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Should I  check with my bank, or just try to hit an ATM at the airport when I arrive? 

Also, since I will only be at 3 cities in Chili,about how much should I have!

Thanks 

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17 minutes ago, crdtrnr said:

Should I  check with my bank, or just try to hit an ATM at the airport when I arrive? 

Also, since I will only be at 3 cities in Chili,about how much should I have!

Thanks 

You'll likely be able to us credit card for everything. If you need a little bit of local currency, just hit an ATM. And airport ones usually give the worst exchange rate but in small amounts maybe it won't matter. I don't know. 

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There are exchange kiosks (casas de cambio) in the airport too.  The ATM's are in Spanish and at least I had a bit of difficulty figuring out what buttons to push!  Credit cards are good for most purchases.  There is quite a fondness everywhere for cash in $USD.   We did Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina in January.  Very little need for local currencies.  If you are also going to Argentina, you will not be able to get Argentina Pesos in US banks in advance and the amount you can get from an ATM in Argentina is very limited. 

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On 2/17/2020 at 11:20 AM, TeeRick said:

  If you are also going to Argentina, you will not be able to get Argentina Pesos in US banks in advance and the amount you can get from an ATM in Argentina is very limited. 

 

I got Euros, Brazil reals and Argentine pesos at a cambio here.  I am sure a cambio in Santiago will have anything you need. You can see the exchange offered  - you may well find the exchange rate better than an ATM as there will be a fee from the Bank here and maybe your bank too. 

I doubt you would need more than $20.00 USD worth of each to use for small purchases. Some places won't take credit cards for small amounts. Some restaurants here don't take them at all.

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:20 AM, TeeRick said:

There are exchange kiosks (casas de cambio) in the airport too.  The ATM's are in Spanish and at least I had a bit of difficulty figuring out what buttons to push!  Credit cards are good for most purchases.  There is quite a fondness everywhere for cash in $USD.   We did Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina in January.  Very little need for local currencies.  If you are also going to Argentina, you will not be able to get Argentina Pesos in US banks in advance and the amount you can get from an ATM in Argentina is very limited. 

Last year I spent 10 days in Buenos Aires and had no difficulty getting pesos from my local AAA office via Travelex.  This year is Santiago, Chile and even though the exchange rate was poor, we got our CLP pesos from AAA.

 

Mike in Ohio

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21 hours ago, Bru92 said:

Last year I spent 10 days in Buenos Aires and had no difficulty getting pesos from my local AAA office via Travelex.  This year is Santiago, Chile and even though the exchange rate was poor, we got our CLP pesos from AAA.

 

Mike in Ohio

Good to know.  We tried our bank (TD) but not AAA. 

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We had no trouble at non-airport ATM's.  Seemingly plentiful in business areas.  They were all multi-lingual.

This was in Chile. 

For those who fret about ATM fees, many travelers have ATM accounts that are fee-free.  (Schwab, Capital One).

In Argentina, every ATM was empty.  We had obtained Argentine pesos at the bank branch at the airport (after waiting in line for 45 minutes), so we had local currency, but obtaining more was frustrating.

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2 hours ago, thinfool said:

We had no trouble at non-airport ATM's.  Seemingly plentiful in business areas.  They were all multi-lingual.

This was in Chile. 

For those who fret about ATM fees, many travelers have ATM accounts that are fee-free.  (Schwab, Capital One).

In Argentina, every ATM was empty.  We had obtained Argentine pesos at the bank branch at the airport (after waiting in line for 45 minutes), so we had local currency, but obtaining more was frustrating.

 

If you stop at a nearby country to Argentina,  try to get all the different currencies you need. In the summer  Argentinians come here and take what they can in UY pesos out of our ATM's. They probably go to a Cambio and convert it to AR pesos or maybe USD.  Many ATM's here are empty especially on the weekends over the summer as well.

Many supermarkets here have a Cambio inside as well as large Malls.  The ATM's were all moved inside as robbers were blowing them up. Most do not carry USD  - some do during business hours but the machines contain a dye pack and when blown up, the money cannot be used legally or returned to the US  for replacement so the Banks limit the hours USD is available. 

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