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joaquin torres

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I grew up and live in Santiago

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Americas > Chile > Useful Info
Updated on Aug 20, 2020 Useful Info

How to use ATMs when traveling in Chile

  • While credit cards is probably the best way to pay for things in Chile, I still recommend carrying CLP$100,000-CLP$200,000 (USD$130-$260) of cash with you to pay at a small number of places that don't accept credit cards
  • In Chile, the best way to get cash is to use an ATM, which all work with international bank cards/debit cards. While there are fees to use foreign cards at ATMs, they're very reasonable and won't be much worse than converting money at currency exchanges, while being much more convenient than using currency exchanges. Below are more details on using ATMs in Chile


  • Accepted bank cards:
  • Cards issued by most banks in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, can be used at the ATMs in Chile
  • To be more specific, cards on the Cirrus and PLUS network can be used on pretty much all ATMs, so if your bank card/debit card has one of these sign it should be good for use anywhere here:User submitted photo of ChileUser submitted photo of Chile
  • All ATMs in Chile now accept both of these networks, but until a few years ago BancoEstado, which is one of the biggest banks in Chile, only took Cirrus cards
  • If your card doesn't have one of these logos, it's probably not going to be usable in Chile


  • Where to find ATMs:
  • It's very easy to find ATMs here they're really everywhere
  • All bank branches have ATMs, as do the shopping malls. So if you need to find an ATM just find the nearest bank or shopping complex. Outside of cities, most gas stations also have ATMs, although the fees charged at these places will tend to be higher
  • Google Maps can help you locate the closest machine. ATMs are called Cajero in Spanish, and is short for Cajero Automático. On Google maps just search for cajero and it will show you the closest one. If you don't have internet you can also ask locals for directions to the nearest cajero
  • Try to only use ATMs inside bank branches, for two reasons. First, the fees of bank ATMs are lower than non-bank ATMs since non-bank ATMs are operated by private owners that make money from people withdrawing money from these machines. Second, bank ATMs are in secure locations and therefore almost impossible to be tampered with. Non-bank ATMs, especially the ones located outside, have higher chance of security breaches (like card skimmers) to steal your card information


  • ATM fees:
  • There is a fee for using ATMs with a foreign bank card, and the fees are all the same no matter which bank's ATM you use
  • The cost is flat CLP$5,000 (USD$6.5) per withdrawal, regardless of how much money you take out, and a max limit of CLP$200,000 (USD$265) per withdrawal . So this work out to be 2.5% fee
  • There are a small number of ATMs that charge higher fees like CLP$5,500-CLP$6,000, and also some allow higher limits up to CLP$300,000. But these are very rare and most people won't come across these machines
  • A number of years ago there were some banks that didn't charge any fees for foreign cards but as far as I know I think currently all banks charge fees
  • Keep in mind that in addition to the fees charged by the Chilean ATMs, your own bank may also charge an additional fee for making international withdrawals. These fees vary a lot by bank so it's best to check with them directly
  • The exchange rates used by the ATMs are pretty good from what I've seen, usually just 1% off the mid market rates you see on websites like XE.com. The spread varies by your home currency, and if it's not major currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, then the spread will be higher. However, the exchange rate is generally speaking very competitive and comparable to what you can get at one of the downtown currency exchange shops (casa de cambios)