Be careful when withdrawing money from ATM machines as there are warnings of muggings that can be violent. It is advisable to be cautious when withdrawing money, you can do this by taking money out during the day and by being aware of suspicious looking people around you.
If you do not have a Colombian bank account and you withdraw money from an ATM machine you will be charged for this, depending on your own banks rates and that of the ATM machine that you are using in Colombia. You should also verify with your bank the amount and times you can withdraw money in a 24 hour period as you will likely have a withdrawal limit.
It is advisable to take money out during the week as sometimes at weekends when ATMs get busy, they can run out of money. This is especially true in Cartagena and other cities. You can also choose to use ATMs in English.
Using travellers cheques
Travellers cheques are accepted in Colombia, the most commonly used are American Express and Citicorp. In most exclusive hotels you will be able to use travellers cheques, but they are not commonly used as a form of payment in commercial establishments, such as shops. International traveller’s cheques in pounds sterling, euro, and US dollars will also be accepted where possible.
Each bank will have its own rate for transferring money to or from Colombia which you should check beforehand with the bank you have chosen. Likewise, if you are sending money from your home country to Colombia you should check the commission rates.
To send money from or to Colombia from a different country, or vice versa you can use trusted services such as PayPal. These services will let you transfer money from one account to the other online.
You can also use services such as MoneyGram and Western Union to wire money over, but do check the rates as the interest and commission can be quite high. These services are good if you need cash, instead of a bank transaction.