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Tourist
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11/22/2002
21:11:48
Subject: Accessing money in Brazil
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I will be staying 6 months in Brazil on my tourist visa the beginning of next year. I heard that no one wants to accept traveler's checks and I really don't want to hassle with ATMs all the time. Is there an alternative?(Besides carrying 6 months worth of cash?)


Robin
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11/22/2002
22:16:32
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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Hi Tourist !

You can send a fax from a bank in Brazil (Banco do brasil) to your bank in your home country. Just write how much money you would like to be sent + the info on bank in Brazil. Then the money will be sent on cable-wire. I only paid 7US$ for that in 98'. Its better to send a big amount, than paying 7$ every time you use a ATM.

Robin, (Copenhagen, Denmark.)


Bruto
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11/23/2002
14:37:59
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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Oh! That's interesting. I would REALLY want to be sending bank account info via Fax for the whole world to see?

Get yourself a VISA debit card for use at any Banco do Brasil ATM and be done with it. You can also go inside to make a cash advance against the card. Be warned there will be paper work to accomplish the in person cash advance.

VISA is accepted almost everywhere in Brazil. You'll be amazed at the "VISA logo" plastered almost everywhere.


Tourist
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11/23/2002
15:37:39
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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Thanks for your replys, but Bruto missed the point. The question was can you access your money anyother way BESIDES at an ATM. I was held up at one and thus do not wish to have a repeat experience. Also, if I'm away for 6 months, I'm not going to be around to receive a Visa bill for payment on my cash advance. Any other ideas?


Robin
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11/23/2002
15:58:47
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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Bruto,

I don't see any problem in sending a fax to your bank. It's only you and the bank that sees the fax with your acountnumber. even if you have a strangers acountnumber... you have to show ID to use it.

The problem with VISA is that, the maximum amount you can withdraw is 1000 R$ pr. day. and it will cost you 25 R$ every time you withdraw on a Brazilian ATM. because it has to exchange the money into R$.

I sent 8000 R$ via fax and cable-wire and i never had any problems with that.

If you don't trust banks... who do you trust ?


afurlanet
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11/23/2002
16:17:09
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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You can exchange your travels in many bank's (private or public) in brasil. There are a fee, but exchange money for a month and store in a hotel or open one account in a brasiliam bank (it's ship and easy).
If you open a account here the taxes for cash dispenser are insignificant.
dubts's email-me
[]'s
furlaneto


Bruto
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11/23/2002
17:28:29
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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Do what you want - if you have been to Brasil before you pretty much know what works and what doesn't.

The VISA debit card, in my opinion, is still the way to go. It is a debit card of your checking account. You are going to keep money somewhere in the U.S. right? Check out Bank of America. If you need more money, how much more easier than someone in the U.S. making a deposit for you? Also nutual funds and other fianacial inst. have electronic deposits that can be made into the account if you transfer money.

Things may have changed, but I would never pursue opening a bank account in Brasil. What does it gain you? The fees they charge and dollar conversion that you will lose month to month versus the dollar, will give the bank a very nice profit for the quarter.


tourist
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11/23/2002
17:29:51
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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afulrlant:
É possível que um estrangeiro possa abrir uma conta em um banco sem o número de identidade? Quando você usou a palavra 'travels', queria dizer cheques de viagem? A maioria dos bancos aceita eles fácilmente? Não foi possível lhe enviar você um e-mail porque Não incluiu seu endereço. 'brigado.
Robin: You mentioned your money came from Denmark. Were there additional fees for exchange. Your wire-service fees seemed cheap, my bank said they charge $30 to wire. Did you wait in the bank to receive your money or how did you get it without a bank account? Could you have opened a temporary bank account? Is there any such thing for travelers?


Bruto
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11/23/2002
17:39:33
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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I forgot to mention, I paid about $2.50 per transaction charged to my checking account for each withdrawl from an ATM. I don't think that anyone is charging $8-$25 to do this with an American banking institution...

So..three to four withdrawls and you pay $10.00 a month for the convenience - big deal!!!!

I still don't think that you realize that if you have a Vias debit card you can pay like a regular credit card in 80% of the places in Brasil.


Robin
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11/24/2002
17:07:20
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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I opened a account in a brazilian bank in 98'and wired my money.
They did'nt charge me extra for exchanging the money into $BR.

When I faxed my homebank, the money was on my account the next day. And i did'nt have to wait inside the bank for hours. I just brought my brazilian bankcard.
The fees they charge to have a brazilian bankaccount are very insignificant.

No matter what, this is cheaper than using a VISA DEBIT CARD.

But if you don't like ATM's you can always withdraw your money inside a bank, at the counter, no matter if you have a VISA-card or a brazilian bankaccount-card.

PS. Bruto: i'm talking R$ not US$.


an observer
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11/25/2002
08:52:01
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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My experience is as follows:
When traveling in Minas this past summer, I used a VISA DEBIT CARD to access money in my checking account (USA based credit union). There were absolutely zero fees to access the money at Bank of Brazil ATMs. And, I got the most favorable exchange rates.

My experience seems to be different from what others are posting. But, based on my experience, I would recommend a VISA DEBIT CARD.



Manuel Flores Jr
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11/25/2002
19:17:53
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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After 5 trips to Brasil I agree with the letter above. A Visa debit card is the best and with no charges. I have never had any problems at the ATMs but using them does require a bit of caution. (Being aware of your surroundings, time of day, location etc.) I would use them about twice a week in Copacabana. Mastercard debit works well for purchases but it is more work to find cash advance ATM's for it.


Bobão
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12/18/2002
09:57:01
RE: Accessing money in Brazil
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I have lived and worked in Brazil for the past year. I work for a Brazilian company but I was hired and I am paid by their American subsidiary. As a result, I am paid in US dollars that are automatically deposited into my US checking account. When I need money, I take my Visa ATM/Credit card to the Banco do Brasil. If I need more than the daily limit the ATM will allow, I go inside the bank to a real person and ask them for a cash advance on my card. The most I have paid for any single transaction is one U.S. dollar.

I had it to do over again, I would also get a MasterCard from my same U.S. bank for the reasons that have already mentioned--MasterCard is a little more universally accepted here.
I only get Reis On the day that I know that I will need them. Such as paying rent, etc. I never keep more than 200 Reis in cash.

The current trend in the devaluation of the Real has been downward. It has lost almost 40% of its value against the U.S. dollar since the first of the year. (Incidentally, you will hear grumbling here that the discrepancy in the exchange rate is due to a sudden 'surge' in the value of the dollar, which is not true. If you follow the currency markets, you will note that the U.S. dollar is currently at a multi-year low against the Pound and the Yen.)

ATM's are available 24-hours a day here. They used to be available but the Brazilians here have told me that due to a rash of late night ATM robberies, the banks are required under law to close the ATM's at 22:00. So plan you evenings accordingly.

Incidentally, only ATM's with the VISA logo will accept my card. That requires some planning too, since in the smaller towns virtually none of the local banks' ATM's will meet this criteria.

I have never been able to use the 'debit' feature in any transaction. It may be that the merchants that I have dealt with in this regard did not know what they were doing as far as the on-line entry was concerned or it may be that it just cannot be done from Brazil. Nevertheless, it still works like a debit card as far as I am concerned. The money still comes out of my checking account. The merchant is the one who is stuck with the Visa credit card fee.

Also be prepared for the times that 'computer is down'. During those times it will be impossible to get cash either in person or at an ATM. I have never had that condition last for more than a few hours though.

Finally, I have a Banco do Brasil Visa card too, but I have never had the need to use it. The credit limit on it is so low that it is hardly worth having, plus there is a monthly fee of about 14 Reis for just having the card. (The bank 'sold' me on the card when I opened my checking account, which is also something that I have never used.)



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