How to open a bank account in Costa Rica


Different banks in Costa Rica all hold different requirements for opening a bank account. For savings accounts in Colones, initial deposits range from 3,000 Colones to 25,000 Colones. For US Dollar accounts count on a range from US$ 10 to US$ 500.

The minimum balance for accounts in Colones is none with most banks, whereas US Dollar accounts require minimum balances of none to several hundreds of Dollars. Costs of savings account as well as the issuance of a debit range from free to around 10 US Dollars.

Checking accounts are more difficult to obtain by foreigners due to the legal requirements. If you do not have a residency status you will have a hard time opening a checking account. Initial deposits for checking accounts in Colones vary from 50,000 Colones to several hundred thousand Colones. Dollar checking accounts have initial deposit requirements ranging from US$ 200 to US$ 2,000.

Debit cards are mostly issued for free, but some banks charge up to 10 US dollars. Not all banks issue credit cards. If you are interested in applying for a Costa Rican credit card the minimum requirements are that you have proof of residency in Costa Rica and proof of income.

The requirement to open a checking account vary for each bank, the following documents are commonly asked for:

  • passport
  • residency card
  • letters of recommendations of other banks you deposited with (in your home country)
  • local letters of recommendation

Internet Banking

Internet banking is offered by most of the banks in Costa Rica. This means that most banking operations can be done through the internet. Internet banking is especially useful to pay for services like telephone bills, internet, and cable.

Further reading

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