When traveling to a foreign country, one of the most asked questions visitors have is regarding currency. Don't arrive in the Dominican Republic unawares, you can plan how to handle paying for goods well in advance of your trip.
The official monetary unit for the Dominican Republic is the peso (written RD$), which are made up of 100 centavos. These pesos are worth about 0.03($USD), and $38.15(RD) is the equivalent to $1(USD). Most places in the Dominican Republic accept the United States dollar.
There is a law, that is usually unenforced, that requires visitors to change at least $100(USD) into pesos. Though this law is mostly ignored, travelers should be prepared in case it is enforced without notice. It also good to have pesos, because some independent vendors may not accept U.S. dollars. As tourists, travelers should understand which currency is to be used during a transaction.
U.S. one dollar bills are used widely on the island, and extremely popular for tipping. There are exchange offices, or cambios, in the airports and most major shopping centers on the island. Sometimes they have better exchange rates than at the banks. Vacationers can keep up to date currency rates by checking posted rates day to day.
U.S. dollar travelers checks are easily exchanged at banks and cambios, but travelers checks from other countries mostly only exchanged in banks that host citizens of that particular country on a regular basis. When making a currency exchange, always get a receipt, this will be proof that you made the exchange legally in case the issue ever arises.
To get the best exchange rates, it is recommended that travelers use credit cards whenever possible. Major credit cards are a must for some places, like hotels and rental car agencies, and are generally accepted at most major businesses around the island. Carrying a credit card is also safer than having large amounts of cash on you persons.
ATM machines are located around the Dominican Republic. Banco Popular, ATH Dominica and Red Cash have many locations in the Republic. Travelers can receive cash advances through CrediProgreso in major cities and can be reach toll free by dialing 1-200-3233 on the island.
Don't let that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a souvenire that speaks to you more than any other, or end up unable to pay in a restaurant because you were unprepared. Because method of payment varies depending upon what you are buying and where you are buying it from, it is always a good idea to have a few different options on hand.
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