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#270330 - 03/05/08 07:26 AM getting money in san pedro
HB Glen Offline
I have read some other posts on the subject but I need some help from frequent visitors or current residents. I have a ATM/Debit card that has a PIN for my my bank, Washington Mutual here in California. This allows me to go to the ATM and get cash.
It also has Mastercard that allows me to "Charge" with merchants that take Mastercard. The charge is a Debit and comes out of my account within a few days.


My question is... I do not want at anytime to carry more than about $200.00 US dollars but need to be able to go to the ATM and get cash daily or so. Do the ATM machines give US or Belize dollars?

Also can I get cash at the bank against my card by going into the bank?

Is it better to carry US dollars or Belize Dollars?

Information is appreciated.
I just do not want to get there and run out of cash even though I have funds available.
_________________________
HB Glen
Huntington Beach, CA
Proud Harley Owner

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#270332 - 03/05/08 07:33 AM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: HB Glen]
deadserious Offline
ATM Machines give Belize dollars. I've never tried to get a cash advance.

I often use credit cards for hotel, rental, excursions and expensive meals. Cash for everything else. It doesn't matter if you have USD or Belize if you know how to divide by 2. I generally bring a good amount of USD as backup but get belize dollars while I'm there, usually from an ATM. I can multiply, but not so good with the division, so it's just easier. wink I usually bring home a lot of the USD that I brought with me.

_________________________
Now back to your regularly scheduled drivel...

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#270336 - 03/05/08 01:14 PM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: deadserious]
suecate Offline
I was able to get money at the bank from my credit card. Our saving account (credit union) debit card did not work. The Debit cards with the visa/mastercard logo's do work.

When I got a cash advance I did get some US dollars for the exit fee but they do charge a minimum fee.

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#270362 - 03/05/08 03:42 PM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: suecate]
Barbara K Offline
And waiting in line at the bank for the cash advance can be a lengthy process. The departure tax people now accept credit cards as well. Personally I would bring a bit more cash and not rely on the ATM for daily withdrawls. They have been known to run out of money and do not work if there is a power outage which happens fairly frequently.
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www.barbsbelize.com

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#270369 - 03/05/08 03:53 PM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: Barbara K]
colomojo Offline
Check and see if you have a safe in your room/condo - that may give you more peace of mind. Seems like cash is the way to go besides excursions, golf cart rental, restaurants etc...Sounds like the ATM may become a hassle if you are depending on it daily.
_________________________
Live Laugh Love

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#270384 - 03/05/08 04:28 PM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: colomojo]
jenni sharp Offline
Keep in mind if you use your ATM to get cash here, your bank back home will charge you a foreign exchange conversion fee. Usually 3-5%. Check with you bank at home to make sure.
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http://www.aqualandphotos.com

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#270459 - 03/05/08 10:38 PM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: jenni sharp]
mrockl Offline
I say take as much cash as you think you'll spend and stick the excess in the hotel safe. Saves lots of hassles w/ banks and ATMs and avoids fees as well. I've only been on the island twice, but I have found very good reception for US dollars. I saved over $100 (25%) on my diving by asking about the price if paid in US cash. I think that most places are open to this kind of deal - this aint the US with fixed price tags on everything and hard currency is always a good thing...
_________________________
Give more, take less

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#270465 - 03/05/08 11:51 PM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: mrockl]
Amanda Syme Offline
Travellers cheques are a good option too - preferably $20 & $50 denominations, and a few $100 for tours and trips.

I think you can go inside the bank and get cash advances over the counter.

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#270468 - 03/06/08 12:22 AM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: Amanda Syme]
Chloe Offline
Travelers Cheques $100 best, and stop at a bank daily to cash into BZ dollars. IMHO

You will need your passport and/or passport number to cash Travelers Cheques.

The $20 and $50, too much time buying/signing, and cashing too often. IMHO
_________________________
Dare To Deviate

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#270474 - 03/06/08 12:54 AM Re: getting money in san pedro [Re: HB Glen]
CaseWork Offline
HB Glen,

My husband and I have travelled to AC San Pedro many times and will be moving there this summer. Jenni Sharp is "sharp" in more ways than simply her name. If you plan to travel with minimal cash and make frequent trips to the ATM, check with your card holder in advance as they often charge a foreign exchange fee. If your card does not charge (or agrees to waive) the fee, I would put most all expenses on your card. This makes life simple and provides an easy way to tally the cost of your trip when you return. That being said, I think I would recommend you take a bit more than $200 with you. Depending on where you are staying a trek into town every day might not be what you want to be doing to obtain cash. Most importantly - have a wonderful time!

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