- I will be arriving aug 30 and was wondering do the banks let you open
an account with a passport? would be nice to have my money close and
not get charges international fee.
- I believe if you check the archives on CRL you will find lots of helpful information about what is generally needed by various banks in order to open a bank account here. Basically, it can be difficult to open an account here without adequate preparation.
Most Costa Rican banks require letters of reference from a bank/s where you presently live (and some banks require that these be specifically addressed to their bank), a local address, some banks require bills for that address (e.g. electric or phone bills), Also note that some banks will not accept check deposits for the first six months that the account is opened. Depositing travellers checks in CR bank accounts is generally not advised because of what can be very long waits before funds are available.
To make it even more complicated different banks have different requirements for opening accounts and I know from my own experience and that of friends that branches of the same bank often have different practices. If you come from a country such as the US where banks want new customers and opening a bank account is generally easy, it can come as a bit of a shock to come here and find out that often banks do not appear to want your business.
Again, my advice is to check the archives on CRL related to opening bank accounts and come prepared based on what you learn.
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> do the banks let you open an account with a passport?There must be stuff in the archives regarding the amazing "we don't want any customers" attitude of banks in CR. In short, most banks want not only your passport (every time you deal with them--no copies) but also,to open an account,two references from other customers _of that bank_, your CR utility bill, and sometimes more.
The easy way does exist, however. Join ARCR ($100.00 a year for non- residents) (www.arcr.net) and they will provide you with a reference paper and virtual utility bill that will clear the way at Banco National. This is a special arrangemetn they have and not "under the table." I've found the other services at ARCR also useful and worth the $100.00.
It is simple to get Social Security deposited in your BN account (with a $6.00 per month transaction fee) but this might not be a great idea. Better might be a debit card from a bank in the US that does not charge a international or "foreign" (not our brand ATM) fee. I have heard that BoA now has or is making a deal with Banco Popular here so there would be no charges on ASM withdrawals at BP here--but consider that a rumor for now.