- The official currency in Brazil is the Brazilian real.
- The best currency to carry to Brazil is the US dollar or Euro. It's easier to negotiate for a good rate when using these currencies.
- US dollars are so common in Brazil, you can just pay using dollars even in small towns and you'll still get a good rate.
Do not carry traveler's cheques to Brazil. They are hardly accepted anywhere. Banco do Brasil is the only place you can easily cash traveler's cheques and they'll charge you a US$20 fee.
- ATM withdrawals will give you the best rates though your bank may charge some fee for currency conversion.
- At airports in Brazil especially GIG in Rio and GRU in Sao Paulo stick to ATM withdrawals, you'll be charged a very hefty commission if you exchange currency at foreign exchange bureaus and banks within the airport.
- Important: ATMs in Brazil only accept 4-digit pins and have a maximum withdrawal limit of R$1000, this amount is lower in most ATMs.
The disadvantage of using ATMs: Most ATMs in Brazil are closed at night, by 10 pm. The only areas you can find working ATMs at night is within malls, gas stations, and airports. Plus ATMs run out cash during major vacations such as the Carnaval, get cash in advance.
Foreign exchange bureaus (Casa De Cambios)
- Foreign exchange bureaus come in second after ATMs but I wouldn't recommend exchanging large amounts of currency at exchange houses since pickpockets tend to loiter around exchange houses and you can easily be a target.
- Casas give better rates than banks since they decide their own rates, particularly cases in Copacabana, Rio, you won't find better rates than at these casas.
Find here: list of Casas in Rio and their euro exchange rates.
Credit Card Payments
- Most commonly accepted cards: Mastercard and Visa. American Express and Diners are accepted at few places in Brazil.