What's the best way to get Reals for Brazil?

cbbsas

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Shocked to see WU isn't the answer for everything! Advice on how to get the best rate would be greatly appreciated thanks
 

antipodean

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In Brazil ATMs and foreign credit/ debit cards are fine to use. Depends more than anything on your bank and its fees but if you have access to EU banking them something like N26 will be fee free and transactions almost at the interbank official rate.

If you need to change ARS to BRL, that is another story.
 

dsp27

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Shocked to see WU isn't the answer for everything! Advice on how to get the best rate would be greatly appreciated thanks
Do you have a US or EU debit ATM card with no or low fees? Then use it to extract at ATMs. Only use ATMs that are inside a bank branch as cloning is an issue. Might be a good idea to change your pin once you are back.
Most importantly, if you have not foreign transaction fee card, you will be able to pay with a foreign credit card almost everywhere in Brazil, many places take Apple Pay too. Even the peddlers selling you stuff on the beach accept “cartão” so just use your card where you can. Last time I was in Brazil I didn’t use cash a single time.
 

SecretShopper

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Be VERY CAREFUL using credit cards in Brazil. If you are not careful you can pay up to a 50 percent increase in price. Practically all restaurants near copacabana will try it if you don't pay attention.

If you have a US credit card the machines will have the option to pay in US dollars and do the conversion, like a lot of other countries. But the rate is murder, literally 50 percent more. I always pay in local currency with credit cards but I always notice the attempted exchange. For instance, I had to option to pay 200 real (less than 40usd) or 60 usd.

Always use contact less payments with your card because it doesn't give them the option to choose that way. Some machines will refuse the contact less payments and it's certain those machine will ask a choice of conversion. I usually take the machine myself so the server can't choose quickly.

But I actually prefer to go to the atm and get cash. This is what I do in most countries as most have fee free atms and if you're not dumb enough to accept the atms conversion, you will get the real conversion from your bank.
 
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