How much cash to take?

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Nov 16th, 2018, 09:39 AM
  #1
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How much cash to take?

We'll be in Santiago and Valparaiso for 4 days and nights, and then back at Santiago airport for 2 or 3 more times transiting. All hotels and air are either prepaid or will be paid with a credit card. How much cash do you think we'll need to take with us? Do most restaurants take cards?
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Nov 16th, 2018, 10:00 AM
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I brought zero cash to Chile. Credit cards are widely accepted, almost everywhere including supermarkets, cafes, stores big and small, etc.. We took out Chilean pesos directly from an ATM once we had arrived. This was to pay for small items, BIP card (for the subway), taxi fare, etc. The ATM fees on the Chile side do vary so it helps to shop around, although for a one time withdrawal it should not be a cause for concern. For info, Banco Internacional did not charge any Chile side fees when we were there earlier this year; they have a branch downtown on Moneda street (ATM during banking hours only) as well as one just outside the El Golf metro station in Las Condes. I seem to recall that Scotia Bank had slightly lower fees than most others (if in a pinch).
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Nov 16th, 2018, 10:23 AM
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Thanks. That's great information. We have card with fee reimbursement, so that's not an issue. We've used Scotia Bank in Peru with no issues.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sf7307 View Post
We'll be in Santiago and Valparaiso for 4 days and nights, and then back at Santiago airport for 2 or 3 more times transiting. All hotels and air are either prepaid or will be paid with a credit card. How much cash do you think we'll need to take with us? Do most restaurants take cards?
Take just $300 for emergency & use credit card to pay for the rest. This is the safesst and cheapest way to do it.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 04:32 AM
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mjs
 
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We just spent 6 nights in Chile. Puerto Varas, Puerto Arenas and Torres del Paine. TDP was all inclusive. Did not use and Chile cash at all. Used small denomination US dollars for tips. Was even able to buy Two SIM cards for $7 US. Am not so sure how helpful this is for your destinations
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Dec 5th, 2018, 05:24 AM
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I would not offer small US$ denominations for tips or small purchases. There is a minimum amount which will be accepted at exchange businesses and the recipient might find it difficult to exchange smaller amounts. Take a minimum amount out of an ATM for this purpose.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 09:08 AM
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mjs, where did you buy the sim cards, and was the process easy? I have an unlocked iphone and would like to get a sim in Chile and then another in when we are in Argentina.

Thanks for the cash tips. We will get at least some amount of Chilean and Argentina pesos - unless they actively WANT US$, I prefer to use the local currency wherever I go.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 10:39 AM
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We bought Movistar Sims with our Buenos Aires travel agent when we went to the Movistar store near our hotel in BA upon arrival. Cost was 710 pesos for two sims. 4GB data for a month I think plus unlimited SMS texts (what’s app?) and I think 500 min of phone calls within Argentina. There were no special deals for tourists. We were supposed to get roaming in Chile but could not make it work so went to Movistar in Puerto Montt and a well spoken woman there sent us to what I consider a tobacconist down the street for sims. Similar to Europe. The tobacconist did not take credit cards but took $7 US with 2 peso change for 2 SIM cards with 1 GB data prepaid and 160 min of tel calls in 7 days. Our travel agent advised us to use credit cards or US cash in Chile and it worked for us.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 11:18 AM
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Thank you so much for the sim information.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 09:39 AM
  #10
mjs
 
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In Uschia now and running a little low on pesos . Went to USBC bank but they would not exchange for non customers. Went to Bank National and was given a quque number of 82. Number on screen was 50. Fifteen minutes later the number was 57. Gave up and went to the ATM and withdrew 2000 pesos with a charge of about $7.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 11:08 AM
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Uschia? Ushuaia, Argentina?
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Dec 6th, 2018, 11:18 AM
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In Argentina I would think that USD tips would be appreciated. Maybe not so in Chile by hotel staff or taxis.

I withdrew too much cash for my last trip when I was in Valparaiso. I still have a stash of CLP, will have to go back! Hotels will take credit cards. Most nicer restaurants also.

I probably would change at most $200 at an airport cambio for everyday expenses like taxis within Valparaiso. ATM fees are high. Even then it may be too much if you plan to use your credit card at restaurants.

What is your plan for transferring to Valparaiso?

Some services you can prepay.

TransVIP to Santiago takes credit cards.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 6th, 2018 at 11:25 AM.
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Dec 12th, 2018, 01:54 AM
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mjs-please post a trip report! Headed to TdP in Feb!
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