Can't pay overstay fee in cash now??

La Profe_1

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Oct 15, 2003
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Paying where there is a machine you operate yourself and no one handles or sees your card is safe enough here to use. For example any Supermarket checkout with a machine. Never give your card to anyone to pay and you should be fine.............And never use at a gas station..........
I used my debit card ONCE at La Sirena back in 2009. It was promptly cloned. That is the first and last time I ever used it in the DR.
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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Paying where there is a machine you operate yourself and no one handles or sees your card is safe enough here to use. For example any Supermarket checkout with a machine. Never give your card to anyone to pay and you should be fine.............And never use at a gas station..........
I agree with you, but unfortunately, many clerks/workers in the DR have the habit of asking for the card, then they fiddle with it in their hands for a while (why on earth do they do that, at the same time looking at the card intensively...), and only then hand the machine with the card inserted... They could have just given the machine and I enter the card and period...

But yes, in supermarkets, I have seen those machines far away from the cashier...
 

AlterEgo

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I used my debit card ONCE at La Sirena back in 2009. It was promptly cloned. That is the first and last time I ever used it in the DR.

I’ve been told the cloning takes place not at the store but where it’s processed, so it doesn’t matter where you use it. The first 4 numbers identify the country the card is from, so easy to pick out the foreign cards (which presumably wouldn’t get noticed as quickly).

We carry cards in DR but rarely use them. The last time was when buying a refrigerator.
 

MariaRubia

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Same here. We only use ScotiaBank ATMs in POP, those are all indoors with a guard directly outside. Sometimes we've used La Nacional ATMs on the Beller due to cost saving, but those are not that private... Banco Popular used to have a nice rate for EUR/DOP conversion, but many times I have seen that ScotiaBank actually has a better rate... It does not compare to a casa de cambio or sending by WU, but still...

I might be paranoid, but I have also not used cards for any purchases the last decade or so in the DR... Actually, no, I used my debit card at BMCargo during the pandemic, but the way their POP branch operates, gave me confidence to do that and they did not disappoint me.

I use debit and credit cards all day every day and have done for many years and have never once had a problem here.
 

cavok

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I use my DR bank debit card here often, although mostly at ATM's in secure locations and at supermarkets. I usually only have a maximum of 30,000 pesos in my account - not enough to lose sleep over. At least 5 times over the years, BHD has detected "suspicious activity" and called me. They apparently have a good fraud detection department because they blocked the transaction. The money never left my account.

US bank debit cards are a different animal. I have used those here, but only inside the bank with a teller to withdraw cash(usually fairly large amounts).
 
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josh2203

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I use debit and credit cards all day every day and have done for many years and have never once had a problem here.
I know there are many people who use cards on a daily basis and pay bills and everything with cards, without any issues. Then there are many people who have had more negative experiences.

I have personally had just two incidents, but I'm also generally more paranoid when it comes to finances etc, so call me weird but I'm much more comfortable doing cash only transactions in the DR... Even with ATM withdrawals, I can't wait for the charge fully to settle to see what everything went well...
 
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MariaRubia

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I know there are many people who use cards on a daily basis and pay bills and everything with cards, without any issues. Then there are many people who have had more negative experiences.

I have personally had just two incidents, but I'm also generally more paranoid when it comes to finances etc, so call me weird but I'm much more comfortable doing cash only transactions in the DR... Even with ATM withdrawals, I can't wait for the charge fully to settle to see what everything went well...

It's way more dangerous to walk around with a bucket-full of cash than using a credit card. You could be killed for the cash. If someone clones your card, you call the bank and they give you the money back. I see people going into the bank and getting out like 100,000 in cash to buy something and I always think how crazy they are.
 
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Tradewinds

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They stopped accepting cash in 2018, I tried. I overstayed 5 months. The immigration workers would just steal it of course.
 

MariaRubia

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I remember "back in the day" I went to pay an overstay fee at Punta Cana, it was a fee of RD$ 1000 and I only had a RD$ 2000 bill. No problem said the immigration lady, let's get some change. So she walked with me to Burger King, then gets her phone out and called a colleague. "What do you fancy?". Placed the order for their burgers, told me to pay with my RD$ 2000. She got the change, handed me back RD$ 1000 and said "have a nice flight" as she waited for her burgers to be delivered. Many many years ago of course, I can't imagine that happening today.
 

josh2203

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If someone clones your card, you call the bank and they give you the money back.

True, but you may have to wait up to 3 months and provide evidence.

It's way more dangerous to walk around with a bucket-full of cash than using a credit card. You could be killed for the cash. I see people going into the bank and getting out like 100,000 in cash to buy something and I always think how crazy they are.
I would never walk around with 100,000, I agree, this is stupid. I'm referring to much smaller quantities. And not walking around - never. Rather going back home...
 

josh2203

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I remember "back in the day" I went to pay an overstay fee at Punta Cana, it was a fee of RD$ 1000 and I only had a RD$ 2000 bill. No problem said the immigration lady, let's get some change. So she walked with me to Burger King, then gets her phone out and called a colleague. "What do you fancy?". Placed the order for their burgers, told me to pay with my RD$ 2000. She got the change, handed me back RD$ 1000 and said "have a nice flight" as she waited for her burgers to be delivered. Many many years ago of course, I can't imagine that happening today.
I might be thinking wrong here, but is it not in the system (passport blocked) that you have overstayed, and with this system they also unblock it. So the funds they receive, they do not have to enter anywhere? I believe the last time I paid this, I was in fact given a receipt by the migracion worker?
 

MariaRubia

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I might be thinking wrong here, but is it not in the system (passport blocked) that you have overstayed, and with this system they also unblock it. So the funds they receive, they do not have to enter anywhere? I believe the last time I paid this, I was in fact given a receipt by the migracion worker?

Oh yes, these days everything has changed. I'm talking maybe 10 years ago maybe even more when it truly was the wild west.
 
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MariaRubia

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True, but you may have to wait up to 3 months and provide evidence.


I would never walk around with 100,000, I agree, this is stupid. I'm referring to much smaller quantities. And not walking around - never. Rather going back home...

But you only need someone to be hanging around in a bank watching you taking cash out to become a target. Even if it's RD$ 20,000 it's still food for a month for someone who hasn't got any cash. I don't like having a lot of cash in my apartment for the same reason, I've heard way too many stories of people being attacked - and even killed - for reasonably small amounts of money they had in cash.

And regarding your point about waiting 3 months, I only use Amex and every time I have ever had a problem, they instantly credit my account with the value of the transaction. I've never heard of anyone having to wait 3 months for a fraudulent transaction to be credited.
 
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AlterEgo

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And regarding your point about waiting 3 months, I only use Amex and every time I have ever had a problem, they instantly credit my account with the value of the transaction. I've never heard of anyone having to wait 3 months for a fraudulent transaction to be credited.

It may be different depending upon the country issuing the card. When we had problems with an ATM not dispensing cash but charging our account (at a casino in Santo Domingo) we called our US bank. They immediately credited the entire amount the same day, but it wasn’t final for many weeks while they investigated.

European banks may have different procedures.
 

josh2203

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And regarding your point about waiting 3 months, I only use Amex and every time I have ever had a problem, they instantly credit my account with the value of the transaction. I've never heard of anyone having to wait 3 months for a fraudulent transaction to be credited.
I have no idea of Amex, so that might well be right. I have only ever used debit cards, perhaps the difference is there? What AlterEgo posted above, would unfortunately not be valid as my card issuer was in fact a UK bank, a MC debit card. Different card issuers may well have different procedures, in my case the timeframe was clearly noted as follows:

From the point of report, the merchant had one month to provide their "side of the story", if they needed extra time, a second month could be granted. Then the possible third month was just for me to provide additional evidence should the merchant deny the request.

I don't know what happened with the merchant, as after submitting the claim, I didn't do anything else, but exactly to the date, 3 months after the funds were back on the card.
 

Tarheel

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I remember "back in the day" I went to pay an overstay fee at Punta Cana, it was a fee of RD$ 1000 and I only had a RD$ 2000 bill. No problem said the immigration lady, let's get some change. So she walked with me to Burger King, then gets her phone out and called a colleague. "What do you fancy?". Placed the order for their burgers, told me to pay with my RD$ 2000. She got the change, handed me back RD$ 1000 and said "have a nice flight" as she waited for her burgers to be delivered. Many many years ago of course, I can't imagine that happening
I remember the time at POP when they had a kiosk where you paid $10 for an exit visa. That was before it was added into the plane ticket. Anyhow a group of British guys who had stayed at an AL came to the kiosk. The Dominican guy manning the kiosk asked them for $10 each. They argued with him and said we never used dollars during our stay and so forth. The Dominican guy was experienced with these complaints and let them finish and directed them to the food court. They came back with their dollars and got the exit stamp. I can't imagine how bad they got screwed on the exchange rate. It was fun to watch.
 

josh2203

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They came back with their dollars and got the exit stamp. I can't imagine how bad they got screwed on the exchange rate. It was fun to watch.
Quite a few years back we arrived to POP and I only had Euros on me... I was sent to the very nice exchange booth just left to the migracion, and got 10 USD with 10 EUR... Learned my lesson to think this in advance as well...