I am very excited - I will be arriving Sunday from the US and staying for two weeks in Curitiba! I would like to know what the recommendations for currency are. I've read that Br Real should be used everywhere, but would just like to confirm. Some more detailed questions:
1. Is it better to withdraw from ATM or exchange money? My US bank quoted me $5 ATM fee and 3% foreign transaction fee. But they also only offered me a 2:1 $R:USD rate, much lower than official 2.2:1 rate. I did not like either of those options so I'm taking some cash with me and hoping to charge the rest on credit card.
2. How often do restaurants, bars, more official establishments take credit card? I have Visa and AMEX. I assume marketplace, street vendors, etc. will only take cash.
3. How much money should I exchange in Sao Paulo airport before arriving at my hotel in Curitiba? This would be to cover transportation fees, meals, and incidentals.
4. Where is the best place in Curitiba to exchange currency considering rates and safety? I'm okay with getting the best grey market exchange rate as long as it's safe.
5. Is it ever more advantageous to pay in USD anywhere? For example, in some places in Mexico and Argentina, local vendors offer discounts in return for paying in dollars.
6. Optional - Are these good guidelines for the rest of Brasil? I'm visiting Sao Paulo, Florianopolis, Rio, and Iguazu.
Thanks much in advance!