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Forum Post
05/29/08 09:29
Jack & Sue

ATM/credit cards


We will be driving from Panama City to Bocas in Nov. are there atm machines that we can use to get cash out, so we do not have to carry a lot of cash. We rarley even carry cash where we live in Miami. Also can we use credit cards?

Thanks we are excited about exploring Panama

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This forum post has messages dated from 05/29/08 through 10/25/10, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

Comment 1
08/07/08 12:13

Yes there are plenty of ATM's on the way to Bocas. But remember some have limit amounts per day withdrawal. I have never been to Bocas, but just returned from Panama where we drove from Panama City to Boquete. Check the tires on your car before leaving rental agency and have them show you where they put the jack. Also check radio. Be careful after leaving Santiago as they are doing road repair with very little warning. The warnings are right next to the hole in the road. Great highway from Panama City to Santiago then it goes to one lane each way and thats where the road repairs are on going. They don't have to tell you much about the repairs ahead of time like they do in the US. Also they have several check points along the way, don't worry, no big deal. I don't even know why they have them. But you must pull over for them. They just waved us on. Also, get a local phone and minutes in case of emergency. Runs between 25.00 and 50.00 dollars. Make sure that where you buy the phone they speak good English and have them program your phone in English. Hope this helps, and I hope you love Panama as much as we did. We bought some property down there in Boquete for retirement.
Comment 2
11/14/08 13:20

Jack & Su -

Be very careful about using your bank card on ATM's in Panama. We just got ripped off $500 USD by a machine that claimed it dispensed the money to us and didn't. We launched an investigation by our own bank, but the Panamanian bank claimed that their ATM money balanced at the end of the day, and that the money was dispensed to us. Thievery. Basically, someone pocketed the money at the end of the day when they counted the cash in the machine and found an extra $500. Lying, cheating people.

Best of luck on your trip. My suggestion ... withdraw with your Visa, or carry cash ... believe it or not, it's probably safer than dealing with the corrupt banks!

Comment 3
01/27/09 23:29

That happened to me in the US before, it's crazy.
Comment 4
02/04/09 11:17

I would agree with what is said above. We drove to Bocas last May. It is an incredable experience. I would encourage you to get on the road early from David. The drive over the mountains is beautiful. It's two lane and there are alot of trucks. Also at that time some consturction. We were able to leave our car in a locked yard for a small fee. Water taxis are frequent. Have a fantastic time.
Comment 5
06/24/09 13:26

I would say the debit/credit card craze has caught up with everyone the world over. I would also prefer using a VISA instead. Just make sure you transact at a secure location. You can imagine the trouble you might find yourself in were you to become stranded in a foreign country. Have a superb time holidaying.
Comment 6
08/05/09 06:14

Carrying cash would be out of question for me. It places much risk on how secure you could be in terms of finances. I am trying to imagine how much load you would have to contend with.

There should be plenty of ATMs and better ways to transact. Let your worry not be so much on their availability but convenience. Like where can you find the nearest?

All the best

Comment 7
12/05/09 13:32


Buyer BEWARE !!!!!!!!!

I truly think this should suffice as a message blog, iam just trying to get this website to work for me, so I can make replies--

Any suggestions.


Comment 8
01/02/10 21:29


My experience for 12 months living in Panama?

Had the ATM experience 4 times........thats right, 4 times I tried to withdraw $500.00 from the bank ATM's (AT THE BANK) and nothing came out, just a receipt showing a $500 withdrawal.

And I don't care what any of you say, I've had debit/atm cards since the first day they came out with "branch banking" and NEVER had a mistake at an ATM!

I reported every incident to my credit union in Miami and they have since lowered my daily limit to $200.00. After they looked at my account (and I raised HELL) over the last 20 years they reversed their decision due to the amount of MY money that they've always had in my account.

The banks are just as crooked as the cops, politicians and the service people.

Comment 9
10/25/10 03:06
Leo Karlo Andrew Balidiong

"enjoying while being secured"

Panama is a great place to have an escapade specially if you are adventure-inclined.

Still, be aware of Standard operating procedures in travelling, such as checking if the cars are safe for travelling and more, be sure that every individual joining the trip is physically healthy.

When it comes to ATMs, Panama has a number of machines in different corners of its streets. Of course, there are also limitations in using them, such as limited amount of money and others.

Be very careful about using your bank card on ATM's in Panama.

With regards to using credit cards, please make sure you transact at a secure location and trusted office. You can imagine the trouble you might find yourself in if you become stranded in a foreign country like Panama.

Of course, troubles could come any time and place as regard to your trip, but just stay calm and when in banks, consult any bank authority for further details.

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