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>Banking On It

21 Apr

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There are a few important things to do once we arrive; one of those is to open a bank account. You pay for electricity, phone and CAJA from your checking account. It’s not like you can write a check and mail it to the ICE office for payment, although you can stand in line to pay your bill at the bank. At least our town has one bank, BCR so you can guess which bank we will be doing business with. It also has the only ATM so usually early in the morning is the best time to go since everyone else is still sleeping and there are no lines.
So what do you need to open an account?

Here’s some information I have been able to find that may provide some answers to this question. Whether you chose a state-run or private bank to open a savings account (checking accounts generally require a few more hoops to jump through), there are a number of requirements from documentation to the amount of money needed for this process to be successful. Here are some things banks may require:

1) Identification – All banks will require your passport if you’re not a resident, and may ask for an additional form of identification, such as a driver’s license (from country of origin is acceptable/maybe).

2) Utility Bill – You’ll also need to obtain a copy of a utility bill that confirms the address where you reside. If I am not mistaken utility bills are on line and are emailed to you, so it’s kind of a catch 22. So you might want to have a friend lend you theirs.

3) Purpose in the Country – This requirement varies bank to bank, but if you’re a retired resident, you’ll want to bring your residency card or some document from immigration or your lawyer that shows you’re in the process of obtaining it. Students should provide a letter from the institution where they study stating their purpose in the country, and any foreign workers should provide their orden patronal – a small document that reports income and proves payment into social security, or La Caja.

4) Initial Deposit – This amount varies widely for checking accounts, ranging from $300-$2,000. For Savings accounts this amount ranges from $0 to $1,000.

5) Letters of Reference – Most banks will require an average of two reference letters. There is some variation in what is expected, but in general, these are letters from other banks where you have made deposits. They can also be as simple as letters from friends who have accounts in the bank where you are applying, stating your relationship and their confidence in your reliability. In fact, if you can talk this friend into it – by buying them coffee, dinner, or both – it can help facilitate the process if they can accompany you to the bank.

As long as you’re not rushed and have all your required documents, you will find most bankers and tellers to be very friendly and helpful. Finally, the Association of Residents of Costa Rica provides, among other services, banking assistance to its due-paying members. Good luck and see you in the ATM lines!

Banking Breakdown
________________________________________
BANCO BANEX

Personal Accounts Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account: $ Account ¢ Account
Transactional none* none*
Classical $1,000 ¢100,000

Savings Account: none* none*

*Must maintain a minumum balance to write checks

Requirements:
1. Must have resided at least 6 months in Costa Rica.
2. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
3. Letter of recommendation by a Costa Rican or a letter from the applicant’s respective embassy.

Banex Personal Accounts have 2 Checking Accounts: Transactional – fee pf $1 or ¢250 (respective of the currency of the check) per check written.

Classical – up to 25 checks per month free. The penalty for not maintaining the minimum balance in this account is $10 for the USD account or ¢2,000 for the colón account.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit:
(No Minimum Balance)* $1,500 ¢250,000
*To write 50 checks

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.

Checkbooks: Book of 25 checks $3 (or ¢1,500)
Limit on checks written per month: none

Debit Cards: free
Online Banking
Issues Credit Cards

________________________________________
CUSCATLÁN

Personal Accounts Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

$ Account ¢ Account
Checking Account: $300 ¢100,000

Savings Account: $100 ¢5,000

Requirements: 1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit:
(No Minimum Balance) $500 ¢150,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.

Checkbooks: Book of 25 checks ¢8,000
Limit on checks written per month: none

Per Year
Debit Cards: free
Savings Account: ¢1,200
No Web-based Online Banking. Customers may purchase PC software to view their accounts online for $30
Issues Credit Cards

________________________________________
BANCO DE SAN JOSÉ

Personal Accounts: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account $ Account ¢ Account
Initial Deposit: $250 ¢50,000
Minimum Balance $250 ¢50,000

Savings Account
Initial Deposit: $250 ¢50,000
Minimum Balance: $100 ¢25,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Reference from another bank.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit & Minimum Balance: $250 ¢50,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.
5. Reference from 2 other banks.

Checkbooks: Book of 24 checks
Personal Account: ¢1,250
Corporate Account: ¢750
Limit on checks written per month: Arranged with bank

Debit Cards: free
Online Banking
Issues Credit Cards

________________________________________
BANCO NACIONAL

Personal Accounts: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account $ Account ¢ Account
Initial Deposit: $2,000 ¢300,000
Minimum Balance $2,000 ¢300,000

Savings Account
Initial Deposit: $30 ¢3,000
Minimum Balance: $30 ¢3,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Original telephone or utilities bill with the applicant’s name.
3. Reference letters from 2 people who have accounts with BN.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit:
(No Minimim Balance) $2,000 ¢250,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.
5. Original telephone or utilities bill with the applicant’s name.

Checkbooks: Book of 40 checks $5
Limit on checks written per month: none

Debit Cards: $7.50 ¢2,500
Online Banking
Credit Cards: No annual fees

________________________________________
SCOTIABANK

Personal Accounts: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account $ Account ¢ Account
Initial Deposit: $500 ¢50,000
Minimum Balance none none

Savings Account
Initial Deposit: $100 ¢5,000
Minimum Balance: none none

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Reference from 2 other banks.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit:
(No Minimim Balance) $500 ¢100,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.
5. Reference from 2 other banks.

Checkbooks: Book of 25 checks ¢1,000
Limit on checks written per month*: 8 in conjunction with bank card use

Bank Cards: 8 transactions a month:
(in conjunction with checks written)* ¢600
Additional 20 transactions a month: ¢500

*To avoid additional charges, bank card transactions and number of checks written per month combined cannot exceed 8.

________________________________________
INTERFIN

Personal Accounts: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account $ Account ¢ Account
Initial Deposit: $1,000 ¢75,000
Minimum Balance none none

Savings Account
Initial Deposit: $100 ¢10,000
Minimum Balance: none none

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Reference letters from 2 other banks.
3. Proof of income.
4. Passport-size photograph of applicant.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit:
(No Minimim Balance) $2,000 ¢100,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.
5. Reference from 2 other banks.
6. Company has been in business for at least 1 year.
7. Must be registered in the Public Registry (Registro Público).

Checkbooks: Book of 25 checks $3
Limit on checks written per month: 25
Fee after the limit: $1 per check

Debit Cards: free
Lost or stolen cards: ¢1,000
Damaged cards: ¢500

Online Banking
Issues Credit Cards

________________________________________
BICSA

Personal Accounts: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account $ Account ¢ Account
Initial Deposit: $1,000 ¢200,000
Minimum Balance $1,000 ¢250,000

Savings Account
Initial Deposit: $1,000 none
Minimum Balance: $5,000 none

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Reference from another 2 banks.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit: $1,500 ¢500,000
Minimim Balance: $1,500 ¢500,000

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.

Checkbooks: Book of 25 checks $5
Limit on checks written per month: none

No Debit Cards
Online Banking
Issues Credit Cards

________________________________________
BANCO DE COSTA RICA

Personal Accounts: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Checking Account $ Account ¢ Account
Initial Deposit: $500 ¢50,000
Minimum Balance none none

Savings Account
Initial Deposit: $100 ¢10,000
Minimum Balance: none none

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Reference from another bank.
________________________________________
Corporate Account: Initial Deposit and Minimum Balance

Initial Deposit: $500 ¢50,000
Minimim Balance: none none

Requirements:
1. Passport or Resident Visa or Costa Rican ID (cédula).
2. Carta de Constitución de la empressa.
3. Personeria Juridica (no más de tres meses de emitida.
4. Cédula Juridica.

Checkbooks: Book of 25 checks $3
Limit on checks written per month: none

Free Debit Cards
Online Banking
Issues Credit Cards

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Posted by on April 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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