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paying in colones vs dollars

Charlotte
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paying in colones vs dollars

travelling to Costa Rica in Feb'13. My question is: Would it be better to bring dollars and exchange into colones or use ATM's and withdraw colones. Which way i wold get the best rate. thanks

Costa Rica
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1. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

The rate will be the same.

1. If you bring US dollars and change some into colones, the only down side is that now you have a big wad of dollars to deal with and keep safe.

2. If you use an ATM, that would work but you should find out what international fees your card(s) would charge, if any. And be sure to notify your credit card company or bank that you will be using the card out of the country.

3. Many places will take either dollars or colones. If the price is in dollars, pay in dollars . Typically hotels and tours. If the price is in colones, pay in colones. Typically, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, buses.

Denver, CO
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2. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

Hi,

Do some research on the USD currency you bring - many places will not accept anything larger than $20 bills, or any bills that have any tears in them. I also made sure to not have certain serial # that begin with certain letters.

I bring 2 ATM cards (in case one doesn't I have a backup), I notify the bank of my travels as well to assure that the fraud dept. doesn't close activity due to suspicious activity. I use the ATM to get the best exchange rate. Using the currency exchange places are a rip-off in my opinion.

I bring between $500 - $1000 in USD in $20 denominations making sure there are no tears - I shy away from older warn currency as well. I have this money for in case something happens to my ATM cards so not left to a situation with nothing. I tend to ONLY use cash (colones or USD) and not use a CC for purchases. I usually plan in my budget for 3 or 4 withdraws from the ATM for currency in colones.

I find that I get better rates paying in cash for hotel - I don't rent cars so the use of a CC is not a big deal for me.

I hope this helps,

L

Costa Rica
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3. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

If your card(s) won't work at an ATM, you can always go inside the bank and get cash. I would rather do that, frankly, than carry around $1,000 in cash.

Good point about the condition and size of the bills, though. No tears or writing. I don't think the serial number thing is an issue. And most places - except for big ticket items like a hotel - will not accept anything bigger than a $20.

It is very unlikely that you could not find an ATM where you could withdraw money here, especially if the card(s) is from the US.

Edited: 6:27 pm, January 11, 2013
guanacaste
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4. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

whatever is charged in dollars pay in dollars, same for colones

the best place to sell your dollars is desyfin.fi.cr/pages/…

Centro Comercial Papagayo Do it Center, Local No.1 (506) 2667-1020

Yorkton, Canada
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5. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

We arrived here on Saturday, and brought with us, $200 Canadian converted to Colones. All went well until we tried to use our CR currency. The bank in Canada gave us old, out dated, and out of circulation currency, and NO ONE would accept it. We went to the bank, here in Coco, and they, (thankfully ) exchanged our old CR money for new bills. So if you are bringing CR currency, make sure it's the newer bills..<:

Costa Rica
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6. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

Good point, shawnrat!

We always recommend AGAINST changing your home currency for colones in your home country. You get a horrible exchange rate and there's always that danger that you experienced.

For Canadians, just bring US dollars and exchange them here or use one of the many ATM's all around the country -- or both. US dollars are also accepted widely.

Playa Hermosa
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7. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

Hattie is "spot on" in her comment.

Don't exchange at airports either. They also have a horrible exchange rate.

Go to this site to get the latest exchange rates:

…bccr.fi.cr/IndicadoresEconomicos/Cuadros/fr…

sask.canada
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8. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

What would be an aproximate amount of Usd currency to bring to CR. We are first timers and would like to sightsee and still vegge. We are staying for three weeks in a Condo that we are sharing with another couple. We have no desire to rent a car. We love cooking and of course dining out a few times. We would require money for groceries, beer, fresh fish, a little shopping, touring. So does anyone know how much to budget for the above. I am under the understanding to bring crisp $20.00 usd bills and I am not certain if I would like to be going to Atms, banks. But if necessary we would have to have a location near the condo so we could walk and if a taxi not expensive. The exchange website above was great info, actually this forum is quite informative and yet not real busy.

so the info can be easilly absorb. LOL

Edited: 11:34 am, January 18, 2013
Brooklyn, New York
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9. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

We just came back from Costa Rica. We spent several days in San Jose and then traveled to Punta Uva/Puerto Viajo area it was helpful to have a few colones but there was no problem using dollars anywhere we went including the taxis. The exchange rate right now is 490 colones to 1 dollar. Every vendor we visited even in the markets used calculators to show you what the exchange would be. However if you pay with dollars expect to receive your change in colones.

Huntsville, Canada
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10. Re: paying in colones vs dollars

I'll normally bring along $300 US cash for incidentals and withdraw cash at ATm's as required so as not to have excessive cash which could get stolen or misplaced. Exchange rate is a non issue as it stays stable during a 2-3 week stay. But an atm transaction fee is $5plus which would be in the area of $30 for 6 transaction. So I look at it this way, withdraw a large amount in 1 shot and risk theft or loosing it or whatever or make several smaller amount withdrawels and pay $25 in fees which I consider insurance against theft or loss. Also I make a little note on exchange rate between colones and US$ so that I can compare prices when purchasing goods. This also helps in the confusion when you get lets say a 10,000 colone paper bill which basically is $20. You can get a brain cramp doing the math.