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Credit card acceptance in Costa Rica

Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Credit card acceptance in Costa Rica

I'm doing some financial planning in preparation for a trip to Costa Rica in December. What I'm wondering is, are credit cards accepted readily at supermarket-type grocery stores, at gas stations and at restaurants? Thanks for any info. you can give me.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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dauber 2, It depends on the area of Costa Rica. In the main areas we found no problems using Visa.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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I would say all of the touristy places (ie, hotels, fancy restaurants, car rentals, etc) take credit cards, but we had to use cash at any of the "local" places. That said, most places will accept US dollars, and you could always ATM some local currency. Plus we found the local places were quite inexpensive, so you didn't really even need that much cash in the first place. Credit cards are more widely accepted in the bigger cities though.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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dauber2, Credit cards are accepted in the tourist areas in stores, gas stations, hotels and restaurants; however, not so much in smaller villages that don't see many tourists. Prices are inexpensive enough that keeping colones isn't much of a problem. We changed money in the San Juan airport, and found ATM's in tourist areas. Be aware that some places charge more if you use a credit card...one hotel we stayed in was $50 cash, but $58 with credit card.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 07:21 PM
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We didn't get charged more for using CC, but that is a smart thing to be aware of.

Another thing I was told is that sometimes, people withdraw money from an ATM and are charged a cash advance transaction fee. Sometimes, it is not a withdrawal from an account, but a credit card cash advance that occurs.
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Old Oct 25th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Make sure and take a Visa card. I was surprised at the number of places that would accept Visa, but not Mastercard. We hardly ever use our Visa card, and I didn't realize this before our first trip and head major headaches since after a couple of uses the credit card company blocked my usage. I had notified my usual credit card company, but hadn't realized I would need to be using this one. Good thing we found some ATM's that worked. Jean
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Old Oct 25th, 2004, 05:13 AM
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I found out on my trip that a couple of places would give you a lower exchange rate for using a credit card instead of cash. And depending on where you are going there might not be an ATM (Puerto Viejo didnt). And the one place that you could get some cash charges a 11% fee. But most eating establishments adn shops will take credit cards, but some soda's will not.
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