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  1. #1
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    Default Banco Popular Accounts

    I live in New York City, and twice a month I send money to a friend in Santo Domingo via Western Union. I am absolutely sick of the exhorbitant Western Union Fees. So today I did an inquiry into the following scenario:

    I open a Banco Popular checking account at a New York City branch. I give my friend in Santo Domingo the ATM card (and PIN of course). Twice a month I deposit the funds (U.S. Dollars, cash) into my NY Banco Popular account, and he withdraws the money in pesos at a Banco Popular ATM in Santo Domingo.

    Banco Popular's fees in New York City are very low, so that was not my concern. In fact they even give you 2 free international withdraws a month. So then of course you also have to pay the additional fee that the ATM you withdraw from will charge you. So my concern was how much Banco Popular in Santo Domingo would charge for an ATM withdrawal from a New York account. Banco Popular in New York and Banco Popular in Santo Domingo are not at all connected. Due to government regulations, they are in fact completely seperate banks.

    I called Banco Popular in Santo Domingo, and they said they charge 5% of the amount withdrawn, and the maximum withdrawal amount from the ATM is 5000 pesos. The 5% fee is quite expensive. That's $5 for every $100!

    But, all in all, it is still cheaper than Western Union. I think I'm going to give this a try. Do any of you have any experience in doing this or something similar? Any advice would be very helpful and appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default

    your plan works........and is being done worldwide,,,,,,i too, am sick of western union,,,,,,,,,,and the bandits at fed ex irk me as well.....
    good luck,
    michael leswayer

  3. #3
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    Talking Another way

    I have my annuity checks paid to my bank in Dallas and routed to my Banco Popular account. The routing or ABA # for Banco Popular is 021001033 for anyone interested in having their payments transfered. The charge is minimal. Plus your money is transfered in dollars.

    TW

  4. #4
    ditz
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    Default

    I like to write cheques on my account and exchange them on the black market.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Good News

    Found out that the 5% fee Banco Popular in Santo Domingo is talking about is only for credit card ATM withdrawals. There is no local fee charged for regular ATM withdrawals from your U.S. checking account. You are only charged what your U.S. bank charges you for using an International ATM.

    So this is very good news for me. Since Banco Popular in New York only charges a $3 month service charge and 2 free International ATM withdrawals per month - my total cost will be $3 per month!

    Western Union can now kiss my *#@!

  6. #6
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    Oct 2002
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    Default

    Eddie I like your idea regarding the Banco Popular strategy although I have to wonder how much you are being charged by your US bank on the conversion rate when the withdrawal is made in DR for RSD.

    Last month I withdrew RSD 4000 from a Banco Popular ATM in SD and Chase Manhattan debited my account USD $235.82. They said that was the conversion rate by Banco not a fee by Chase.
    There was a $3 fee added by Chase.

    So it cost $238.82 for RDS 4000 or 16.75 to 1.
    I exchanged USD cash for RSD cash in a Western Union in SD and received 18.55 to 1 that same week.

    Have your experiences with Banco NY and Banco DR been similar?

    GNYC

  7. #7
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    Default You've got the method

    This has been discussed here before and my opinion back then was that it is the best way to do frequent and small-transaction transfers to the Dominican Republic.

    You do not have to use Banco Popular. Any card connected with either the Cirrus or Plus systems work in various machines throughout the DR. Use any bank you want. American Express offers an account that actually will refund any ATM fees that you are charged by 3rd parties. So I happily say YES whenever the machine asks me if I accept their $2 charge for using their machine.

    Western Union charges about US$60 per US$1000 sent when sending direct, a bit more when using the computer or phone and paying by credit card. The beauty of it is in the convenience. Without ever getting up from your computer chair, you can send someone money using your credit card.

  8. #8
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    Why not just set up a bank account with an ATM card that you can give to the reciepient? You could then make deposits whenever you like free of charge from your home country and only pay the $1 or $2 ATM fee-per-withdrawal.

  9. #9
    Stephen
    Guest

    Default

    Here is another option that I use. You go ONLINE to either USA Bank or Bank of America and click on the VISABUXX section.

    Then you get a VISA (debit) card which can be used for either cash advances or purchases. You FILL THEIR credit card ONLINE with your credit card. So, if someone needs money RIGHT NOW, you just go ONLINE fill their card and within 1 minute the money is there and there are VERY FEW CHARGES. MUCH BETTER THAN MOST OF THE WAYS I HAVE SEEN MENTIONED HERE. I use it for people I help in the US and here. VERY EASY.. You set them up as your TEENAGER. With ONE login you can see all the VISABUXX cards you have for different people and can keep track of them like that.

  10. #10
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    The recipient needs to have a Social Security number in the USA to sign up for VISABUXX.

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