When it comes to planning a trip to Costa Rica there will always be one thing to come into your mind, MONEY!!! You just can’t go to any country without knowing its currency, and whether US dollars would be accepted or not. A lot of questions might trigger your mind like, do they accept US Dollars as currency? Is it possible to withdraw money from ATMs? How much do you pay for a hotel room in Costa Rica? Are you allowed to take cash out of your wallet? Etc.
Well, don’t worry, as we have prepared an ultimate guide for you to know everything about Costa Rica’s currency.
What’s Costa Rica’s Original Currency?
Costa Rica is among one of the famous states in the US. As you know, Christopher Columbus made a trip to find a direct water route from “Europe to Asia.” Well, turns out he never did but instead, he discovered the Americas (A combination of North and South America). That happened about 400 years ago, and today, the place he discovered is known as “Costa Rica.” Costa Rica after getting inspired by Columbus, and paying a tribute to him, named their currency after him, “Colón.” Colón is known as Costa Rica’s currency.
However, you don’t need to exchange the currency if you use US dollars. Turns out, Costa Rica accepts US dollars too.
So US Dollars are Accepted In Costa Rica?
The answer would be YES!! They’re accepted. In fact, due to the currency’s stability, a lot of Costa Ricans save their money in form of US dollars. But don’t get too hyped yet, because this does not at all mean you should only spend dollars while your trip to Costa Rica.
Exchange Rate in Costa Rica
To understand the exchange rate of US dollars in Costa Rica’s Colón, you first need to know how much is the value of a dollar? Well, one dollar currently is about 619.56 Costa Rica Colón. As per the exchange rate, it used to vary in between 530-570 in the past few years from US dollars (USD) to Costa Rica’s Colón (CRC) respectively. However, due to the devaluation period of CRC in 2018, it began to get traded from 600-600 CRC for one dollar. Now after the math, and government strengthening the tax laws, the currency’s exchange rate is 600+ CRC per dollar.
To learn more about the exchange rate, you can always use the exchange rate calculator by clicking here.
Currency Exchange Fee
It’s important to understand that exchanging your money costs a fee. There are a lot of different types of fee charges among which, one is the “Foreign Transaction Fee” (FTF). The FTF is a fee/charge that your bank issuing you a credit card imposes on you whenever you make a transaction with that credit card in a foreign currency or through a financial institution offering a foreign exchange. The percentage of the charge is usually from 1% to 3% and above. The cards which charge fees are:
- Visa card (charge 1%)
- MasterCard (charge 1%)
- American Express (charge 2.7%)
Unlike the cards mentioned above, your bank credit cards also charge you an extra 2% or more anytime you purchase with foreign money. Now you might be wondering, what sorts of purchases charge you a fee? They are mentioned below:
- Money Withdraw from an international ATM
- Booking a flight Ticket from an International Airline
- Online Shopping with involvement of a foreign bank
It might be quite frustrating when you get charged with an extra fee in Costa Rica, especially when it’s an expensive country. You’ll need about $620 or more for only two weeks including food, fun-related activities, shopping, hotel booking, and more.
How To Avoid Higher Fees With Currency Exchange?
As I mentioned previously, getting charged with an exchange rate fee is quite frustrating. However, there are a few ways it can be avoided. The ways are mentioned below:
- Get a Credit Card free of Exchange Rate Fee
Yes!! There are such credit cards available that do not charge any foreign transaction fee. Some of the major companies offering you fee-free credit cards are:
- Capital One
- Bank of America
- Citi Premier
With the help of these cards, now you can do online shopping without any worries.
- Exchange Currency Before Making a Trip
A simple solution is to exchange your currency before a trip. Start by calculating your expenditures, how much it might cost you in Costa Rica, and more before your trip, and then go to your bank and start exchanging your currency. There is a huge chance your bank will not cost you any fee for such an exchange. This is the most common, and the cheapest solution available.