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#111728 - 11/26/05 07:33 PM How best to handle cash
Xoe Offline
What's best: to bring traveler's checks or U.S. currency, or go to local ATMs for Belizean currency?

When traveling, I usually charge as much as possible on my Visa credit card, and use ATMs for local currency as needed, since traveler's checks are sometimes easy to cash, sometimes not.

If ATM's are the best, how numerous and conveniently located are they? We'll be staying at Belizean Shores.

I'll appreciate hearing from "the voices of experience"!

#111729 - 11/26/05 07:40 PM Re: How best to handle cash
Kra-Z-K Offline

#111730 - 11/26/05 08:15 PM Re: How best to handle cash
BobW Offline
Having just returned from Belize, I found that cash is always welcomed. Travellers checks are easy to cash at hotel desks, etc. Most places that I wanted to use a Visa card at were fine with it; only one or two wanted to surcharge a few % to cover the fee they pay, one or two others had a minimum amount (usually around $30Belize) before they'd take a card. Just remember that Visa will screw you over on currency exchange fees.
Never tried to use ATMs. Only one of the banks use the same network as North America; the rest of them can't access the US and Canadian banks.

#111731 - 11/26/05 08:36 PM Re: How best to handle cash
Kra-Z-K Offline

ATMs. vary depending on your bank, Mine charges me $5 US per withdraw no matter how much I take out. There are at least 3 that I know of that allow you to use your ATM in town.

As for VISA mine charges me 2.5% of the transaction for conversion.

#111732 - 11/27/05 05:49 PM Re: How best to handle cash
dabunk Offline
There are only two banks in Belize that have international ATM's that I know of, Belize Bank and First Carribean. There are several branches of both in Belize City and even some gas stations have their ATM's. Both only allow 500 BZE per day in withdrawals.

#111733 - 12/01/05 11:35 AM Re: How best to handle cash
Xoe Offline
So, it sounds like taking lots of U.S. cash with traveler's checks for back-up is the best way to go? Not my usual way on past trips! Any more advice?

#111734 - 12/01/05 11:46 AM Re: How best to handle cash
obtuseangler Offline
If you're just staying in SP, ATM cards are a good way to go. Back them up with travelers checks (your hotel should cash them for you) and a small amount of cash in small denominations for tips.

FYI, I primarily used the ATMs in San Pedro last February. My credit union does not charge a transaction fee and you get the institutional exchange rate, although that is not really a factor in Belize since the currency is pegged to the US $.

As far as traveling with lots of cash, IMO it isn't the wisest way to go.
it takes some green to live the dream...

#111735 - 12/01/05 01:03 PM Re: How best to handle cash
kris48 Offline
We stick extra $1 bills in the "vacation fund" jar. Then when it's time to go, we have $50-$75 or so in $1's. Great for tips--airport, housekeepers, bars, etc. Just an idea.

#111736 - 12/01/05 03:15 PM Re: How best to handle cash
ScubaLdy Offline
Please keep in mind that we ‘occasionally’ have no electricity here. LOL
No kidding, last year when it was out for a number of day’s people who were depending on their credit cards and ATM’s were going crazy. People were leaving the island because they couldn’t get anything to eat at the restaurants. I suggest you always have a couple days’ cash with you.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#111737 - 12/03/05 08:37 AM Re: How best to handle cash
suzanne0918 Offline
Just returned from AC and found the Island Supermarket had an ATM we could take our bank- imposed limit out with no transaction fee. Prices were ridiculously exorbitant at the market so we ate out instead...always nice to have someone else do the dishes smile
They are located about a 1/4 mile south of the airstrip. Have a fabulous time...we did!!!!!

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