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ATM usage

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JustSomeGuy
3/17/2019 10:31 EST

elduendegrande said (in December 2018, I think):

"3 of the bank ATM's here no longer honor my US debit card and 4 banks have lost their US correspondent banks in the US."

I want to arrive in Managua in April 2019, maybe spend the night near the airport, then take a bus to Matagalpa. I will stay in Matagalpa and on a coffee farm near Matagalpa for just under 90 days.

I'm a little concerned about getting money from ATMs with my Visa ATM card.

Does anyone know if there is a problem with ATM usage now?

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JustSomeGuy
3/17/2019 10:48 EST

My bank is located in the USA

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atz111
3/17/2019 11:04 EST

In January...I got money...$600.....from BankPro ATM in Granada.

Have not tried since.

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FelipeWambango
3/17/2019 11:26 EST

I use BAC. Be careful . I no longer use my Debit card to pay for anything. Twice with different cards they were electronically hacked. Only use cash. Better yet only use a Visa credit card. Any disputes are easily corrected.

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KeyWestPirate
3/17/2019 13:16 EST

I use a MasterCard debit card with a chip. It's issued by PayPal, an online payment system in the US. Banks in Nicaragua do not support PayPal,, but I don't bank in Nicaragua. Neither does Pakistan,, North Korea, and the usual suspects.



I've drawn out several thousand dollars since I arrived in December. We are doing a lot of construction. I use the debit card to pay for everything,, gas, La Colonia, Pali (all we have in Condega, a disgusting place). Hotels,, restaurants.



Paypal sends an email message as soon as the the money is transferred. It's not unusual to get the email before the gas attendant hands me the chit to sign. I always check at gas stations, phone in hand.



The advantage of PayPal beyond the email report of the transaction,, and the outstanding customer service, is I can keep a smaller amount in the account and transfer funds in as I need them. If I'm robbed, I will undoubtedly have to give up my PIN as well as the card. Funds transfer between PayPal accounts is instantaneous and costs nothing (my wife has a PayPal account as well as my daughter), ,,, from a regular bank,, 3 days.



I had the power go out one time during a BanPro ATM transaction in Esteli before my money was dispensed. My account was debited even through I didn't get the money,, but PayPal immediately put the money back in, and dealt with BanPro.



It was almost two months before I got notification that the dispute was resolved in my favor. The representative at PayPal told me that every part of the ATM transaction is recorded,, line by line, As far as they were concerned,, it was on BanPro to demonstrate that the money was issued.



I've had two other issues specific to Nicaragua. The Cohifer restaurant in Esteli charged my card three times, supposedly because the machine ran out of paper, and the girl didn't realize the problem until the third time. They did NOT credit my account,, however,, until I came back the next day and pointed to the three charges a couple of minutes apart.. A gas station in Condega swiped my card a second time for $10 after my initial gas purchase. I saw the emails when I got home,, returned,, the guy was standing there with $10 in hand,, claimed it was a mistake.



I use BanPro almost exclusively. I like the "take your card" before the money is released. That way I cannot walk away without my card in hand. I've wired funds to Nica banks without issue,, larger amounts,, but I wouldn't keep money in a Nica bank.



More and more I am taking money out in dollars. More people are asking for dollars. We still use cordobas to pay our employees.



If your card doesn't have a chip,, get a new one. The new card will be chipped.

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zachswann
3/17/2019 14:20 EST

I am a retired football coach from Texas. I have been in Masaya for three years., The ATM here works every time. No problems

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zachswann
3/17/2019 14:20 EST

I am a retired football coach from Texas. I have been in Masaya for three years., The ATM here works every time. No problems

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elduendegrande
3/18/2019 12:42 EST

Lately I have been getting usd withdrawals regularly from bdf and lafise with no problems. I gave up on the others so have no idea if they work now. Try different machines till you get lucky, some places like Metrocentro have a bunch of machines in the same location.

BAC refused a US check and said there was a new law for all Nic banks, Who knows, probably has to due with correspondent bank status.

I never used credit cards here, but I did a couple times and my US bank charged a bunch of fees. When I was in the states I got an amazon credit card that works fine, no fees, no bs, and cash back 1 to 5% depending. I now use this card for groceries and gas. I can monitor it online and am protected by US consumer laws in case of fraud,

If you are coming incountry, carry a stash of Benjamins in a money belt and a wallet full of clean, undamaged 20s. When you hit the airport, go to an ATM and suck cords with your US debit card. Most have a fee of about 4 bucks per transaction, so you might as well take out a bunch at a time.

Also, be aware Nic has gone to chip cards and that is some of the problem with ATMS. Any new card you have will be chip so if it doesn't work it isn't you, it is the ATM.
Also, Maxi pali and la colonia have do-it-yourself chip readers at check out so employees don't touch your card.

I do not use my US debit at stores, only bank atms when the bank is open . never had a problem of fraud or anything. Plan ahead a little and avoid risk.

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JustSomeGuy
3/18/2019 22:49 EST

Thank you all very much. I am no longer concerned about the ATM machines.

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novato1953
3/18/2019 22:58 EST

Did you buy a printing press? I've been giving that some thought myself.

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JustSomeGuy
3/19/2019 15:01 EST

As a small operator you'll never recover your startup costs. They've made everything so complicated that only the big multinationals can make a living in that business.

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TerryCicada
3/19/2019 15:49 EST

My experience in many cities was to avoid using ATM machines in the Malls . They charge exorbitant. fees. Read the fine prints before you press OK. Get your local cash from the airport like the other gentleman said before going to your destination. Restaurants and lodging paces are ok if they will accept your card. Many places do not accept cards especially in Nicaragua. Many places e.g. China will not accept American Express.

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elduendegrande
3/22/2019 18:03 EST

Pricesmart does Amex, otherwise I would probably dump the card.

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johnchip
3/23/2019 01:12 EST

Daniel Defoe, in The Political History of the Devil, 1726:
"Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed."

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) used the form we are currently more familiar with, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789,
"'...nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Margaret Mitchell's line from her book Gone With the Wind, 1936:
"Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."

Just add on the 21st-century sad note: "...and ATM fees."

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feliceb
3/23/2019 10:53 EST

Elduende Grande,
Does RPicesmart accept other cards as well?
Thank you most kindly

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cedelune
3/23/2019 12:32 EST

Then you're with the wrong bank! Mine reimburses all my ATM fees at the end of the month.

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KeyWestPirate
3/23/2019 14:35 EST

PriceSmart ONLY accepts American Express cards.

It does not even accept debit cards,, which makes no sense at all.

Costco for years only accepted American Express credit, but DID accept debit cards. The transaction with a debit card is an instantaneous credit of the credit of the user funds to the selling institution.


PriceSmart does have at least one ATM , a BAC, immediately at the entrance. They may have more.

I kept my American Express (it was also my Costco Card) until Costco switched to VISA. I then dumped my American Express. It's difficult to find American Express acceptance in Nicaragua,, beyond some upscale hotels,, at least in the circles I travel in.

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feliceb
3/23/2019 15:33 EST

KEyWEstPirate,
Thank you very much for the explanation. We do not use AMEX and at Costco here use Visa or debit. I have been a Costco member since 1990 and used to pay by check after I gave up my AMEX . We will see when we move down permanently ..right now our property manager takes care of what is needed for the house.at PriceSmart.

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feliceb
3/23/2019 15:33 EST

KEyWEstPirate,
Thank you very much for the explanation. We do not use AMEX and at Costco here use Visa or debit. I have been a Costco member since 1990 and used to pay by check after I gave up my AMEX . We will see when we move down permanently ..right now our property manager takes care of what is needed for the house.at PriceSmart.

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