The currency of the Caribbean island nation of Kiribati is the Kiribati dollar. The official abbreviation is KID, the symbol $, there is no ISO code. There are also no Kiribati dollar banknotes, only circulation coins and commemorative coins.
Banknotes exist only in the second official currency of the Phoenix Islands, Gilbert Islands, Line Islands and Barnaba, which make up the state of Kiribati. That currency is the Australian dollar.
History of the currency of Kiribati
Before independence in 1979, the islands of Kiribati were called the Gilbert Islands. Until 1914 they were a British protectorate, from 1915 an English colony, which was subordinate to the High Commissioner for the West Indian Territories.
At that time the Australian pound and from 1966 the new Australian dollar was the sole currency of the islands. The Kiribati dollar coins were issued in the first year of independence and should be a symbol of the new political status of the Kiribati Islands.
There were coins with a face value of 1 Kiribati dollar, as well as 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents minted by the Royal Australia Mint. They are firmly pegged to the face value of the Australian currency, just like the Tuvalu dollar of the neighboring island state of Tuvalu.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the state of Kiribati, a 2 dollar coin was issued. With the exception of the $ 2, $ 1 and 50 cent coin, the Kiribati coins are the same size, weight and material as the corresponding Australian coins.
For many years the 1 and 2 cent coins of Kiribati, although still valid, have been withdrawn from circulation and no new coins have been minted at all since 1992. This is why the proportion of Australian coins is increasing continuously and the Kiribati coins still in circulation are usually very worn.
Exchange into the Kiribati currency
Tourists visiting Kiribati should bring enough Australian dollars with them whenever possible. There are also banks in the capital, South Tawara, that exchange travelers checks.
An EC card or Visa card is of no use on the islands of Kiribati, after all, tourism in the region is still in its infancy. There are hardly any larger hotels and there are no ATMs either.