash or prepayment by approved check—no credit cards.

You can get dollar cash from most ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) with your local home bank cash card.

Foreign Currency Exchange

Only certain banks will exchange foreign currency for US dollars. If you wish to exchange foreign cash for dollars, you may have to ask at several banks before you find one which will do it. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

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When to Go to New England

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Village Chocolatier, Guilford CT

You'll need money to buy anything in the
Village Chocolatier, Guilford CT.

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