Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#123091 - 06/04/06 12:35 PM Honeymoon
beth&jay Offline
Good Morning San Pedro!

My wife of 6 months and I are headed to the Island / Caye within 24 hours. We have been lurking the board for the last 3 months after picking SP for our honeymoon. The information we have taken from the posts on this board has been valuable and much apprecaited.

We have a couple of questions about $$$:

Do most merchants accept Credit Cards?

Can you exchange currency (us to belize) in the banks in SP?

Does American Express have a location in SP?

I like to offshore fish and was wondering if you have luck catching, is there a resturant that will prepare your catch and if you're really lucky is there a way to share your good furtune?

Looking forward to 7 days away from work.


Jay and Beth

#123092 - 06/04/06 02:14 PM Re: Honeymoon
Lucky you! Most merchants will accept credit cards, AMEX is accepted fewer places, but still pretty prevelant. Some places will charge a bit of a fee, so ask first.
US dollars are accepted everywhere, so there is no need to exchange. You will often receive your change in BZE dollars. It is a fixed rate of $2 bz to $1 US.
No American Express ofc on the island, but most hotels will cash your travelers checks. So will some businesses.
I don't fish much, so will leave that info to someone else to provide, but there are lots of posts about places that will prepare your catch for you and what to do with extra fish.
If you are like many of us, this will be your first trip of many. Enjoy!

#123093 - 06/05/06 12:53 PM Re: Honeymoon
JZB Offline
If someone tries to charge you extra for using a credit card, tell them it is against their agreement with the bank and that they can loose their credit card privledges for doing so.

#123094 - 06/05/06 04:16 PM Re: Honeymoon
dabunk Offline
And they will tell you what you can do with your CC, and the sun does not shine there. This is not the US.

#123095 - 06/05/06 04:43 PM Re: Honeymoon
ScubaLdy Offline
JZB - Yes, dabunk is right AND your bank will charge you a handling fee.
I always used my credit cards for only large purchases, like resort and diving.
Cash is always accepted and especially US dollars as merchants need that to buy their goods from the states.
If you get cashier's checks I suggest you get them in US $20 denomination and you will be able to cash them most anyplace where they would take a credit card. Be sure and carry you passport with you for ID purposes and write the number on the back of the check.
Have fun.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#123096 - 06/05/06 06:01 PM Re: Honeymoon
kris48 Offline
Passsport not needed, provided you carry a copy with you. They really only need the number. Don't like to take extra chances of losing the passport.

#123097 - 06/05/06 06:28 PM Re: Honeymoon
JZB Offline
dabunk, US or not, they cannot charge you extra for using a credit card. Many merchants don't know this (or don't care). I believe there are not many places in San Pedro still doing this but if you get an invoice that states the extra charge for using a credit card, the customer can send it to their credit card company and the store will receive a charge back for 100% of the invoice and the customer won't have to pay. The banks in San Pedro, the banks in the US and visa and Mastercard do not tolerate this practice, why should we?

#123098 - 06/05/06 08:10 PM Re: Honeymoon
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
You can always choose to use cash.

Merchants here will never turn over the volume as those in the US do. Thus 3.5 to 5% is hard for them to take. Yes you can force the issue, but those kind of folks probably won't like it here anyway.

Be kind and use a lil' understanding, you're not is the US, if you wish to be....

Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

#123099 - 06/05/06 08:58 PM Re: Honeymoon
Tim Jeffers Offline
Very few establishments on Ambergris Caye charge an additional fee to accept credit cards anymore. All merchants here know that this is against the credit card company's "rules". Credit card companies levy higher fees on establishments here than they do in the US.

Take into consideration that from time to time hotels are asked by their guests to pay for items such as local art etc. from a local vendor that doesn't have the capability to accept credit cards. If the item isn't marked up not only will the establishment that did this for their guest lose the credit card transaction fee amount the establishment has to pay the government of Belize 1.75% too as there is a gross income tax in Belize.

Factor in administrative costs and you can see that an item needs to be marked up 10% just to cover the expenses involved in a situation like this.

The credit card companies will also charge the card holder a foreign currency exchange fee when you use your credit card abroad. This fee varies from card to card with American Express charging the most. So in addition to taking anywhere from 2.25% to 5% from the merchants the credit card company will charge as much as 5% to it's card holder in foreign currency exchange fees. Seems ironic that credit card holders don't direct their no tolerance towards the credit card companies not the merchants and use US cash or US traveler's checks whenever and as much as possible.


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