Currency exchange

I'll be in DR for two weeks and would like to exchange some of my dollars for pesos. Would I get a better deal with my local bank, an American airport or the Dominican airport?

we use our bank here. never the airport. I would just let your bank know your coming here and when you return. then use your ATM. been doing it that way for years with no problem Scotiabank is good.

Agreed!   Don't use any airport exchange house anywhere, it will not  be a good exchange rate .  Make sure to notify your bank you are coming even if you do not plan to use your  cards here,  you never know what might happen.

What do you mean by "then use your atm"?

IF you have a bank card to withdraw  from your bank account. Its a debit card that allows you to withdraw cash from your bank. ATM= Automatic Teller Machine. If you do not have one you can get one at bank but can take 5 days to arrive. not sure what country you live in. Maybe they do not use ATM debit cards

Hahaha I know what ATM means and I have a debit card. What I am asking is are you saying that I should use the ATM in DR instead of going somewhere to convert my money?

Use your local bank, it is safer & about the best rate. It took me a long time & many referras to meet the local money changer that I used most of the time.  He would give a peso to a peso & a half above the national rate. But you had to change at least $150 US.  Again, use your local bank. If you must use an ATM, never on a Friday or weekend, or holiday. They will be out of money!

She doesn't have a local bank Gypsy - so YES you can use the ATM to get cash if needed at a decent exchange rate.

You can go into any local bank and exchange money too but you need your passport with you.

Thanks gypsy.

I do have a local bank. Well... I use Wells Fargo

Gypsy was referring to a local bank here. Wells Fargo doesn't exist here.

make it easy. its not a big deal

Wow lots of post for a  simple answer.
1.  NEVER exchange at home, airports or hotels.  They will kill you on the rate.
2.  Use local (DR) exchange houses, banks or Caribe tours offices for the best rates. Even some of the local grocery stores here on the north coast will give you a good rate.
3.  ATMs are a very good alternative but notify your home bank of your travel plans if you are going to use an ATM or Credit card for anything otherwise they will put a hold on your card fearing fraud
3.  Remember ATMs will only dispense PESOS not DOLLARS and try to use an ATM that is attached (physically) to a bank here incase there is a problem.

4. Most important...............Have a great trip

Bob K

Even longer now jejejeje

As a fequent tourist I will add some tips:

- Like already stated: never ever exchange money at any Office at the Airport even if they say No commission (that is a joke.)

- Notify your Bank before your travel if you have a withdraw limit, the Bank system may assume it is a fraud and can block withdrawing and if it happens on Weekend it can be very difficult to unblock it.

- Prepare a 10 USD bill for Entry Tourist Tax at the Airport .

- It you want money at the Airport, you have almost for sure ATMs at the ARRIVALS gate ground floor.

- Carry a security cash amount about 200-300 USD if no ATM at your arrival.

- If you use ATM most of Banks (Banco Popular ect) will charge you 190 pesos commission right away (5 USD) so avoid to withdraw small amounts. (less than 5.000 pesos, 110 USD)

- If you forget your card code or can't withdraw for whatever reason you can go in a Bank Office desk and withdraw money with your card and your passport.

- Best rate and safest places to exchange cash are Bank offices and Western Union offices called VIMENCA.  WU does very good exchange rate.

While on this subject:

Do not use an ATM if you are alone after dark!

Do not let others see you withdraw large amounts of money!  Remember here "Large" is relative!  Most people earn less then US 300 a month.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and NEVER flash large amounts of money.

I cannot count the number of times I have seen men (Expat and Local)  carrying their wads of  cash and pulling it out of their pockets to "Peel" off  bills to pay!    It just isn't smart!  Don't go looking for trouble.

Keep  money in various places.  While I may carry a purse and wallet, I almost always have smaller amounts of money in my pockets. It avoids opening my purse and wallet multiple times.   

Never carry ALL your ID with you.   As an Expat carry a copy of your passport, leave the original elsewhere.  I carry a copy of my license and my cedula!

helps to have a mean wife to. most men afraid of my esposa

Hahahahaha  that is funny texas!

I'll chime in here having just used (western union alternative) both to wire 43.770 from my bank to a DR bank account AND using a debit card I sent 84.000 pesos to be picked up.

$5 to use bank account but it take 5-7 business day to pick if you have the luxury of's really cheap and was a very good exchange rate....better than credit card/ATM (Just FYI: You have to have the funds delivered in pesos, and make sure your recipient gives you the account number fthat is a pesos account! It cost $20 (?) To deliver in $US or any other currency that is not the 'home' currency) it's $75 to have funds there 15 minutes! 

I plan to xoom myself some money for next week at the $5 rate...thought that was pretty cool. Maybe we don't need a bank there until we live there permanently?!  Also, xoom relaoads phones and claims to allow one to pay electric bill online...has anyone done this???

All good advice. 

Another good place to exchange money is at a Caribe tours office.  Here on the north coast usually pretty close to the best rate you can get.

After being here a bit and with an account at a bank (Santa Cruz) I ask for and get a much better rate on exchange.

I also agree with never carry large amounts of $$$. and NEVER flash rolls of bills.

Bob K

Update to the xoom wire immediate transfers are available for $14.99 with credit card instead of $74.99...AND if you've wired money to a particular person before (aka a yourself, or spouse, or expat friend) it seems to be immediate from your bank account too! (cost $4.99)  Good exchange rate too.

What about Dwolla! Is anyone familiar with it? Does anyone use it in the DR?

Never heard of it.

brodies2013 :

Update to the xoom wire immediate transfers are available for $14.99 with credit card instead of $74.99...AND if you've wired money to a particular person before (aka a yourself, or spouse, or expat friend) it seems to be immediate from your bank account too! (cost $4.99)  Good exchange rate too.

Thanks, this will be very useful for me. Only problem is the app for smart phone is not available to download from DR or Canada. I am in Santo Domingo and will try using a VPN. So far unsuccessful probably due to the slow internet here at my hotel.

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