Brazil Currency Exchange
Tips for Exchanging Money & Using ATMs
The Brazil currency is the "Real" (pronounced ray-all) or plural "Reais" (pronounced ray-eyes), and is denoted as R$. The Real in recent years has become a stable currency, and is currently very strong against the US dollar and the Euro. Even with a strong Real, it's still a relative bargain to travel to Brazil for a Rio de Janeiro vacation.
Brazilian Currency Exchange Rate Converter
You can confirm today's Brazilian currency exchange rates using our currency converter tool.
In the charts below we provide 'real time' live currency exchange rates of the Brazilian Real against the U.S. Dollar and other foreign currencies, and the U.S. Dollar exchange rates to the Brazilian Real and other world currencies.
Exchanging Money in Rio de Janeiro
Exchanging foreign money into Brazil currency in Rio de Janeiro is easy and is most commonly done at Bank ATMs, Cambios (stores that specialize in currency exchange), and at travel agencies. Currency exchange rates are posted in the window of most banks and at these agencies.
Avoid exchanging money at the airport upon arrival, as lines are long and the exchange rate is poor. There has been a lot of card cloning fraud reported when using the ATMs at GIG International Airport. Hotels will often offer money exchange and convert it at the front desk. Hotel currency exchange rates are less competitive than the Banks and Cambios, but are usually better than rates at the airport.
Many Cambios are located on the main avenues of Rua Visconde de Piraja in Ipanema and in Copacabana along the Avenida NS Copacabana. They will have "Cambio" signs in the windows and over the store. Cambios may be located inside travel agencies and will often give better Brazil currency exchange rates than the banks.
ATM cash withdrawal using a credit or debit card is the most convenient method to get Reais. Before leaving home, confirm with your bank or credit card company the procedures and fees charged for international ATM withdrawals. A service fee may also be charged by the Brazilian bank. Use ATMs that are located inside the bank lobbies. Never use one on the street or late in the evening (ATMs usually turn off at 11pm). Cover your PIN# with your hand and avoid withdrawing large sums at one time. An ATM that allow credit card withdrawal will have small credit card emblems on it. The current daily maximum withdrawal is R $1000. (R $300 maximum withdrawal after 10pm).
ATMs locations in Ipanema for Brazil currency:
- Citibank, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, #459.
- Citibank, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, #229.
- Banco do Brasil, Rua Joana Angélica, #124.
- Banco do Brasil, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, #23.
- Banco do Brasil, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, #525.
- HSBC, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, #259.
- HSBC, Rua Vinicius de Moraes, #71.
Traveler's Checks are less commonly accepted in stores and restaurants but are still easily exchanged at banks and cambios. These Cambios and Travel Agencies may give a better exchange rate than a bank, as they will often "hold" the checks for awhile before cashing them, thus hedging the foreign exchange rate changes.
In a pinch, you can usually pay taxis and other vendors in US Dollars or in Euros. They will figure out an exchange rate against the cost of the service in Reais on the spot. Don't expect a bargain when doing this.
Exchanging money before you arrive can be easily completed using an on-line exchange service. The company will offer rates that are about 10% less than the official exchange rate and will charge $15 to send you the Brazilian Reais by overnight delivery. The minimum exchange is usually US $ 200 to a maximum of $250. A Visa or Mastercard must be used to exchange currency, and this is treated as a "cash advance" which your credit card company may treat differently than merchandise charges.
The AAA Visa TravelMoney Card is a recent arrival on the international travel scene, which allows you to "preload" a Visa debit card for use anywhere such cards are accepted and for ATM withdrawal. The AAA debit card is PIN and signature protected. You can be issued 2 cards for the same account in case one is lost or stolen.
Using Credit Cards for currency exchange. Although restaurant and store merchants won't advance you cash from your credit or debit card, paying for food and other services in Reais will usually result in a good exchange rate by your card company. Visit our Using Credit Cards Safely page for more info.
Brazilian Currency Demoninations
One Real is made up of 100 centavos. The Real has similar denominations as the US dollar, with the paper bills being issued between R$ 1 and R$ 100. The $R 1 coin is very popular in Brazil and it's a good idea to keep some of these on hand at all times.
1 Brazilian Real coin, and paper notes
(Courtesy of Banco do Brasil.)
In December 2010, the Brazilian Central Bank issued new R$50 and R$100 notes with enhanced anti-counterfeit technology. The remainder of the paper currency denominations will also be replaced by 2012. Below are images of this new Brazil currency notes.
Go to Top of Page
Return to Travel Information from Brazil Currency page