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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Should we bring cash or credit cards for our trip to Ecuador? February 2013.

From the Ecuador Expat Forum
Cash vs credit card?
Answer from
Actually --- Arming yourself to the teeth with cash is a pretty good way to make yourself a very vulnerable tourist. I recall you are heading into Salinas
Do bring about 20 dollars in $1 bills for shopping in the artesans market in Salinas and if paying taxi fares around Salinas and Libertad, for paying for ice cream and coconuts and beer venders.
Bring your ATM card and be sure to call the number on the reverse of the card before leaving the USA to let them know you will be using the card in Ecuador (do this with your credit cards too -- otherwise you may discover they are blocked -- with the beleif they are stolen)
Another good idea is to make a scan, front and back of your credit cards and your AtM card, and anything else you carry wth you -- drivers license, medicare card, SS#, etc...front and back...enlarged AND your passport. Then send the scans to yourself and SAVE them in a folder in your mailbox. If your passport and credit cards are lost or stolen you have copies of all your documents at your fingertips and can make all the phone calls to cancel them immediately and get new copies and get a new passport at the consulate with very little hassle.
And YES can use your credit card in Ecuador -- in fact, try to rent a car without one! And many hostals, hotels and B&Bs will let you reserve rooms in advance with a credit card through Paypal (we do....)
ATMS (called Cajeras here) are safest to use at Malls and then spend time there -- If you ask for a figure such as $55 or $35 or $95 --- something that cant be provided by only 20 dollar bills to break the larger bills down -- and buy ice cream, see a movie if anyone is tailing you they get bored.
At the Paseo mall (el Shopping) the security guards are very aware of our gringo community and are always keeping an eye on the ATMs. You'll spot them in their grey slacks, navy jackets and gold ties. They are there to help.


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