Money

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Money

Puerto Rico, which is a commonwealth of the United States, uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency. Prices for most items are stable and comparable to those in the States, and that includes restaurants and hotel rates. As in many places, city prices tend to be higher than those in rural areas, but you're not going to go broke staying in the city: soft drinks or a cup of coffee run about $1–2; a local beer in a bar, $3–5; museum admission, $2–5.

Prices listed here are for adults. Substantially reduced fees are almost always available for children, students, and senior citizens.

ATMs and Banks

Your own bank will probably charge a fee for using ATMs abroad; the foreign bank you use may also charge a fee. Nevertheless, you'll usually get a better rate of exchange at an ATM than you will at a currency-exchange office or even when changing money in a bank. And extracting funds as you need them is a safer option than carrying around a large amount of cash.

PIN numbers with more than four digits are not recognized at ATMs in many countries. If yours has five or more, remember to change it before you leave.

Automated Teller Machines (or ATMs, known here as ATHs) are as readily available and reliable as on the U.S. mainland; many are attached to banks, but you can also find them in gas stations, drugstores, supermarkets, and larger hotels. Just about every casino has one—to keep people in the game—but these can carry large surcharges, so check the fee before withdrawing money. ATMs are found less frequently in rural areas, but there's usually at least one in even the smallest village. Look to local banks, such as Banco Popular.

Credit Cards

It's a good idea to inform your credit-card company before you travel, especially if you're going abroad and don't travel internationally very often. Otherwise, the credit-card company might put a hold on your card owing to unusual activity—not a good thing halfway through your trip. Record all your credit-card numbers—as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen—in a safe place, so you're prepared should something go wrong. Both MasterCard and Visa have general numbers you can call (collect if you're abroad) if your card is lost, but you're better off calling the number of your issuing bank, since MasterCard and Visa usually just transfer you to your bank; your bank's number is usually printed on your card.

Reporting Lost Cards

American Express (800/528–4800 in U.S.; 336/393–1111 collect from abroad. www.americanexpress.com.)

Diners Club (800/234–6377 in U.S.; 514/881–3735 collect from abroad. www.dinersclub.com.)

Discover (800/347–2683 in U.S.; 801/902–3100 collect from abroad. www.discovercard.com.)

MasterCard (800/627–8372 in U.S.; 636/722–7111 collect from abroad. www.mastercard.com.)

Visa (800/847–2911 in U.S.; 303/967–1096 collect from abroad. www.visa.com.)

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