Question about money, credit cards and ATM cards

Old Mar 17th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Question about money, credit cards and ATM cards

Hi: We leave in 5 days and have a question about money. We're Canadian and were wondering if Canadian bank cards(RBC)would work in the ATMs. We'll also be bringing US$ and wonder if $100's would be hard to use. We heard that traveler's cheques are hard to cash? We feel that we should bring most of our money with us in case the ATMs don't accept our cards. We'll use our credit cards wherever possible. Any suggestions. We're a family of 4 and will be staying 4 nights in Arenal at the Montana de Fuego, then 5 nights at Barcelo Playa Langosta in Tamarindo.
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Bringing $100 US$ is okay if you plan to use the money to pay for tours and hotel rooms

However , I would bring smaller bills ( $10, $20 and some $50's).
Use your credit card whenever possibe.

I have never used an ATM in Costa Rica, I have always brought cash and used my credit cards.

Are you from Calgary

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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 07:26 PM
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Hello, I never had problems in Costa Rica with ATMīs from Banco Nacional. You can use Master or Visa and Cash Cards with Maestro or Cirrus sign. In most cases the fee for cash cards will be cheaper. The maximum amout in one tansfere is 200000 Colones. For further informations see the links in the airport section of my website.
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Percy: We'll be sure to bring smaller bills as well as $100's. Thanks for the advice. Yes, we're from Calgary. I think I read one of your posts about the hostage situation in Monteverde and gather you are from Edmonton (RCMP tragedy). Am I right? Any other tips you can give us would be appreciated.
costaklaus: I'll look on your website. Thanks.
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Old Mar 19th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Yes , I am from Edmonton ( and yes RCMP tradgedy for sure).

You know everyone is different with their finances when they travel but here is what I do.

Usually my airfare and accommodations are paid ahead of time.

Then I just calculate what cash I will need for tours and tips and dinning .

If the tours only take cash, then I bring enough cash with me.

If the tours take credit cards, then I for sure will use credits cards always, save my slips and match them up when the credit card statement arrives.

Bringing $100 bills is okay if you know ahead of time where you are going to use them.

For example:

I took a tour from Guanacaste to Nicaragua...the cost was $140 per person.

For two people it was $280.00, but I knew this ahead of time, so I brought $100.00 bills with me.

Then I gave the tour guide two $100 bills and one $50 and $20 and $10.

I paid for all my tours in cash ( on my last trip to Costa Rica in December 2004).

For tips I brought 75 1$ bills and fifteen $5.00 bills.

About your RBC bank card, you can use it , but do so as a last resort.!

When I went on the turtle egg laying Tour( report posted in Dec. 2004), the tour guide stopped off at the town of Filadelfia on the way to Tamarindo , so those people that needed to use the ATM , could do so at the Bank of Costa Rica.

So far I have never come home, from a trip, and when my credit card statement arrived that there was any over billing of anykind.

However, the opposite is true!!!

I was in Scotland last July and still have not been billed (on Mastercard) for purchses in Edinburgh .

Then two years ago ,I was in the Galapagos Islands... I bought a stuffed Blue Footed Boobie and use my Mastercard and have yet to be debited for this purchase.... I still hang on to the receipt statement ( just in case!!)

Okay enought about finances!!!

We met friend from Kentucky who stayed at the Montanade Fuego and said that they had a super view of the Arenal Volcano both day and night.!!

I assume that from Arenal you are going to circle part of the Arenal Lake and then drive on to Canas to join the Inter American Highway on your way to Tamarino area.

Visit and browse around the town of Tamarindo and see some of the sites there.

Have a nice time as I am sure you will


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Old Mar 19th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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here is another point that perhaps some people do not know about.

It is alays a good idea to call your credit card compnay ( Visa or Mastercard , or both)and tell them you are going to be away from ( give the dates and the place you will be).

When I went to Ireland last year, I called both my credit card companies and told them ,where I was going to be.

They are very greatful when you call and let them know.

One person I was with , bought something in Wales and the credit card company refused the purchase !!!!!

Not exactly what you want to happen when you are on holidays.

How does the credit card company know that you are in your home city one day and in Wales 3 days later !!!!

I always call and let them know.

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Old Mar 19th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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We found a number of places that would not accept $100 US bills. They said they had gotten too many counterfeit ones, and would take nothing larger than a 50 dollar bill.

We also had some difficulty with ATMs and we are from the US. Even though they had stickers saying they were on the correct networks (Plus, Cirrus), only about half of them actually would give us money! But we just kept trying other ATMs, and we were eventually successful.
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Old Mar 19th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Percy Thanks for the great advice about money. We will also be sure to bring small bills for tipping. Good thing we will use $US 1's and not loonies as that could get heavy. We have already notified our credit card companies, so thanks again. We leave on Tuesday and are sooo excited!
blearynet Thanks for the heads up on the $100 bills.
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