Officially changing to the US Dollar in 2000, has made Ecuador even more attractive to travelers. Ecuador has produced its own coins but carry equal value, and acceptance as the US coins. Only American paper money is used. Coins come in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢ and $1. Paper money is in denominations of $1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. $50’s and $100’s are difficult to use, with many stores refusing these bills. ATM’s dispense 5’s, 10’s and 20’s.
Banking Machines in Ecuador
ATM’s are common and reliable. You’ll find them on every street, at the mall and in every bank. Ecuador banks operate on both the Cirrus and the PLUS banking systems. These are globally accepted systems – you can just check the back of your banking card to see if it will work on these systems.
What you might want to check with your bank about:
- What the withdraw fees are in Ecuador
- Notify them that you will be using your account out of country. Sometimes the anti-fraud alerts on a bank account will freeze your funds, if it appears to have erroneous transactions. This is the last thing you want happening while traveling abroad.
- The other thing to remember: these systems sometimes can’t handle bank pin numbers longer than 4 digits. Before you leave, its a very good idea to change it to a 4 digit PIN.
Ecuador’s Main Banks are:
- Banco del Pichincha
- Banco de Guayaquil
- Banco del Pacífico
Credit cards are a safe means of accessing funds, but are not widely accepted and you might find an additional charge added to your bill. Travelers’ checks are favored by some, but can be clumsy and hard to cash. The one thing to remember is to keep record of the serial numbers so you can make your claim, should they be lost or stolen.