Exchange Rates Around the Country

I just checked xe.com currency rates for the COP against the dollar and its well over 3100 now.......If I remember correctly, (which is questionable) when I was in Medellin in March, I was getting a bit more than 100 pesos less than the posted international exchange rate. But here on the Caribbean coast the best I can do is 2800....In Palomino the one dude who changes money only wants to give 2500........which just serves to chase people out of here......and back to Santa Marta. Can anybody out there confirm the rate which is available today at the Casa de cambios in Medellin? It would appear there is a big difference between Medellin and the Caribbean coast of Colombia........but maybe its just my rum saturated imagination........

This is why if you are changing USD to COP it's almost always better to use the ATMs which will take your USA credit/debit card and give you about as close to the day's "buy" rate as you can get, minus some fees which can vary depending on the card issuer and the ATM owner.

Going to a casa de cambio, or to "some dude who changes money" on the street is like showing up and saying "Hi, I'm here to dar papaya, how much will it cost?

And the answer is likely to be, "How much it cost?  How much you got?"

Well, Osage, believe it or not, there are still quite a few people who like cash and travel with cash.....banks are tricky too......and sometimes the charges turn out to be more than what they plunder from you at a casa de cambio.........As I said before in Medellin the rates were good, and real close to reality....Here they are not........My question as before is what the casas de cambio por ejemplo en that deluxe new state of the art shopping center in Poblado is paying now considering the dollar is approaching 3200.......

Of course it is always a good idea to have some cash available.  But in Colombia, do you know what they call people who travel with or carry around a lot of cash?

Before:  El blanco, the target
After:  La víctima, the victim

Funny! Ive never had a problem.....Six trips to Colombia, several during the war years and passing thru red zones. In Nicaragua somebody clipped my external speakers and laptop cable out of my luggage in the back of a mini bus....and a harmless little old lady managed to pick my pocket for a cell phone in the D.R.  But knock on wood.......no problems with cash.........now, were not talking about huge amounts of cash, mind you.......suitcases full of dinero are one thing, and a few thousand dollars quite another.......I do use the cards too, but I save em for last.......I like banks about as much as I like modern airports in the U.S. especially.......Generally better everywhere else........they are way too intrusive anymore........

dumluk :

I just checked xe.com currency rates for the COP against the dollar and its well over 3100 now... I was getting a bit more than 100 pesos less than the posted international exchange rate (in March). But here on the Caribbean coast the best I can do is 2800... In Palomino the one dude who changes money only wants to give 2500.

Yes, the dollar spiked against the Colombian peso or COP around lunchtime today :) per XE, then leveled off at around 3167 pesos to the dollar through the afternoon (October 24, 2018).

Versus the COP, the dollar burst through the 3100 level today for the first time in a year .. and is now at its strongest since 2016.  See the charts for the time-period of your choice at xe.com .. with attention on today's dollar spike-up.

"The one dude who changes money" in Palomino and offered Dumluk 2500 to the dollar was probably being extra-cautious on the theory that today's spike-up could theoretically turn into tomorrow's gap-down :o , potentially leaving the money changer with nasty losses if still holding someone's prior stash when the tides turn.

If a reversal of the new and improved peso-dollar fortune doesn't occur right away, Dumluk's decision to visit La República (from Panama) with plentiful cash could have him makin' hay while the sun shines :D  for the rest of the week .. at least!

But, as Dumluk recognizes, he needs to find a money-changer who will honor the spiking rate. :/

Should he head toward Medellín, checking with cambios along the way .. or hope against hope that the money-men of Palomino or Santa Marta, Colombia, will loosen up their purse strings?

cccmedia

A lot of words but no real answer to my question.......haha.........so many questions, so few answers..... :/

dumluk :

A lot of words but no real answer to my question...

That's right, Dumluk, finding the locally-available rates is your job not mine. ;)

I just wanted to put things in perspective for our wider readership.  Some of those folks may already be in Medellín, Bogotá or the Coffee Zone .. ready to jump at the chance to profit from the exchange-rate spike! :D

cccmedia

Here is some valuable information for those who insist on using their ATM cards everywhere. You are most likely incurring more charges than you are aware of:  https://www.valuepenguin.com/banking/bank-atm-fees

dumluk :

Here is some valuable information for those who insist on using their ATM cards everywhere. You are most likely incurring more charges than you are aware of:  https://www.valuepenguin.com/banking/bank-atm-fees

Good article, but it's not been updated since about three years ago.  And my bank which is not even mentioned, USAA, reimburses any ATM fees, and also lists each and every charge for ATM transactions, so there are no hidden costs.

If you do an internet search for
colombia bank atm fees
and then use the search tool to display results for the "past year" you can get more up-to-date info.

Ok, so in your experience what Colombian bank is the most user friendly? Some folks have told me that BanCol doesnt charge, others say they charge more......Some have told me that BBVA is the best one to use.....does it make a difference this end or not?

Its not the location. Its the ATMs

Lately Davivienda is charging significantly less per transaction than the other banks

Also exchange rate is based on rate Close of Business the day before, close of business Friday on weekends

They all charge on exchange rates. Some have "Extra" published charges (which they charge Colombians using cards from competing banks as well). Davivienda total costs compared to XE: Com is constent at 3.5% (Based on exchange rate)

Other banks , BancoColombia, Banco Bogota Sirvienbanco..al have been charging higher..6 or 7% total included costs..exchange rate plus "published fees"

Note , people who have Capitolone, Schwab, or TD bank US cards are only reimbursed the "Published" fees..i.e the 12600 or 13600 cop charge you see on the screen when taking out the money. They all still  hit you on the exchange rate . Davivienda`s "published" fee is "0", but like I said , charge 3.5% consitently on the exchange rate

Go to "Colombia expat exchange" or "Colombia Expat Connections" Forums and do a search on this subject. There are many detailed discussions, and people have issued a table with "published" charges from each bank.

Everything is subject to change, so keep on top of it, and keep comparing to XE.COM

Note- THe all included exchange rate- is simply net pesos you recieve out of ATM divided by dollaras extracted from your account, regardless of the published fees or internal exchange rate they use.

But I am sure you know this already

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