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San Salvador



Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes and we have a tax-exempt card for the vendor to deduct your taxes at the till. - Nov 22, 2017
My credit card was compromised several times so I stopped using it. There's an ATM at the Embassy but I'd be careful of using one outside. - Jul 14, 2016
Skimming cards is common here; but many places have cracked down on this and credit cards are much safer to use. Cash is best (we only use the ATM and bank at the embassy). El Salvador is fully dollarized, though you will see the one-dollar coins here more than the bills. - Dec 8, 2015
I use them. Always use caution. - Jun 9, 2015
Credit cards are accepted everywhere. We've had no issue. - Mar 23, 2015
You should not use credit cards in the gas stations and only use them when you can see the machine. Cloning is very common. Many people at the Embassy got their cards cloned; it was a nightmare. But, at the restaurants and Super Selectos markets, I used mine all the time with no problem. I never used them at the gas stations though. - Oct 29, 2014
Do Not Use them. - Jul 8, 2014
Visa/MC is widely accepted, but you will pay the associated foreign fees. Citibank is here, but has no connection to Citibank in the US. You will pay fees on any ATM transactions. Open a local bank account if you are here for any length of time at HSBC, Citi, or Banco Agricola. - Apr 28, 2012
Be careful. - Jul 15, 2011
We only use our cards where we can see them being swiped, i.e. at the grocery or hardware stores. We only pay with cash in restaurants, as there have been an overwhelming number of identity theft cases traced back to popular restaurants. You can get cash at the embassy or almost anywhere in the city once you know where to look. - May 21, 2010
Credit card fraud is fairly high here. You can use your cards all over the place, but you should be careful and not use them at places where cashiers or waiters take your card out of sight. I haven't had any trouble finding an ATM that works with my bank account. El Salvador uses the U.S. dollar so there is no conversion to worry about. - Feb 28, 2009