Chile travel money guide

From the Atacama to Patagonia, discover the best ways to access your money when you're travelling around Chile.

With its volcanoes, lakes and the vast Atacama Desert, Chile has a reputation for being a wild and rugged country outside of its big cities.

Cash is often the best way to pay your way around the country. Although a few best-practice rules apply to using it. Find out all about these and the alternatives to notes and coins below.

Compare travel money options for Chile

ATMs are widely available in towns and cities across Chile and are generally known for offering the best exchange rates over and above those offered at places like casas de cambio (exchange houses) or hotels and shopping centres.

Debit, credit and prepaid cards are also accepted in the more touristy areas, although you'll always need a bit of cash on you for taxis, tips, smaller business buys and especially if you're travelling to places off the beaten track.

Updated March 19th, 2019
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB
AUD $3.50, USD $2.50, GBP £2.00, EUR €2.20, NZD $4.50, CAD $3.00, HKD $20.00, SGD $4.00, THB ฿95, JPY ¥260
$0
$0
Hold up to 10 currencies and lock in your exchange rate. No load, reload or transaction fees on purchases and part of a worldwide ATM alliance.
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, AED
AUD $1.95, CAD $2.00, EUR €1.50, GBP £1.25, HKD $15.00, JPY ¥160, NZD $2.50, SGD $2.50, USD $1.95, THB ฿70.00, AED 6.50
1%
$0
Earn up to 12,000 Qantas points when you sign up for a Qantas Travel Money card and preload funds by March 29. You must load at least $2,500 to qualify for the deal. T&C's apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated March 19th, 2019
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
ING Orange One Platinum
2.5%
of transaction value
$2.50
$149 p.a.
Enjoy cashback rewards of up to $30 per month, complimentary insurance covers and rebated foreign currency conversion fees.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$5
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% or $4 (whichever is greater)
$160 p.a.
Enjoy 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$160 p.a.
Earn 2 More Rewards Points per $1 spent, 75,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement and save with 0% foreign transaction fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated March 19th, 2019
$
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
Visa
$0
$0
$0
Citi Global Currency Account
Hold up to 10 currencies.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free. Earn up to 2.25% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
Mastercard
$0
$0
$0
ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.
Visa
$0
$2.50
2.5%

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated March 19th, 2019
Name Product Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fee
$500
$10,000
In Store, At Airport
$0
Order over 60 currencies online at the best price against the Australian dollar and collect at one of over 130 locations across Australia.
$500
$5,000
In Store, At Airport
$0
Travelex makes it easy to exchange and get the best rate on over 40 currencies so you can be prepared for your next holiday.
$0
$9,999
In Store, Home Delivery
$0
Order multiple currencies in one transaction and have it delivered directly to your door anywhere in Australia. No delivery fee for orders over $1,000. A $10 flat fee applies to orders less than $1,000.

Compare up to 4 providers


Should I bring a prepaid travel card, credit card or debit card to Chile?

Travel money option Pros Cons
Prepaid travel money card
  • Protected by PIN and chip.
  • You can pre-load the card and secure exchange rates in multiple foreign currencies.
  • Accepted worldwide as credit cards.
  • Emergency card replacement and back-up cards.
  • Ideal for managing your travel budget.
  • Can't lock in exchange rate for Chilean pesos.
  • Providers use their own exchange rates, which vary.
  • Some cards charge you for not using them.
Credit card
  • Protected by PIN and chip.
  • Access to funds up to your credit limit.
  • Benefits including rewards points on spending and frequent flyer perks.
  • Emergency card replacement.
  • Limited use outside the big cities and tourist hot spots.
  • Merchants often impose a 2–4% surcharge.
  • Higher spending limit can seduce you into going over budget.
Debit card
  • Accepted at most major banks and hotels in Chile.
  • Protected by PIN and chip.
  • Good for sticking to a budget.
  • Convenient.
  • Limited use for over-the-counter payments outside the big cities and tourist hot spots.
  • Most banks charge fees of around $4 to use an ATM if you don't have a no-fee card.
  • Your bank back home may also charge you a fee.
Cash
  • Considered the best way to pay your way around Chile, day to day.
  • Convenient.
  • Liable to theft.
  • Easier to lose.

What's the currency in Chile?

The Chilean peso (CL) is the currency of Chile. Its denomination was originally known as the centavo but there are no longer any of these in circulation.

Over the last couple of years, exchange rates have hovered between 480 and 505 pesos to one Australian dollar.

Coins come in 1s, 5s, 10s, 100s and 500s. Notes come in 1,000s, 2,000s, 5,000s, 10,000s and 20,000s.

Travel money tips for Chile

  • Unlike many other countries in South America, Chile does not widely accept US dollars.
  • If you're travelling to more remote areas bring some smaller denominations of notes with you as smaller businesses may not be able to give you change for larger notes.
  • Outside of ATMs, the casas de cambio of downtown Santiago are known for offering the best exchange rates.
  • Never accept an offer to exchange money from a person on the street. They'll probably be offering lower exchange rates, but it will be part of a scam.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site