Northern Mariana Islands - Money & Costs
Money & Costs in Northern Mariana IslandsCurrency: US dollar
You can travel rather comfortably in the Northern Marianas, staying at the top-end lodges and eating at the best restaurants, for US$250 to $350 a day or more, depending on whether you hopscotch from island to island in chartered planes and boats and rack up a lot of dive fees. Moderate travel will run closer to US$100 to $150 a day, though you can get by for less if you pick your accommodations with care and do a little self-catering. Budget travellers can squeak by for around US$60 a day if they stick to inexpensive accommodations and use their feet to get around as much as possible.
The US dollar is the official currency in the Northern Marianas (as it is throughout Micronesia) and is the only practical currency to carry. Except in the most remote islands, US dollar travellers' cheques are accepted everywhere. You'll rarely have to wait in a bank line to change them, since most hotels, restaurants and larger stores accept them as cash. There are commercial banks on Saipan, Rota and Tinian. On the other islands, you should bring enough cash to get you through your stay. Major credit cards (especially MasterCard and Visa) are accepted at most hotels, large restaurants, car rental agencies and dive shops on Saipan, and at car rental agencies on Rota.
A tip of 10% to 15% is expected in the Northern Marianas. There's a 10% hotel tax but no sales tax. Bargaining isn't common.