As you prepare for your trip to Punta Cana, you’ll want to know which currency to use, the exchange rate, tipping etiquette, etc.
The Dominican peso, written as RD $, is the national currency of the Dominican Republic. When compared to other Caribbean destinations, the Dominican Republic offers better exchange values, especially in terms of US dollars and Euros, thus giving visitors more value for their money.
Exchange rates fluctuate constantly. As of writing, it’s 56 DOP to 1 USD, but that could change at any time.
Here’s a quick way to remember Dominican Pesos ($RD):
$1 USD= 50 RD$
$5 USD= 250 RD$
$10 USD- 500 RD$
Where to exchange money in Punta Cana?
AIRPORT- Punta Cana international airport is the first place in the Dominican Republic where you can exchange money. However, if you don’t want to spend too much time at the airport, there are many exchange offices in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic later on.
CITY STREETS– Most of the country’s major urban centers, such as Santo Domingo, have several of these exchange offices dotted around the downtown area, particularly around the colonial city which is the location of the first settlement established in the city and boasts the country’s largest collection of monuments. Thus, if you are visiting the capital city, you are able to exchange currency here as well as in major cities such as Santiago de los Caballeros or places such as Puerto Plata.
AT THE HOTEL– The majority of hotels offer currency exchange services to their guests. In many cases, it can be done directly in the reception area, but in other cases, a specific location is provided.
SHOPPING CENTERS– Exchange offices are convenient for shopping, so you’ll find them in busy commercial areas, such as The Boulevard. This means that you can exchange currencies there if you want to buy things in stores in the area.
Can I pay with a debit/ credit card? – You’ll be able to use debit or credit cards (MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted) in the main tourist areas and cities. Some large hotels, shops, and restaurants accept American Express cards. Smaller establishments and convenience stores around town do not. Taxis do not accept cards either. It’s always smart to be prepared and have extra cash on hand just in case.
ATMs in Punta Cana– ATMs are popping up all over town, especially around Santo Domingo and tourist resort cities such as Punta Cana, La Romana, and Puerto Plata. Most banks are members of the Cirrus, PLUS, and Maestro networks, so you’ll be able to use your American credit and debit cards. However, do not rely on it as sometimes they’re out of order or out of money. In some cases, the bank blocks your card and denies the transaction. Regardless, ATMs can be unreliable, so it’s best not to use one while on your trip.
Banks– Banks are generally open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Banks are also available at shopping centers/malls and supermarkets that operate longer hours. In airport terminals, you can find 24-hour banks available to serve travelers as they arrive.
Tipping is customary in restaurants, bars and cafes, hotels, and other places where staff can rely on tips to boost their paychecks. If you get exceptional service, give a little extra.
If you’re at an all-inclusive resort, tips are not required – but they are always appreciated! Feel free to tip 1-2 USD to the bell boy, servers, concierge, or anyone you feel has done an exceptional job during your stay. If you go out to eat, some restaurants already include gratuity on the check. If it’s not listed there, you can leave 10 percent if you enjoyed your meal and the service.