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What is the local currency?
The currency of Brazil is the real (R$). Each real can be broken down into 100 centavos.
What denominations does it come in?
The real comes in coin denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos and 1 real.
Bank notes are available in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 reals.
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 as well as downtown. The rates can sometimes vary from one place to another, but in general the difference is not that great. ATMs that use the Cirrus system are really your best bet for exchange. They tend to use the same exchange rate that your credit card company uses back home. Travel agencies with currency exchange desks offer attractive rates, followed closely by major banks like Banco do Brasil or Citibank.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash, credit cards and debit cards are all widely used.
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 in most places.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Bills are paid by bank receipt (boleto bancário).
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 banking account in Brazil can be complicated. You will need to provide:
- Proof of income
- RNE identification card
- Birth certificate (translated to Portuguese, although some banks accept it in English)
- Social security number (CPF)
- Proof of address
Opening a savings account is generally a simpler process, with many banks only requiring you to furnish ID and 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.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Bank Safra, Citibank and Banco Itau offer services in English.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
What are typical banking hours?
Bank opening hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Personal checks in non-Brazilian currency are useless. If you prefer to use something other than cash, you are advised to stick with travelers' checks or credit cards.
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.