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Cash & ATMs in Brazil: All on fees, limits, forex, cards & more

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cash currency exchange atms in brazil

Brazil, a vast country with vibrant culture, lush rainforests, and iconic beaches, provides an unforgettable experience for all visitors. It is a land of contrasts and excitement, from the rhythms of Rio Carnival to the wonders of the Amazon rainforest and the golden beaches of Copacabana. To ensure a smooth journey, become acquainted with the local currency, ATM usage, and payment methods… and enjoy all Brazil has to offer without worrying constantly about managing your money.

Will I need cash in Brazil, or can I just use my card?

While credit and debit cards are widely used, cash remains popular in many places, accounting for approximately 47% of transactions. Tourists can use cards for convenience in cities and resorts, but cash is required for markets, remote areas, and islands.

You’ll need cash for:

Local buses and other informal public transportation.
Taxis, particularly outside major metropolitan areas.
Street vendors and small, local markets.
Tips and gratuities, as adding tips to card transactions may not always be possible.
Some smaller cafes and restaurants, particularly those located outside of popular tourist areas.
Some hostels and budget hotels (that may accept cards but charge additional fees to swipe them).
Local artisans and markets, particularly in less developed areas.

You can use your card at:

Many hotels
Shopping centres, especially in popular tourist destinations like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Entry fees to major tourist attractions, museums, and cultural sites.
Large tour operators or high value tours
Shows and other forms of entertainment
Transportation services such as app-based taxis.

Note – Some tours will only accept payments through PayPal.

What currencies are accepted?

Brazil’s official currency is the Brazilian Real (BRL). Note denominations are R$ 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. This is most commonly accepted.
US Dollars are accepted for online tours and luxury hotels in major tourist areas. But otherwise, expect to pay in Real only. Don’t rely on using Pounds and Euros.

How to obtain local currency and money in Brazil?

There are three main ways to obtain cash in Brazil: ATMs, Currency Exchange, or Money Transfer.

Where can I find ATMs in Brazil?

There are over 170,000 ATMs in Brazil. These are operated by over ten commercial and specialised banks and some foreign banks. Many of them can be found on main shopping streets in cities, and there are certainly a few options in smaller towns (at least 1-2 ATMs) to get money in Brazil. However, if you are travelling to remote locations, such as islands, don’t expect to find them.

ATMs are commonly found at:

Major airports
Market and town squares
Every major town’s main tourist streets
Shopping malls
Food lanes
Bank branches
Several corporate buildings

The following are the locations where ATMs will be difficult to find:

Small airports.
Regional bus stops.
Interior of the villages.
In small towns, off the main roads.
Remote resorts and retreats.

Note – if you plan to go to the Amazon via Manaus, get your money in Manaus. It’s going to be very difficult to find ATMs beyond that.

Currency exchanges in Brazil?

You can use these places to exchange money in Brazil:

Authorised currency exchange centres: You will find them in all touristy destinations in Rio on the shopping streets along Copacabana and in São Paolo near Bella Vista, branded as currency exchanges. Ask to see their authorisation certificate and check if they ask you for documents. These are signs of an authorised exchange centre.
Banks: Bank branches can also easily convert your currency to Real, especially from currencies like US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars. Expect a pay a commission of 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
Hotels and airports: Airports have lots of currency exchanges and so do many large and small hotels. But the exchange rates are not great. Some large hotels may offer rates similar to banks.


Don’t exchange at airports – rates are poor
Don’t exchange at black market – it is likely a scam
Bring new notes – damaged, dirty notes will get you lesser rates or higher fees

What cards are accepted in Brazil?

In Brazil, ATMs typically accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, JCB, UnionPay, Troy, and MIR. The cards which are not commonly accepted are American Express, Diners, Discover, or Rupay cards.

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted for swipe transactions. You can use your Amex in a few places.

Currency exchanges prefer hard cash to exchange. Visa is widely accepted, followed by MasterCard. Please be aware of the fees you will incur if you use your card at a currency exchange.

Are ATMs in Brazil comparable to other countries?

Yes. Many ATMs especially inside bank branches are very modern and work similarly to those found in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. Some of them take your card completely inside during the transaction, so remember to take it after withdrawing cash from such ATMs.

ATMs can also offer currency conversion options such as ‘With Conversion’/’Accept Conversion’ or ‘Without Conversion’/’Decline Conversion’. To avoid optional extra fees, select ‘Without Conversion’ or ‘Decline Conversion’.

Banco 24 hours
Banco Bradesco

Other banks have ATMs that accept international debit and credit cards.

Global ATM Alliance: The Global ATM Alliance is a partnership between many banks around the world that allows its customers to withdraw cash from all partner banks abroad without incurring any ATM fees. The Global ATM Alliance includes many banks from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and Latin America, such as Bank of America, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank. However, no local banks in Brazil are part of this network. So do not rely on this.

What are ATMs called in Brazil?

ATMs typically display the words ‘extratos’ or may not have any signage. You won’t see the word ‘ATM’ commonly used.

ATMs and PINs in Brazil

PIN Length: ATMs typically accept 4-digit and 6-digit PINs.

Merchants accept both Chip-and-PIN and magnetic stripe cards.

Languages at ATMs and currency exchanges in Brazil

By default, ATMs in Brazil have two language options: Portuguese and English. If you don’t understand these languages, you can use Google Translate’s camera to translate the ATM screen on your phone in real time. Note that these translations are not always accurate, so don’t rush through the transaction.

You can also interact in the two languages mentioned above at currency exchanges in Brazil. Some may also speak Spanish.

Withdrawal limits and ATM fees in Brazil

Here’s some good news! In Brazil, ATM fees range from R0 to R24. This means that there is one ATM brand that does not charge any fees!

In Brazil, ATM withdrawal limits range between R2,000 and R2,500 per transaction.

ATM Fee Saver mobile app and web app provide information on fee-free and low-fee ATMs, currency exchanges, and money transfer places in Brazil. Download now. The app displays the fees for foreign cardholders at these ATMs, as well as their withdrawal limits. You can calculate the exact fees for any withdrawal amount in Brazil. When you select an ATM, the app’s navigation tool will direct you to it. The app provides information on 50 countries, including Brazil.

To avoid high fees at Brazilian currency exchanges and ATMs…

Use fee-free ATMs throughout the country.
Use the ATM Fee Saver app to locate fee-free or low-cost ATMs.
Select “Decline Conversion” or “Without Conversion” during ATM transactions.
Consider getting fee-free cards from your home country.

For currency exchange:
Avoid no-fee exchange offices at all costs when getting money in Brazil. If they say no fee, it means they factor their fee into the exchange rate. Nothing is ever free in currency exchange.
Avoid using credit or debit cards for direct transactions.
Do not buy Real in your home country. It is not a popular currency, so you will get poor exchange rates.
Don’t bring a lot of Real back home because the exchange rate to sell will be poor. And it is unlikely that currency exchanges outside of Brazil will buy it back.

Are Brazil’s currency exchanges and ATMs safe?

The safety of using ATMs in Brazil depends on a few factors:

Location of the ATM
Time spent using the ATM
People inside and around the ATM
There have been numerous reports of being mugged for cash outside ATMs, particularly at night, on empty streets, and even in crowded areas. Even though you are generally safe if you take precautions, tourists and locals in Brazil are frequently threatened with knives and guns for stealing valuables and money.

Is it safe to carry cash while travelling in Brazil?

Generally, no. When travelling in Brazil, it is not safe to carry large amounts of cash. Of course, some cities and towns are safer than others, but in general, you should only carry enough cash to last the day or a few hours. Since you will need to have some cash on hand when travelling in Brazil, here are some tips for keeping it safe:

Avoid keeping all of your cash in one pocket or wallet. Spread it out.
Consider using a safety belt or fanny pack to store cash.
Avoid displaying large sums of money in public.
When making a payment, avoid revealing all of your money at once.
Keep your wallets in your pants’ front pockets, if possible.
In congested areas, such as busy streets or public transportation, keep your purses, wallets and bags close to you.


Can I withdraw cash in Brazil for free?

Yes, you can withdraw cash for free from one bank’s ATM.

Are US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other credit cards accepted in Brazil?

Definitely yes! ATMs in Brazil typically accept credit cards from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and other countries.

Are there bitcoin ATMs in Brazil?

Yes, some Bitcoin ATMs exist in Brazil, mainly in São Paolo.

Are there any Bank of America ATMs in Brazil?

There are no Bank of America ATMs in Brazil.

Any Barclays Bank ATMs in Brazil?

There are no Barclays ATMs in Brazil.

Any HSBC ATMs in Brazil?

Yes, there are many HSBC ATMs throughout Brazil.

Any Standard Chartered ATMs in Brazil?

Brazil does not have any Standard Chartered ATMs.

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