I am going to Ecuador for an educational program in a couple weeks and will be there for a while so I want to make sure I have currency for the whole trip.
I recently went to Peru and lucked out that my bank gave me brand new dollars as I found they had very strict exchange rules – no rips, no strong creases and can’t have a worn look and nowhere, exchange centers, hotels, shops....none of them wanted to take anything but a perfect bill. I had some dollars stashed in my wallet before I left and tried to use them at one point when my VISA didn’t work but because they had normal wear and tear for our standards, it wasn’t acceptable there.
I plan to get crisp dollars just to be safe – but if there are similar policies in Ecuador I will also warn those I am traveling with as it hasn’t come up yet in “things we should know”.
Also, is there a rule of thumb for credit cards? I was surprised to find that while Visa and MasterCard were accepted most places in Peru, several places ONLY accepted MasterCard – especially in the airports. Is Visa not the “accepted anywhere” card for stores that do take credit cards in Ecuador?