Costa Rica: Open an account only with your passport
Since September 2016, Costa Ricans and foreigners can open a „simplified“ account at Banco Nacional (BNCR) only with their passport. The bank offers three options:
– Online: www.bncr.fi.cr/BNCR/Personas/CES.aspx
– By phone: 2212-2000 (option 2)
– Personally in a branch
However, it is still necessary to visit a branch and sign documents. Two days later, the new account holder can pick up his international debit card and start making purchases in Costa Rica and abroad.
However, only up to 1,000 dollars can be deposited per month. In addition, only two accounts can be opened by one person, one account in dollars and one in colones.
No annual card fee applies if you spend more than 1,000 dollars a year (or the corresponding amount in colones) with the card.
At present, there are nine institutions that offer the new CES accounts (Cuentas de Expediente Simplificado) in Costa Rica: Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica, Banco Popular, BAC San José, Davivienda, Lafise, Promérica, and Grupo Mutual.
There are three levels:
Max. Amount Identification
Level 1 1,000 dollar Cedula or passport
Level 2 2,000 Dollar Cedula (Dimex)
Level 3 10,000 Dollar Cedula (Dimex)
According to the BCCR (Central Bank in Costa Rica), around 400,000 people in Costa Rica used the opportunity to open a „simplified account“ in 2016.