According to statistics, cash in notes and coins is actively used in Brazil. The small currency unit is called the centavo; one Brazilian real contains 100 such units. In writing, Brazilian real currency is denoted as R $, the ISO symbol is BRL.
Throughout history, Brazil has had different currencies from time to time due to the economic problems that plagued the country. These include the réis (the reals of the 18th and 20th centuries), the cruzeiro, and the cruzado. It wasn't until the 1990s that the state reverted to the real, which is still in effect today.
Current Brazilian coins and banknotes
Brazil currently has coins in circulation in denominations of:
- 1 centavo
- 5 centavos
- 10 centavos
- 25 centavos
- 50 centavos
There are also 150 million Real 1 coins in circulation, although new ones are no longer being issued.
The coins are minted with a bronze-plated steel ring and a stainless steel centre piece.
- 2 reals.
- 5 reals
- 10 reals
- 20 reals
- 50 reals
- 100 reals
The R$1 banknote is now rare, and its value among collectors can reach R$100.
The most modern banknotes in real, in circulation since 2010, have different sizes and are printed using technologies that guarantee authenticity.
It is noteworthy that Brazil has other coins besides the real. The 80+ coins recognised by the Central Bank of Brazil, minted by banks for certain regions such as São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, complement the country's economy.
How to get BRL cash in Brazil
As mentioned, cash is an essential medium of exchange in the country. Almost all shops, restaurants and other establishments throughout the country accept Brazilian Real notes and coins, so it's advisable to have them on hand when travelling.
Cash in foreign currency can be exchanged before travelling at your bank in your home country or after arrival at a local Brazilian bank or currency exchange office. If a Brazilian bank card is available, it is most convenient to withdraw money from an ATM simply.
Note that in Brazil, currency exchange offices are usually called casa de câmbio, so look for signs with this name. Exchange costs will average between 5% and 15%.
If you want to save money, you can use our monitoring to find online exchangers with offices in Brazil and ready to exchange cash. With their help, you can buy or sell currency conveniently, safely and at a favourable rate.
Rules for bringing in/removing cash in the country
Travellers who leave the country carrying cash of BRL 10,000 or more may be asked to provide:
- proof of currency purchase from a bank or other institution authorized to handle foreign currency transactions in the country;
- a declaration submitted to the tax office upon entry into the territory;
- a document proving the receipt of cash using an international credit card if the individual is a foreigner or a Brazilian resident abroad.
The Brazilian Central Bank ruled as early as the 1990s as follows:
"Individuals who enter or leave the country carrying funds in local or foreign currency in an amount exceeding 10,000 Brazilian reais must submit a statement indicating the amounts of currency they are carrying to the Tax Service unit with jurisdiction over the place where they enter or leave the country, as established by the Minister of Finance."