Banking in the Azores for American & Canadian Cardholders

Buying With Credit Card In PortugalOne of the first things people wonder when travelling to the Azores islands is whether they will be able to use their bank card from the United States or Canada. The answer is yes! The Azores have modernized over the last decade and is not the small group of islands that only emigrants visit on their holidays. The Azores are becoming one of Europe’s most unusual island destination, with countless international awards for its unique eco-system. Here there are bank machines in almost every village, town and city in the, money, bank and people concept - close up of hand withdThey are called “MultiBanco” and here you can withdraw money from your cheqing, savings or credit card. The machines are just like in North America and will give you the option of converting at the moment to the current exchange rate which it will show you on the screen or ask your credit card to make the conversion after the withdrawal. It is recommended that you notify your bank that you are travelling to the Azores prior to your departure to ensure that you have no issues using your card abroad. The majority of the stores on the islands take bank cards from North American banks. You just have to notify the clerk that you are paying with a card from Canada or USA. If they don’t speak English, which is rare but possible in small villages just say what country you are from and point at your card they will understand. The reason for this is because they have to use a separate machine for North American cards and have them readily available so do not hesitate to just pay with your bank card or credit card.Man hands handling fan fifty euro money.There are many currency locations throughout the island’s capital to convert currency as now they don’t let you just walk into a bank and convert currency without having an account with that bank. Rule of thumb, you can always use your bank and credit cards to withdraw money so just carry the cash you think you will need and if you need more it is available. The fees for withdrawals abroad depend on your bank and can range from $2 dollars to $5 dollars per transaction so it is up to you to check with your bank first the fees they charge.bigstock--199773265Another option is that on the island of Sao Miguel, the largest island in the Azores they have Western Union and MoneyGram available. This is perfect incase you lose your bank card as long as you have your passport or ID you can go and pick up money at one of the locations they have in Ponta Delgada, Ribeira Grande, Lagoa or Villa Franca. There are more Western Union options available in Ponta Delgada as it is the capital city. All you have to do is look up a Western Union location online and the hours of operation. Then you go and fill out your name and basic information as well as the senders information and the Money Transfer Control Number which is refered to as MTCN. This is necessary to receive your money and is provided to the sender online or in person right after they pay for the money transfer. This can be done in minutes and your money can be available right away for pick up.

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