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The currency in Chile is the Chilean peso. There are coins (1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos) and notes (1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 and 20000 pesos). The new 1000, 2000 and 5000 bills are made of a polymer and feel more like plastic than paper to the touch.
The exchange rate fluctuates daily and currently is around Ch$645 to U.S.$1.00 (OCT, 2016). Chile has a very low rate of inflation, less than 3% in 2014. Chile has a stable and efficient banking system. There are a large number of retail banks with branches throughout the country. ATMs are common in large cities and found not only in banks, but in shopping centres, subway stations, gas stations, many stores, particularly pharmacies, supermarkets and departmental stores. Many of these machines permit the use of foreign bank cards. Most ATMs now charge a fee for cash withdrawn with a foreign credit card. It is between 2000 and 2500 pesos per transaction. Currently the Banco del Estado, Scotiabank and it associates do not charge. Money can be exchanged in banks, hotels or in specialist exchange houses. Exchange houses will give the best rate. There is free exchange and money should no more be exchanged on the street than in the USA or Europe.
For travelers in Northern Patagonia, be aware that south of Puerto Montt ATM machines or establishments taking credit cards are less common. If you are traveling outside of Coyhaique on the Carreterra Austral ATM's are rare and most hotels, hostels and restaurants require cash. There are ATM's on Easter island and in San Pedro de Atacama, but due to the high demand and their relative isolation, these often run out of cash. In Futaleufu. there is one ATM, which only accepts Mastercard or Cirrus, otherwise bring cash.