The short answer is yes, you can use a credit card in Costa Rica. They are accepted almost anywhere in the country.
Now, for the longer answer.
There are a number of times when you either DON’T want to pay with a credit card or you CAN’T pay with a credit card in Costa Rica.
First, the CAN’T pay times:
- If a purchase is less than $5 at a store, supermarket, etc…
- Some smaller stores and restaurants accept cash only
- When the credit card processing system is down (this happens more often than not!)
And, the times you DON’T want to pay with a credit card in Costa Rica
- If your credit card charges a high foreign transaction fee (check with your bank before traveling).
- The store offers a steep discount for paying in cash (sometimes as high as 20% discount).
Keep these guidelines in mind when traveling, and be sure to read our related articles below.