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I have been to countries like Japan where cash is the preferred way of payment. Here in the United States, it is very common to use a credit card. What about Brazil? Is it common to use credit cards like Visa to pay for your purchases at stores and restaurants, etc? Or should one bring cash instead?

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    As a side note: touristic activities (such as hikes) may be cash only (but you would usually be told beforehand). Please note that in some place (Manaus for instance), it is not possible to withdraw money after 9 (?) Pm. It's better to know it rather than go around the city by night looking for money ;-) – Josay Jun 28 '17 at 21:53
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In bigger cities like São Paulo or touristic places like Foz do Iguaçu or Ouro Preto cards are accepted virtually everywhere - even in food stands on the street (I even saw once people selling brownies with marijuana and accepting credit cards). I've also never seen any minimum amount limit for card payments and it's normal to pay with a card even for chewing gum. Mastercard and Visa are always accepted, I'm not sure about other types. If you go to national parks or rural areas it may happen they won't accept credit cards, but it's rare unless you go to some remote places.

I always have around R$100 with me for emergencies but I have to use cash not more often then once every few weeks. Also, most ATMs are closed at night, so it's wise to have at least some cash with you.

Also, they will always ask if you want to pay as "credito" or "debito", which obviously means credit or debit card, from my experience 90% of foreign cards should be always treated as "credito", no matter what type they are in the issuing country.

Be sure to inform your bank that you're going to Brazil, it's quite common that banks treat this country as "risky" so they block your card when you use it here for the first time (happened to me several times and other foreigners I met here).

Users in comments mentioned they had major issues when using foreign cards, so it might be worth to take more money with you, but I think (hope) it's rather an exception than a common occurence.

  • Brazil is not the only risky country. My bank blocked my card when I was in the US. – badjohn Jun 28 '17 at 20:05
  • Brazil seems more than others. Out of 56 countries traveled, Brazil was the only place where none of my credit cards (MS and VISA) went through. – Itai Jun 28 '17 at 22:07
  • @Itai do you mean they were blocked by your bank? This happened to me several times, but besides that I never had any issues (with 3 different Polish and 2 Brazilian cards) – Kuba Jun 28 '17 at 22:19
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    The authorization never went through. I called the banks but they would not see them at all, not even as denied. Even had GOL escalate the issue and debug it and they always got denied authorization, so it seems something in the middleware and with 3 banks at that! Even in Indonesia and Iceland at least HSBC worked (the only other countries where none of my VISA and other Mastercard did not go through). – Itai Jun 28 '17 at 22:35
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    I live in Brazil. Cards are very widely accepted, though usages is less frequent in more rural areas. Presumably in part because card payments are immediately checked with your bank, the device doing so requiring a reliable enough data connection. – MastaBaba Jun 29 '17 at 4:14

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