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Surviving Riyadh

How I Handle My Bank Accounts In Costa Rica

How I Handle My Bank Accounts In Costa Rica


Running out of money while I’m in a foreign country is a very scary situation. Therefore, taking care of my finances is an utmost importance. However, inspite of this, I still encountered problems.

The first time I tried to withdraw money from my debit card, my 4 digit code was rejected in three ATMs. At the suggestion of a friend, we decided to withdraw money from the bank’s teller.

It worked. I soon found out that the amount withdrawn was taken from my credit card. The bank’s transaction fee was high but it was a lot better than running out of money.

I did my second withdrawal from another bank.  There were three persons in line ahead of me. The guard allowed one person at a time. Finally, it was my turn. The guard scanned my whole body and checked the contents of my purse.  A guard inside handed me a number.  I waited an hour before my number was called. I asked the teller if she spoke English. She did not. I handed her the copy of my passport and my debit card. She needed the actual passport. I left but glad I found out what I need to do.

The next day, I stayed in line for an hour to wait for the bank to open. By the time it opened the line was very long. Fortunately, I was the seventh in line. As usual I was scanned and checked. This time I was able to withdraw money from my debit card with a minor problem.

The third time I tried to withdraw from my debit card, the manager of the bank to me that there was a problem and to return in an hour. An hour later, I returned and there was still a problem. I didn’t know what was going on. I have funds in my checking account.

I sent an email to my contact at Chase. Before I got his response, I decided to go to another bank. It’s a bigger bank. This time I did not have any problem withdrawing the amount I needed. My contact at Chase emailed me that there was no problem with my account.

I have another month to go before leaving Costa Rica. I hope I will not encounter anymore problems withdrawing money from my account.

To your success,



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