What is the local currency?
The official currency is the Colon, but American dollars are usually accepted as well (preferably $20 bills and less).
What denominations does it come in?
- Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 colones
- Bills: 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 colones
What is the best way to exchange currency?
You can take U.S. currency or travelers checks to change, but you'll get the best rates by withdrawing cash in colones using your ATM card. (Every town has at least one ATM.)
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Colones, U.S. dollars and credit or debit cards are all accepted.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
You can use your credit card in hotels, restaurants, department stores, supermarkets, gas stations, etc. Small stores and restaurants, mainly in rural areas, are less likely to accept credit cards.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
There are many methods of payment that are acceptable, such as checks, cash, debit cards and bank transfers.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
Foreign nationals are not prohibited from opening a bank account, but requirements from most banks can be difficult to meet. If you are a corporate assignee, contact your company's bank account executive. This will help to waive some requirements and speed up the process.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
There are some international banks in Costa Rica that provide service in English. Citibank and Scotiabank are examples of international banks.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Checking accounts and credit cards are only permitted after you establish temporary residency.
What are typical banking hours?
Banks normally operate Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. At the malls, most banks are open from 12 to 6 p.m. and on weekends.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, there will be an ATM in most places. For privacy and security purposes, we recommend looking for those with a closed cabin.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Avoid carrying large sums of cash and use credit cards or debit cards where accepted.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.