Panama City - Post Report Question and Answers

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

All cc are widely accepted. ATMs are peppered throughout the city, and the baking and digital platforms are much better than in the US. Banking services are never free, unlike some banks in the US. Being a dollar-based market makes it easier to budget. - Dec 2021

Yes. - Oct 2018

Lots of crime with credit cards, but we use them in restaurants and grocery stores. I heard a TDYer used their card at a local US hotel and within minutes it had been used in Trinidad for something else fraudulently, so just be aware. - Sep 2018

Not safe everywhere for credit or debit cards and even ATMs will rip you off. - May 2017

Yes they are used nearly everywhere and are safe to use. Panama City is the banking capital of Central America, so there are ATMS everywhere. I don't use them because I usually take my cash out at the Embassy. - Mar 2017

Some cash machines don't give you your money but still deduct it from your account. Use only inside inside ones at a recommended location. - Oct 2015

U.S. credit cards are accepted and there are plenty ATMs that might charge you additional fees for withdrawing cash. - Jun 2015

There are generally safe, but you MUST watch the clerk swipe your credit card in front of you othereise you will be scammed. ATM's are ok if you use them inside a bank. There have been cases where embassy employees have been scammed at ATMS and who have had their credit cards scanned. - May 2015

Be careful. Best to use the one in the Mission. - Sep 2014

Available almost everywhere. - Jul 2014

No issues. I can use credit cards almost everywhere. - Mar 2014

Credit cards are easy but be careful to use ATM's only inside banks or secure areas. There have been reports of copying cards. - Jan 2013

It is best to pay with cash unless the card is swiped in front of you to prevent fraud. - Sep 2011

I use AMEX, which doesn't charge me the foreign transaction fee (Panama is dollar-based). Check your cards, most will hit you with a 3% fee. - Apr 2010

you can use them here, but must be very careful since there is a lot of credit card fraud - Dec 2009

They are everywhere. Not a problem using them. - May 2008

All major cards excepted and ATMs are readily avilable although they charge US$2.00 per withdrawal. - Apr 2008

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