Currency on Credit Card statements

Jan 20th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 301
Currency on Credit Card statements

If any of you used credit cards in Costa Rica, could you please let me know how did the charges show up on your statement: in $s or in CRC?

We were not so long ago in St. Lucia where they charged $s (not the local currency) when we used the card. As a result we were not hit by MC with the 2% they nowadays charge when you use your card abroad.

I am wondering how charges are posted in Costa Rica, what currency they post, particularly in places where they give you the price in US $s.

Suzanna is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 05:31 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,804
Ours showed up both in colones and dollars. Most credit cards charge a Foreign Transaction Fee when you use your card abroad. It's usually a percentage and varies according to what kind of card you have.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,085
It may show up as both colones and as a dollar amount.

For the last few years we have used only our Capital One Visa card for all international travel. There is no international conversion fee and no annual fee. Most cards charge around 3% for a conversion/transaction fee.
colibri is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 363
Although I have not used a credit card in Costa Rica I can tell you the following:

My experience has been that the credit card company charges some fee anytime the card is used outside my home country (USA), even if the charge is made in US$.

Also, beware of some merchants who will convert the charge from local currency to US dollars, implying that they are doing you some type of favor; they will take a margin on the exchange rate so you get hit with a double whammy. If their price was in US$ from the start itís no big deal. If their price is in local currency insist that the charge be made in local currency; at least the credit card company will give you a predictable exchange rate, usually about a 2% margin from the official exchange rate; some cards are a bit better (or worse) than others.

Happy travels
tatersalad is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 190
Having travelled CR a couple of months ago, my opinion to carry USD to cover all your major expenses like Hotels, Tours and Restaurants. You see the USD is accepted at most places, so why pay the credit/ debit card fees, and get walloped with the exchange rate also.
When they charge your card in CR, most likely, first they would convert your cost (originally quoted in USD anyway) to colones, skimming you in that process. Then, the credit card company does their skimming when they convert the colones back to dollars.
My advice - simplify. Nothing makes me more mad than seeing credit card statements after a foreign trip. In CR, where the USD rules, it makes little sense in playing the conversion game.
The above is just my opinion based on the recent trip, and what I would most likely do should I get another opportunity to get back to beautiful CR. Enjoy your trip!
pg is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,514
Actually, pg, in Costa Rica we weren't scammed at all with conversion rates. They charged colones, the bank converted them and charged a small fee. Now Ireland a couple of years ago, a totally different story.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 12:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 301
Very helpful suggestions, thanks to all of you.
Suzanna is offline  

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