From PinnSpot

GETTING CASH AND EXCHANGING CURRENCY IN COLOMBIA.

2024-04-30 21:43:39

Medellin attracts over 1.4 million foreigners from around the globe each year and while many places in the city accept credit cards, having cash on hand is essential. Here's a guide on how to get cash and manage money exchange efficiently during your visit to Medellín.

  1. ATMs: Your Best Bet for Cash
    • Widespread Availability: ATMs (Cajeros automáticos) are widely available throughout Medellín. Stick to reputable banks like Bancolombia, Davivienda, and BBVA for reliable and secure transactions.
    • Global Card Acceptance: Most international debit and credit cards are accepted. Check with your bank before traveling to ensure your card will work in Colombian ATMs.
    • Transaction Fees: Be aware of transaction fees. Inform your bank about your travel dates to avoid any disruptions due to security measures.
    • When using the ATM's in Medellin you will need to pay attention to the ATM screen and the specific instructions for removing money.
  2. Special Instructions for ATM's: All ATM's follow this order and progression.
    1. Choose the English option.
    2. ATM will then ask you what you want to do: Example: Withdrawal from checking?
    3. Choose the amount desired.
    4. Accept the charge for the transaction, currently about $26,500 COP or around $6.00-$6.50 U.S. dollars.
    5. You will then be prompted to enter your security code.
    6. Most important. You will be prompted again to accept or decline a conversion of currency. Decline this! OR….you will be charged an additional fee for removing cash.
  3. Currency Exchange Services:
    • Exchange Houses (Casas de Cambio): These establishments can be found in popular tourist areas. While their rates may be competitive, compare them with bank rates to ensure you get the best deal.
    • Airport Exchanges: Though convenient, currency exchange services at airports tend to offer less favorable rates. Consider exchanging a small amount for immediate needs and then use ATMs for the rest.
  4. Credit Cards:
    • Widely Accepted: Major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments. Inform your credit card company about your travel plans to prevent any issues.
    • Small Businesses and Markets: While larger businesses accept cards, smaller establishments and local markets may prefer cash. Always carry some Colombian pesos for these situations.
  5. Safety Tips:
    • Use ATMs in Safe Areas: The malls are the best for this. Stick to well-lit and busy areas when using ATMs. Avoid withdrawing large amounts at once and be discreet with your cash.
    • Notify Your Bank: Inform your bank about your travel plans to prevent your card from being flagged for suspicious activity.
  6. Local Currency: Colombian Pesos (COP)
    • Understanding Denominations: Familiarize yourself with the local currency. Colombian Pesos come in various denominations, ranging from small coins to larger bills.
    • Small Bills for Convenience: Using smaller bills can be more convenient, especially in markets and local transportation.
  7. Mobile Banking Apps:
    • Digital Payments: Some establishments in Medellín accept digital payments through mobile banking apps. Check with your bank to see if they have partnerships with local providers.
  8. Plan Ahead:
    • Budgeting: Plan your daily expenses and withdraw cash accordingly. This helps you avoid unnecessary transactions and potential fees.

By being mindful of these tips, you can ensure a smooth and efficient experience managing cash and money exchange during your stay in Medellín. Enjoy your time exploring this beautiful city!

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