ATM Fees

L

Lucas61

Guest
Before I get to my point about ATM fees, here is some advice for newcomers. If you walk into and out of a bank on a main street and/or use a street ATM, there is a chance that a tigre will be surveilling you. If you do this, pause when you are ready to leave, scope your surroundings, and look back when you are walking to confirm that you are not being followed.

Once, when I entered and left Banco Popular on La Mella in Sto. Dom., my girlfriend, dominicana, who had been waiting outside, told me to get back inside. I was being surveilled. When he knew that we knew, he walked away. I got a physical description from my girlfriend, particularly color of shirt, so we could look out for him.

This is not paranoia but an intelligent security precaution so you can stay safe and happy in the D.R. It is better to use an ATM inside of a store, such as Plaza Lama or La Sirena. When you exit, no one knows that you had used a ATM inside. It is harder to be surveilled.

Now to my main point. Arbitrarily, I have been making ATM withdrawals from Banco Popular for ten years. Recently, the machine asked if I would accept the fee of RD$195.00. I clicked "yes" and completed the transaction. But when I looked at my receipt I found that the fee was actually RD$ 250.00! That's a lot of money! I complained to the manager about the deceit, intentional or not, and asked for a refund of 55 pesos. He refused on account of the Dominican more of refusing to refund any money under any circumstances, which is a whole topic in itself, and could take up an entire thread.

Solution? The solution I am looking at is obtaining a debit card and paying no more fees. The problem is that all banks require a host of difficult to obtain documents for foreigners. But if you plan to stay here for the rest of your life, like me, maybe the effort is worth it. If you go to a bank, just go to Services and ask for the document that lists account requirements for foreigners. I am now going to different banks to find out if some have requirements less onerous than others. "The jury is still out" on the answer to this question.

BTW, Banco Progreso has the lowest ATM fees I have found anywhere: RD$150.00. Also, the machines are beautifully designed. Many banks have machines whose buttons are slightly off center as they align with the text. You may press the wrong button. The Progreso machines do not have this failing. And "English" is clearly available to select.
 
Last edited:
K

kcdmps

Guest
Schwab has a debit card that refunds ATM fees worldwide and there are no fees for the checking account. I use it when in DR without a problem.
 
F

frank recktenwald

Guest
Before I get to my point about ATM fees, here is some advice for newcomers. If you walk into and out of a bank on a main street and/or use a street ATM, there is a chance that a tigre will be surveilling you. If you do this, pause when you are ready to leave, scope your surroundings, and look back when you are walking to confirm that you are not being followed.

Once, when I entered and left Banco Popular on La Mella in Sto. Dom., my girlfriend, dominicana, who had been waiting outside, told me to get back inside. I was being surveilled. When he knew that we knew, he walked away. I got a physical description from my girlfriend, particularly color of shirt, so we could look out for him.

This is not paranoia but an intelligent security precaution so you can stay safe and happy in the D.R. It is better to use an ATM inside of a store, such as Plaza Lama or La Sirena. When you exit, no one knows that you had used a ATM inside. It is harder to be surveilled.

Now to my main point. Arbitrarily, I have been making ATM withdrawals from Banco Popular for ten years. Recently, the machine asked if I would accept the fee of RD$195.00. I clicked "yes" and completed the transaction. But when I looked at my receipt I found that the fee was actually RD$ 250.00! That's a lot of money! I complained to the manager about the deceit, intentional or not, and asked for a refund of 55 pesos. He refused on account of the Dominican more of refusing to refund any money under any circumstances, which is a whole topic in itself, and could take up an entire thread.

Solution? The solution I am looking at is obtaining a debit card and paying no more fees. The problem is that all banks require a host of difficult to obtain documents for foreigners. But if you plan to stay here for the rest of your life, like me, maybe the effort is worth it. If you go to a bank, just go to Services and ask for the document that lists account requirements for foreigners. I am now going to different banks to find out if some have requirements less onerous than others. "The jury is still out" on the answer to this question.

BTW, Banco Progreso has the lowest ATM fees I have found anywhere: RD$150.00. Also, the machines are beautifully designed. Many banks have machines whose buttons are slightly off center as they align with the text. You may press the wrong button. The Progreso machines do not have this failing. And "English" is clearly available to select.
After having been in the DR for more than 10 years you should know that Dominicans don't give refunds unless they can pay with chiclets or Halls. ;)
 
W

windeguy

Guest
Schwab has a debit card that refunds ATM fees worldwide and there are no fees for the checking account. I use it when in DR without a problem.
As do I. Best way to go. Tied to my Scwhab checking account. Better Forex rate than Western Union or Caribe Express.
 
Last edited:
L

Lucas61

Guest
Schwab has a debit card that refunds ATM fees worldwide and there are no fees for the checking account. I use it when in DR without a problem.
Hmm. I have heard of Charles Schwab. Is that not an investment account? I have no investments. Could I open an account and receive a debit card? And if I did, could I use it at an ATM here without fees? Reimbursement seems like a big hassle.

Meanwhile the "jury is in" with respect to BanReservas. I went there today and found out that the only thing I need to open a savings account with a debit card (and no ATM fees) is a passport, my U.S. state identification, and a copy of my original SS card--easy peasy compared to the horde of documents the other banks require. But I failed to ask if they have simpler requirements because I already have a savings account there . . .
 
L

Lucas61

Guest
After having been in the DR for more than 10 years you should know that Dominicans don't give refunds unless they can pay with chiclets or Halls. ;)
Hmm, that's strange, I usually get chiclets when the merchant is short of change . . .
 
T

Tarheel

Guest
Schwab has a debit card that refunds ATM fees worldwide and there are no fees for the checking account. I use it when in DR without a problem.
I think you are referring to ATM charges by Schwab. How would they know what the fees are at a DR ATM?
 
E

etolw

Guest
I totally refuse to use ATM´s that charge 195 dop transaction fees. Fortunately where I stay in Cabarete there are some ATM´s that does not charge this fee. Also, the last months I have only used my Banco Santo Cruz debit card for withdrawals/payments. Transferring funds from my foreign bank account is less costly if you do a sufficient large transaction, because the ATM`s always charge you an international ATM fee, in my case 2% of the amount withdrawn.

The 195 dop fee has surfaced the recent years, if people simply refuse to use those ATM´s maybe it goes away (dream mode on...)
 
K

kcdmps

Guest
I think you are referring to ATM charges by Schwab. How would they know what the fees are at a DR ATM?
Schwab knows what the ATM machine charged for the transaction and that amount is automatically refunded. The refund shows up on your statement.
 
K

kcdmps

Guest
Hmm. I have heard of Charles Schwab. Is that not an investment account? I have no investments. Could I open an account and receive a debit card? And if I did, could I use it at an ATM here without fees? Reimbursement seems like a big hassle.
In order to get this debit card, you have to open an investment account and a checking account. I have not paid any fees except $5 each time for buying and selling stocks. Reimbursement automatically shows up on your statement.
 
Last edited:
C

cavok

Guest
I totally refuse to use ATM´s that charge 195 dop transaction fees. Fortunately where I stay in Cabarete there are some ATM´s that does not charge this fee. Also, the last months I have only used my Banco Santo Cruz debit card for withdrawals/payments. Transferring funds from my foreign bank account is less costly if you do a sufficient large transaction, because the ATM`s always charge you an international ATM fee, in my case 2% of the amount withdrawn.

The 195 dop fee has surfaced the recent years, if people simply refuse to use those ATM´s maybe it goes away (dream mode on...)
Which ones in Cabarete don't charge th 195 peso fee? All the ones I've used so far do.
 
N

NanSanPedro

Guest
Hopefully this is not off topic. But is there a standard daily limit on ATM withdrawals for international ATM users?

Thanks

Rob
 
E

etolw

Guest
Which ones in Cabarete don't charge th 195 peso fee? All the ones I've used so far do.
Scotiabank and the ATM at the corner at Janet´s. I have not used those the last month, but hope they still do not charge.
(Scotiabank had a period when they charged a fee, but that ceased last year)
 
E

etolw

Guest
Hopefully this is not off topic. But is there a standard daily limit on ATM withdrawals for international ATM users?

Thanks

Rob
No, banks has different limits, consult your bank. The ATM itself can have a limit lower than your bank (normally does not)

During banking hours, you can go into the bank and make withdrawals of any amount with a teller. If you need to withdraw a large amount of money, this is the best and safest way to do it.

You can also call your bank and ask to temporarily raise your limit, whether the ATM withdrawal or debit purchase limit.
 
E

etolw

Guest
My bank account has a limit which equals 140 000 dop pr. day, and not more than 240 000 dop in 4 days.
But I have encountered problems in DR when I withdraw more than 40 000 dop from one ATM.
(Multiple withdrawals a´ 10k each)
 
Last edited:
H

habi

Guest
La Nacional de ahorros y prestamos (Sosua opposit the PN) has no fee and a high limit (at least 20'000RD$) for withdrawals....
 
U

Uzin

Guest
OP, I have seen that DOP$195 showing but deducting $250 after, but that was 4 or 5 years ago, I am amazed it is still showing that, I first thought it was because the fees increased and they did not fix the software, but maybe it is due to different cards are charged differently and software can only show one thing. In any case, don't waste your breadth for 55p, move on...Find another ATM, try La Nacional , they don't charge some foreign cards and give 20k on one transaction - as mentioned.

Be careful with any ATM that is not attached to a bank or inside a bank, all those in shops are not safe either, well, better than some others, but not quite.

Charles Schwab also offers normal bank account with ATM card etc. (can open account online), for Americans only though....

Best is to open an account in local banks, then use ATM inside the bank, I see you are already working on it....
 
D

Derfish

Guest
Hopefully this is not off topic. But is there a standard daily limit on ATM withdrawals for international ATM users?

Thanks

Rob
Depends it seems on the individual machine. I hit some that say I have exceeeded my daily limit when it is my fiorst transaction of the day. SO I go to thew next machine in line. Off topic here, but a taxi left me at thge airport at Rio Negro Colombia and I had to hit 7 machines before |I found one that gave me cash. The taxi was about to abandon my luggage when I went back out and paid him. I tossed in an extra $10.00 tip for his trouble and anxiety!
Derfish
 
K

kcdmps

Guest
Depends it seems on the individual machine. I hit some that say I have exceeeded my daily limit when it is my fiorst transaction of the day. SO I go to thew next machine in line. Off topic here, but a taxi left me at thge airport at Rio Negro Colombia and I had to hit 7 machines before |I found one that gave me cash. The taxi was about to abandon my luggage when I went back out and paid him. I tossed in an extra $10.00 tip for his trouble and anxiety!
Derfish
You are lucky to see your luggage again after leaving them with the taxi. I remember a story like that where the guy came back to see the taxi and his luggage gone, never to be seen again.