Monzo in Bolivia 🇧🇴

Has anyone used Monzo in Bolivia so far? If so, please post your advice here!

This post is copied from another entry as relevant to this country

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Hi I’m in Bolivia and having problems getting cash out of the ATMs using any MasterCard at all - including Monzo. Has anyone else had this issue and is there a way around it? The only Visa card we have is for a U.K. current account so we are getting double charged with withdrawals. Thanks

A friend who travels to latin america regularly said in some Bolivian towns the ATMs are not connected to international networks so only accept domestic cards and it makes no difference if Mastercard or Visa. He said some banks will let you withdraw cash at their counter with a debit or credit card but they match your name on your card with your passport or ID so that no use with a Monzo card. If you do find an ATM that works it may have a low $300 withdrawal limit.

Hi @rosiek3, I can suggest two things that had been common ‘miss’ within Monzo users:

  • Try enabling magstripe withdrawals in app settings and try to withdraw again.

  • Please check if you are verified user, it’s in settings too. You need to be verified to use ATMs abroad. I forgot that Monzo did a round of verification, so this definitely isn’t the case - all Monzo users are now verified, so no need to check that!

If both are enabled/done, then it’s probably what @anon44204028 says, but I would ask Monzo support via app chat if they have any clue what’s going on. :frowning:

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Try http://www.mastercard.com/interactivelocator/atm.html and search under Bolivia it will bring up a list of cities and you can then see the ATMs there (sometimes only one per city) and even get the info texted to your phone.

However if their data for Bolivia is as (in)accurate as their UK data it may have discrepancies

Some ATMs give a choice of local or USD notes. At BNB to withdraw US Dollars using your Mastercard Debit card you need to select “Cheque” rather than “Credit”. The next screen will prompt you with a list from 001 to 006. Select 001. You can then select USD or Boliviano. Select the USD option and enter the amount you wish to withdraw. BNB allow you to take out up to USD 1500 and don’t charge a withdrawal fee. (this info from a previous year, so if you have up-to-date data please post in this thread)

Another bank to try is BCP. There are 2 or 3 other banks but my friend has no experience of trying these.

EDIT: Looking at the Mastercard ATM finder there are two banks that have chip enabled machines Red Enlace and Procredit, so magstrip should not be an issue there.

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Thank you both so much for your comments. That’s really helpful. I’ll look for those chip enabled atms but also try and enable the Magstrip before using another and let you know if it works. Many thanks!

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I had no luck with the Red Enlace machines listed on the MasterCard website, but we stumbled across a BNB machine which worked with my Monzo card. Got enough bolivianos to keep us going until we enter Peru now. Thanks for all your help

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To echo things already said, feedback from in-app chat reports that ATMs in Bolivia should not be trusted to be working with foreign cards at all. It is highly recommended that you bring cash into this country.

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Has anyone used Monzo in Bolivia recently (I’m going in May)? Curious to see if the situation has improved.

Just arrived in Copacabana, Bolivia and pleased to report Monzo works fine with the ATM I tried.

Also had a lovely chat about Monzo with a Mancunian who had been using his hot coral card throughout Bolivia without any problems.

Will update as we visit more places.

La Paz has been hit and miss with ATMs, partly due to what we were told was a nationwide outage.

BCP has worked fine (without any charge) both in central La Paz and at the airport (the highest international airport in the world).

In both Peru and Bolivia we have selected credit card to get money out of ATMs - selecting current account or savings account doesn’t work.

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I have been travelling around Peru and Bolvia with Monzo, so far and has been great! The ATMs work in both countries, however the cards are not recognised in bolivia when paying in restaurants or bars. Is there a way to fix this?

Looks like the only way to use Monzo card in bars and restaurants in Bolivia is to treat it as a credit card. Same thing happens with N26 debit card. When the cashier/barman selects “credit card”, it goes through, otherwise it gets rejected as invalid, without any indication within Monzo app.

$300 is a huge limit by Bolivian standards! I wouldn’t be surprised if this is above the max for a ATM in general.

I think that was me. I believe I used Monzo in Copacabana, La Paz, Santa Cruz, Samaipata, Sucre, Potosi and Uyuni.