For your safety, please be aware of the FAQ below about exchanging currency in Brazil and the use of the Brazilian banknotes.

Before your trip

Which currencies are accepted for use in Brazil?
The only currency legally accepted is the Real (R$).
 
Where can I get real banknotes before my traveling?
It is possible to purchase real banknotes in banks and currency exchange office overseas.

In Brazil

Where can I purchase real banknotes?
Only in institutions authorized by the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) to operate in the foreign exchange market: banks, other financial institutions and their contracted institutions (businesses that act on their behalf). An updated list of these institutions is available in http://www.bcb.gov.br/?INSTCRED.

Why should I buy real banknotes only from institutions authorized by BCB?
Because these institutions are backed by the Brazilian law, allowing you to engage the authorities in case of any problem. It is recommended to always retain a proof of purchase.

Which documents must be presented to purchase real banknotes?
In transactions up to US$3 thousand (or the equivalent in other currencies), simply present your identification document used to enter in Brazil. Above this value, you must justify the amount purchased.

Can I exchange currency at cash machines?
Yes, this transaction has recently been authorized. Institutions that operate in the exchange market are gradually offering foreign exchange cash machines. The limit per transaction is US$3 thousand (or the equivalent in other currencies).

How can I obtain the best quotes for currency exchange?
When exchanging currency, pay attention to the Total Effective Value (VET), which takes into account exchange rate, charges, fees and taxes on the transaction. This allows you to compare the actual price charged by institutions.

Can I use international credit cards to make payments?
Yes, you can make payments by credit, debit or prepaid cards from major international credit card companies in most stores and service providers in Brazil.

Can I use international credit cards for cash withdraws from cash machines?
Yes, you can use credit, debit or prepaid cards from major international credit card companies to withdraw cash.

On Departure

Can I sell the real banknotes not used in my trip?
Yes. Please have the receipt issued at the time of purchase, which may be requested by the authorized institution.

Limits

How much in cash or traveler’s checks can I carry when entering or departing from Brazil?
There is no limit on carrying currency in cash or travelers checks, both in and out of the country. However, when carried values exceeds R$10 thousand, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must complete the Electronic Declaration Value Possession (e-DPV), issued by the Internal Revenue Service of Brazil, http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/dpv/.

Are there any limits on foreign exchange transaction with cash, traveler’s checks, or prepaid cards?
There are no limits on foreign exchange transactions in Brazil. However, in transactions involving amounts exceeding R$10 thousand, the delivery or receipt of real banknotes must occur through bank transfer or check.

About Real Banknotes

The Brazilian currency is the Real (R$). Its launch, in 1994, was decisive for the control of the inflation, which made the Real a symbol of economic stability in the country. The Real was so successful that, in 2010, its bills were reissued with new design and security features. This new version will gradually replace the original. However, until that happens, both versions will be valid.

To know more about the Second Series of real banknotes, visit:
http://novasnotas.bcb.gov.br/assets/downloads/material-apoio/10e20/novasnotas_folheto_en-es.pdf

To know more about the Second Series of real coins, visit:
http://www.bcb.gov.br/?COINSER2

The First Series of real banknotes remain legal tender. To know more about them, visit:
http://www.bcb.gov.br/?CURRNOTES

To know more about the First Series of real coins, visit:
http://www.bcb.gov.br/?COINSER1

Always check the security features of your banknotes. Learn to recognize if your money is real.
Feel if the paper is rougher than normal paper using your fingers. If possible, compare the note you received with another one you already have and check if there is any difference in terms of security features.
When you suspect a note is not genuine, neither accept it nor pass it on.
This is a crime! Counterfeit banknotes are not replaced by genuine ones by the Central Bank.

How to proceed if a note is suspicious of counterfeit:
Avoid problems. Take it to a bank agency for examination, requesting a receipt.

To know more about the real banknotes, visit www.novasnotas.bcb.gov.br