Chile Is Fussy About The Condition Of US Bills They’ll Accept In Foreign Exchange

February 9, 2018

It’s always tricky figuring out the best way handle your currency needs in a foreign country. Travelers cheques are so passé, not to mention expensive. That was one thing I liked about the €uro. It worked in all European countries. But then of course the bureaucrats in Brussels made almost everything else about the European Union suck (no more individual national sovereignty, taxes, taxes and more taxes, etc.), but the unified currency was good.

Our first job was to get some Chilean money (pesos, abbreviated CLP), to be able to get from the airport to our Airbnb apartment in Santiago. And we came across a “CAMBIO” right in LAX before taking off. Any fool knows the airport is probably the worst place to change money but we just wanted a little bit till we had time to hunt up a better rate.

The official exchange rate is 609 Chilean pesos per US dollar. The rate at LAX was 590, not great so we only changed $40. The taxi ride to our apartment ended up being 15,000 pesos (~$24.00) so we were covered.

The best rate we could find on the ground in Santiago (luckily there are several Cambios in the same area) was 605 so we changed about half of our US cash to pesos.

What we weren’t expecting was them to reject any bills that had the slightest tear or any other markings. For example, they rejected a US $50 that had a tiny ink stamp on it and also refused about 4 or 5 twenty dollar bills because of small tears on the edges.

When we left Bueños Aires a few years ago and tried to exchange our remaining Argentinian pesos for US currency they wouldn’t take any of it back. Obviously they already had our dollars which were more valuable so we were stuck with Argentine pesos we could not use. But in all our travel over the years we’ve never run across this little quirk about requiring perfect condition bills. I guess there’s always something. That’s what makes travel so intetesting.

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.  For now and the next several days we’ll explore the long & skinny country of Chile!

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