Foreign Currency Exchange in Sto. Dom.: COP (Colombian Peso)?

Riva_31

Bronze
Apr 1, 2013
2,431
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San Pedro de Macoris
Thanks for this. I will hardly use my debit card, if at all. The non-tourist hotels we will stay at cost about 15 USD per day and do not take credit cards. Further, I will take USD cash with me and exchange there. Here's something I can't figure out. Right now, for example, if I buy USD here in the D.R. I will be paying RD$ 54.54 per 1 USD, so I will be paying some commission. Suppose I did not take cash with me and bought COP with my debit card. There will be a commission of some kind. Does it matter whether I pay the commission on this end or the other? I don't know. Anywy, I feel more comfortable taking USD cash with me and exchanging directly for COP there rather than using a card.

Here's something I've never understood. Maybe you or other members can clarify. If I go to a known online entity to determine rate of exchange, say, xe.com, then when I go to buy currency, I never get that rate. So why does it exist if you can never get it? My best guess is that this is the "market rate" and the difference between that and what you get is the profit of the money changer. So that what you must do is: a. Recognize that you will always exchange for less than the market rate, b. if not cost of what you buy is significantly more than what you are expecting from the market rate, than that means that that money exchange is overcharging and you should find another. Am I reading the situation right or am I missing something?

When you said that the value of COP to USD was 4,000:1, were you rounding off? Today that market rate value is 4423:1. When you said that your best exchange rate was 3950:1 versus the market rate of 4000:1, that means that you were paying 50 COP on the dollar right? So the difference was 50. The conclusion I draw from this is that when I go online for the market rate, the amount I should pay should be a little less but very close. Correct?

In your opinion, where is it best to buy USD in Colombia if I do that? The airport or a bank or a money exchange?

1.- The 3,950.00 x 1 xchange rate was at the airport, you know always airports rip you off no matter the country, thats why I was rounding 4,000 to have a reference faster on how much would be in dollars. Try not to xchange big amounts of USD into COP.

2.- About correct xchange rate you must go and check the oficial website of the Colombian Central Bank who gives the official xchange rates.

3.- About the comissions when you are using an institution they make money diferent ways and comissions are part. At the airport I was hungry and bough in a restaurant paying in COP 48,782.00 and the bank charged me 11.58 USD, Exchange rate used by the bank was arround 4,212.61
 

Lucas61

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2014
796
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48
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retired English teacher (30 years)
Thank yo
1.- The 3,950.00 x 1 xchange rate was at the airport, you know always airports rip you off no matter the country, thats why I was rounding 4,000 to have a reference faster on how much would be in dollars. Try not to xchange big amounts of USD into COP.

2.- About correct xchange rate you must go and check the oficial website of the Colombian Central Bank who gives the official xchange rates.

3.- About the comissions when you are using an institution they make money diferent ways and comissions are part. At the airport I was hungry and bough in a restaurant paying in COP 48,782.00 and the bank charged me 11.58 USD, Exchange rate used by the bank was arround 4,212.61
Thank you for these clarifications. Re: airport rip-off rates, I'll never forget, years ago, when I'd arrive to SDQ (Las Americas). Immediately upon de-boarding there was an exchange with high commission rates. You are feeling desperate, so you change money! But then when you exit the secure area, and go to the front of the airport, you find another exchange with lower rates! Better believe that that exchange on the inside is paying higher rent.