I usually take a bunch of singles - they come in handy for tipping on arrival, when you have not had a chance to get some local change
Dollars cash are useful in Argentina where considerable discounts can be had in some places for paying in US dollars. They are not really much use in Chile except for paying your reciprocity fee but that can be paid by cc as well. Local businesses, aside perhaps from tourist related ones, would be unlikely to accept them. I don't know about Brazil.
Chile is not like Argentina in the acceptance of a parallel currency. I would not use USD ones for tipping in Chile. Pretty worthless for the waitresses and other working class folks.
But yes, for Chile, do bring the selection of USD to get the 19% value added tax exemption on hotels which offer this discount and as emergency backup cash.
Thank you very much.
For Chile, ATMs are everywhere but most of them charge a per use fee of 2500 to 3500 pesos except for Banco Estado (Cirrus-only) and Banco Security.
Break your large bills at a large supermarket and similar operations to begin collecting 1000 bills and 500 and 100 peso coins for tipping.Edited: 05 October 2012, 14:51
Thanks very much.
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