Destination Currency Guides

All the information you need to ensure your travel money goes further


  • Competitive exchange rates – see rates
  • Notes in a range of denominations
  • Pre-order online, contact us to make a reservation or visit us in-store


Brazilian Real and US Dollar Cash

The official currency of Brazil is the Brazilian Real and this will be accepted everywhere on your travels. Although it is probably not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash with you in Brazil, having some local currency in your pocket can save you time and money on many occasions. Having local currency on hand can:

  • be handy for small purchases such as something to eat or drink
  • get you on a bus or train
  • give you some tipping money where you might need it
  • give you an alternative method of payment in the event you are unable to pay with a card or you are charged an additional fee to pay with a card
  • be a back up source of funds if an ATM does not accept your card

US Dollars in small denominations (5’s, 10’s and 20’s) are handy as a back-up source of cash, as some operators will accept these as payment and they are also easily converted for more Real. If you are visiting other countries in South America on the same trip, the US Dollars will serve as a back-up source of funds and payment in these countries too. Ensure you have excellent quality, new US Dollar notes – as older poor quality notes may be refused.

ATM access 

ATM access is widespread in Brazil, with most ATM’s operating 24 hours a day and suitable for international debit or credit card use. If you are staying in a remote area, you can search here for a guide* to ATM’s available in your location. There is always the possibility that an ATM will not accept an international card, so planning a bit of pocket cash will get you through an emergency.


Using your credit or debit card

International credit cards are welcome at most retailers, restaurants and hotels in Brazil – however if you are heading out of major cities, just check in with your accommodation provider first. If you are planning to take your debit card with you, It is important to make sure that your card will work overseas. Look on the front and back of your card and make sure that there is a Visa, Mastercard or American Express symbol on the card. If there are none of these symbols, there may be a Maestro or Cirrus logo – these cards will only work at ATM’s that display the Cirrus or Maestro logo. Remember to check in with your bank to make sure that you are fully aware of the fees you will be charged to make purchases or to withdraw money from an ATM in Brazil. Click here to see common credit/debit card fees and charges before you speak with your bank.


Do you have a back up plan in the event your card is skimmed or copied?

Always prepare for the event that your card is lost, stolen or skimmed by having an emergency contact number readily available – as card fraud is an increasing threat to travellers. What options are available to you if you are unable to use your bank card when you are in Brazil? You can avoid the disaster of having no access to cash by considering a travel card that gives you a free back-up card in the case of an emergency. Read more about how a travel card can give you an account that is not linked to your personal bank accounts, plus access to 24/7 phone support and emergency cash in as little as 20 minutes.


Save on bank fees and buy Brazilian Real cash at Exchange Now:

  • Competitive exchange rates – see rates
  • Notes in a range of denominations
  • Pre-order online, contact us to make a reservation or visit us in-store


*Card payment surcharges apply to certain transactions online and in-store. Exchange Now have free payment options available to you, please click here to read all applicable card payment surcharges.

Country Brazil
Capital City Brasilia
Official Currency Brazilian Real
Smallest Note 2 Real
Largest Note 100 Real
Cash Available to Purchase Yes