Open for all topics related to travel in Guatemala however we focus on Xela!.
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Post by mscoop85 »

I plan on studying in Xela, Guatemala for six months and then volunteering for 6 months. What is the best way I can bring 10-12,000 US dollars over. Should I get a lot of travelers checks? Also, maybe I could pay a school in bulk after the first few weeks of studying to make it easier. Basically, I am just trying to jump through the visa debit card surcharges 5-8% on every transaction made with my US card. I am trying to maximize my money if you get what I am saying. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Money

Post by xelawho? »

mscoop85 wrote:Should I get a lot of travelers checks?
hell, no - you will probably spend more time in the bank trying to change them than shaking that thang on the dancefloor, and nobody wants that. Plus there are restrictions against traveling with over $10,000 in cash or TCs. It can be done, of course, but is probably not the sort of paperwork you want to get tied up in at this point.
mscoop85 wrote:Also, maybe I could pay a school in bulk after the first few weeks of studying to make it easier
It's worth asking your school about, but if you are planning on paying by card you should know that alot of businesses here charge a 5% surcharge, to offset the fees charged by credit card companies.
mscoop85 wrote:Basically, I am just trying to jump through the visa debit card surcharges 5-8% on every transaction made with my US card.
I believe the US banks Charles Schwab and Capitol One (if they still exist, and are not the same thing) offer free international ATM usage on some accounts.

The other option would be opening a local account, transferring a wad in one hit, then using your local ATM card which does not attract fees. Last I heard (which was a while ago) Banco Agromercantil was the easiest place for a foreigner to open a bank account.

Search the forum for "bank" or "money" - there have been alot of posts about this. Quetzaltenango's leading culture & nightlife magazine
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Re: Money

Post by guest1 »

So if someone banks with Navy Federal what would you guys suggest?
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Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Re: Money

Post by admin »

Thank you for bring this back up getting money is always an issue.

I have found a new service that allows you to send up to $2999.00 USD to anyone in Guatemala (even yourself) for a fee of $4.99. Your can even pay your or your family's local Guatemalan bills online using this service.

The service is called Xoom. It is like western union only cheaper. You can send money to anyone for pickup and if you or your recipient have a bank account at BanRural you can send money directly to the bank account. It is super easy once you have an account setup. You will need a bank account in the USA for the cheapest rates.

WARNING - Setup and your 1st transaction CAN be a little difficult. You need to set up your account PRIOR to needing the service. Once your account is set up you will need to prove your identity before making your 1st transaction. You will need to send Xoom a copy of your Drivers License, Passport, recent bank statement...etc.

Once you have been approved you can send money with only a few mouse clicks and have it waiting in Guatemala in 15 to 30 minutes.

If you are insterested in this service please use the Referral link below. Once you make your first $100 transfer you AND I will each get a $25 Amazon Gift card!! Basically your first 5 transfers are FREE if you use the gift card.

GET A FREE $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

If you have questions about Xoom email me.

Tom - Study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala!
Richard Free
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:54 pm
Location: Xela since May 2008/Reno, Nevada

Re: Money

Post by Richard Free »

Navy Federal CU charges $1 to use a foreign ATM and a little less than 1% conversion fee if you use their check card here. The local ATMs have varying local charges equivalent to $2-5. Notify NFCU with an email or phone call to tell them that you are in Guatemala and using ATMs here. I have used my card here for years and have paid less than most people I know. Q2000 is usually the max you can get at one time and max of $600 per day--cost is about $3.60 for Navy + local charge for Q2000.

Tom's recommendation of Xoom is a well-liked service for locals and foreigners. It's better for larger amounts of cash than using the ATMs. R
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