The official currency in Chile is Chilean peso (code CLP, symbol CH$), divided into 100 centavos. Notes are available in denominations of CH$1000, CH$2000, CH$5,000, CH$10,000 and CH$20,000. Coins come in the following denominations: CH$1 (no linger in circulation), CH$5, CH$10, CH$50, CH$100 and CH$500.
Sometimes it's possible to pay the bill in US dollars, particularly when paying for tours or in larger hotels, but the exchange rates may not be very good. Generally, expect to pay your bills in pesos.
Foreign Currency Exchange
Foreign currency can be changed in banks or money exchange offices ('casas de cambio'), found in cities and in tourist areas. Usually some exchange fees are charged. Never change money on the street as doing so carries a high risk of being ripped-off or robbed.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available in Chile (ATM is called here 'un Redbanc'), found most commonly at banks, shopping malls or gas stations. They typically operate 24/7 and work with international systems such as Plus or Cirrus and make it possible for travelers to easily obtain cash through debit card withdrawal or credit card cash advance. Some banks' machines will charge a transaction fee of about 2,500 pesos. ATMs dispense Chilean pesos only.
ATMs are the most convenient way to obtain cash in Chile.
Credit cards are widely used in Chile. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa, Master Card and Diners Club, followed by American Express. Some merchants will add a surcharge when paying by credit card. Note that if you travel to the countryside, paying by cash may be the only option.
Traveler's checks are not popular in Chile and are difficult to cash.
Typical banking hours in Chile are 9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Tipping in restaurants is customary. Expected tip is about 10% of the bill, unless the tip is already included. Tipping taxi drivers is not necessary, but you can the round up the fare for convenience. You can tip your tour guide around 5-10% of the tour cost.
Current Chilean Peso Rates
For other currencies or conversion amounts go to Currency Converter