Using a Costa Rica Bank Account

Find out about the products and services available from banks in Costa Rica, plus bank opening times and what to do if you lose your credit card...

Banks are generally open from 09:00-16:00. Some private banks open on Saturdays and may have longer opening hours. Transactions can take a while to process, so there are often queues in front of banks before they open. The best way to avoid queues is to bank online. If it is necessary to visit a bank, the early morning usually offers the shortest wait time. When entering a bank, customers generally need to take a ticket (una ficha), which determines their order in the queue.

Most banks offer safe and secure online banking options. Bank tellers (El cajero/la cajera) who speak English are mostly found at private banks in San José, but not outside the Central valley.

Both personal checks and travelers checks are generally unadvisable as banks require authorisation to process them. Debit and credit cards are the most common ways to access funds. ATM machines (Cajero automático) are widely available throughout the country, although in small towns they may be harder to find. Not all foreign cards work in Costa Rican ATMs, however.

Lost or Stolen Credit Cards

If a credit/debit card is stolen or lost, the owner of the card needs to cancel it with the bank.

To prevent ATM card theft (or theft of private financial information), banks advise avoiding online banking transactions in Internet cafés and other public places and being cautious when withdrawing money from an ATM.