Dominican Businesseshere in The Colonial Zone are aplenty. Just about every type business you could imagine. In this his small town environment among the oldest buildings in the Americas, you can find almost anything you could need. With businesses hiding in every nook and cranny. I never realized there was so much in this small area until I really took notice. Many places do not have a sign outside and if there is a sigh many times it is not visible or so small it goes unnoticed.
When shopping or staying in the country please try to help out the little business person as much as possible. Sleep, eat, enjoy Dominican. Also remember when doing any type of business in Dominican Republic, from leaving your clothes at a dry cleaner to buying furniture for a home, there are things that one much be aware of. The main thing I suggest is to take your time. Dominicans love to talk. They like to take things slow. Its too hot to get worked up over things. Take time, get to know who your dealing with. Also ask around. Talk to the locals and see which businesses they recommend. Here in Dominican Republic it is not only what you know but who you know that makes dealing with many things go much smoother.
With all the businesses here and them changing almost everyday it will be difficult to add them all, but we sure will try. If you have a business or know of any businesses we should add here please email us and let us know. Also if we have any information incorrect.
The Dominican Peso or Peso Oro is the base currency of the Dominican Republic. The "$" sign is used with "RD$" One peso is worth 100 centavos ("cents").
Very rarely will you receive "menudo" (change) when purchasing anything. The smallest coin you will normally receive is 1 peso (in the form of a coin).
Many establishments will NOT take bills that are torn or in very bad shape so when you receive money do make sure it is in decent shape (most Colmados will take older money) without pen marks and such.
The DOP has a new look as of October 2014. There are also better security measures on all the bills and they have brighter colors plus the old bills had the Dominican National Flower flor de caoba while the new paper monies have the new National Flower the Flor de Bayahíbe.
When paying with larger bills establishments will either rub the bill on something to see if the ink will smear or hold it under a light to look for the water markings. Counterfeiting bills is a big problem in Dominican Republic.
It is best when visiting local establishments to have smaller bills. Most businesses do not have small change and will go to no great effort to make change for you so small bills are defiantly a good thing to have. In some smaller stores they will give you a Chicklet or Halls candy as change if they do not have the correct amount. Do be aware of your change and what you are charged for an item. More information and helps about money in Dominican Republic.
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chiclets, halls, candy and pesos are all a form of cash
ATM's are a great option to get your cash while in Dominican Republic. Just be aware of where and when you use them, as in any country you find yourself. If you only have one card and this is your only way to receive money I would use caution. Many machines are not in the best working order and can eat your card (if you can locate a swipe instead of an insert card ATM machine it is a little safer). If you do decide to take money from a credit card think about entering a bank to do this just to be on the safe side. Use the machine inside the bank or better yet go to the teller and let her get the money out for you this way you are sure not to lose your card and only way to access your cash. Remember - Make sure you have your passport with you when doing any bank transaction.
When your traveling or at home a pre paid credit card might just be the right choice. This way if your card is stolen or lost your main accounts will not be wiped out. Put how much money you need on the card and don't worry.
Dominican Republic does have a very high rate of credit card fraud and thievery.
Banks here in Dominican Republic, in general, are the same as in USA. Most banks one can open an account in Dominican Pesos (DOP) or US Dollars (USD) and other money types as well. Just remember that in Dominican Republic the money in the bank is not insured like in USA (FDIC) and if the bank does collapse, as one did in the recent past, you could lose some cash. Credit cards here can also be had but Dominican Republic has some of the highest incidences of credit card theft in the world. So just be aware. * With the new laws for a person to open an account in DR you need bank referals from your home country and other information. It is not as simple as it used to be.
Here is a list of some of the banks in the country. For some of the banks web sites go to our links page.
ATH Dominicana, Banco BHD, Banco Central de la Republica Dominicana, Banco Mercantil, Scotiabank, Banco de Reservas, Banco Popular, Banco Agricola, Banco Global, Banco del Progreso, Banco FiduciarioCitibank, Banco BHD, Banco Osaka, Banco Metropolitano.
This is a great tool for finding the exchange rate in Dominican Republic and almost any other country where you might want to visit.
*NOTE* I have exchange rate tools from 2 different companies as each gives a slightly different exchange rate. This is the same as exchange houses and banks.Each could have slightly different rates so check around if you have time for the best rates. These exchange rate calculators are good tools to use for a general idea of the exchange rates.
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+click to enlarge Dominican Peso notes legal tender after October 2014.