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Gailar Aug 20th, 2002 11:25 AM

US Currency in Chile?
I will be spending one week in Santiago and need to know if I will be able to use US currency exclusively? Or should I take a combination of currencies? Thanks for any advice.

Jonathan Aug 21st, 2002 08:07 AM

Most hotels will take U.S. cash and you will definitely need U.S. dollars to pay the reciprocity fee upon arrival (if you are a U.S. citizen). I would visit the ATM at the airport as soon as you arrive and get Chilean pesos, which you will need for some restaurants and miscellaneous purchases. You can always use U.S. dollars as backup.

John Aug 22nd, 2002 03:05 AM

Since the US$ is not the currency of Chile I think you will find it very difficult to survive without using the local currency. Assuming you have an endless stash of dollar bills this means you will pay a minimum of a dollar for everything (i.e bus fares, sweets and snacks, tipping washroom attendents etc). If you don't have a dollar bill you will have to use a $5 bill. Whilst private enterprise will be happy (for the most part) to accept payment in dollars they may bnot offer the correct change. The public sector will be less receptive to US$ .

joe burns Aug 22nd, 2002 07:44 AM

just returned from a week in Chile. You should definitely use local currency. the exchange rate will be better than what they quote you in dollars.

Charles Aug 25th, 2002 06:26 AM

Definitely change your money on arrival. (See above for ATM suggestion.)<BR><BR>US$ are as acceptable in Chile as Chilean pesos would be here in the USA.<BR>(That means they are not readily accepted.)<BR><BR>Because the exchange rate moves rapidly, we always use a credit card whenever possible. <BR><BR>BTW be sure to check with your credit card companies to see which one has the best currency conversion fee. (They all add a few percentage points to the exchange rates and hide it in your statement. They are required to disclose the rate if you ask.)

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