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  1. #1
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    Default Paying for stuff

    I visit the DR a few times a year from the US. I need a better strategy for exchanging cash and paying for things. My strategy thus far hasn't been much. I get to use the ATMs at Scotia Bank for free due to their affiliation with Bank of America and the exchange rate seems OK. I withdraw as much cash as possible. I usually get $20,000 RD in 2 withdrawals. [I never tried to use it more than twice consecutively - can you?] However, sometimes Scotia is not an option and I end up paying costly ATM fees. I try paying in pesos for everything, but I'm uncomfortable doing so with large purchases (more than $200) nor do I like to carry around that much cash.

    The exchange rate and 3% fee charged by my bank with my credit cards make credit card use prohibitive.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Chase has a 'no foreign fee' policy for their cards.

    Your style is good - 20,00- at a time... yes , you can hit the ATM until your card's limit -- ask to make it $1,000 = 42,000drp
    they usually attach a weekly max to that... mine is $1k/day upto $3k for the week

    Other option is to cash a check --- fee there too but bit better rate.... coin toss if you ask me

    Others may differ

  3. #3
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    come with cash, in this way to ATM, no fees

  4. #4
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    I do the same, have my bank in the States, TD Bank..However, no affiliated banks here, so I pay about 2.50 for each transaction in the States, and about 120 pesos at the ATM for their fee, total of around 6.00 bucks US for each transaction, a bit over kill! ..Now, Popular will withdraw your money via credit card for free if you have an account with them..That there would be your best option, open an account here just to use it for that exchange. Also, you should be able to get up to 30,000 per day from any ATM, 700 bucks or so, depends on the exchange rate which is around 43% right now, but always check beforehand.

    Also, be sure to use an ATM that has no set withdrawals, otherwise each one will cost you and its annoying only able to pull 4,000 pesos at a time...A good ATM will allow you to pull 10,000 at a time such as some Popular, Scotia as you mentioned, another but I don't recall the name..maybe Reserves? not sure of the spelling..

    Most important!! watch out for those ATM skimmers...Run your hand around where you put your card in. Make sure its tight, has no wires exposed etc...Since I've been here, 7 Years now, my card has been compromised 5 times!! All 5 times, my bank was cool about it, sent me another card overnight with no cost to me..Also, just a heads up..TD Bank has a ATM Card program to overdraw your account. I signed on about 3 Years ago and it literally has saved my life a few times since I always need to OD my account..How much?? up to 1,400.00 US..However, the amount is based on your history with them which I've been a customer since 1997 when they were Commerce...

    Overall, you have a few options as I mentioned, best one would be, just go to Popular and have them take it directly with no cost to you if you have an account or see what a few banks charge to do this, then its up to you whats the best rate etc...

    Hope this helps you..

    Anthony



    Quote Originally Posted by gas View Post
    I visit the DR a few times a year from the US. I need a better strategy for exchanging cash and paying for things. My strategy thus far hasn't been much. I get to use the ATMs at Scotia Bank for free due to their affiliation with Bank of America and the exchange rate seems OK. I withdraw as much cash as possible. I usually get $20,000 RD in 2 withdrawals. [I never tried to use it more than twice consecutively - can you?] However, sometimes Scotia is not an option and I end up paying costly ATM fees. I try paying in pesos for everything, but I'm uncomfortable doing so with large purchases (more than $200) nor do I like to carry around that much cash.

    The exchange rate and 3% fee charged by my bank with my credit cards make credit card use prohibitive.

    Any suggestions?

  5. #5
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    I've been here for 2 years now and I get 10,000 pesos at a time at the Scotia. When I buy something more expensive, I pay with my credit card (CAD). Never been cloned, debit card or credit card.

    Don't be paranoid on everything.

  6. #6
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    I never exchanged USD except at airports or hotels when I needed a few pesos. Except for a couple of hotels, the rates were horrible. How does one go about exchanging USD at a good rate? Will a bank do it? I never tried; I assumed they wouldn't do so unless I had an account.

    As for Banco Popular, can I open an account in the US and take advantage of the benefits in the dR?

  7. #7
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    Casa de Cambio to change money.... Popular is not the same bank - one in DR and other in US are different entities, not related

  8. #8
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    I realize I'm sounding like a broken record but I've never been happier with a bank than with my current one; Charles Schwab. It's an online only bank so that may not be for everyone but they charge zero fees. None. No monthly fee. No minimum checking account balance. And best of all, they reimburse ALL ATM fees worldwide. I average about $500 per year in refunded ATM fees. I think withdrawing cash from my Schwab account at ATMs is the best way to go. I have a Dominican bank account but don't use it for anything.

  9. #9
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    If there is a Caribe Express office near you, they give a good exchange rate for US$ - RD$.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlise View Post
    When I buy something more expensive, I pay with my credit card (CAD). Never been cloned, debit card or credit card.

    Don't be paranoid on everything.
    So far you have not been cloned. For how long have you used a card here?

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