While many visitors to the DR have become accustomed to using debit and credit cards for convenience rather than carrying cash in their own countries, cash is king in Cabarete.  You will find very few places in Cabarete that accept credit cards and those that do may charge a credit card surcharge.  Merchants prefer to deal in cash. Most will accept Dominican pesos or USD at a fair exchange rate.   Paypal is also a growing method of payment.   

The surcharge (which some business charge for credit card use) may be equal to the value added tax which all businesses, not just in the hospitality industry, have to charge for goods and services.  It is a value added tax (named ITBIS) of 18% of your bill. Very few goods and services are exempt from this tax. 

Dominican law mandates that hospitality businesses charge an additional tax that may sound exhorbitant to visitors:  a 10% service fee.  You can read more about this service fee (not to be confused with tips) on this article:  Service & Tips

Cash Withdrawals and Exchanging Money

There are 2 different bank ATMs at the Puerto Plata airport where you can get cash.  They are on the departures side of the airport and harder to access upon arrival in Puerto Plata.  In town banks will exchange USD for Dominican pesos for no transaction fee if you prefer to bring USD.  The following places usually offer the highest rates:

 - West side of Cabarete:  Caribe Express (Plaza Media Luna)

-  Center of town:   Wally Exchange House

-  East side of Cabarete:  Janet's supermarket (at customer service desk)

To check for current best rates in the area online, the only current site displaying rates for US and Canadian $, as well as Pound Sterling and Euros is this one:  http://www.wallycabarete.com/html/wal...

DO NOT change money at the airport exchange in the baggage area at Puerto Plata.  Tthe exchange rate is much worse that you'll receive in the town.  There are several ATM's in Cabarete where you can withdraw pesos. No ATM dispenses any foreign currency.  For your own protection, use an ATM attached to a bank.