Medellin Free City Guide

Banks, Credit Cards & ATM’s

The most common bank in Colombia is Bancolombia, you’ll see their branches and ATM’s everywhere. Some other banks you may see in Medellin are Citibank, Davivienda, Banco de Bogotá, Servibanca and Banco Caja Social.

ATM’s can be found throughout Medellin and especially in El Poblado. At most banks, you can usually withdraw between 600,000 to 800,000 COP. Some banks may allow you to do this up to three times. If you are having trouble withdrawing money sometimes it’s your own bank that put limits on what you can withdraw. However Bancolombia ATM’s are notorious for not allowing 1 in 4 international card withdrawals, for absolutely no reason. If you experience problems simply try a different bank. If you have trouble withdrawing money from any ATM you can always withdraw money at the counter of the bank, but remember to take your passport.

When using an ATM, please observe normal safety precautions. If possible, go with another person, during the day, and check that there isn’t a “card skimmer” on the machine. Also, don’t use taxis waiting outside of ATMs or banks.

When paying for goods with your credit card, you may be required to give some form of government photo identification such as your passport or driver’s licence. Additionally when paying with a credit card, you will almost always be asked the question “A cuántas cuotas?”. This slightly odd question is asking how many months you’d like to spread the credit card payment over. Simply say, “Una por favor,” so as not to incur interest.

ATM’s in Medellin

Toucan Tip: Tell Your Bank

Before leaving home, we strongly recommend that you check with your bank regarding what fees they charge for international transactions. Remember, when you withdraw money from the ATM you may be hit with a fee from both the Colombian bank and your own. Some US banks like Charles Schwab don’t charge for international transactions and may even reimburse you for ATM fees.

You should always advise your bank, before your trip, that you are travelling to Colombia to avoid a “blocked” card.

Banks, Credit Cards & ATM’s
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3 Comments on “Banks, Credit Cards & ATM’s”

  1. Interesting find!

    I used a Colpatria in Laureles with my US Ally Bank Mastercard and it let me withdraw 800,000 COP with no ATM fee.

    1. Hello Brian, thanks for the info, but to my knowledge Ally still does charge a foreign transaction fee.

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