South America

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Travel Money Tips for South America

31st March 2017

South America is the ultimate destination for backpackers, adventurers and explorers. But, at the same time, it’s also a destination that can be intimidating and daunting, especially for first-time travellers to the continent.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled all the tips and tricks you’ll need to master this magnificent region.

Know the local currency 

Right from the outset, things can get a little difficult. In South America alone, there are:

  • 12 countries and 3 major territories
  • 12 difference currencies used across them.
And to make matters a little worse, sourcing some of these currencies is no picnic. To make sense of it all, we’ve made up a handy little guide.


Some nations make their currencies pretty darn hard to find outside of the nation’s borders. But if you come prepared with some US cash in hand, you can trade to the local currency as you arrive. Just make sure you don’t buy too much and get caught with a currency you don’t need as you leave!

Don't rely on card alone


Cash is king in most countries in South America, but it’s a good idea to have a variety of travel money options available to you. Particularly if you’re moving between a few different nations on the one trip, you’ll find cash easier in some, and card better in others.

For example, ATMs in Brazil are a dime a dozen. But in Argentina, there’s a pretty decent chance any ATM you find will have already run out of cash. And there are higher fees.

So to avoid being caught out, it’s a really good idea to carry both cash and card. And as a handy option, Travel Money Oz’s currency card lets you preload Aussie or US dollars (depending on where you're heading), and draw money out at the exchange rate available that day.

Top tips for each country


Need a little more advice on travel or foreign currency? Our Travel Money FXperts are available instore 7 days a week. And when you’re ready to go, you can order your currency through our website – and then just pick it up from your nearest store when it’s ready! Simply find your nearest store and get your adventure started!


This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.