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Credit Cards/ATM #41623
07/02/01 01:39 PM
07/02/01 01:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 16
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A...
Caligirl Offline OP
Caligirl  Offline OP
So I was wondering if it was easy to access ATM's or if credit cards were acceptable everywhere. I know this is probably a crazy question but I just got back from Russia and had lots of problems... I don't want to take anything for granted.

Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41624
07/02/01 02:27 PM
07/02/01 02:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Don't count on using your ATM card in Belize. The banks do have ATM machines at some locations, but most don't accept foreign-issued cards (Barclays and ScotiaBank ATMs do accept foreign cards ... sometimes).

Credit cards are accepted at nearly all hotels and many restaurants and shops. In some cases there is a surcharge (typically 5%) for credit card use, however.

You can get a cash advance on your bank card at most banks in Belize, for a small fee (plus whatever your bank charges).

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Magazine

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41625
07/03/01 08:08 AM
07/03/01 08:08 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 79
Lovely, Scenic New Milford, CT...
cjd Offline
cjd  Offline
We ate at most of the "popular" restaurants and paid with credit cards and didn't see any service charges. I think you said you were staying at Ramon's right? We stayed there and charged everything (bar & rest. tabs) to the room and settled up when we checked out. No extra charges. Nice clear tally of transactions on the final bill. They made it very easy and "thought free". Thats what vacations are all about!

Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41626
07/03/01 05:44 PM
07/03/01 05:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
To clarify on the credit cards, it's not a service charge, it's a SURCHARGE. By my estimate, about one-third of Belize hotels and tourist-oriented restaurants do impose a surcharge. It ranges from 2% to 10% but is usually 5%. In the past, nearly all businesses in Belize honoring credit cards imposed a surcharge. Now it's less common, but it's still a practice that some places, especially the smaller and less successful ones, do follow. On Ambergris, only a handful of restaurants impose it, and a few hotels do. It's more common on the mainland.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41627
07/06/01 03:11 PM
07/06/01 03:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 165
Washington, PA, USA
Karen Pasquariello Offline
Karen Pasquariello  Offline
While in Belize recently I tried to use my visa card, which I have had for 15 years and have used in foreign countries before, but this time it was declined by Visa. Reason: Unusual activity on my card. Ask how mad I was about that. I called Visa and they said I should have notified them that I was going out of the country and would be using my card. So now I'm shopping around for another card so I can cut up this one. So, a forewarning- hopefully this hasn't happened to anyone else.

Karen Pasquariello
Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41628
07/06/01 05:42 PM
07/06/01 05:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 105
Olathe Co
deano Offline
deano  Offline
Karen I think your VISA provider was trying to do you a favour and you missed it..Credit card theft is REAL! I always call before I take off, They are happy to put a note on your account to the effect that you will be traveling out of the country. They are just trying to cover their rear (and yours) in case of theft. Just be sure to take you provider"s phone## with you so you can report loss or theft asap,and Charge On!! Almost got mine paid off..... time to go back again.

Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41629
07/06/01 10:34 PM
07/06/01 10:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline

I agree -- that's not how you'd like to have your bank card handle things. They weren't protecting you -- they were just trying to protect themselves, and they didn't have your interests in mind at all. The only time this has happened to me is with a Providian Bank card -- that's a bank that has had some run ins with state attorneys general, and I quickly dropped the card.

I've never had any problem with American Express, which I've had for 25 years. I think Amex is a little more sophisticated about international credit card use than are some banks.

Just to be on the safe side, it probably does make sense to tell your card issuer you are planning to be out of the country and may be making unusual purchases.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41630
07/07/01 02:24 AM
07/07/01 02:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 381
BC, Canada
Wendy Offline
Wendy  Offline
I have to agree with Deano. Although it can be somewhat embarrassing when my card is not approved or message says to call Visa for approval I appreciate the fact that they noticed activity that was different.

Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41631
07/07/01 08:56 AM
07/07/01 08:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,057
South Texas
Chloe Offline
Chloe  Offline
I agree, this is a good thing.
My credit card provider, calls me immediately to check if I have made charges out of my area, sometimes while I am still on the phone booking my vacation, that is being prepaid. I appreciate this, sure prevents alot of hassle later. Funny they have been quicker to call on charges in Florida than in Belize. LOL They seem to accept Belize as my area now. LOL

Dare To Deviate
Re: Credit Cards/ATM #41632
07/07/01 10:15 AM
07/07/01 10:15 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 170
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Cinca Offline
Cinca  Offline
Someone I work with wasn't aware that his wallet had been stolen that morning until he got a call from Visa mid-morning asking if he was trying to buy $4000 worth of jewelry by way of a pay phone! I commend them for noticing and acting so quickly. His Master Card wasn't so on the ball, and the $4000 was charged on that one.

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