Banking tips for Canadian living in Santiago

Spec Ed Teacher

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Apr 21, 2009
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Okay - we SO appreciate these forums and check 'new posts' 2x's/day! I have read everyday for months. Only posted a few times because by doing a few searches we can generally find all the answers we need!
BUT - now it is really 'crunch time' and we still are a bit confused - sorry we tried but didn't really find the complete answers - or understand everything we read!
So - background - we will be moving from Canada to Santiago Aug 1. We will be receiving a salary there, they will assist in setting up a DR bank account and we will be paid in pesos. However - we will ALSO receive part of our income from Canada in CAD. That will be automatically deposited in our bank here (CIBC). We will need that money in there for bills from Canada but they are automatically paid or online banking - no problems there. BUT we will also need some of that money to live off in the DR. What is the best way to handle that? We will have a CAD debit card & credit card. They are also setting us up with a USD credit card (that will be paid from our CAD account). They have also said that they can set us up with a USD account at our bank here and with a phone call we can let our banker know to transfer from the CAD account to the USD one if it is better to have a US account.
SO. If I need the money from my CAD account - can I use my CAD debit and withdrawn money at an ATM in pesos? Or would I use my USD account to withdrawn? I have read about limits in amounts and we will keep that in mind of course - and maybe need to withdraw once or twice a month from the CAD or the USD just to supplement our DR account. I also know to keep it to a minimum as the ATM's seem to charge a fee each time to withdraw (assuming that is still the case - that was a 2007 thread). From what I have read going into a bank and asking the teller to transfer from my CAD to my DR account will obviously NOT work!

Help! And thank-you all so much for all your 'unknowing' help in the past! We are very excited for Aug 1!
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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I don't know about CIBC but RBC allows an online transfer to an international bank as long as you have the account number and Swift code of the bank of $1000 Canadian per day. There is a fee of course. I have used my debit card in BHD ATMs without problems and the money has come out of the Canadian account I specified. The limit is much smaller for this.
 

PrincesseEm

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Dec 2, 2008
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I have also heard that if you have a Scotiabank account you can access your account in the DR quite easily as Scotiabank has branches worldwide, including in the DR.
 

viajar

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Feb 19, 2009
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The best way is to set up a Scotia Bank Account in Canada and have someone transfer the money to a Scotia Bank Account in the DR. CIBC charges 100 to transfer but using scotia bank it is 12.50. I am not sure if you can do this online, you need to talk to the bank.
 

SantiagoDR

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Jan 12, 2006
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The best way is to set up a Scotia Bank Account in Canada and have someone transfer the money to a Scotia Bank Account in the DR. CIBC charges 100 to transfer but using scotia bank it is 12.50. I am not sure if you can do this online, you need to talk to the bank.
The Best Way is to establish a relationship with a well known "Agente de Cambio".

You can then write personal checks from your Canadian bank.
You will get the BEST exchange rate and NO SERVICE fees.


Don
 

Spicedwine

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Apr 25, 2006
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The best way is to set up a Scotia Bank Account in Canada and have someone transfer the money to a Scotia Bank Account in the DR. CIBC charges 100 to transfer but using scotia bank it is 12.50. I am not sure if you can do this online, you need to talk to the bank.
If you set up a 'no frills' Scotiabank account in Canada, and have someone in Canada deposit/transfer the money to that same Scotiabank account in Canada, you can withdraw using your Canadian Scotiabank Debit Card at any Scotiabank ATM in the DR for free - or whatever your monthly fee and limitations are. We pay $7.50 CAD/month, I think.
 

La Profe_1

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Oct 15, 2003
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The Best Way is to establish a relationship with a well known "Agente de Cambio".

You can then write personal checks from your Canadian bank.
You will get the BEST exchange rate and NO SERVICE fees.


Don
Unless things have changed in the last nine months, there is a quirk in Canadian banking law which makes Canadian dollar checks uncashable in the Dominican Republic. I know that in the past I have been tasked with the job of arranging with donors to replace Canadian dollar checks with US dollar ones. The banks and exchange houses will not accept the others.
 
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william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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ScotiaBank is a good option for the islands and for Canadians , especially.

For smaller amounts of money, the ATM is the solution but when you larger amounts are needed - Applainces, etc - you will need to have a DR account to access those larger cash amounts. The DR Scotia cannot access the Cdn Scotia account.
Of course, your Cdn credit card will work - maybe even the Cdn debit card .

In short, you can access your Cdn account via credit ---- hard cash needs to be here in the DR bank.

Hope this helps.
 

SantiagoDR

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Jan 12, 2006
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........
In short, you can access your Cdn account via credit ---- hard cash needs to be here in the DR bank.
I have cashed U.S. bank checks in $8,000 to $9,000 (U.S) range with my Agente de Cambio with no problems (Even 3 in one week once for a special purchase). A good relationship is very valuable.

I was in Sosua today at Rocky's BBQ, the local exchanges were offering 35.85, in Santiago I got 35.90 with a U.S. check (No extra bank or ATM fees to worry about).

No ATM problems to worry about, and from what has been posted a few times on DR1, why take the chance and the hassle of an ATM. The Agente de Cambio I use has armed security inside and outside the building, much more secure than an ATM on the street. They make sure I get to my car securely.

To each his own................


Don