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Chile travel money guide

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

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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.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Travelex Money Card
AUD,USD,CAD,EUR,GBP,HKD,JPY,NZD,SGD,THB

Overseas: $0

Domestic: 2.95% of the amount withdrawn

1.1% of initial load value or $15, whichever is greater
1.1% of transaction value or $15, whichever is greater
Lock in exchange rates for up to 10 currencies, pay no overseas ATM fees and get exclusive merchant offers.
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
AUD,USD,CAD,EUR,GBP,HKD,JPY,NZD,SGD,THB,AED
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
$0
$5
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Foreign currency conversion fee Overseas ATM withdrawal fee Purchase rate Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0%
$0
17.99% p.a.
$0
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0%
$0
0% for 15 months, reverts to 10.99% p.a.
$69
Get 0% interest on purchases for 15 months, complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
Coles Rewards Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0%
$5
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save with $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies).
NAB StraightUp Card
0%
N/A
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Card access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Internatonal ATM Fee Foreign transaction fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
0%
Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases (T&C's apply).
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
CUA Everyday Snap Account
Visa
$0
$4.50
2.95%
Refund of international ATM withdrawal fees and international card transaction fees (conditions apply). Refund of overdrawn fees.
$0 monthly account fee. Unlimited fee-free everyday transactions.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay available. Savings Top Up tool automatically transfers to linked savings account.
Citi Global Currency Account
Mastercard
$0
$0
Pay $0 international transaction fees and $0 overseas ATM fees when you use a foreign currency linked with your account in a country that uses that currency. Make sure your debit card is linked to the correct currency before using an ATM, otherwise a foreign exchange fee applies.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fee
Travelex Foreign Currency
$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.
Foreign Xchange Travel Money
$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.
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Should I bring a prepaid travel card, credit card or debit card to Chile?

Travel money optionProsCons
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.

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