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Credit Cards and Cash #64860
03/16/03 11:00 PM
03/16/03 11:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Vacation Bound Offline OP
Vacation Bound  Offline OP
When we go to AC (3 weeks and counting!!!!!) can we use our credit cards or are there major sur-charges on them? What has your experience been?

Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64861
03/17/03 12:46 AM
03/17/03 12:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 70
Sarasota, FL USA
Hey Jude Offline
Hey Jude  Offline
Just returned from AC yesterday. Used my credit cards, US $'s, and traveller's checks. A few places don't take credit cards like Cafe Ole across from the airport and some of the small Mom & Pop restaurants. US money is good everywhere. Saw a new ATM at the Belize Bank near the Post Office. I didn't try it out, but it might work for cash withdrawals.

Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64862
03/17/03 09:54 AM
03/17/03 09:54 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Credit cards are widely accepted -- mostly Visa and MC, sometimes Amex, rarely Discover.

Two small disadvantages to using them: One, some places, fewer these days but still some, do levy a surcharge, typically 3 to 5%. Two, most credit card companies will convert at a rate slightly lower than 2 to 1, typically 1.97 or so, and some may also add a conversion fee of around 1%. On small purchases the total isn't very meaningful, but if you're charging hotel rooms, tours, etc. the total "hit" can mount up.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64863
03/17/03 10:26 AM
03/17/03 10:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 264
Cornwall Ontario Canada
Danl & the Boop Offline
Danl & the Boop  Offline
Hi vacationbound;
We just got back mad a week ago and the bank machine at the banks will NOT take anything but Belize cards. The money exchange way north on front St. has the best rate on American Express cheques and you can get cash on your credit card there. Most of our purchases and meals were on Visa, and from the look of our update from the bank (on line) there were no service fees added. Have a wonderful trip;

Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64864
03/17/03 10:36 AM
03/17/03 10:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 786
Teenah Offline
Teenah  Offline
Please look over your credit card bills well after your trip. I just got mine a couple of weeks ago reflecting my charges in San Pedro during early January. I found a charge dated January 17, 4 days after I left the island for nearly $400 US. I'm in the processes of protesting it, but I will hesitate to patronize that store again next time I come to the island. I've heard others say this has happened to them too.


Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64865
03/17/03 12:04 PM
03/17/03 12:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
As Danl & the Boop says, most banks in Belize have ATMs but the bad news is most of these ATMs, including those of Belize Bank, don't accept cards issued outside Belize.

The exceptions are the branches of Barclays in Belize City, Belmopan and Dangriga which (usually) accept foreign cards.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64866
03/17/03 01:36 PM
03/17/03 01:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 5
nuc Offline
nuc  Offline
I had no credit card problems and even used it in some pretty small places. I called the customer service numbers on the back of a couple of my cards before traveling and found that one charges a 3% surcharge plus a conversion fee and the other only charged a small conversion fee with no surcharge. Guess which card I used.

Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64867
03/17/03 01:47 PM
03/17/03 01:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
The surcharge I'm talking about is levied by the individual store, hotel, etc. in Belize, not by the credit card company. As I say, this is becoming less common in Belize, but quite a few hotels and other places, mainly the smaller ones, do levy a surcharge, typically 3% to 5% and I've seen it at one lodge as high as 10%.

The conversion fee and lower exchange rate are separate issues with credit card issuers, and these do vary.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64868
03/20/03 09:59 PM
03/20/03 09:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 32
T IN BELIZE  Offline
Hey Teenah, just an fyi the same thing happened to us, in AC early Jan., but just so you know and you can check back it is an older post(probably first to middle of february, I think) pull up credit card fraud, it has alot of helpful info, i guess from what i have read, the Atlantic Bank in AC did a major computer overhaul and obviously are having or had alot of problems, also just as an fyi, the merchants are not aware that you are being charged by them, I repeat they are not aware of it, it is all coming from the Atlantic Bank, you might notify your credit card company, (after reading Credit Card Fraud) and give them the heads up on the bank, I hope this helps, although I will also tell you its been over a month since we notified our Credit card company and we have not heard anything yet..... As I stated in the old post we cant wait to get back to AC, next time we will take cash or travelers checks, less headaches!!

Re: Credit Cards and Cash #64869
03/20/03 10:24 PM
03/20/03 10:24 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 683
Chicago, Illinois USA
B_b_f_b Offline
B_b_f_b  Offline
I am still having problems with the same thing you are talking about. What's occuring is an amount is being charged to my credit card ($69.62 to be exact) and it is being charged by at least 4 different businesses. I've had it removed each time, but it scares me that it keeps happening.

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