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. RSO recommends against using ATMs around the city. There's an ATM and bank in the Embassy that we use. - Jul 2019

Yes, credit cards can be used most places, stores, restaurants, etc. There is an ATM at the embassy and ones at banks seem safe to use. - Jul 2018

ATMs are common, but this is a critical crime post and stories about post-ATM withdrawal muggings are also common. Carry a small amount of cash and be careful and aware of your surroundings. - Mar 2017

Cards are accepted and widely used but use with caution and check your bills. ATM lines are always long in the mornings but I would never use them as hold-ups have occurred. - Sep 2016

Available everywhere, just be careful of skimmers. Make sure to use ATMs in crowded areas. Some banks have been known to tip off criminals when people make large cash withdrawals from the counter. - Aug 2015

Listen to the security briefing... Cloning, express kidnapping, and theft are prevalent concerns. - Aug 2014

They're widely accepted. - Jul 2012

There are a lot of ATMs around. They usually charge $.50 to use another bank's card, and there might be a limit of $100 to withdraw. You can use credit cards at most large stores. But it's not as much of a credit culture as the U.S. so always have cash available. - Jan 2011

I would NEVER use an ATM on the street here. We get cash and do whatever transactions we need to at the bank within the embassy compound. If banking locally is necessary, it's best to use one inside a mall or building. Usually you get a better deal on a purchase when paying in cash rather than by credit card, so it pays to ask. Mall stores, SuperMaxi and larger vendors accept U.S.-based credit cards. Market vendors, taxi drivers and other small merchants only accept cash and usually in denominations less than US$5 because they never seem to have enough change. USD is the official currency but there are Ecuadorian coins that can be used too. - May 2010

Use caution when using your credit card, and only use ATMs in banks. - Oct 2009

Credit cards are fine at upscale establishments (hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, stores) with a reputation to lose; otherwise, credit card fraud is rampant. ATMs should be used in a protected area, since armed robberies and murders have frequently occurred around them in exposed areas. - Jan 2009

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