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39031Re: Bank realtionships

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  • barrystevens2001
    Jan 1, 2006
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      --- In CostaRicaLiving@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Mitchell"
      <StanHopi@a...> wrote:
      > ...leave all my money back in a credit union in the US ... access it
      > with my debit card thru a local ATM in CR. (You will want the Visa
      > lolg on you
      > card and that it works thru the Plus or Cirrus systems.]
      >

      The VISA logo on the front is good for cash advances and credit card-
      style transactions. On the back, you'll see all the debit/ATM systenms
      the card will work with. The STAR logo/system also works
      internationally... most debit cards work with all three.

      We take either dollars or colones out at Banco National, Banco de
      Costa Rica, and Scotiabank ATMs.

      You will also want to tell your bank/CU what you're up to -
      International transactions, Costa Rica, etc. Then, your bank will call
      VISA and tell them. Otherwise, your transactions will look like a
      stolen card being used internationally , and the transaction will be
      blocked.

      On the importance of the relationship with your bank/Credit Union...

      We have our cash in a CU in the States. We still go visit them for
      some "face" time each time we're back. We call and say hello once in a
      while. And, the branch manager gets an email copy of our weekly
      newsletter from "The Bridge" so they can see what we're up to, and why
      those strange amounts of money are flying into and out of our account.
      (no, we're not laundering money in a foreign country)

      That continued personal contact convinced them to bend rules slightly
      when my debit card expired. I wanted them to send the new one down
      with my daughter, who came to visit at Christmas. VISA rules say that
      the card had to be validated by a first use in a US-based ATM. A
      simple phone call to the CU, and the CU calling VISA, and the card was
      valid once I could prove I had it in my possession in Costa Rica, with
      those "magic 3 numbers" on the back.

      We can also ask that checks that arrive be deposited directly in our
      account, without a deposit slip we prepare - another "rule bender".

      And, we can ask verbally for a wire transfer, yet another "rule
      bender", and an important one for cash flow, as anyone who's tried to
      clear a check from the USA will understand.

      So... summary - my suggestion is, to cement the relationship with your
      credit union back home. Stay in touch. Leave your money in the US.
      And, since banking rules are much stiffer than CU rules, I'd start
      now, putting your cash in a credit union and building a relationship
      with them.

      Barry Stevens
      Co-Founder, El Puente - The Bridge
      The Bridge provides educational assistance, food assistance, and
      microloans mainly to indigenous people in the southeastern part of
      Costa Rica. Our goal is to help people help themselves to self-
      sufficiency.
      See us at http://www.elpuente-thebridge.org
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