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Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

Brisbane
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Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

We will be arriving at GYE and need some cash USD. What are the maximum withdrawal limits and which is the best one to use at the airport (assuming airport ATMs are safer than ones in the street).

Cuenca, Ecuador
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1. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

Hello Tikibird, and welcome to the Guayaquil forum.

My Sweet Polly Purebred and I live here in Ecuador, and our experience - in any location within Ecuador, not just Guayaquil - is that the maximum amount one may withdraw from any ATM machine in Ecuador is $500USD per day. Ecuador, like Panama, uses the US Dollar as its currency, if you didn't already know that.

I personally have not traveled to Guayaquil as yet, though my Sweet Polly Purebred has, and neither of us have flown out of the Guayaquil airport (GYE). We have always used Quito instead (UIO). I would think based on what I know from my native Ecuadorian neighbors here in Cuenca that it would be generally safer to use an ATM at the GYE airport before you leave for the streets of Guayaquil itself, which is generally unsafe even for locals during dark hours. FYI.

Hope the information above will prove helpful to you. Have a wonderful flight from Oz to Ecuador!

Tucson, Arizona
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2. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

There's a difference between a daily limit and a per-transaction limit. So even if you take out $500 but need more, you might be able to start a new transaction by removing the card and starting all over with the PIN, and then withdraw $500 more. You will just have to experiment. If, for example, you withdraw $500 from Bank A but it won't let you withdraw that amount again, you can move on to Bank B's machine.

Your card's bank will also have a daily limit that will let you withdraw up to, say $2000 over several transactions. They should be informed ahead of your trip where you will be traveling, and that you may be making several transactions in short succession.

Brisbane
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3. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

Thanks for the replies. My bank (NAB in Australia) has a per transaction fee so I want to do the withdrawals in as few transactions as possible. I have to pay a few eco-lodges who don't accept credit cards but my bank also has ridiculous fees for wire transfers as well so the only alternative is to pay them in cash.

Cuenca, Ecuador
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4. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

Glad to help, Tikibird. Please keep in mind that here in Ecuador, cash is still a large part of people's transactions (though that is changing over time), especially for paying taxi drivers, smaller family owned restaurants, etc.

It's helpful to obtain and have on hand enough small bills to make transactions easier to accomplish. For instance, handing a shopkeeper a $20 bill for a $3 purchase just isn't typically done as the cashier or owner typically doesn't have that kind of change on hand. Instead, give a $5 bill or better yet, the $3 (Ecuador uses the US Mint's Sacagawea dollar coins overwhelmingly, btw). $50 and $100 bills are often not accepted by a good number of retail establishments, for the record. Your ATM machine is likely to dispense $20 bills to you, and possibly a couple of $10s as well.

Where to obtain smaller denomination bills and coins: it used to be that I could go to Banco del Pacifico and walk up to the teller and get them, but that changed sometime at the end of 2014 or the start of 2015. Nowadays I go to the government of Ecuador's Banco Central, which are located in larger cities across Ecuador (as far as I know). They are open Monday through Friday and will exchange your larger denomination bills for smaller ones/coins at no cost to you. Just show your valid passport to the clerk first.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

I`m from Canada and my visa debit worked in the ATM`s but I was only able to ever take out 100 USD at a time. Every time I tried to take more then 100 us dollars it wouldn't let me complete the transaction. In the airport I took 100 us dollars out and then found a item I fell in love with. I wanted to purchase it but the sales associate did not know how to use my card. I went back to the ATM to withdraw more money and it was empty -- Out of service lol I just got back from Ecuador like a week ago --- travelled around Quito and the costal towns. I would just ensure you always have cash flow where ever you go just in case. I found people with the machines didn`t know how to process payments with my card but I had no issues with ATM machines. I also found ATM machines when I needed them.

Brisbane
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6. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

That would be my worst nightmare - not being able to get anything from the ATMs because they are broken, money used up or didn't like my card! I'll bring some "starter" USD from Australia but the rates from money changers are terrible which is why I prefer ATMs.

Most of the lodges will have bills over $200 payable in cash and are in remote jungle locations with no ATMs. So frustrating they don't take credit cards!

Spartanburg, South...
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7. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

Hi I know this is late but I thought I would throw my 2 cents in in case someone else is looking for some information! I lived in Guayaquil for 3 months last year and getting money out was one of the big questions for us in our study abroad program. First of all, make sure your bank doesn't have any "international affiliate" banks, meaning they are partnered with them and they will treat the transaction like it is from your own bank and you won't have any fees which is so nice!

Our program director took us around and told us the benefits of several of the banks and I know personally I used Banco del Pichincha (the yellow ATMs), because it was considered safer and had no ATM fee, and the limit was $500 in one transaction I believe (I used the ATMs on the street and in the mall so it wasn't all that unsafe, I just wouldn't go alone necessarily.) The other bank friends of mine used was Banco del Austro (it's blue if I remember correctly) and I think the limit on this one is also $500. Most ATMs would let you take out either $300 or $500 with no problems. Be aware of the extra fees associated with ATMs (my bank had terrible fees piled on for every single transaction) so it is the most cost effective to get out the max amount you can at one time. I hope this information is helpful!

Brisbane
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8. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

We are back from our trip so I have more information. I only used ATMs in airports, we had plenty of flights to/from Galapagos & Coca and used the ATMs in Guayaquil and Quito airports. I was very nervous about muggers so thought this was safer. The Bank of Pichincha didn't like my bank - NAB for some reason. The other one, Austral did accept my transactions but would only give me $300 at a time which was well under the NAB's limit of $1000 AUD per day.

9. Re: Max Withdrawal Limit -ATMs

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