Opening personal bank account in Costa Rica

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    Our experience is also 30 days.


    [quote=”costaricafinca”]Our experience is also 30 days.[/quote]
    It is thirty days. Utility bill with matching name, passport, letter from your bank in the US, a bank customer reference, and your little finger. OK, not your little finger but the rest. Funny how picky they are about taking thousands of dollars which is millions of colones and then act like they did you a favor. Good luck and take it all in stride.


    In the states we have a Schwab account and they reimbursed us for all of the ATM fees that we incurred.

    WHAT??? Schwab reimburses you for ATM fees? Is that only for international? Or will they reimburse for fees that these domestic suck off banks charge? I too have a Schwab account but was not aware of the ATM fee reimbursement. Maybe I’m missing something. Thx.


    We have opened two accounts in the last couple of months at BCR, one is a personal account and the other is a commercial account. We are not residents. They both required the same thing, Passports, a utility bill and the first two pages of our 1040 (for the commercial account it was the companies 1040), the 1040 is so an accountant can certify your income, which allows the bank to know how much to allow in. I think our local lawyer also had our corporate documents with him. We were able to use the accounts the same day. It was easy but time consuming, took about an hour for the personal account and 2 hours for the business one. but we did have our local Lawyer with us, who seems to have a great relationship with the bank staff.

    Now why would you have a bank account in CR? If you have a house you can pay most of your bills from anywhere via online. Lower fees to withdraw money then using your American ATM card. There are others especially if your running a satellite office in CR but this question was about personal, thus I won’t talk about the business end.

    If you own a house here and have to pay bills, the trouble to open the account is well worth it at least IMHO


    I made a huge mistake last year when I opened my dollar account BCR in Orosi. They asked me if I wanted a “token” and I said unfortunately I didn’t have a clue if I needed one or not. They offered no advice and my Tica teacher friend helping out with this project didn’t have a clue either. If you plant to live in the US for a while after opening your account you need a $6 “token!!!!!!!” Otherwise, from outside Costa Rica you can’t setup accounts to pay online from your personal account. My tutor went to San Jose for Christmas with his wife last December he was able to buy one. I asked him if he could ask the bank manager, since his family knows the manager well, if he could buy me one because of my huge mistake. No dice on that one. Shipping cash to pay bills $30 a pop from my credit union is not something I wanted to do, but it works when you are very tired and spent a day and half getting your account setup.

    Tom on a budget in Portland, Oregon


    Yesterday My wife and I went to reopen our bank account and found out that there is a new law coming into affect soon that will require everyone including ticos to show where their income is coming from. They will have to update this yearly or the banks will close down your account. We had to show proof of where the money that we were depositing that day came from.

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