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#96349 - 01/24/05 09:43 PM forms of payment in San Pedro
ts Offline
Thanks for all the great info on this board - planning to spend a week in San Pedro next month, and have a very basic question: Do establishments (restaurants / bars / etc.) generally accept credit cards, or is cash preferred? AND, are ATMs available/convenient in San Pedro? Just trying to figure out how much $$ to travel with vs. just visiting an ATM as needed while there. Thanks!

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#96350 - 01/25/05 12:01 AM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
Caye Crazed Offline
ATMs are generally not available or convenient.There is one at the Belize Bank near and across from the Stained Glass Window restaurant.Visa and Mastercard are as good as cash at most places so you can check out what charges you are paying on the card.I read an article that indicated MBNA had the lowest foreign charges.Cheers!

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#96351 - 01/25/05 01:10 AM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
Bawlmer_Hon Offline
We read somewhere that merchants often charge a 5 to 15 percent premium when customers use credit cards. Don't know how true that is.

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#96352 - 01/25/05 01:52 AM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
SP Daily Offline
Some do charge but only 4% - 5%

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#96353 - 01/25/05 02:19 AM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
SnorkelG Offline
When I travel I usually bring very little cash and plan to use credit for everything. On my first trip to San Pedro I found that I ran out of cash fast and had to get a credit advance from the bank which of course involves a surcharge. This time I am bringing more cash and travelers checks.. We needed cash to pay our favorite snorkel guide Alphonso ($25-30 per person per trip) as well as many local shops that did not take Credit cards. Jambel's Jerk pit(one of my favorites) charges 5% extra to use credit. Most hotels will happily exchange US travelers checks for BZ$ at no charge or if you can get to the bank by day you can cash them in there. I will still try to use plastic whereever possible , but in San Pedro, more than other vacation spots, cash is easier.

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#96354 - 01/25/05 02:38 AM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
The Belize Bank ATM on Front Street is convenient and has always worked when I've tried it (along with the other 10 or 11 Belize Bank ATMs around the country). Occasionally the ATMs may be down, though.

You'll get cash in Belize dollars.

Won't help in San Pedro, but First Caribbean Bank ATMs also work with foreign ATM cards. I'm told Atlantic and ScotiaBank ATMs may accept foreign cards within the year. 'Bout time.

--Lan Sluder
_________________________
Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com

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#96355 - 01/25/05 04:41 AM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
BDinAZ Offline
We have used the Visa travel money card on recent trips to Mexico and Jamaica. It's just like travelers checks but in the form of a Visa loadable card I think up to $5k.
But you can use it for everything from plane tickets to getting cash from the ATMs. Note: fees do apply on certain transactions.
We liked it because you only spend what you plan, you can leave most of your own cc's and debit cards at home and don't need the hassle/worry of carrying too much cash on vaca.
Prior to this I used to put cash into a beltlooped crotch wallet that was rather uncomfortable until the end of vacation when the money and my "gifted" appearance faded.

Here is a website with what sems to have the best fee structure. AMEX also has a card but I believe their fees were considerably higher.
https://travelmoney.nationalcity.com/index.cfm

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#96356 - 01/25/05 03:52 PM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
ts Offline
Thanks for all the info folks - you've been a great help!

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#96357 - 01/25/05 04:54 PM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
john robertsdenver Offline
Speaking of belts, R.E.I. and some other travel shops carry and old style web belt with a plastic old style G.I. type buckle that is zippered for carrying quite a few large bills. Being plastic, it is great going thru airports, and the handy hidden zipper, will easily hold 1200 to 1500 bucks!! Plus it holds your pants up---one size fits all!! Bon voyage! john denver

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#96358 - 01/25/05 05:44 PM Re: forms of payment in San Pedro
krehfish Offline
SnorkelG: When were you at Jambel's? I looked at my cc receipts from 8/04 and the charge was 2%, which was the same as Tropic Air, Fido's, and a couple of shops.
_________________________
Flyfishing my way through mid-life crisis.

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