Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Tip of the Week: Money Matters

By Brazil Ecojourneys team.
After a month of huge variations in exchange rates throughout the world, we thought it was a good idea to give you some tips this week on which is the best way to bring holiday money to Brazil.
For many countries a mix of traveller's cheques, US$ dollars bills and a credit card is a good idea, but in Brazil traveller's cheques are useless. Most places will not accept them and banks will charge you a high fee for every cheque cashed.
We always recommend to bring one or two credit or debit cards and a little bit of cash (US dollar bills or Euros are readily exchangeable almost everywhere). Visa cards normally work better than Master cards for payments in shops and restaurants.
By changing at ATM machines (available in almost every city in Brazil), you get the day's commercial exchange rate for the dollar, avoiding the low rates or extortionate commissions of Casa de Câmbios. Some cards have charges for foreign transactions, so check back home for debit cards or savings accounts that do not. In the United Kingdom, for example, Nationwide Building Society has a debit card that has absolutely no fees for cashing money abroad.
Once in Brazil you might find out that some ATMs do not accept international cards. Look for HSBC branches or for Banco 24 horas machines, they will always accept VISA ( VISA PLUS in Brazil), Master, CIRRUS and MAESTRO cards . Use HSBC if you can find one, as Banco 24 Horas charges a small fee. In Florianopolis you will find a HSBC at the airport, in Lagoa da Conceição, near the Shopping Beira-Mar and downtown.

But don't forget: if you are goint into remote areas for a few days, cash money at the airport or the nearest big city as in small places you will only find Banco do Brasil branches and their ATM machines do not always accept international cards.

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