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Memory Alpha
For the MACO who served on NX-01 Enterprise, please see S. Money.
Ferengi coin

A Ferengi coin

"Well, if you don't need money, then you certainly don't need mine!"
– Nog, 2373 ("In the Cards")

Money or currency, sometimes called legal tender, was a medium of exchange used to facilitate transactions for goods or services. (TNG: "Time's Arrow") Societies that used money were described as practicing currency-based economics. (DS9: "In the Cards")

Money on Earth[]

Money was a common feature of life on Earth from the 16th century onward throughout the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

According to Tom Paris, "nice clothes, [a] fast car, and lots of money" would be required in the Los Angeles of 1996. (VOY: "Future's End")

The colloquialism "bucks" was still in use by 2032 to refer to money, specifically the American dollar. (VOY: "One Small Step")

Another 20th century slang term for money was "dough". (TNG: "The Neutral Zone", DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang")

In 2063, Zefram Cochrane explained to Commander Riker that his motivation for inventing the warp drive had been to get rich, describing "dollar signs" and money as his vision. (Star Trek: First Contact)

The New World Economy[]

In the late 22nd century, the formation of the New World Economy on Earth led to the disappearance of money in the traditional sense on the planet. 23rd and 24th century Humans regularly referred to their species having developed a philosophy without the need for accumulation of wealth, instead focusing on self-enhancement and advancement of the Human race. (VOY: "Dark Frontier"; DS9: "In the Cards"; Star Trek: First Contact)

During an excursion to 1986-era San Francisco, James T. Kirk told Spock about 20th century Earth, saying, "They're still using money. We need to get some." He then pawned eyeglasses that Leonard McCoy had given him for $100, which he doled out among his crew with an admonishment not to splurge (spend it recklessly). Later on, while Kirk was having dinner with Gillian Taylor in a restaurant and was unable to pay there, Gillian asked sarcastically, "don't tell me they don't use money in the 23rd century," and Kirk earnestly replied, "well, we don't." (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In 2364, Jean-Luc Picard tried to explain to Ralph Offenhouse, a financier from the 20th century, that there would be no need for his services any longer. "A lot has changed in three hundred years," said Picard. "People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of "things." We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions." (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")

When Lily Sloane asked Picard how much the USS Enterprise-E had cost to build, he told her, "the economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century... The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity." (Star Trek: First Contact)

When Nog suggested that Jake should bid for a baseball card in an auction in 2373, Jake said, "I'm Human, I don't have any money." Nog commented, "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement." Jake answered, "Hey, watch it. There's nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity." Nog then replied, "What does that mean?" Jake responded, "It means… It means we don't need money!" Nog quickly pointed out, however, that Jake wouldn't be able to bid or borrow. (DS9: "In the Cards")

Upon entering a holodeck simulation of an early-20th century bank in 2381, Beckett Mariner mockingly asked to "withdraw some paper with no intrinsic value." (LD: "Room for Growth")

The Federation and money[]

Outside of Earth, money and other forms of currency were still used in the 23rd and 24th century, by the Federation itself, individual Humans, and other Federation species. One form of such currency was the Federation credit.

The Human philanthropist Carter Winston acquired a vast personal fortune during the late 23rd century. (TAS: "The Survivor")

While Vulcan was well-known to be a founding member of the Federation, non-affiliated Vulcans who practiced mercantile trade were common. In 2368, a Vulcan master doubled the price of a meditation lamp upon learning that Tuvok and Kathryn Janeway were Starfleet officers. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", VOY: "The Gift") Only six years later, Janeway stated she was "not used to handling currency" while recounting her experience making a purchase in a market on the Mari homeworld. (VOY: "Random Thoughts")

Notably, the crew of the USS Voyager, faced with severe resource limitations after being flung into the Delta Quadrant, treated rations on replicator and holodeck use as currency and traded these among themselves. (VOY: "The Cloud", "Twisted", "Parturition", "Meld", "The Chute")

Bartender Quark had repeated financial interactions with Federation personnel. On numerous occasions, Starfleet officers gambled to win latinum at Quark's, including Julian Bashir, Thomas Riker, and Jadzia Dax. (DS9: "Statistical Probabilities", "Playing God", "Business as Usual", "Change of Heart", "Defiant"; TNG: "Firstborn") His bar also routinely extended credit to its patrons, including Federation citizens and members of Starfleet. (DS9: "Little Green Men"; VOY: "Caretaker"; LD: "Hear All, Trust Nothing") In 2372, he sold Quark's Treasure – a damaged Ferengi shuttle which had belonged to him – for scrap after it was disabled in the Sol system, and was given enough to cover passage back to Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Little Green Men") Later that year, Benjamin Sisko threatened Quark to collect on five years' "back rent" that was unpaid, though the actual motivation behind the threat was not fiscal. (DS9: "Bar Association") Quark later stated that he was in debt to some unnamed Humans, but considered defaulting on them a trivial matter. (DS9: "Body Parts") In 2373, he indirectly caused damage to a cargo bay, and was informed that he would have to bear the burden for the repairs, though it was not clear if this burden was financial in nature. (DS9: "Business as Usual") When Quark rescued Gaila from a Federation starbase after he was arrested on Thalos VI, he had to pay a fine before he could be released. (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")

It was not specified that either the salvage payment for Quark's Treasure, or the fine for Gaila's bail was paid to Federation entities.

Other mentions[]

Money as a figure of speech[]

In certain cases, references to money were made in a manner that were construed or explained as euphemistic or idiomatic, with no literal implications of money directly being used:

As Star Trek generally has established that in the Federation, poverty, hunger, etc. have been eradicated among member planets, it would seem that the term "starving" must be relative.

  • While inside the Nexus, Kirk described an illusion to Picard, remarking, "It's my house... I sold it years ago." Kirk was actually referring to a former home of his on Earth. (Star Trek Generations)
  • In 2374, a smiling Jake Sisko mentioned to Quark that he had "sold [his] first book" earlier that day. Seemingly surprised, Quark asked Jake how much he had acquired from the sale of the book, to which Jake further explained, "It's just a figure of speech. The Federation News Service is going to publish a book of my stories about life on the station under Dominion rule." Jake then confirmed that he had not been paid. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")

Monetary units[]


See also[]

Background information[]

In the final draft script of TOS: "The Naked Time", self-appointed "Captain" Kevin Riley, while suffering from polywater intoxication, announced to the crew of the USS Enterprise that all male crewmen who attended an upcoming formal dance would be "raised one pay grade." According to Riley, this was to compensate them for all the female crewmen who attended the event each being provided with a pint of perfume from ship's stores.

In the final draft script of TOS: "Charlie X", Doctor McCoy jokingly told Captain Kirk that, if McCoy was permitted to "just sit quietly in the background and hear" Kirk give Charles Evans a disciplinary talk, he "would gladly give up a year's pay."

The final draft script of TOS: "Miri" implied that the society on Miri involved money, as a wig scripted to be worn by Jahn was described (in one of the teleplay's stage directions) as having a price tag still attached while the wig was being worn.

Ronald D. Moore commented, "By the time I joined TNG, Gene had decreed that money most emphatically did NOT exist in the Federation, nor did 'credits' and that was that. Personally, I've always felt this was a bunch of hooey, but it was one of the rules and that's that." (AOL chat, 1997)

A cut scene in the script of Star Trek: First Contact would have established that, as of 2063, "no one" had used currency in ten years, apparently due to scarcity. However, a currency called Dome money was also mentioned.

In the first draft script of ENT: "Fortunate Son", when Ryan became surprised that Trip Tucker could synthesize a required amount of valve seals in approximately forty minutes, Tucker joked that he could take longer to do so but that he "charge[d] by the hour."

An ultimately omitted line of dialogue from the final draft script of ENT: "Carpenter Street" featured 21st century Human Loomis exclaiming to 22nd century Vulcan T'Pol, "You act like money doesn't mean anything!"

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, screenwriters of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, said in a question-and-answer session with fans that "there's money, or some kind of credit system" in the alternate reality. [1]


There are many mentions of payment and currency in the Pocket TNG novel Balance of Power by Dafydd ab Hugh.

In the mirror universe of the alternate reality-set comic "Live Evil", James T. Kirk (β) mentions a monetary unit called the "chit".

In the 25th-century timeline of Star Trek Online, a currency system called "Energy Credits" (EC) has achieved near-universal acceptance among galactic powers, including the Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire. EC may be exchanged by individuals or traded for goods and services, and many commodities have a fixed EC "cost" to obtain from a replicator. It is implied that EC are intended as a direct representation of the amount of energy used to replicate or construct a given item, allowing commodities to become "cheaper" if they can be created for less energy. It is not known whether EC is used at large in the same way as regular currency, or if it is simply a convenient way for the game to facilitate more traditional economic activity.

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