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ATM at airport?

Illinois
Level Contributor
432 posts
196 reviews
ATM at airport?

I have read all the advice NOT to use the local ATM machines. So we will heed the advice and avoid them. However, are we ok to use the ATM at the airport, if there is one. This is our first real trip to Roatan. Our only other time was one day from a cruise ship and we fell in love,with the snorkeling on west bay. So can we use the ATM at the airport? Thanks, all advice appreciated. Grams98

19 replies to this topic
Jen
British Columbia...
Level Contributor
66 posts
69 reviews
1. Re: ATM at airport?

I wouldn't. Just bring along USD. Some places will give you change in USD if you ask. In most cases you will get lemps back.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,774 posts
91 reviews
2. Re: ATM at airport?

you really don't need the local currency, lempiras, as US$ are widely, almost universally accepted, AS LONG AS the bills are in perfect mint condition. Dive shops and resorts state their prices in US$. Grocery stores of course state theirs in lempiras. And using an ATM anywhere does expose you to having your card and bank account compromised. I talked to a lobby guard at a bank in Coxen Hole who cautioned me not to use it.

If my resort does not have a room safe, I bring a wad of cash and pay the resort and dive shop up front. I'm not sure I would even trust a room safe after having mine cleaned out once.

Having said all that, I always use one of the ATM's either at the airport or in West End for walking around money. We keep a separate travel account at our bank and fund it to travel remotely through an app and then draw it out and then close it. Any local bank charges are reimbursed by our bank. Then I can enjoy the slight advantage of paying the restaurant and the water taxi in lempiras. But if this is too much of a hassle, just bring a wad of dollars or use credit cards.If you travel at all frequently, though, you should definitely establish a separate travel account with its own ATM/debit card.

Edited: 17 February 2018, 11:10
Illinois
Level Contributor
432 posts
196 reviews
3. Re: ATM at airport?

I appreciate all,this excellent advice. We DO travel extensively which is why I am so confused about all the precautions. We just returned from India and used our ATM all,over India. We were there for a month. Last year we were in 5 different countries in Africa and used our ATM. Is there worse danger in using it in Honduras? My husband said that perhaps there is a particular band of criminals who have attacked all the ATM s in Honduras in particular? Just trying to sort all of this out. After one week in Roatan, we spend 5 days on the mainland. So is the ATM warning the same there? Thanks so much. Grams98

Edited: 17 February 2018, 12:04
Roatan, Honduras
Level Contributor
2,278 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: ATM at airport?

Gram, Believe what you want, Most here tell you to avoid ATM's for a reason, you can reason all you like as why not to heed that advice but when you lose money please do not complain about it. I live here, NEVER used ATM and NEVER will unless it is emergency

Illinois
Level Contributor
432 posts
196 reviews
5. Re: ATM at airport?

Thanks, to everyone. We do plan on heeding the advice. Just trying to figure out what is going on. As I said, never read this warning before about other places we have gone. Thought perhaps someone had an insight as to what had happened. Thanks again grams98

I wander the world
Level Contributor
4,835 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: ATM at airport?

I do not know enough about ATM security to know why Roatan is compromised so often.

I travel a fair amount my self, Ireland, India, Turkey, Portugal, Columbia, Scotland, Iceland, Syira, SEA...Roatan is the only place I will not use my AtM card.

Edited: 17 February 2018, 13:18
Roatan, Honduras
Level Contributor
702 posts
24 reviews
7. Re: ATM at airport?

I also live here and I do occasionally use an ATM. Its been 6+ months since there has been an issue with the airport ones. What I do is have a "travel account debit card" . I transfer money into it just before I need it. Go, take it out, and leave a $5.00 or less balance. If there is an issue then I am not out anything except having to change my PIN # or in dire case get a new travel debit card. THE ONLY time in 10 years I had an issue was when the West Bay mall ATM was out of money, but was not registering that it was out of money. Bank fixed the error. Try to use only ATM's that have guards on them 24/7. And if you don't set up a travel account, then change your pin # as soon as possible.

North Tustin, CA
Level Contributor
208 posts
213 reviews
8. Re: ATM at airport?

We visit regularly and use an ATM when needed - usually the Petrosun in West End. We know many locals who live on the island and regularly use the ATM's machines. One of our cards was compromised many years ago but the origin of the hack was hard to pin down - we had been on the island and also in Central and South America for an extended stay. No issues recently except occasionally the ATM's being temporarily out of money. We always bring some cash, use our credit cards where they are accepted, and get Lempiras at the ATM. We have not been charged a fee to use our credit cards anywhere on the island. Most will charge in Lempiras (you can ask them to charge in dollars) and any fees will be from your credit card company for the foreign transaction not from the business on the island.

Illinois
Level Contributor
432 posts
196 reviews
9. Re: ATM at airport?

Wow, great insights to all of my questions. Sounds like a travel account ATM is the safest way to go. Thanks again! Grams98

1 post
10. Re: ATM at airport?

Reading with interest your blog on ATM's in Roatan. We'll be heading that way in a couple of weeks and I'm wondering whether you used any ATM's and if you had any issues. We'll be there for a couple of months and will need access to cash.

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