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Cash and ATMs in Peru: Fees, limits, currency exchange, cards info for your travel

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Peru is a captivating destination that takes you on a voyage through time, immersing you in the rich tapestry of its ancient civilizations and breath-taking landscapes. Peru is truly a country filled with countless wonders, from the breath-taking ruins of Machu Picchu and the awe-inspiring peaks of the Andes to the bustling markets of Cusco and the lush beauty of the Amazon rainforest. Getting around this fascinating and diverse country is much easier when you have a grasp of the local cash, how to use ATMs in Peru, and the different payment methods available. Discover the financial insights that will help you navigate Peru’s vibrant culture and stunning landscapes effortlessly. Embark on a journey filled with unforgettable moments and profound experiences, all with confidence.

Do I need to have cash on hand in Peru, or can I rely solely on using my card?

Cash is still the preferred method of payment for about 70-80% of transactions. Most places, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, prefer accepting cash as a form of payment. It’s a good idea for travellers to have some cash on hand, especially when they’re outside major cities.

It’s important to have cash for:
Local trains, especially in areas where ticket machines may not accept cards.
Small purchases
Vendors selling food on the streets
Tuk-tuks and local taxis.
Food from local restaurants, especially in areas that are less crowded with tourists.
Local markets and bazaars.
Hostels and budget hotels
Entry fees for archaeological sites, museums, and historical sites?
Shopping on the streets
City buses
Tips and gratuities
Visa on Arrival
Tour operators, particularly those that are local or small-scale

Using a card can be helpful for:
Tour operators with high prices
Convenient pre-paid taxi booking services are available in larger cities.
Spas in popular tourist destinations
Trendy coffee shops in popular tourist spots
Book hotels, flights, and tours online
Renting a car
Wide array of shopping options available in malls and branded stores found in bustling cities
Customising services in big cities
Luxury accommodations
Upscale dining establishments located in popular tourist destinations
Prices for visiting popular tourist attractions and theme parks in well-known tourist destinations

Types of currencies accepted? Are US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds accepted in Peru?

In Peru, the local currency is the Peruvian Sol (PEN or S/). The note denominations available are S/10, 20, 50, 100, and 200. 

Tourist areas generally accept USD. For tour operators and hotels in touristic areas, US Dollars are widely accepted. However, if you choose to pay in US Dollars instead of Soles, the exchange rate for these payments may not be favourable.”

How can I obtain the local currency in Peru?

So, in Peru, you have 3 primary options for getting cash: ATMs and currency exchange and money transfer with local pick-up.

Here’s a helpful tip: it’s best to avoid buying Soles in your home country. Finding this currency at home might be a bit challenging since it’s not widely used, and even if you do find it, the exchange rate might not be favourable.

Where can I find ATMs in Peru?

Peru has over 32,000 ATMs available. In cities, you’ll find plenty of ATMs, and even in smaller towns, there are usually a few options available to withdraw cash in Peru. However, if you’re planning to visit remote destinations, don’t anticipate easily locating them.

ATMs can be found in many places:
Big airports
Market and town squares
Popular streets in any big city
Shopping malls
Food lanes
Branches of the bank
A few office buildings

Here are some places where finding ATMs might be a bit challenging:
Small airports
Bus stops in the area
Villages’ interiors
Hidden away in small towns, away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets
Places of worship
Remote resorts and retreats

Where are currency exchanges located in Peru?

Money exchange offices: You can easily locate authorised currency exchange centres in popular tourist areas. These centres are usually branded as currency exchanges.
Money changers on the street are known as cambistas. You’ll spot them strolling around popular tourist areas, and the authorised ones do possess valid registration certificates. The rates they offer are quite favourable. Make sure to check their licence and the notes, okay? Of course, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings to prevent any potential theft after the exchange.
Did you know that many large banks have branches inside supermarkets where you can conveniently exchange currency? Vivanda and Wong are both supermarket chains that conveniently offer currency exchange services within their stores.
Bank branches are quite convenient when it comes to converting your currency to Dong. They can easily handle currencies such as US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen, and Singapore dollars. You can anticipate paying a commission ranging from 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
Hotels and airports are both convenient places to find currency exchanges. Airports, in particular, offer a wide range of options, and you can also find currency exchange services in many hotels, both big and small. However, the exchange rates are less than ideal. 

Helpful tips:
Stay away from airport exchanges – Poor rates
Avoid the black market – Be wary of being conned.
Include fresh notes – If your notes are damaged or dirty, you can expect to pay more or less.
The rates for larger bills are higher for the US Dollar.

ATMs and currency exchanges in Peru open 24/7?

Sure, ATMs are typically open 24/7, except those inside bank branches.
Currency exchanges do not operate around the clock. They’re usually open from 9 am to 7 pm, except at airports. Note the timings.

If ATMs in Peru are able to accept foreign debit and cards? Currency exchanges?

Absolutely! You can use foreign cards at most ATMs in Peru.
Authorised money changers also have the convenience of accepting credit and debit cards. However, there are usually significant fees associated with this. It’s probably better to use cash instead.

What types of cards can I use in Peru?

Peruvian ATMs primarily accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, and Maestro cards. Just a heads up, the ATMs in Peru won’t be able to accept JCB, UnionPay Amex, Diners, Discover, or RuPay cards.
Visa and Mastercard are popular for swiping. Amex card can only be used at a limited number of locations.
For money exchange, hard cash is better. As using a card will attract extra fees.
Read this article to find out why your card may not work abroad at ATMs and what steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Do ATMs in Peru are same as those globally?

ATMs in Peru are quite modern and have similar functionality to those found in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. There may or may not be any notification to card your card out so don’t forget!

Which banks have ATMs in Peru?

Here are some of the most popular ATMs in Peru:

BCP
Interbank
Banbif
Banco de la Nacion
Caja Cusco
Caja Arequipa

There are also ATMs from international banks available in Peru, including:

Scotiabank

The Global ATM Alliance is a collaboration between multiple banks worldwide, enabling their customers to withdraw cash from partner banks abroad without incurring any ATM fees. A number of banks across different regions, such as the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and Latin America, are members of the Global ATM Alliance. This includes well-known banks like Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and several others. Scotiabank is a member of this network.

Do you happen to know what ATMs are called in Peru?

ATMs usually have noticeable signs displaying the bank’s name or terms “Cajero” or “ATM.”

ATMs and PINs in Peru

Most ATMs in Peru require a 4-digit PIN for transactions. While some ATMs may allow for longer PINs, the standard is typically 4 digits.

In addition, quite a few merchants still rely on outdated machines that only accept cards with magnetic stripes, rather than the newer chip-and-pin cards.

Language options at ATMs and currency exchanges in Peru

ATMs in Peru offer two language options: Spanish and English. Occasionally, you might come across a few European languages to choose from, but this is quite rare.

If you’re not familiar with these languages, that’s totally fine. Try out Google Translate’s camera feature to instantly translate the text on your phone! Just a heads up – these translations might not always be 100% accurate, so it’s best to take your time and not rush through the transaction.”

You can also get your cash in Peru at currency exchange places by interacting in any of the 2 languages listed above.

Fees and limitations on withdrawals from ATMs in Peru

Withdrawal limit per transaction ranges from S/ 400 to S/ 3000. Just a heads up – the withdrawal limits at night are reduced by the ATMs for security reasons, so keep that in mind depending on the time of day.

ATM fees: ATM fees in Peru can be from S/ 0 to S/ 36. So, it turns out there’s actually an ATM brand that doesn’t charge any fees at all!

Just a friendly reminder to also read:

Discover convenient options for accessing your money in Peru with ATM Fee Saver.

Discover ATMs in Peru that offer fee-free withdrawals, as well as locations for currency exchange and money transfers, by utilising the convenient ATM Fee Saver app available for both mobile and web platforms. The app provides information on the fees and withdrawal limits for foreign cardholders at these ATMs. Feel free to utilise the app’s convenient calculator to determine the precise fees associated with your withdrawals in Peru. After selecting an ATM, the app’s navigator will guide you to your destination. It includes information about 50 countries, including Peru.

To avoid high fees at currency exchanges and ATMs in Peru…

Find ATMs that don’t charge any fees while you’re in the country.
Discover fee-free or low-fee ATMs with the help of the ATM Fee Saver app.
Choose between Decline Conversion or Without Conversion when making ATM transactions.
You might want to think about getting fee-free cards from your home country.
If you’re looking for more detailed insights and alternative methods, we recommend checking out our comprehensive article on withdrawing cash abroad. Here are 9 effective methods to minimise the fees you incur when using ATMs abroad.
Steer clear of exchange offices that charge fees when exchanging money in Peru – When they mention no fee, it usually implies that they have factored in their fee within the exchange rate. There’s always a cost involved when it comes to currency exchanges.
It’s best to steer clear of using credit and debit cards for direct transactions.
Avoid purchasing Soles in your home country – It’s not a widely accepted currency and the exchange rates may not be favourable.
It’s not a good idea to bring back a large amount of Soles, as the exchange rate for selling it will be unfavourable. Plus, it’s unlikely that currency exchanges outside of Peru will accept it for buyback.

Is it safe to use currency exchanges and ATMs in Peru?

The safety of using ATMs in Peru depends on several factors:
Use the following safety measures
Where can I find the ATM?
When you use the ATM
Types of people individuals present in the vicinity of the ATM.
It’s unfortunate that incidents of cash theft outside ATMs have been reported in various situations, whether it’s late at night, on deserted streets, or even in busy areas. While it’s true that Peru, like any other place, has its share of safety concerns, it’s important to note that taking necessary precautions can greatly minimise any potential risks. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where both tourists and locals have faced threats involving theft of valuables and money, sometimes involving knives and guns.
To ensure you’re taking the necessary precautions, make sure to refer to the guidelines provided in these two articles:
Here are 8 things you should steer clear of when travelling abroad.

Here are 8 important tips to keep in mind when travelling abroad.

Is it okay to carry a lot of cash when travelling in Peru?

Not really. Carrying a significant amount of cash while travelling in Peru may not be the safest option. Well, it’s worth considering that different cities and towns have varying levels of safety. However, as a general rule, it’s a good idea to only carry the amount of cash you’ll need for the day or a few hours. If you’re planning a trip to Peru, it’s important to keep your cash safe. Here are a few tips to help you out:
All your cash in different pockets or wallets.
You might want to think about using a safety belt or fanny pack to keep some cash on hand.
Best to be cautious and avoid displaying large amounts of money in public.
Good idea to be cautious when making payments and not show all of your cash at once.
Better to keep your wallets in the front pockets of your pants, if you can.
When you find yourself in crowded places such as busy streets or public transportation, it’s important to keep a firm grip on your purses, wallets and bags and keep them close to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to withdraw cash in Peru without any fees?

Absolutely! There are three ATM brands in Peru that allow foreign card holders to make fee-free withdrawals.

Can cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other countries be used in Peru?

Definitely, without a doubt! ATMs in Peru typically accept cards from various countries including the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and others.

Do you know if there are any Bitcoin ATMs in Peru?

Unfortunately, Bank of America ATMs are not available in Peru.

Are there any Citibank ATMs available in Peru?

Sure, Peru does have a number of Citibank ATMs available.

Are there any Barclays Bank ATMs in Peru?

Unfortunately, Peru does not have any ATMs from Barclays Bank.

Are there any HSBC ATMs available in Peru?

Unfortunately, Peru does not have any HSBC ATMs.

Are there any Standard Chartered ATMs in Peru?

Unfortunately, Peru does not have any Standard Chartered ATMs available.

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