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  1. #1
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    Default Best ways to bring money into the country

    Hi guys,

    Recently I've re-examined the two ways I know of to cost effectively bring money into the country. Here is what I found:

    1. ATM: You have a US/european bank account and simply withdraw from your ATM card. This assumes a withdrawal from a savings/checking account, not a cash advance.

    ATM withdrawal cost: 4.2% (calculated against best exchange rate available in Santiago on day of withdrawal)

    2. Wire transfer: I have consistently been able to do this for a $15 fee charged by my outgoing bank, although some may charge up to $40 for international transfers. Additionally some banks in the DR now charge an incoming wire fee (BanReservas for example charges an additional $15 for $1000 incoming, BanInter did not charge anything).

    I typically transfer over $1000 each time so my calculations are based on that amount

    Wire transfer cost: 1.5% - 5.5%
    (1.5% assumes $15 outgoing fee, no incoming fee, 5.5% assumes $40 outgoing fee, $15 incoming fee, amount transferred = $1000.).

    An ATM is easier since you don't have to wait in bank lines, call around for exchange rates to change the money.

    For any amount under $1000 an ATM card is the best way to go. For larger amounts, a wire transfer to a bank which does not charge incoming fees is probably better. However given the current economic situation, you might not want to leave a large amount of USD in a local bank account.

    Does anyone know of any other ways to transfer money into the country?

    Adrian

  2. #2
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    Just opened a free checking account (no minimum and a toaster)at Charter One Bank that allows free International Money wire tranfer and online banking.

    He lives in Santiago and doesnt travel back and forth Rick.
    Last edited by Escott; 06-04-2003 at 03:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
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    Default Re: Best ways to bring money into the country

    Originally posted by adrianb
    Does anyone know of any other ways to transfer money into the country?

    Adrian
    Free, cash in your pocket when you arrive.
    1% traveller's cheques, in your pocket when you arrive.

    Since you are discussing bringing it just bring it. I would not use a ATM card and pay 4.2% for something as measly as $1000 when you are allowed up to $US 10,000 without declaration both by the DR and the US Customs.

  4. #4
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    Adrian, if the money is being used to purchase a house or apartment, you may be able to deposit it in the escrow account that your attorney has in the US. In that case, it wouldn't be necessary for you to bring the money into the country.

    If the money is for your personal use, you can establish an arrangement with an exchange bank, such as Vimenca, and write personal checks to get pesos. I don't know what the maximum is, but I have written checks for US$1,000 to exchange for pesos. That way I avoid all transfer and ATM fees, plus I get the best rate of exchange available.

  5. #5
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    Default Adrian

    Go to the Banco Popular on Sol St. Talk to one of the managers: Mrs. Grullon is a good one. Tell her what you want to do. They will change your checks on you account in the States for you. Another option is to do the same thing at the Banco de Santa Cruz on 27 de Febrero. There you can talk to Junior Valdez. Same thing. They will cash your checks.

    Net result: You get best rates and no fees. You change a thousand you get a thousand.

    HB

  6. #6
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    Guys,

    I just wanted to respond - this is fantastic advice from all of you.

    1. Jazzcom - I will probably open up an account at that bank. That helps a huge amount - no fees on transfers is amazing!

    2. Rick, as Jazzcom noted, I tend not to travel much. But you are right, I should be more aware of bringing money in, in cash.

    3. Ken, I haven't heard of Vimenca, but I will be sure to check them out - it sounds very interesting!!

    4. HB - I have actually cashed checks a few times, but the problem is that they take 40 working days (2+ months) to clear them. You don't need a very high interest rate on $1000 to make it more cost effective to pay a transfer fee and get the money immediately.

    Again, thank you everyone for your advice and comments!! :-)

    Adrian

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by adrianb

    4. HB - I have actually cashed checks a few times, but the problem is that they take 40 working days (2+ months) to clear them. You don't need a very high interest rate on $1000 to make it more cost effective to pay a transfer fee and get the money immediately.

    My experience with exchange houses is that they will change them their and then. Plus they give you a very good exchange rate if you convert to pesos. Build a relationship with a local house and they will look after you. A referral from an existing customer also helps.

    If you are friendly with your bank manager (a necessity here) they will also pre-clear checks or amounts of that check drawn in US$ on other companies.

    It's all about the who, not the what...

  8. #8
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    Adrian, I knew you love my find. That is the only reason I opened a checking account with them! FREE WIRE TRANSFERS and Free Checking and free Internet banking.

    How can you beat it?

    Wanna buy my free toaster?

    Escott

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by adrianb


    3. Ken, I haven't heard of Vimenca, but I will be sure to check them out - it sounds very interesting!!

    4. HB - I have actually cashed checks a few times, but the problem is that they take 40 working days (2+ months) to clear them. You don't need a very high interest rate on $1000 to make it more cost effective to pay a transfer fee and get the money immediately.
    There is a Vimenca in most cities. The rate of exchange they offer is usually a little better than their competition in that area.

    Regarding 40 days to clear, etc., I don't follow you. Are you talking about the time it takes the cashed check to get to your bank, or the time it takes to get your money? It can't be the latter. Everyone I know, whether they use Vimenca as I do or one of the other exchange banks, receives their pesos immediately.

    In fact, I am going to Vimenca this morning to get Pesos. I'll walk it, hand them my personal check made out to myself, and walk out with the pesos. No more than 5 minutes from start to finish.

    As Robert says, if you aren't already known it is often helpful to have someone who is vouch for you.

  10. #10
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    where is vimeca in Sosua Ken?

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