ATMs widespread; credit cards widely accepted
In all but the smallest interior towns, getting cash with your ATM card is easy. Machines marked with the green Banred or blue Redbrou logo serve all major international banking networks. ATMs dispense bills in multiples of 100 pesos. Many also dispense US dollars, designated as US$, but only in multiples of US$100.
Most upmarket hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards. Visa is most commonly accepted, followed by MasterCard. American Express cards are of more limited use.
Prices are in pesos uruguayos (UR$), the official Uruguayan currency. Banknote values are 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000. There are coins of one, two, five, 10 and 50 pesos.
US dollars are commonly accepted in major tourist hubs, where many accommodations quote US$ prices. In hotels that accept payment in either dollars or pesos, it pays to check the exchange rate offered. In many cases, you’ll come out ahead paying in pesos. Away from the touristed areas, dollars are of limited use.
Uruguay has no black or 'blue' market offering higher exchange rates for US and European banknotes.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
There are casas de cambio in Montevideo, Colonia, the Atlantic beach resorts and border towns such as Chuy. They typically keep longer hours than banks but may offer lower rates.
- Restaurants Leave 10% of the bill.
- Taxis Round up the fare a few pesos.