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Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

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Birmingham
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18 posts
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Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

My partner and I are lucky enough to be visiting Chile for 3 weeks in November (2012) However, we have read conflicting reports re whether to take pesos or US dollars. We want to ensure that we conserve as much of our hard earned cash as possible, and not see it draining away in commission/taxes/ATM charges etc.

Most of our meals and tours are already paid for, so we only need cash to buy local atrwork, jewellery etc and for snacks/coffees etc

What strategy would forum users and locals on the ground in Chile recommend please? What charges will we meet/should we try to avoid?

Thanks for your help

Santiago...
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1. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

US dollars are not typically accepted in Chile other than perhaps some hotels. You can either cash some money in Chile at money exchange houses or, better yet at any ATM machine using a card.

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile, Santiago
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6,185 posts
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2. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

Take your credit or debit card. Cash dollars are of limited usefulness. The currency in Chile is the Chilean peso. It is one of the strongest currencies in the world.

Edited: 8:12 pm, October 15, 2012
The Chilean Central...
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for Chile
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3. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

USD cash at cambios, they will take around 6 points.

Cash at the ATM, the majority of ATMs (all owned by Chile banks) have a per withdraw fee of 2500 to 3500 pesos EXCEPT the ATMs of BanceEstado (Cirrus-system only) and Banco Security which are Chile-side fee free.

Coolect and save 1000 peso bills and 100 and 500 peso coins for tips.

Edited: 9:02 pm, October 15, 2012
Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

Which Birmingham are you from? If Birmingham, UK, then there is no point buying US Dollars. It is a waste of money, as you will only have to change them into pesos.

Just use a debit card and get cash from an ATM. Warn your bank you are going.

Vignola, Italy
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5. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

When I travel to Chile usually change euros with pesos and usually there aren't extra charges. Of course the ratio is a little lower than the official one, but if you go in the center of Santiago where there are a lots of banks, this difference is very low.

I use sometimes the credit card, but not the ATM because my bank commission are pretty high for international transactions (but I know: it depend from my contract).

Birmingham
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18 posts
16 reviews
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6. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

Thanks to you all for your excellent advice, which we will be following.

Your help is very much appreciated

Very best regards

7. Re: Should we take US dollars or pesos to Chile?

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