Expats' Corner September 30, 2022 | 2:08 pm

US Dollar versus Dominican peso? Bank accounts for Dominican Republic’s foreigners

Banking and money transfers into and out of the Dominican Republic become increasingly crucial as more foreign ex-pats establish themselves in the country. Foreigners can open a bank account in either local pesos, US dollars, or both.

During an interview, the lawyer Maria Abreu stated, “They must remember that most residence programs require applicants to have a local bank account (in dollars or pesos). Therefore, their lawyer ought to be able to help them open a Dominican bank account if they’re going through the residency procedure.” She then informed us which of the two options was best. 

“A US dollar account is a good option because it’s a stable currency, so you’re not going to worry about devaluation or fluctuations,” she explains that it is easier to wire money from the states to their account. They won’t have to deal with exchange rates. Adding on to this, most tourist places in DR charge rent in dollars, and property is also sold in this currency.  

However, she also states that “A Dominican peso account makes sense because home utility expenses will be charged in pesos (water, gas, electricity, internet, etc.), and you’re not going to want to deal with exchange rates every time you need to pay the gas bill.” Local store addition, locale in pesos, supermarkets, and other places like local restaurants. Abreu adds that services such as taxi rides and even tips are all in pesos, so it’s best also to have the local currency.

“If you plan to live the DR full time, then two accounts, one for each currency, may be the best way to go. You’ll be able to wire cash to and from your US bank account easily. Plus, you’ll be able to take care of their local day-to-day expenses and ongoing monthly utilities with no issues.” Abreu clarified.


Maria Abreu is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Abreu & Associates, a law firm practicing exclusively in Dominican Republic Immigration and Nationality law. She is also the founder of Retire and Invest DR. This organization hosts conference events for foreigners interested in living, retiring, and investing in the DR. You can contact Maria at: mabreu@abreuimmigration.com.

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