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Paying bills in Costa Rica

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 Costa Rica?

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 Costa Rica? Are there different deadlines for payment?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Hello, Priscilla. I

I pay several bills, all online. Bills can be paid in several businesses or banks., all bills are monthly bills. City service bills deliver hard copies, for the others, I have to remember due dates. Most long-term rentals do not include bills, there are some that do.

Ahhh bills, one of those "adjustments" in moving here.  You're not actually going to receive a physical bill for anything.  Water, phone, CAJA and electricity are due on various dates and YOU just have to remember to pay them.  The other thing that can be frustrating in the beginning is that you cannot pay most bills in advance.  Our electric bill is due on or about the 20th of each month.  You are "not allowed" to pay it on the 19th.  If you try, you'll be told that "...it's not ready yet."  Kind of humorous when you think about it.

We forgot to pay our electric bill one month a few years ago.  It was about 10 days after it was due.  No notice, just all of a sudden didn't have electricity.  Assumed it was just out as it is quite often.  Late that evening we called to find out we simply didn't pay the bill.

In this area, many if not most Gringos pay their bills at Cruz Roja (Red Cross).   They can also be paid at most grocery stores as well as the pulperias that are scattered everywhere.

Ahhh, life in Costa Rica - never a dull moment.    :joking:

I have no bills except rent which includes all util and cable which is $300 a month for a large studio apt in beautiful Grecia which is a very clean, safe, small city with perfect weather year round. I prepay phone maybe $5 a month at most stores you can pay your phone bill and elec if you have elec. I do pay the elec bill for my empty country house that way. It is about $7 a month. I am not a believer in having bills.

The only regular bill I have is electricity, which I can pay on my phone with the Banco Nacional app.  I also pay my property taxes this way.  The only reason I have to go to the bank to pay a bill is to get my Marchamo sticker.

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 Costa Rica?

Totally varies by landlord. Some include everything but I imagine with the cost of electricity nowadays electricity is not likely to be included, especially if you have a.c.
At the last place I rented though, electricity was included but gas no. Just depends...

Priscilla :

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?

If you have a BCR or BancoNacional account the easiest way to pay is by internet. And I've found the App for my phone to be more reliable than the web site on my computer.
I now pay my electricity and CAJA health insurance by app or web, and recharge my prepaid phone and internet by net as well.

KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! My Tico friend had his electricity almost cut off because they said he didn't pay but he had the receipt proving he did but he had to run into town and show it to them! Crazy!
I take photos of all my payment slips or facturas with my phone and keep them in folders on my phone and back them up onto the cloud as well.

I had my internet cut off because they said I hadn't paid but I had. I had the receipt but in that case it took a phone call to Claro to give them my receipt # and date of payment. Then instead of them turning it back on for me once it was proven, they told me I'd have to wait until someone else somewhere got the go ahead to turn it back on. Took about 5 hours which ... could have been worse. At least I didn't have to drive to town to show them the receipt.

You can pay electricity, CAJA and recharge phones and stuff at many different places - sometimes grocery stores, or appliance stores  or even a motorcycle shop. Just ask around and find the place that usually has less of a line.

Priscilla :

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

I actually do get an ICE electric bill in my email. And my Tico friend somehow gets my water bill, not sure if it's delivered by mail or if someone just gives it to him because he knows them. So he gives it to me or pays it for me then I pay him back.

My internet via Claro is a nightmare to recharge (prepaid) but I won't go into all that. Just suffice to say it is very complicated and a pain to recharge every month and if I don't want to run out of internet I better remember to charge it. The way to avoid it is to get a contract and pay automatically each month from your CR bank account. But all the internet contracts I know of want a 2 year contract and I won't sign up for 2 years, especially since they won't let me try it out for a month first.

We use propane so when it runs out we just have to hook up the 2nd tank we keep for when the 1st one runs out.

Propane is very cheap here now and I will say that if you have a choice between electric or propane, go with propane at least for cooking. Propane has its advantages and disadvantages for hot water.

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