International Debit Card Offered by Ecuador Banks
Does Banco del Pichincha or any bank offer an international debit card with savings or checking accounts. Is it possible to access this account outside Ecuador, i.e., U.S., etc.
Also what is the interest for CD or savings accounts?
Banco Pichincha offers what it calls an International version of its debit card. It has a higher daily/weekly withdrawal limit than the domestic card, but that's about all you get out of it.
I haven't heard of a single person who's had success using the card outside of Ecuador. Part of that is the 5% exit tax on all money that leaves the country. So if you withdrew $500 from your card in the US, your bank would have to withdraw $25 from your account to pay to the government.
I've heard that credit cards from Ecuador work outside the country. They're also subject to the 5% exit tax, but that would be tacked on at the time of the monthly billing, which would be easier to manage administratively by the banks.
Interest rates vary by the amount you put in and, in the case of CDs, how long you keep it in.
Rates around 2% for savings accounts with over $10,000 in them (that's from my experience). CD rates are now above 5% in the banks if the money is put in for at least a year.
Coopera credit union pays 10.5% or higher depending on the amount, which has to be at least $1,000. But, as always, there are more risks involved when receiving higher interest rates.
I've heard, but haven't had it confirmed, that Coopera has a lot of exposure to car loans here in Cuenca. And a fair number of people have been defaulting on their loans.
I hope that answers your questions.
If anyone else has any information about bank debit cards, and interest rates at their own bank or credit union, please add a comment.
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