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Departure Tax - Cash or Credit Card

Old Aug 10th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Departure Tax - Cash or Credit Card

Trying to plan how much cash I need to take to Costa Rica. I know you have to pay a $ 26 departure tax. Can credit card be used and if so are there only certain ones that can be used for this. I have read on the forum where some of the common credit cards are not widely accepted.
Thanks for this information. And, if anybody wanted to comment on the negative aspect of buying the departure ticket upon arrival,I would be interested in those comments. Some have indicated that they are afraid they would lose it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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We flew out of Liberia and my husband tried to use his credit card but they told him they prefer cash. They showed him to the ATM so he could take out the cash instead.
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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If you're leaving out of SJO, they'll take any credit card plus a $2-$3 fee, and also colones or USD. I've never personally bought it as I arrived as I don't want to worry about losing it.
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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If you pay the airport tax with a credit card, it is treated as a cash advance and not a purchase, so the interest begins being charged that day, not after your bill is due.
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 08:58 PM
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It's a Visa they take, not MasterCard. In general in Costa Rica Visa is more accepted than Mastercard (bummer, because my bonus points are on my MC)
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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I just returned from Costa Rica August 6, 2005. I went ahead and bought our departure tax tickets when I arrived: You couldn't miss the little booth with the sign & a man standing there; there was not a single person in the line and I wanted to have one less thing to do on our airport departure! Also, I had carried the $26 (each)cash for the 3 of us in my family (already had it in a separate envelope all ready to go so you don't have to be counting out alot of cash in front of people), & I wanted to go ahead & get that cash out of my wallet. They just give you the pieces of paper, you fill in your flight info & sign them before departure - I just stuck them in the zipper pocket of my suitcase along with my departure airline info that I needed anyway. Somehow, I felt better knowing that I already had one less thing to do at the airport on our departure day!
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 08:32 PM
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I agree with MLMom. I didn't know you could purchase this upon arrival, but get that extra cash out of your bags. Skip the Visa Card since it is a cash advance. Take small ($1,5,10, and 20 bills) money. Hundred bills require a trip to the bank. Most everywhere accepts US $'s.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:24 PM
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I was in CR in June, with Oscar, by the way - are you still planning to travel with him in January, Billruth?

We purchased the departure cards upon arrival, with cash. (Like others, we just brought that extra cash with us and unloaded it ASAP.) This was very good advice. No lines when we were there. We tucked it in our passport folder - the one item we protected fiercely and least likely to lose!
Oscar told us later that our return flight midmorning was the busiest time of day and this turned out to be a bad time to purchase as everyone was leaving on flights and in line for departure tax.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:33 PM
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I've wondered what would happen if you'd been robbed of your cash and credit cards just before your plane was due to depart. Or if you'd simply spent all of your cash and maxed out your credit cards.
Would you spend the rest of your life in the airport if you couldn't pay the departure fee?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:47 PM
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did you see the movie Terminal Man with Tom Hanks?!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Many airlines flying to Central America now include the departure fees in the ticket price. For example, I've flown fairly recently into Panama (Delta) and Belize (US Air) and both included the departure fees and taxes (US$20 in the case of Panama, US$35 for Belize) in the ticket.

Not sure why Costa Rica doesn't do this.

It makes departure easier (and because the departure taxes are "imbedded" in the ticket it's not quite as painful).

--Lan Sluder
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:52 AM
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"I've wondered what would happen if you'd been robbed of your cash and credit cards just before your plane was due to depart. Or if you'd simply spent all of your cash and maxed out your credit cards. Would you spend the rest of your life in the airport if you couldn't pay the departure fee?"

I may be mistaken but I believe airlines are held responsible in terms of any costs incurred due to the need to transport ticketholders without proper papers (one reason they check your papers for yor destination country at check-in time). If so then this may well fall under that category and your airline would pay it, possibly charging your card later or something.

That or you could just have somebody wire you the money.

Steve
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:12 PM
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We paid cash and I would also recommend paying on the day you arrive in the country. There is no line at that time, but there will be a long one when you leave.
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