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Belize Expat Forum

Banking on San Pedro

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PeterandEllen
10/22/2020 18:13 EST

Hi everyone -
Wife and I are excited to be moving to San Pedro, Belize this December for the next 7 months.
We'd appreciate any banking advice you may want to give us. For example, is one bank in San Pedro better than another for transferring funds to/from a US bank.
Thanks for your time and consideration!

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bobbyveee
10/23/2020 12:36 EST

Do not transfer funds to any Belizian banks, Bring cash and draw monies from ATM or over the counter, it takes months to get an account and your a tourist , so doubt you would get one anyway.

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ClarkForestryLLC
10/23/2020 12:44 EST

Atlantic Bank is the better choice for international. It may take you months to open a bank account, thus make sure you have a way to get funds or through credit card, ATM.

5 different trips to the country and still don't have my bank account.

Call ahead for requirements. They will want a reference letter from 3 of your current banks as an example. Better to do before you go.

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ClarkForestryLLC
10/23/2020 12:44 EST

Atlantic Bank is the better choice for international. It may take you months to open a bank account, thus make sure you have a way to get funds or through credit card, ATM.

5 different trips to the country and still don't have my bank account.

Call ahead for requirements. They will want a reference letter from 3 of your current banks as an example. Better to do before you go.

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elandpeter
10/23/2020 13:13 EST

Bobbyveee, we will take your advice and use ATMs only. What is the foreign transaction fee in Belize? My USA bank does not charge a fee for limited withdrawals overseas, but I am thinking there is a foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals--and maybe also for purchases?

thanks!

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elandpeter
10/23/2020 13:15 EST

ClarkForestryLLC, we will be traveling for a few years, so will keep our USA bank and live on ATM withdrawals. Thank you for your advice!
el and peter

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William Russell International Health Insurance

Need health insurance in Belize? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite).

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elgordo42
10/23/2020 13:38 EST

Foreign Transaction Fees are set by your bank and/or credit card company. Before you move, you should research their particular policies.
As an example/recommendation:
Charles Schwab has a high yield checking account that has no foreign transaction fees and rebates ATM fees. It is such a deal, but you must sign up while still in the States!

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elandpeter
10/23/2020 15:38 EST

If the foreign fee is minimal, we wouldn’t bother to change banks, as we have no atm fees from our local bank. Know approx cost.? We will be paying our rent and golf cart rental each month, and also electric bill.
Thanks!

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twornew
10/24/2020 11:11 EST

Sent a PM from twornew

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hrlee7804
10/24/2020 14:24 EST

"Charles Schwab has a high yield checking account that has no foreign transaction fees and rebates ATM fees. It is such a deal, but you must sign up while still in the States!"
I tried to set up my Charles Schwab account while in Mexico. I told Schwab I was in Mexico at the time. They told me I had to wait until stateside as they could not give banking advice to foreign people. I waited a week and called them back using my vpn and did not tell them I was not stateside. And no problems getting advice. I know Belize is not Mexico but maybe that is an option to attempt.

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bobbyveee
10/24/2020 18:15 EST

If like us , one is a resident we we asked by a private bank if we would like to cash our cheques with him always got 2+ : 1 , we changed $5k at a time , totally legal with a very well know person. You have to be asked and recommended. No good for visitors but does show you what goes on behind the scenes

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elandpeter
12/13/2020 10:53 EST

Thanks to all who posted. We are here, and understand how it works. Cash is king wherever possible!

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hrlee7804
12/14/2020 08:25 EST

I often hear 'Cash is King' but I use a US credit card when at all possible just to get the points on my card for freebies. Here in Mexico it is often $700 or more/month. Agreed it is tough to bargain discounts with a credit card but I use it when I can and at the end of the year it has some value.

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