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I need to withdraw lots of Brazil Real in Rio de Janeiro from my USA bank account. What bank has the cheapest ATM (or I could even go to a teller) for me? Suppose I need 10,000 Real and my bank charges $2 per withdrawal.

I can not find ATM fees for the Brazil banks. It does seem like the highest ATM withdrawal limit is 1,000 Real, but this information might be old. I'm hoping some foreigners living in Brazil have researched this recently.

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    The R$1000, this limit is not an old information. Some banks have a lower limit. Sorry but Brazil isn't a safe place. As a Brazilian living overseas I always try to use as much as possible my credit card to make the payments ( but I never leave my CC with the waiters, they can clone the CC). What I remember the fee is high for the Brazilian situation R$10 (I'm not sure) – Afetter Jul 14 '16 at 0:51
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    My maximum withdrawal has consistently been 800 Reais over the last two and a half years. However, not all ATMs charge me a withdrawal fee. Bradesco does not, for example. – MastaBaba Jul 14 '16 at 2:54
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  1. You really don't need to use lots of cash. Most locals deals in credit cards for everything, they are a lot safer. Sometimes even hotdog carts accepts credit cards, Taxi/Uber will gladily accept credit cards. Just keep R$ 300,00 in your pocket/day in case there are too many tourists queuing in an ATM or for small expenses like bus tickets or popcorn.

  2. ATM limits - Yes there are limits on the amounts you can withdraw. They can range from R$ 500,00 to R$ 1.000,00 for example depending on you credit limit/banck etc. Those limits are for your safety. When ATMs arrived many years ago assaults and "lightning kidnappings" started to go epidemic so a limit strategy was one of the solutions. Note also ALL ATMs are sheltered and some will also got working hours (no late night withdraw in some neighborhoods). ATMs in safe, 24/7 places like airports are ok.

  3. Most banks don't charge for witdraws. They will charge if you use a multi-bank ATM like this. Every bank have a lot options for accounts. Each one will get a different limit, fee and number of free operation. If you still interested you need to contact each bank.

  4. Making expenses in Reais means you will pay an official exchange rate at your credit card payment date that mean you will save a few dollars.

  5. If you knows portuguese enough or get the luck of getting help from a bank assistent (there's always one in any agency, to help elders, etc) you can make an direct account transfer (that's how I pay my rent for example). Now how to make an account transfer is another questions =)

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    You don't answer the question and you overlook the fact that renting an apartment from an individual, or buying second-hand olympics tickets, really does require lots of cash. – bobuhito Jul 31 '16 at 18:51
  • Since I live in Brazil and traveled a bit here I can help with more assertive answers if you make the right questions. You can even pm me – jean Aug 1 '16 at 10:46
  • @bobuhito Let me try to clarify. It depends on the specific account plan you purchase from a bank, contact each one for a propose. Also I pointed there's no need for getting more that the daily limit (the real problem you maybe don't antecipated since there's no fee). Even buying second hand tickets or apartments you can do it with credit cards most of time (yes I checked). Also you can be smarter and use checks for large operations with individuals without a credit card reader. Depending from on your account plan you can get checks from ATM dispensers without paying a fee. – jean 3 hours ago – jean Aug 1 '16 at 14:33
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I withdrew 1,200 Real from Bradesco today with no Bradesco fee! Banco de Brasil would earlier not even give me 800 Real.

So, Bradesco wins in my limited tests. By the way, a few weeks ago I think Bradesco limited me to 800, so this might be a special Olympics bonus...I wonder if I could get even more than 1,200 now (I have not yet tried for more).

  • I'm surprised you managed to open that account. After a quick search I found this post in a blog in how to open an account in Brazil and remembered you do need a CPF and a (comproved) local residencial address. Also as I remember to transfer overseas funds to Brazil accounts pays like 40% in taxes! – jean Aug 1 '16 at 16:36
  • My account is with a bank in USA. I then just use a Bradesco ATM in Brazil, so no new account was needed. (Basically, Bradesco tells my bank it needs 1,200 Real and my bank then converts to US$ and withdraws the US$.) – bobuhito Aug 1 '16 at 16:47
  • Sweet! Keep in mind to pay a rent for example it's also possible to do a transfer. You can ask for TED/DOC at any Bradesco agency, if you can communicate with a clerk they wil help you. These transfers pay a R$ 4,00 to R$ 20,00 fee. You can also ask for a check (R$ 1,00 to R$ 2,00 per leaf). These values, limits, fees and number of free operations can vary depending on your account plan and even from time to time. – jean Aug 1 '16 at 17:17
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Santander allows you to withdraw more money in comparison to the others, like R$2,500, however, it will charge you a greater fee. Bradesco allows you to withdraw more than R$1,000, but keep in mind that your bank will set a maximum limit per day as well. I know that Bradesco would charge the fee of 1% of withdrawn amount and sometimes +1 USD.

The worst bank to withdraw large amounts is Banco do Brasil, because it can give you only ~R$500 per day, which is nothing.

Itaú, from what I recall, also allows you to withdraw greater amounts, but the fees were similar to those of Santander.

As some other people said, it is not a good strategy to walk around with loads of cash because you may get mugged or robbed. Keep some money in your pocket, like R$200 per person, and leave the credit or debit card in the safe at your hotel (or hidden).

I would advise you to buy a special fanny pack we have here, which is hidden under your pants. We call it "porta dinheiro".We usually have it for Carnaval since you can't watch your pockets when the streets are full of people. It doesnt have much space but you can fit your passport and money. It would be good to keep a copy of your passport somewhere else too.

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