Exchange Rate??? confused
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Dec 11, 2012 5:15 PM Last Post By: homesteader
Nov 28, 2012 8:51 PM
Exchange Rate??? confusedOK my names Joe and I am going to brazil next year for the first time ever . Anyways I was looking up the exchange rate and right now it is R$2.09 for ever $1.00 usd . But when I wen my bank today and asked about exchanging money before my trip they told me the rate is R$1.56 for ever $1.00 usd . I am really confused . SO my question is what rate will I get when I use my debit or credit card in brazil? and I am talking about fees . What rates do you guys get right now in brazil on the US dollar? how can some one get better rates? thanks .
Nov 28, 2012 11:47 PM
1I'd change bank if I was you.
You'll get around a 2 for 1 just using an ATM and if you can open an account with low/no transaction fees it will be a lot cheaper than buying cash, either in your country or at a cambio in Brazil. Shop around.
Nov 28, 2012 11:55 PM
Nov 29, 2012 12:16 AM
3I'm not American so I'm not sure telling you which bank I use will help.
Nov 29, 2012 1:42 AM
Nov 29, 2012 7:41 AM
5Well, the most expensive exchange for any foreign currency is always buying it at a bank (or other exchange location) in your home country.
Brazil has 'casas do cambio' to exchange cash dollars you bring with you for reais and there are also ATMs that give you reais. You can get a prepaid card from any number of companies/banks.
Ask one of the bigger banks in the U.S. like BofA about their fees. Fees may also have to do with what type of account you have with the given bank and how much balance you keep in the account, as with many bank services.
Do remember to tell any bank or card company you use that you are going to be in BRazil, so they will not block the card as being used fraudulently.
Nov 29, 2012 8:43 AM
6I don't know the situation in the US but in UK you need to look at "the bottom line" i.e. how much foreign currency they give you for how much local currency. Some places offer "no fees/no commission" but then offer a diabolical exchange rate (i.e their fees/commission more than made up for in the abysmal rate). So decide how much foreign currency you want then ask how much it will cost. Sometimes better to pay somewhere with commission and fees where the rate is better. If you are buying quite a bit the rate can depend on when you do the transaction and the amount involved - but for most holiday/tourist amounts this is not a consideration. Most (UK) banks set a "day rate" at the start of the day. That rate applies for the day, maybe a different rate tomorrow. True dynamic rates are more for larger amounts of currency.
And, to make it more complex, if buying currency in your home country, check what rate & fees/commission they will charge for changing what you return with back. I have seen places offer to buy back on a same cost basis (i.e. just like a return for credit/as if you never purchased it). But how important that is depends on how much contingency cash you are taking, etc.
But keep it in perspective. If you are hosteling for a week then the air fares may be the bulk of the costs for your break (though the rates you quote are quite "different"). Don't spend days checking out different means to save a grand total of 5$
Remember that there are buy and sell rates (normally different) and the rates you can see on the internet can be money broker rates which are for large transactions, not bank/retail type amounts.
(at least that is the situation in the UK)
Nov 29, 2012 11:28 AM
7I used to pay the bills of an American friend at City Bank using his debit card. There was one “international” ATM and a bunch of “Brazilian” ATM. The fee for each withdraw was R$8.00. I could pick up U$1000.00/day on the “international” one and only R$300.00 on the “Brazilian” one.
On 2009, March, 3rd, the official rate was R$2.314 for each dollar, but the bank gave me only R$2.100. This gives a rough idea how much they will charge you. Sometimes my friend changed his dollar for reais at City Bank and got better rate than at the “Casas de Câmbio”. Another friend from London used to withdraw reais at BRADESCO ATM using his English card. I don't know anything about fees or rates. You should ask your bank which Brazilian banks you can use and tell them when you are going to Brazil to avoid a blocked card.
Nov 29, 2012 12:31 PM
8If you are from US Schwab or Capital One is your best bet (in that order), both will not charge you fx rate so you will get what you see on eg xe.com. Schwab on top of that has no withraw fee and will even reimburse you for any foreign ATM charges
NEVER change cash back home on exotic currencies, bringing USD cash to Brazil will also give you pretty poor rates (but not even close to absurd you've been quoted)
Get a decent account and debit card, it's all you need
Nov 30, 2012 5:10 AM
9Two days ago, I used an ATM of the Banco 24 Hora network (found in malls, and Citibank, among other places) to get Reais, using my U.S.-issued Citibank Mastercard debit card, and got a rate of 2.08 Reais per Dollar. As noted above, getting foreign currency in your home country bank is seldom if ever a good idea. They have to pass on a lot of costs. On the same day, I used my U.S. Visa credit card, from my credit union, to purchase a meal, and got a rate of 2.07 (my credit union doesn't charge a foreign exchange transaction fee, but many banks do, often about 2.7%).
Dec 11, 2012 5:15 PM
10In almost every country I have visited, especially Brazil, the debit card from your bank used locally at a bank teller machine is the very best rate. Also, it is a lot less hassle so you don't feel that you have to get so much at each withdrawal....less cash is better...travel well..homesteader
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