Tips - Money


At present, the Brazilian currency is the real (1 real = 100 centavos ). Bank notes are available in the following denominations; 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 real. Coins are for 1 real, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavo.

You can find the exchange rates written up every day in the major daily papers: O Globo, Jornal do Brasil and Folha de Sao Paulo.


Exchange rates in the banks and "cambios" are almost the same at present. Changing money is easy in large cities, except at weekends. Wherever possible its better to change at the bank or one of the "casa de cambios". The easiest currency to exchange is the US dollar. In the larger cities and tourist centres it is possible to change travellers cheques at a slightly lower rate, but it is always a good idea to have some cash.

Do not change money on the street.


The major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted in large cities.


There is now a good national network of automatic teller machines. Bradesco machines usually give you cash from a Visa card and the Banco de Brasil is increasingly offering this service too. Citibank ATMs are becoming more popular and they accept Visa/Plus and Cirrus.


Tipping in restaurants is normally 10%. Usually this is included in the bill under service charge. Taxi drivers are not normally tipped, although it is common to round up the fare.


There is not a wide tradition of bargaining for everyday items and services, but it's worth checking to see if you can get a discount for buying a lot or for paying in cash. If you are shopping in tourist markets you might be able to bargain a little.