Using bank cards

Cash withdrawals and credit cards in Peru

Using bank cards

Debit and credit cards are widely accepted in Peru and you shouldn’t have any problems in major hotels, restaurants and shops.

Some banks may charge a fee for exchanging foreign currency so it is well worth asking about any potential fees that may be charged. Visa is the most widely accepted type of credit card in Peru but all major companies should work without any problems.

Credit cards and ATMs

All major cities have an abundance of ATMs so withdrawing money is not a problem within the country. However, most ATMs in Peru will charge $5 for withdrawing money with an international card. If you are looking to avoid paying a fee, Scotiabank is the only bank which doesn’t have a surcharge for international accounts.

Please be aware that some ATMs dispense money exclusively to customers who have accounts there. Credit cards will also be accepted for purchases in restaurants, hotels and shops but expect  a commission of 5%-10%, according to your bank. Many ATM’s are limited to how much you are able to withdraw each day with the standard maximum transaction being 700 Nuevo Soles

ATMs will allow you to withdraw money in either Peruvian Soles or US dollars and instructions can be accessed in Spanish as well as in English. It is worth noting that the US dollar is widely accepted in many stores and it is not unusual to see prices stated both in US dollars and Soles.

Precautions to take when withdrawing cash in Peru

Unfortunately, ATM fraud in Peru is not uncommon. Try to avoid withdrawing money late at night, or from ATMs in noticeably run-down areas. If you’re suspicious about the ATM, try to feel around the card slot for any device attached or look for any unusual on-screen instructions. Avoid withdrawing large amounts of money at once and always be aware of your surroundings.

Further reading

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