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Money #410213
06/20/11 11:07 AM
06/20/11 11:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 43
Melinda79 Offline OP
Melinda79  Offline OP
Good Morning -

We're coming to Ambergris Caye for the first time July 9th-16th. This is probably a really stupid question (so I apologize in advance - lol), but what's the best way to handle money? Should we get our cash exchanged into Belizean dollars? I would like to have access to some money in my bank account during our stay as we both get paid during that time. I'm sure no one takes debit cards, is there a way we can get money on the island? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Money [Re: Melinda79] #410214
06/20/11 11:11 AM
06/20/11 11:11 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 91
JdeVerteuil Offline
JdeVerteuil  Offline
US dollars are accepted nation wide, exchange rate is 1USD/ 2Belize Dollars (BZD).
Debt cards are accepted as there are plenty of ATMS and fees are average. Some stores will accept debt as well. Your bank will charge you an international fee so check with them and determine if you need more cash on hand.
Have a great time.

John deVerteuil
Re: Money [Re: Melinda79] #410222
06/20/11 12:19 PM
06/20/11 12:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,281
Arizona USA
azbob Offline
azbob  Offline
You do not have to exchange US$ for BZ$. US$ are accepted everywhere and you are given change in BZ$. I always carry as many US$ 1,5 and 20's as I can. Save spending your $50's & $100's for large meals, tours, rentals, etc. If you don't watch it you will end up with a lot of BZ$ left over and they are only good in Belize. If that happens, what the heck, it just gives you an excuse to go back again and spend your money!!! Most debit and credit cards have international transactions fees and can run as high as 5%, so check with your bank. Always good to have with you in case of emergencies.
I don't know where you are staying, but many places have safes in the room or available at the front desk, so lock it up and only carry with you what you need for the day.
Enjoy (I know you will)and you will start planning your next trip after a few days on the island!!!!!! smile

"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO
Re: Money [Re: Melinda79] #410225
06/20/11 01:04 PM
06/20/11 01:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 43
Melinda79 Offline OP
Melinda79  Offline OP
You all are wonderful - thank you and have a great rest of your week. July 9th can't come quickly enough!!!!

Re: Money [Re: Melinda79] #410236
06/20/11 02:18 PM
06/20/11 02:18 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
Caye Caulker
Dane Offline
Dane  Offline
Using a debit card and drawing cash as you need it is the safest.The fee is low.

Re: Money [Re: Melinda79] #410257
06/20/11 06:04 PM
06/20/11 06:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Nebraska, Belize
AT602 Offline
AT602  Offline
Something to remember is the departure fee from the airport is can only be made in US. Not sure about the debit card but will take a credit card. It is possible that it was part of your ticket price. Just be aware they do not take Belize cash.

Re: Money [Re: Melinda79] #410258
06/20/11 06:44 PM
06/20/11 06:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Just note that when you get cash from an ATM in Belize you can only get Belize dollars. If you're in Chetumal or elsewhere in Mexico some ATMs give you the option of either pesos or U.S. dollars.

Note also that the bank service fees on ATM withdrawals can really add up. Most Belize banks add a US$3 withdrawal fee on any withdrawal, regardless of size, plus your home bank will add its own international withdrawal fee. My bank is Wells Fargo/Wachovia and typically it adds US$3 to US$6 fee per international withdrawal. So if I withdraw, say US$200/BZ$400, I'm hit with a US$9 in total withdrawal fees. That's 4 1/2% per withdrawal, a lot more than I earn in interest in a year. So best to make a few large withdrawals rather than many smaller ones.

Many credit cards also hit you with an international transaction fee, and the exchange rate may not be favorable. A few credit cards, such as Capital One and Amex, do not charge an international transaction fee, at least not on some of their cards.

--Lan Sluder

Re: Money [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First] #410318
06/21/11 07:46 PM
06/21/11 07:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 200
San Pedro
Noele McLain Offline
Noele McLain  Offline
You might also want to let your bank know you are traveling here. Some debit cards block here and to save hassle and phone bills let them know your travel dates.

Have fun!

Noele McLain
Go Yoga, travelling to you and with you.
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