Knowing Jordan’s currency and its exchange rate is essential for any trip to this country. Even if you book many services in advance or pay mostly by card, you will see that prices in Jordan are mainly expressed in the local currency, as it is logical. Therefore, we have compiled all the information you need to know about the day-to-day economy in the country: ATMs, cost of living, level of generalization of bank cards, etc.
Jordan’s currency is the dinar or Jordanian dinar, which is often abbreviated as JD (symbol) or JOD (ISO code). It has been the country’s currency since 1949, a few years after formalizing its independence from the British Empire. Currently, it also serves as a form of payment in the West Bank.
For a tourist, handling coins in Jordan can be complicated because amounts are not only expressed in Jordanian dinars, but also in its subdivisions: dirhams, qirsh (or piastres), and fils.
In everyday life, it is common to indicate the amounts without specifying whether it is in dinars, piastres or fils, as it is assumed to be understood from the context.
These are the Jordanian dinars and qirsh/piastres that you can have in your hand:
Or in other words:
Of course, these values can fluctuate daily, so we recommend checking the exact exchange rate of the Jordanian dinar before your trip. The values expressed below correspond to the month of September 2022.
To exchange money to the Jordanian currency, you can do it:
If you decide to obtain Jordanian currency before your trip, at your place of origin, go to your bank branch and request it with sufficient advance notice, as this process may take several days. Check the conditions at your bank, as this service is usually reserved for clients. As for the amount to be exchanged, you decide how much, as there are no limitations on the amount of money a traveler can carry with them.
Both banks and exchange offices charge similar commissions and are located in strategic places such as airports or land border crossings. However, hotels may charge a much higher fee.
The opening hours of bank branches may vary by region, although it can be approximately from 8.00 to 15.00, from Sunday to Thursday. Exchange offices may have a longer and more commercial schedule, that is, opening in the afternoons.
A quick solution during and outside of these hours is to use ATMs. There are many ATMs throughout the country, both in large cities and in urban areas of tourist destinations, and the main credit card brands (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted. However, be sure to inquire about the fees for using a card at ATMs, as it can be much more expensive than doing it in person at the branch or exchange office.
Having said all this, you may also be interested to know that many currencies are accepted in Jordan. That is, if you do not have Jordanian dinars at that moment, you should not have problems paying in US dollars, euros, and other major international currencies. Some of the most prevalent foreign currencies in Jordan are the Lebanese pound, the Egyptian pound, and the Israeli shekel. Therefore, it is easy to exchange these currencies in Amman. In Aqaba, it is also easy to exchange Egyptian pounds and Israeli shekels.
If you don’t carry cash on you, in Jordan you can pay for most tourist services with a credit card, as its use is widespread. At least in shops, in restaurants of a certain level, and in other establishments of interest to tourists. In any case, it will probably be cheaper to pay in cash, as a commission is sometimes added for each transaction.
Due to a multiplicity of factors (political, health-related, economic, etc.), prices in Jordan tend to vary considerably from one year to another, with inflation rates that can be high one year but negative the next.
In any case, generally speaking and taking data from the reference portal Numbeo, it can be said that the cost of living in Jordan is in the middle range within the countries of the Middle East. For example, it is more or less similar to that of its neighbor Saudi Arabia, considerably higher than that of nearby Egypt but lower than that of Lebanon and considerably lower than that of Israel.
If we compare Jordan’s prices with those of some Western and Latin American countries, the results are mixed: the comparison indicates that the cost of living is similar to that of Spain, somewhat higher than that of Mexico, and considerably higher than that of other Latin American countries such as Chile, Argentina or Colombia.