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Visa surcharge? #54004
06/12/02 09:50 PM
06/12/02 09:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 119
ellydognme Offline OP
ellydognme  Offline OP
Any advice on how to handle my money when I am in AC (Only a few weeks to go!)? I was planning on using my Visa checkcard for most purchases, but I was reading that many charge a 5% fee??? What do all you experts reccomend? Travelers checks, cash ???

Re: Visa surcharge? #54005
06/12/02 09:59 PM
06/12/02 09:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,546
Birdland - 1 mile north
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Your diving and hotel probably will not charge a service charge. However, retailers will.
I take traveler's checks in denominations of $20 US. You will get back your change in Belize and $50 US wipes them out.

I take enough cash to get through the first few days then only as much in travelerís checks as I want to spend.

In a pinch you can go to the Atlantic Bank and get an advance on your credit card for a charge of $5.00 US. I did that for an unexpected expense.

As they say "no problemo!"

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Re: Visa surcharge? #54006
06/13/02 05:30 PM
06/13/02 05:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,157
San Pedro and Caye Caulker, Be...
silkpainter Offline
silkpainter  Offline
The retailers are not supposed to charge the 5% bank fee back to the customer, they could lose their merchant account if the bank found out, but everyone does it. I just got my merchant account and I consider the fee the cost of doing business, just as it is in the U.S. Its true about the cash advance cost though, here on Caye Caulker, Atlantic Bank ony charges $3 bz for any amount advanced.

[This message has been edited by silkpainter (edited 06-13-2002).]

Re: Visa surcharge? #54007
06/13/02 09:39 PM
06/13/02 09:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 71
ChilledOut Offline
ChilledOut  Offline
There are also now three casa de cambios open on the island - all on front street - they give the same rate and the queue is much shorter than in the bank.

Re: Visa surcharge? #54008
06/13/02 10:48 PM
06/13/02 10:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 41
Conroe, Texas, USA
brandilee3 Offline
brandilee3  Offline
My boyfriend & I were in AC last January and we used our charge card for almost everything: Meals, drinks at bars, shopping and were never charged any fees.

Re: Visa surcharge? #54009
06/14/02 01:21 PM
06/14/02 01:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 119
ellydognme Offline OP
ellydognme  Offline OP
Thanks for the advice everyone. Your responses are making the anticipation of my first solo trip grow each day! I hope I get the chance to meet those of you who are going to be down there June 26 through August 9. Thanks again for everything!

Re: Visa surcharge? #54010
06/14/02 01:45 PM
06/14/02 01:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 79
Lovely, Scenic New Milford, CT...
cjd Offline
cjd  Offline
Just a word of advise...I dont like to use my debit card (Visa Checkcard or anything else linked to your checking/savings accounts) in a foreign country because if it gets into the wrong hands, you can get your entire account wiped out. With a regular Visa/MC credit account, you're only liable for $50-100 of fraudulent charges (depending on your state statutes), and the credit-issuing bank will cover the rest. I guess this kind of thing can also happen in "Main Street USA" too, but I've heard about it happening in the Caribbean several times. Recently, my sister-in-law made a phone call from Cancun with a debit card through a local phone company down there and that night her checking account was drained of $900 and there was nothing Fleet bank would do about it.

Re: Visa surcharge? #54011
06/14/02 02:15 PM
06/14/02 02:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 45
Muskego. wi.usa
D brandt Offline
D brandt  Offline
My husband and I have been going down to A/C
for ten years this is what we do.
We take travelers check and cash them as we need to, at Milo's exchange. His hours are pretty flexible,we sailed everyday and had No problem finding time to cash travels checks. He is located on the first street that runs north and south. Just ask anyone
where it is located. Everyone knows Milo the pilot.
We always charge our room at Lilies and they do charge us a 5% credit card
charge but it is worth not worrying about taking money along for your lodging.
I hope this help you! Have a great time on A/c.

Re: Visa surcharge? #54012
06/21/02 11:38 PM
06/21/02 11:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 36
Dallas, TX, USA
DallasDiver Offline
DallasDiver  Offline
It is the bank which sponsers your credit card that charges a fee for foreign currancy conversion. Citibank Visa charged 8% about 3 years ago. Since then I take travelers checks.

Re: Visa surcharge? #54013
06/22/02 06:50 PM
06/22/02 06:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,080
Eugene, OR, USA
KC Offline
KC  Offline
some banks do charge a conversion fee (maybe all banks, I don't know)... BUT... many of the businesses in Belize also charge for using a credit card. They are offsetting the fee which VISA charges them, which is illegal, but it is done anyway. Believe me, I know of which I speak. I furnished a home down there, ordering a lot of the stuff from here and putting it on VISA, and they added the VISA charge right onto the bill.


"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
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