Chile

Chile's currency is the Chilean peso often symbolised locally as "$". To avoid ambiguity we use the international symbolisation of CLP placed before the mount with no intervening space. Other currencies are not widely accepted, but most cities have exchange bureaux with reasonable rates on euros and US dollars. The rates should be published on widely visible boards.

Never exchange money on the streets, especially if a "helper" indicates you to follow them.

It's not advisable to exchange currency in the hotel or the airport as the rates are awful. Just be patient. Banco Santander has a monopoly on the ATMs of the airport and will add a surcharge of CLP3,000 for retrieving cash - at moderate and larger amounts this results in far better exchange rates than exchangers. ATMs in Chile retain INSIDE the card during the operation and you run the risk of taking the money and forgetting the card.

The automatic teller machine ATM network in Chile is respectable in coverage--they're all connected to the same service, accept international cards, and have the option of switching the machine to English - look for the "foreign" button on the bottom left or right. Be aware that different banks will charge you different amounts of money for extracting cash - you will be advised on the screen of the surcharge. The normal fee is CLP3000. Banco Estado does not add a surcharge for MasterCard, but will for Visa.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in most of the independent commerce of major cities and in all chain stores, no matter where they are. The PIN security system has been introduced for credit cards, so you will mostly only need your personal four digit PIN as it exists in other parts of the world. For some cards you will not be asked for your PIN and they will use the four last numbers of the credit card entered manually and you will have to show a valid ID. Swipe cards still work routinely.

Be aware that Chile is still significantly a cash culture, and it is routine for residents to carry around larger volumes of cash than some other nations are used to.

When checking into major hotels, your passport and visa will be photocopied. There is a 19% tax on hotel bills which is waived with your proof of being a foreigner, however you must also pay in US dollars to ensure the exemption. If you prefer to pay in CLP cash, the 19% VAT will be added no matter what identification you have given. Credit cards will be billed in USD. Always ask a hotel's policy before finalizing your stay to make sure you fully understand all the payment implications.

As of 2 December 2015: €1 ≡ CLP747 and USD 1 ≡ CLP704.