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Re: traveller's cheques

Von: Paul
Date: 16.May.2003
Time: 14:47:06 -0500
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This QQ gets asked a lot. Yes, you can pay with travelers' checks at hotels and change them at banks, but the rate the hotels give isn't the best -and the banks also charge a fee and often offer a long line to stand in before getting your turn with a cashier. Many businesses do not take TCs any longer as there has come to be a significant amount of fraud where TCs are involved. It has been suggested before on this BB (and I concur) to bring several hundred dollars in small bills (10s, 20s) and another few hundred in TCs -both of these as emergency back up. For the rest of your cash needs use your debit card, taking out only what you will need for several days at a time. That will give you the best rate of exchange and will allow you to avoid standing in long bank lines. You should plan ahead -taking into account any weekends, holiday times, or times when you will be in isolated/rural areas- so that you can take out the amount of colones you will need until you can get to an ATM again. Your card should operate on the Cirrus or Plus system and VISA is the most widely type accepted, tho MasterCard has some limited use there, i.e., only a relatively few ATMs in the country will take M/C. And try not to use your debit card randomly at any old business to charge things, especially if the business does not have the electronic keypad for you to swipe your card thru... There is muchissimo plastic fraud in CR and if someone gets your number (like on a carbon from out of a manual receipt) they can use it to empty your account by charging things to it but, being a debit card, if that money is taken from your account there is no recourse to recover it since it is not a true credit card! Still I have been very happy with the ease of using my debit card in CR to withdraw colones while I am there. It is super convenient and I make a point of being very careful when and where I use it. And after three trips using it as my primary method for getting cash, I think I've decided it's the best thing since sliced bread. Hope this helps... ˇPuro Plástico! Paul