Chile’s national currency is the Chilean Peso ($). The monetary system comprises a series of notes and coins of differing values. The institution responsible for the printing and minting of these is the Chilean Mint, under the instructions of the Central Bank of Chile, which is also responsible for the circulation of the currency
The following notes are used:
- 1,000 pesos = $1.000
- 2,000 pesos = $2.000
- 5,000 pesos = $5.000
- 10,000 pesos = $10.000
- 20,000 pesos = $20.000
The following coins are used:
- Credit Cards are very widely used in Chile. The most commonly accepted Cards are Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club and American Express.
- The exchange rates employed for credit card transactions are quite favourable.
- In remote rural areas you are recommended to carry cash since credit cards will often not be accepted
- In Chile you can use credit cards to pay in shops, restaurants, service stations, supermarkets, hotels of all levels, car-hire and property rentals, travel tickets, casinos, etc.
- When making a credit card purchase you should always check before signing that the amount on the slip is the same as the amount shown on the bill/receipt, and that the terms of payment are as agreed in the sale.
- There are plenty of cash dispensers (ATMs) in Chile; they are usually available in shopping and business centres, banks and service stations. The best-known and most widely used system of cash dispensers is called Redbanc.
- Dispensers take the cards of local banks and Cirrus cards, and function 24 hours a day. The exchange rates employed are quite favourable.
- When withdrawing money from a cash dispenser, take the normal safety precautions. Do not allow anyone to see your PIN and keep the money in a safe place.
- If the cash dispenser is not working, do not place your card in the machine and of course do not enter your PIN.
- Remember that if you enter the wrong PIN more than three times the cash dispenser will not return your card.
- If your card is retained by a cash dispenser, or if it is lost or stolen while you are in Chile, you should call the appropriate number immediately to block transactions. To block your Visa/Mastercard call (56) (2) 6317003; Diner’s Club (56) (2) 2320000; American Express (56) (2) 800201022.
- Always remember to withdraw your card after any transaction using a cash dispensing machine.
- US Dollars are widely accepted in Chile and can be changed in virtually any town throughout the country. Exchange offices can generally be found in town centres and also in shopping and business centres.
- In general, exchange offices are fairly demanding about the condition of notes. If they are in a bad state they may refuse to change them.
- Travellers’ cheques are a good alternative for people who do not like travelling with large quantities of cash or with credit cards.
- The Travellers’ cheque is equivalent to a banknote, and can be used for making purchases abroad, but only in establishments which accept payment using this type of document. It may also be exchanged for cash in a bank or exchange office.
- If you make a purchase using Travellers’ cheques, you will receive your change in cash.
- These documents must be purchased personally, since the bearer must sign each cheque on receipt. This means that they cannot be used by anyone else if they are lost or stolen.
- The cheques are usually drawn for values of between US$ 20 and US$1,000 but there is no limit on their value. Obtaining cheques may be rather a slow process since the bearer must sign each cheque. There is no time limit to their validity.
- Cheques may be purchased either in Pesos or in Dollars.
- There is no minimum age limit for Travellers’ cheques. You must present your passport as proof of your identity when using or changing them, since each cheque is signed to ensure that only the legitimate bearer may use them.