Paying bills in Belize

Hello everyone,

What bills do you pay? If you are renting, are bills included in the price of rent, and is this common practice in Belize?

How can you pay your bills (e.g. online, at provider's store, at the post office)? Which is the most convenient or reliable way?

With what frequency are different bills sent in Belize? Are there different deadlines for payment?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Priscilla :

Hello everyone,

What bills do you pay? If you are renting, are bills included in the price of rent, and is this common practice in Belize?

Sometimes bills are included in monthly rentals but usually are not. For our rental we are responsible for Electricity, water, and our Internet/TV Bills. I believe it is better to be responsible for them yourself in most cases. While we are responsible for electricity and water our landlord preferred to have them in their name. It saves disconnect/reconnect fees as tenants change but we are responsible for them and pay actual usage. But it is important to be aware that if electricity is included in the rental fee for example you will probably pay worst case usage fees. So as you use less and less AC you will save money on that utility. Another thing to note in Belize is that for many processes you must supply a recent utility bill as proof of address, so I recommend that you have at least one in yours and your spouses name (we have our Internet/TV bill). While most processes can be done as a couple, changing over your drivers licence for example is done individually so having both names on the utility bill will cover both of you. 

How can you pay your bills (e.g. online, at provider's store, at the post office)? Which is the most convenient or reliable way?

Our electricity and Internet bills can be paid online, but now as non-residents it is getting harder and harder to open a bank account, so often you will have to pay at their office or one of the stores in town that provide the collection service for them. Most larger areas are serviced by Belize Water Services (BWS) which can be paid online. Many homes in villages rely on rain water collection for water, but in our village the water supply is provided by the village for a flat rate fee of BZD 12.50/mo. which is not set up for online payments, so we must pay at a small kiosk that is open some mornings every week.

With what frequency are different bills sent in Belize? Are there different deadlines for payment?

Most bills are issued monthly and are due immediately.

I hope this helps.

Hi, Most likely you will need to put those bills in your name, most people do not rent and include water and light or cable. those you might need to do on your owned. if so some reason you cannot get those bills in your name, just ask the landlord to keep it in there name and see if they go along with it..

I pay online for water, electricity and cable, use my overseas credit card for payment, no problems

It is very difficult to pay anything with a debit card outside of belize. The country does not have debit cards that you can buy online. It is extremely painful. My opinion is the country is scated of money laundering but having said that this counrty is a,cash state. Your bank acc and only be used in belize? So paying accounts i nside of belize gets done by cash. If u want to pay for an item in another town, you have to go to the bank and deposit the money into the compsny acc, everything is time consuming. The banking system is out of date!!

The banking system in Belize today is ten times worse than it was even 5 years ago. The pressure from outside influences (mainly the USA) about the possibility of money laundering, added to the fact that Belize willingly complied  with the US requested regulations has come back to bite Belize severely. The US Banks decided instead of complying with the request to tighten the US end of transactions they would just cut Belize and some of the other smaller Carribean countries adrift.

My husband and I are selling everything and moving to. Ambergris Caye  in a few months. How do we get our money there to pay rent and buy gold cart and build a house? It all seems so daunting.Thanks

Open an off shore account with Atlantic Bank.

margewest :

My husband and I are selling everything and moving to. Ambergris Caye  in a few months. How do we get our money there to pay rent and buy gold cart and build a house? It all seems so daunting.Thanks

Daunting, yes it is, but doable.
As far as getting your money to Belize, plan on using credit cards at Local bank ATMs for a while, until you can get a local (international) Bank account open (likely will take several months). Be sure to use cards that have no foreign transaction fees. I suggest keeping most of your funds in your home country even after you get a Belize account opened So keep current bank account(s) that have good online features.

Be sure to use the search function on this forum to find/read the many tips and suggestions folks have written on this subject.

Get the documents/referral letters (originals) the Belize banks need  to open an account. Get several originals because if you need to reapply at another Bank, they wont take copies. I suggest looking at Atlantic Bank International website for documentation requirements.

Hi, yes you can pay all your utility bills online in Belize, through Atlantic Bank Belize at  --- atlabank.com/ --- just have your account number,,,

Can anyone recommend a good resit card company that does not have foreign transaction fees to use when we move to belize?

Not a "credit card" as such, but... Charles Schwab has a product called High Yield Investor Checking. It has no annual fee and rebates all ATM fees and charges no foreign transaction fees. You must open it while you are still in the States. Works beautifully as a debit card at ATMs and as a credit card in the few stores that accept cards.
If you are looking for a true credit card that lets you spend ahead, many of the travel cards feature no foreign transaction fee. I have one of those through Delta Airlines. Note: most of the travel cards come with an annual fee, so you have to balance that cost against the savings in fees.

My American airlines  credit card has no annual fee and does credit foreign transactions, but for higher price items a lot of Belize stores have an added fee, for credit cards that is not covered by this. Hummingbird  Furniture for example adds a fee into the price so that part of the transaction fee is not paid back.

Thanks so much!

My capital one Visa does not charge international fees.

New topic