The unit of currency in Brazil is the real and the plural is reais. The real further divides into 100 centavos. The symbol for real is "R$" and the code is BRL.

Exchange Rate

The ask and bid rate for both the USD and the Euro are shown on the Bank of Brazil’s website (see Resources) in the right-hand column. As of July 30, 2009, R$1 equaled $1.811 USD and 2.648 euro. For other currency exchanges, press the "Plus" key under these exchange rates.

Where to Change Money

One can exchange money in banks in Brazil or in currency exchanges. Hotels and travel agencies may also exchange money for you, but you'll get your best exchange rate at banks in the large cities. Many people just use ATM's, which generally accept both the Cirrus/MasterCard and the Plus/Visa cards. ATM’s are located all over the country and offer a reasonable exchange rate. However, there may be limits to the daily amount that you can withdraw from an ATM, an it may run out of money during peak vacation periods, like Carnival.

The US Dollar

The U.S. dollar is generally accepted by shops throughout Brazil. Most shopkeepers know the exchange rate and are happy to exchange the U.S. dollar for you, if it means they will make a sale.

Credit Cards

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Brazil. American Express and Diners Club, are often accepted as well. They offer a very good exchange rate. It often is possible, however, to negotiate for a better rate if you pay in cash. Additionally, your bank may charge a fee for credit card usage abroad.

Traveler's Checks

Travelers checks can be difficult to cash, and when they are cashed, there can be a fee associated with them.