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Foreign Exchange Guide to Brazil

Read this currency guide to Brazil with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/BRL=3.936]

Country Code:
Domestic Currency:
Brazilian Real
Symbol - Code:
Telephone Prefix:

This is a foreign exchange guide to Brazil, the Brazilian Real currency plus BRL transfers and travel tips.

In this Brazil currency guide we take a look at :

  1. Brazilian Real info - general info about the Brazilian Real
  2. Brazilian Real in the markets - recent BRL moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in Brazil - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Brazilian Real cash online - travel money for Brazil
  5. Sending money to Brazil - save on Brazilian Real bank transfers to Brazil
  6. Brazilian Real exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.

Brazilian Real (BRL) general currency information

What is the Brazilian Real currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Brazilian Real is BRL and the symbol is R$.

Which countries use the Brazilian Real?

It is the domestic currency in Brazil.

Trading in Brazil’s real contributes to around 1% of the foreign exchange market daily turnover. The real is subdivided into 100 centavos.

The value of Brazil’s real is heavily influenced by commodities prices, given that the country’s top exports include iron ore, crude oil and the ‘soft’ commodities, especially soybeans.

As an emerging market currency, the real is considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against those currencies (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.

Since the year 2000, the real’s highest valuation against the US dollar occurred in July 2011 when the exchange rate for USD/BRL fell to just 1.531. Its lowest value came in September 2015, when USD/BRL reached 4.248 following a plunge in commodities prices.

Brazilian Real (BRL) in the markets

2018 was a disappointing year for the Brazilian real: it lost 15 percent of its value against the US dollar and more than 10 percent against the euro.

The real started 2019 brightly: by early February, it held a year-to-date gain worth 7 percent against the dollar. Throughout February and into March, the real weakened somewhat, but then on March-22 (the day of this report), it plunged on news that former Brazilian president Michel Temer had been arrested on corruption charges — an arrest that might impede the pension reforms that analysts say are vital to Brazil’s economic recovery. A one-day fall of 3 percent following the arrest had the real down on the year, at R$3.9 per USD. A push back towards the R$4.0 handle, last seen in September, is now likely.

In March, Brazil’s central bank adopted a dovish tone and lowered its forecast for average interest rates, further burdening the real.

Despite these issues, one analyst said that he was putting capital into the real because of the “textbook” nature of the current environment, which favoured carry trades and the high-yielding currencies upon which these are based, like the real.

The interactive chart below shows the USD to BRL exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.

USD-BRL 3 Month chart
Loading USD/BRL Chart
USDBRL currency converter

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Brazil


The world's fifth-largest country commandeers the lion's share of South America, all the way from the Amazon Basin – the world's largest tropical rainforest – to the pampas of southernmost Rio Grande do Sul, delivering 7500kms of sun-toasted sands in between. A visit to Brazil usually begins in Rio de Janeiro, one of the world's most vibrant urban landscapes, where dramatic, rainforest-crowned mountaintops surround a city nestled picturesquely between jungle and sea. The Amazon region – and its namesake river – are home to the planet's greatest collection of plants and animals, and this enigmatic landscape has long intrigued explorers, naturalists, novelists and travelers alike.


What currency to use in Brazil?

Brazil is generally the most expensive country in South America so keep that in mind when deciding how much cash to carry on you. Brazil's currency unit is the real (plural = reais) and is made up of 100 centavos. its best to carry nothing larger than 10 or 20 reais bank notes. This will make it easier to make small purchases as well as easier for small vendors, stores and restaurants to provide you with change.

Using a credit or debit card can be an ideal way to avoid carrying more cash than you require for just incidental expenses. Most hotels, restaurants and stores in Brazil readily accept Visa and Mastercard. If possible choose a credit card which doesn't charge for currency conversion to save money on international transaction fees when travelling through South America, as most most issuing banks will charge a foreign transaction fee of from 2 to 3% and may have additional fees.

In Brazil, as with most countries in South America it is often a good idea to travel with a combination of currencies to have along with your credit card. Sometimes foreign cards may not be accepted at ATMs and often cash is the only way to pay so have some local currency and some US dollars on hand as well as you can generally pay with USD everywhere. However in some cases the only ATMs that give USD are at airports and major banks. Small towns may not have ATMs at all. Travelling with a Prepaid Travel Card can make life easier. Make a point to check your bank account for strange withdrawals as cards get skinned fairly often. Be sure to have travel insurance when traveling in South America, you could consider choosing a credit card that comes with complimentary travel insurance.

Brazil has some of the worlds most famous waterfalls.

How to get around in Brazil?

Because of the great distances in Brazil, the occasional flight can be a necessity, and may not cost much more than a long-haul bus journey. If you intend to take more than just a couple of flights, a Brazil Airpass will probably save you money. Book ahead if traveling during busy travel times – from Christmas to Carnaval, around Easter, and July and August. A Brazil Airpass is a good investment if you’re planning on covering a lot of ground in 30 days or less.

Brazil's major cities have excellent metro systems, with Rio’s system being expanded for the 2016 Olympic Games. Otherwise the local buses are decent and fairly priced and can be a good way to get to know a city. Outside of Rio rail travel is all but non existent in Brazil so you will have to rely on either airlines or intercity buses.

All major cities are linked by frequent buses – one leaves every 15 minutes from Rio to São Paulo during peak hours – and there is a surprising number of long-distance buses. Every big city, and most small ones, has at least one main long-distance bus station, known as a rodoviária (pronounced ho-do-vi-ah-ree-ya).

The Amazon region is one of the last great bastions of passenger river travel in the world. Rivers still perform the function of highways throughout much of Amazonia, with vessels of many shapes and sizes putt-putting up and down every river and creek that has anyone living near it.

Travel tips for Brazil.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to some of the world’s most metropolitan cities, but this is just the beginning. The world famous Carnival takes place every year where millions dance, samba, and party the days away. Wildlife fans will enjoy exploring the wetlands of the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest, while those who enjoy colonial architecture and historic cities will revel in the chance to visit Salvador.

A large number of tourists arrive in Brazil thinking they can get by on Spanish, yet it is important to remember that Portuguese is the official language of the country and more people learn English than Spanish due to its necessity in the business world.

It’s automatically assumed that South America is a cheap place to travel, and generally that is a fair assumption. However, the major cities in Brazil such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro can actually be very expensive, especially in wealthy neighborhoods such as Ipanema and Leblon that also happen to be the most popular tourist areas.

The colonial towns of Brazil.


Travel money for Brazil


Save money and time by Ordering your Brazilian Real online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the BRL cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Brazilian Real otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.


Brazil Trip Checklist    

  1. Compare BRL travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Brazil
  3. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Sending money to Brazil

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Brazil you need to start with finding out the latest Brazilian Real foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).

Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Brazil

When sending money to Brazil it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Brazilian Real amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted BRL amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Brazil.

Use our Send to BRL calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Brazilian Real deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


Bank Transfers to Brazil

Compare Transfer Rates


BRL/USD - Brazilian Real to United States Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Apr 20190.25801 Week
15 Mar 20190.26221 Month
16 Oct 20180.26846 Months
14 Apr 20180.29221 Year
14 Apr 20170.31802 Years
15 Apr 20140.44835 Years
16 Apr 20090.459110 Years

BRL/EUR - Brazilian Real to Euro - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Apr 20190.23001 Week
15 Mar 20190.23131 Month
16 Oct 20180.23196 Months
14 Apr 20180.23681 Year
14 Apr 20170.29962 Years
15 Apr 20140.32455 Years
16 Apr 20090.348310 Years

BRL/GBP - Brazilian Real to British Pound Sterling - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Apr 20190.19791 Week
15 Mar 20190.19701 Month
16 Oct 20180.20356 Months
14 Apr 20180.20511 Year
14 Apr 20170.25402 Years
15 Apr 20140.26805 Years
16 Apr 20090.307910 Years

BRL/JPY - Brazilian Real to Japanese Yen - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Apr 201928.82521 Week
15 Mar 201929.21641 Month
16 Oct 201830.15766 Months
14 Apr 201831.36271 Year
14 Apr 201734.53062 Years
15 Apr 201445.64335 Years
16 Apr 200945.524710 Years

BRL/AUD - Brazilian Real to Australian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Apr 20190.36341 Week
15 Mar 20190.36981 Month
16 Oct 20180.37606 Months
14 Apr 20180.37631 Year
14 Apr 20170.41952 Years
15 Apr 20140.47925 Years
16 Apr 20090.637910 Years

BRL/CAD - Brazilian Real to Canadian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Apr 20190.34511 Week
15 Mar 20190.34981 Month
16 Oct 20180.34736 Months
14 Apr 20180.36861 Year
14 Apr 20170.42382 Years
15 Apr 20140.49225 Years
16 Apr 20090.554010 Years

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