In Costa Rica, credit cards and MasterCard / Visa ATM cards are widely accepted. You might find a tour operator or two that is cash only, and even a few restaurants, but for the most part cards are taken everywhere.
Before you come, contact your card issuer and let them know you’re coming. That will help the financial institution prepare and not flag fraud for things you’re buying here.
Generally speaking, it’s best to do transactions in Colones… and let your card do the conversion. They’ll use the actual conversion rate.
One thing to look out for – is foreign transaction fees. You may have a card that avoids these fees – or can get one prior to coming. Any MasterCard or Visa will work here (and to lesser extent American Express – not as widely accepted), but if you can avoid a couple of hundred dollars in fees – that’s a nice thing to be able to do.
This card works great, has a low fee, and has no foreign transaction fee. There are many others, too, check what’s in your wallet.
Have questions? Let us know!
We are here to help!