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Exchange rate

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41 posts
2 reviews
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Exchange rate

Can someone who recently visited Costa rica and used their credit card for a cash withdrawal tell me what exchange rate did they get?

I just tried to get some colones from my bank before leaving and they are quoting 1 USD to 459 Colones which seems very low

Also, is it better to use credit card or my bank's ATM card? Both have similar fees and I wonder if the exchange rate would be same since it gets processed by Cirrus


San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,406 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Exchange rate

The exchange rate goes up and down almost every day...very close to 500 colones per dollar is good enough...

Do not try to get colones at your local bank or country...they will pay you terrible low fares...wait until you are in Costa Rica...and exchange some money at a local bank...

Use credit cardds...and maybe have with you a couple hundred dollars in Colones...

Most of the time if you are dealing with a few hundreds of dollars is fine using credit cards...


Portsmouth, Virginia
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276 posts
100 reviews
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2. Re: Exchange rate

I recently spent two weeks in Costa Rica. I went to Scotiabank and exchanged US dollars for CR colones, with the rate being just below ¢495 per US$. You will need your passport as identification.

Ten days later I withdrew ¢200,000 (about $400) at a Scotiabank ATM using the ATM card from my US bank. Scotiabank's fee was ¢890 (less than $2), my US bank charges no fee. The exchange rate for the ATM withdrawl was a bit over ¢496 per US $.

I have heard of some ATM's in CR eating cards. In most instances the card can be retrieved by going into the bank, explaining the problem and identifying your card. I didnt let this stop me from making the withdrawl on a Sunday and had no problem.

Safe travels!

Punta Uva, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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6,874 posts
10 reviews
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3. Re: Exchange rate

Using ATMs to withdraw colones while in Costa Rica is the way to go, use your credit card when ever possible if business don't give discounts for cash. Most banks charge $2 for every c50,000.

4. Re: Exchange rate

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