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 January 22nd, 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
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%
$0
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.
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 40,000 Qantas Points when loading foreign currency. Offer ends 31 January 2019. Minimum currency load amounts and conditions apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated January 22nd, 2019
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
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.
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.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated January 22nd, 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
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%
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
Visa
$0
$5
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

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated January 22nd, 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
Get better rates for new travel money cards and travel money card reloads when you use our exclusive code: FINDER
$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.

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.

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