USA Currency Coins, Dollar (Bitcoins, Gold?)

US dollars act as global currency - accepted at international airports, duty free shops. CBP rule - 10k cash need to be declared. Exchange at home country for better rate.

Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta    Updated 20 Aug, 20

The USA dollar is accepted all over the world and is considered a global currency.

The dollar is accepted at almost all airports including the major transit hubs like Dubai, Amsterdam (Netherlands), Singapore, Tokyo (Japan), Heathrow Airport in London, and other major stopovers.

There is no need to worry if you have a dollar in your pocket instead of your home country currency like Indian rupee, UK pound, Australian Dollar, or anything else as all shops including duty-free accept US dollar.

Global Currency

US dollar is considered the second global currency after Gold.

Gold is considered the most valuable asset by governments but for you, as an individual, US currency is the most valuable instrument to make purchases anywhere in the whole world.

Penny is the lowest denomination in the US money system. It is equal to 1 Cent.

USA Currency CoinsIndian Rupee (INR)Mexican Peso (MEX$)Chinese Yuan (¥)
Penny = 1 Cent₹0.75MEX$0.22¥0.07
Nickel = 5 Cents₹3.73MEX$1.1¥0.35
Dime = 10 Cents₹7.46MEX$2.2¥0.7
Quarter = 25 Cents₹18.65MEX$5.6¥1.74
1 Dollar = 100 Cents₹75MEX$22¥7
5 Dollar₹373MEX$112¥35
10 Dollar₹746MEX$223¥69
20 Dollar₹1,492MEX$446¥139
100 Dollar₹7,461MEX$2,231¥695

The currency exchange rates keep changing every day and you should check the current rate on

A nickel is equal to 5 cents, Dime is worth 10 cents and a quarter is equivalent to 25 cents.

Dollar Bills

The lowest dollar bill is $1 and the highest is $100. There are $5, $10, and $20 bills too.

The paper-based US dollar currency is commonly called a ‘bill’ in the USA. The bill in the USA is the same as a ‘note’ in India.

All dollar bills have the same size and they can fit in a standard men and women wallet.

All US paper based dollar bills are same size
All US paper based dollar bills are same size

Plastic Money

The credit and debit cards are commonly known as Plastic money.

The usage of cash for purchases in the USA is not common as most of the transactions happen using either a credit card, debit card, ACH (Bank transfer), or a paper check (less common).

Cash Purchases

All-cash purchases higher than USD 10,000 is required to be reported to the IRS by law.

For example, dealers in jewelry, furniture, boats, aircraft or automobiles, pawnbrokers, attorneys, real estate brokers, insurance companies, and travel agencies are among those who typically need to file Form 8300 to report cash purchases over 10k.

Stores like Walmart, Target, Costco, Sams club, etc. also follow the law by reporting high cash purchases.

You will not find people making big-ticket items like a laptop or an iPhone using cash.

All banking transactions are tracked and reported to the IRS by banks.

Bitcoins CryptoCurrency

Bitcoins and Cryptocurrency are not accepted in the USA as a method of payment for purchases in stores or online on

You can buy bitcoin or trade (stock market trade) legally in the USA though. There are many apps and hardware that help store the bitcoins using a Cryptocurrency digital wallet card or hardware like a bitcoin digital wallet.

Bitcoin is primarily a stock that you can store in the hardware (think pen drive) and software (an app that shows the current price and amount you own).

We strongly suggest staying away from bitcoin scams. You cannot use it to buy products in the USA.

My Suggestions

Can I convert my home currency in USA to get US dollars?

You can convert your home currency in USA.

Where Should I buy USD to get the Best Exchange rate?

The best option to buy USD is at a bank in your home country.

The most expensive exchange rate is found at international airports after security checks as you cannot go out of the airport.

Should I exchange US dollars at port of entry airport to get good deal?

My suggestion is to exchange your home currency with the US dollar outside of the port of entry airport.

The money exchange shops at airports do not give you the best rate.

Is US dollar accepted in Mexico?

US dollar is quite popular in Mexico and is widely accepted at local shops and malls.

You will not face any problems whatsoever to directly use the US dollar coins or bills for purchases. They will be glad to accept USD.

Big stores like Walmart, Sams Club, and Costco will also accept US bills but will return the change in Mexican currency only.

Some people use the USD at Walmart to get a better exchange rate than currency exchange shops. Sometimes, Walmart and other big store’s exchange rates are higher by about 5 cents per dollar.

Can I use US dollar in Canada?

You can use US dollar in Canada.

Can I save per diem US dollar and take back to India as cash?

You can save your per diem money and take back to India as cash but US customs law requires you to declare the cash over and above USD 10,000 at the exit.

Your money can be seized by CBP if you are caught without a declaration to avoid money laundering

How much is a nickel worth?

A Nickel is worth 5 cents.

Can I buy US dollar online?

You can buy or exchange money online if your home country bank allows you to.

In general, when you buy or exchange currency online, someone is required to send or deliver the physical currency bills to you.

In other cases, some banks may issue a traveler check which can be used in the USA to withdraw cash from a physical bank location.

American Express is the leading issuer of traveler checks. They are as good as cash and should be protected at all times.


Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta  
Mentor | Immigration and Finance Journalism | Humor | Opinions are my own