Cash is King, and still very much so in Belize. Most stores and restaurants (especially the smaller ones) will not accept your Visa, American Express or MasterCard. They may not even have terminals for local Belizean debit cards. Or they may charge an additional fee for processing a credit card payment. So having access to ATM machines in Belize is crucial.
Most ATM machines will accept international debit and credit cards, but be aware that some ATMs will only accept local debit cards.
As a rule of thumb, look out for the Meastro en Cirrus logos. If none of the logo’s depicted to the right are displayed on the ATM machine, chances are that you will not be able to access your funds in your account. If no logo is displayed, it is very likely the ATM will only work with cards issued by that very same bank.
Most ATM machines in Belize will charge a transaction fee when cards issued by other (international) banks are used. It is also possible your own bank will also charge you for the international use of your cards. It pays to examine these costs before making a withdrawal, so that you can optimize the amount of money withdrawn (i.e. withdraw the maximum daily limit in one go, rather than multiple smaller withdrawals.)
Normally, the daily limit is BZ$ 1000, which is equivalent to US$ 500. See our article on Currency: Belize Dollar.
Note that you do not want to take for granted that an ATM machine will always be available to you. Especially in rural locations and small villages, an ATM machine may not be available nearby.
Belize has five domestic banks that have ATM machines (most, but not yet all, banking locations now have an ATM machine). These five banks are: Atlantic Bank, The Belize Bank Limited, First Caribbean International Bank, Heritage Bank Limited and ScotiaBank.
For ATM locations, please see our section on Belize Domestic Bank Addresses.