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Cash vs Credit

Denver, Colorado
6 posts
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Cash vs Credit

Discussing the need for US$ vs being able to use credit card. What is the "stake in" vs easily using credit cards ?

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,497 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Cash vs Credit

Credit cards are accepted almost every where...but maybe nice to have around $ 200.00 in Colones or dollars all the time ...just in case ...


La Fortuna de San...
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2,002 posts
191 reviews
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2. Re: Cash vs Credit

Visa & Mastercard are accepted many places (the larger restaurants, hotels, etc) but Discover & Amex are not widely accepted. One thing to check with your c/c company is if you get charged a "foreign exchange fee" for using your card outside of the US or any other kinds of fees. There are ATMs all over the country even in the smallest town so I'd bring your ATM, 1 credit card and some US dollars (nothing over $20 bills) to begin with. Note that you cannot use your ATM for the rental car agencies as many times they'll do a "hold" and it usually surpases the daily limit on an ATM.

Hope this helps!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

Tamarindo, Costa...
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750 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: Cash vs Credit

Wendy above is correct. In addition, change your US dollars at the bank (with your passport and NOT the bank at the airport) in order to get the best rate of exchange. Rule of thumb - if the bill is in dollars, pay with dollars and if in colones with colones. Remember to tell your bank that you'll be in CR so they don't freeze your card.

Level Contributor
3,094 posts
48 reviews
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4. Re: Cash vs Credit

roadadvisor is correct !!!!

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16 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: Cash vs Credit

We just came back from Liberia and NO ONE was happy to take credit/debit cards. We were shocked because this whole forum said that's all the stores and restaurants take.

Stores - yes, restaurants - NO. Nearly every souvenir shop - NO. Tours and such - NO. Hotels and major businesses - yes.

We ended up taking 2 ATM withdrawals for about $400 for our 10 days there. The ATMs will give you dollars or colones, which is nice. Maybe while we were there the credit card systems were down? for a week? but I doubt it.


Edited: 25 April 2011, 03:23
6. Re: Cash vs Credit

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