Handling Dominican Republic Money

July 14, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ CURRENCY

Dominican Republic Money

How to Work & Play with Dominican Republic Money

Dominican Republic money is fairly easy to cacluclate. The greatest difficulty a first timer will face is change. Change is difficult to come by–and you wind up over tipping and over paying if you do not have proper change. Most items, services, and real estate is less expensive in the D.R. However, getting your currency into Dominican Republic pesos can cost some money; and can add up to quite a bit, if you neglect to manage your money exchange.

Dominican Republic Money

Dominican Republic Currency

Dominican Republic Money

Like many Caribbean countries, dollars are accepted in some places. However, in smaller local situations you will need pesos. Dominican Republic money is called pesos, but is not the same as Mexican pesos. As of March of 2018, the value of Dominican Republic pesos is as follows:

49 pesos to American dollar roughly translates to (rounding for easy mental calculating)

$1.00 USD = 49 pesos                      100 Peso Bill = $2.04

$10.00 USD = 490 pesos                  500 Peso Bill = $10.25

$100.00 USD = 4,900 pesos           1000 Peso Bill = $20.50


Exchanging Foreign Money for Dominican Money

Dominican Peso Showing Exchange Rates

Money changing almost always comes with a cost, and the challenge is to get the most for your money when exchanging currencies. In my experience, the best way to change your currency is to go to a local bank. The bank will give you the best and most current exchange rate. As of March 2018, the exchange rate for USD is 49 pesos per dollar (in a bank). I do not recommend changing your money in the airport or on the street as you will get just about the worst exchange rate possible.

You can also go to an ATM machine and the money will deliver in pesos. This is will also be the going bank rate, but the other thing to consider is that the ATM fee in the D.R. is about 195 pesos. This is quite steep considering most ATM machines dispense a maximum of 5000 pesos, a little over $110 USD. This means you are spending about 4-5% in ATM fees. It is best to find an ATM machine that will allow at least 10,000 pesos withdrawal at a time, and reduce the cost of getting pesos to about  1-2%. But that is not always easy–you’ll need to find someone in the know.

Using Debit & Credit Cards to Get Dominican Money

Not all places accept debit or credit cards, but most of the major grocery stores accept them without charging an additional fee. If a major chain you are usually safe in using your debit or credit card to buy groceries. This is a good way to eliminate the cost of exchanging money, as the exchange is done via your bank and if there is any charge, it is minimal. Before you leave to the Dominican Republic, give your banks a call and let them know where you are going and for how long, so that your card will not get declined.

Many establishments charge an extra 5% for using your credit card. Today, when buying some contact lens solution in the pharmacy, I gave them my Visa card and they let me know there would be an additional 5% so I paid with the cash I got from the ATM which was only 1% fee charged money.

When using your debit or credit card exercise caution, especially at ATM machines. Cover your pin number, as some of these machines are corrupted with a device that reads your information and then a credit card is created from that and used for a few days, or at least until you or your bank put a hold on the card. Cover your pin number when typing it into the machine at all times. Be sure you watch the person who is using your credit card and do not allow the credit/debit card to be out of your site, where your card details could be copied down.

When selecting an ATM machine, choose one that is guarded by security personnel. If the ATM is not guarded I would not use it. That machine is more likely to be corrupted and also it is not safe to walk away from an ATM machine that is unguarded. You leave yourself vulnerable to theft in using an unguarded ATM machine.

To Tip or Not to Tip … and How Much?

Often times a 10% tip is built into a restaurant check. Once you get the check you might check to see if they are charging the extra 10^%. Dominican Republic service people are paid a regular Dominican wage, health insurance, and other benefits. such as a free meal before they start to work. Therefore tips are voluntary, and I would suggest around 10%. Also, keep in mind that any tips made are pooled and divided with everyone on the shift including the cook. When you tip you are tipping the entire service staff. As a tourist, you may also be charged an 18% tourist tax on restaurant bills, and hotel bills and sometimes other merchandise. Be sure to factor in an additional 28% when eating at a restaurant or paying a hotel bill.