Costa Rica banking

Costa Rica banks


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Banking in Costa Rica

There are positives and negatives with Banking in Costa Rica. The more you know, the better off you are. Costa Rica offers two choices in banking, government, and private. Contact us today for a current list of banks and we will give you our personal recommendations based on our experiences.

Money held in Costa Rican government banks is guaranteed. One advantage to banking with an institution backed by the government is that there are many locations nationwide. On the downside, you will find long lines.

Private Banks are also abundant across Costa Rica, but are far less in number when compared to the government banks.
Usually you have the option to keep your account in Dollars or Colones. Not all banks respond like banks in the rest of the world in respect to crediting wire transfers and depositing foreign checks. This can be a hassle when it’s time to access cash and you find the banks telling you “the check hasn’t cleared.” However, if you plan ahead, this isn’t a problem of great concern. Knowing the practices in advance and understanding how the banks operate can ease your pain, so to speak. Debit and credit cards are also linked to accounts and can provide safe ways to make purchases throughout the country so you do not always have to carry currency. Also, ATM’s, or (ATH’s for “a todas horas) are readily available throughout most cities in Costa Rica, but are fewer and farther between once you venture to the more rural areas.

Some things to keep in mind when opening a bank account in Costa Rica:

· The Colone depreciates, so try to keep your account in U.S. funds if given the option
· International bank wires often times take a longer time to credit to your account
· Checks drawn and deposited from a foreign bank take longer to credit
· Banks generally do not carry the amount of currency they do in other countries.
· If you require a large withdrawal of cash, this can be frustrating

Business accounts can be arranged by contacting a local attorney. The term “S.A.” goes hand in hand with business accounts. It’s like having an “LLC” or “Inc.” in the United States. Business accounts are much easier to open that personal accounts if you are foreign, but with the right help you can be set up with either one in a matter of days.


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