What is the local currency?
The currency of Brazil is the real (R$). Each real is the equivalent of 100 centavos.
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What denominations does it come in?
Coins: one real and one, five, 10, 20 and 25 centavos.
Banknotes: two, five, 10, 20, 50 and 100 reals.
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What is the best way to exchange currency?
To exchange currencies, most people use foreign exchange bureaus, or cambios, which can be found in shopping centers and other areas in the center of town, especially on Av. São Luis. The rates can sometimes vary slightly from one place to the next but in general the difference is not that great.
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What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash, credit cards, debit cards and checks are all widely used.
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Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Yes. Visa, MasterCard, Diner's and American Express are welcome.
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By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Bills are paid by bank receipt (boleto bancário), a popular, pre-paid form of payment.
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What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
In general, opening a current banking account in Brazil can be complicated.
You will need to provide:

  • Proof of income
  • Identification 
  • RNE identification card
  • Social security number (CIC or CPF)
  • Proof of address.

With the advent of Internet banking, lines and waiting time at bank branches have diminished but can still be a problem if you have to go to a state bank such as Banco do Brasil or Banco Santander.
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Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Foreign residents who speak or understand English will not have trouble with banking. Bank Safra and Banco Itau offer services in English.
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Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
There is usually no restriction on services for newcomers.
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What are typical banking hours?
Bank opening hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Absolutely. There are many to choose from.
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Is there any other money information that might help me?
There are many ATMs throughout the São Paulo area. They can be found in supermarkets, malls, pharmacies, bank agencies and other places. At ATMs called "Banco 24 horas," you can withdraw money no matter what bank your account is with. Withdrawing large amounts of cash on the street is not recommended.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.