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Thread: ATM's Credit Cards Bank Transfers???

  1. #1
    Bill MacDonald
    Guest

    Default ATM's Credit Cards Bank Transfers???

    I have read several posts with this type of question though no good responses. Are there ATM's in Puerto Plata are? Can you get cash advances on credit cards? Do banks do electronic transfers? Please let me Know I am down to 40 days before my month long (first) visit.

  2. #2
    Keith Murphy
    Guest

    Default Re: ATM's Credit Cards Bank Transfers???

    Bill,

    The easy answer to all your questions is yes. But there are cautions.

    There are lots of ATM machines in and around PP. And yes you can get cash advances (in pesos). There are point of sale machines eveywhere now and you can charge most anything. I have used Mastercard in my dealings in the DR and can only tell you my experiences with MC. I think you can use electronic transfer, but you may have to have an established account at a local bank and there may be fees even then.

    The down side to all of this (using MC) is that they do not give you the correct exchange rate. It has been my experience that if you charge $100 in either cash or goods/services you can expect to see about $107 due on your statement for that transaction. In other words, you get whacked about 7%.

    If you decide to bring travelers checks, you will need a passport to negotiate them. Why? Beats me. That's just the way it is.

    My personal recommendation is either cash or travelers checks. Regardless, you will have a super time. The Dominicans are a wonderful, gracious bunch of people and will do their best for you.

    I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitae to e-mail me at the above.

    Regards, Keith Murphy

  3. #3
    Sylviane Mora
    Guest

    Default Re: ATM's Credit Cards Bank Transfers???

    I have used ATM in Puerto Plata without any problem. The exchange rate on ATM transfers is the best you can get anywhere, even better than credit cards. There is however, a minimum fee on each withdrawal, so you withdraw the maximum amount allowed, and minimize the number of withdrawals.

  4. #4
    Jim Hinsch
    Guest

    Default Re: ATM's Credit Cards Bank Transfers???

    What Kieth says is correct. In addition, I would advise against relying on (using is OK though) cash machines because if they do not return your card, as has happened to me, you may be in for quite a run-around and wait to get it back, if you EVER get it back before you leave. Just don't rely on it.

    If you were depending on the card for cash, as I was, it can really put you in a bad position. You know, the bank is closed... When they open, they tell you they are not responsible for the machine and that you have to wait for some other person to come by at some unknown time that has access to get your card, etc.

    In the USA, I've had my card not returned by a machine and then been told it can only be returned by mailing it to my issuing bank! In my case in the DR, I didn't know what the limit was in Pesos for a withdrawal and 3 attempts that exceeded the daily limit caused the card to be kept. I waited 3 days to get it back, and only by paying someone off to contact me at my hotel when the person that could get it ever showed up.

    Instead, walk into a bank, see a desk person, and ask for a cash advance on your credit card. You will get wacked with a stiff service charge (as with all credit card cash advances, plus interest from the moment of the withdrawal, plus a rotten exchange rate). Better to bring all cash, keep most locked in your room safe or the hotel safe, and carry only what you need.

    Travelers checks are a pain in the butt. Small vendors won't take them, and it is not smart to carry your passport around. If you loose it or it is stolen, you'll be in for a lot of time and effort to get a replacement before you can leave the country.

    You can use your credit card, but in the past, people have had the number used for unauthorized charges (which is merely an inconvenience to you, as you simply dispute the charges that are not yours), plus you get a poor exchange rate.

    It sounds like your stay is for an extended time period. You can receive cash via Western Union, but that is an expensive option. You can even call a number from the Dominican Republic to Western Union in the USA and wire yourself money charged to your credit card, an even more expensive option but convenient in an emergency.

    You can open up a bank account in Dollars or Pesos. If you open it in Dollars, they will need to do a background check on you and will contact your home country authorities to ensure you are not involved in illegal activity and it can take weeks. Once an account has been opened, you can have money transferred to your account electronically. You will receive a lower exchange rate than available at the local cash exchanges if received in Peso and originating in some other currency, you will be charged a fee to initiate the transaction from the source, and you will be charged a fee to receive the money as well. Then, there may be a several day waiting period before you can actually have the money in your hand, depending on the bank, the source, etc.

    If I needed to get $10,000 into the country, it might be cheapest to hop a flight to Puerto Rico, get my cash by cashing a USA drawn check into a local bank where I had previously opened an account, and then carry it back. Total cost, 1/2 a day and under 2% (the cost of the plane ticket), which I more than make up for by exchanging for Pesos at the local exchanges for up to 20% better rates when compared banks, Western Union, money cards, and credit card companies.

    JimHinsch@CSI.COM

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