Currency

  • The Boliviano (Bs) is the national currency, it is divided into 100 centavos. It will be appreciated if you try to use small denomination notes for your purchases.
  • Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Bs
    Coins: 10, 20, 50 cts, et 1, 2, 5 Bs
  • US Dollars are also used a lot (almost as a second national currency). Generally, daily products are purchased using bolivianos, and for luxury or expensive items like electro domestic, audio and video, prices are systematically indicated in dollars. Since 2003, Euros are often encountered on the Bolivian exchange market, a third national currency?

One word of warning - dollar notes should not have any visible damage if they are to be accepted (it is irrational but it is like that!). Before traveling to Bolivia, it is better to check that your bank has given you the nicest bank notes.

 

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Foreign currencies can be converted in the change offices (casa de cambio) and banks. In general, change offices have a more interesting exchange rate than banks. Changers also offer their services in the street, but the commission is the same as in official casas de cambio and there is a significant risk of being swindled.

Wherever you change your foreign currency, always double check the money you have just changed. In the street, do not trust the changers' calculator, take some time to make your own calculation, and avoid giving your money away before you have received and verified your change. Claims are rarely accepted, be aware that you will systematically be wrong and the changers "mafia" sitting nearby will come to prove it to you.

 
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IMPORTANT: This information has been prepared for distribution over the internet and without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. OzForex Pty Ltd makes no recommendations as to the merits of any financial product referred to in its website, emails or its related websites. These rates are indicative only and relate to professional market prices. They are updated daily but OzForex does not guarantee the accuracy of the rate or calculations.

 

Debit and credit cards

  • ATMs (MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus, Visa electron, American Express) can be found in the major cities of the country. One should avoid withdrawing money too often because of the commission that may be applied for each operation.
  • Location of MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs
    Location of Visa/VisaElectron/Plus ATMs
  • Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in tourist shops and facilities (hotels, restaurants, travel agencies). Prices of the products or services are frequently increased by a commission which varies between 5% and 10%.
  • Before traveling, check the terms of use of your bank card, and especially check the maximum amount of money authorized for credit purchase and for ATM withdrawals. There is nothing more stressful and unpleasant than being stuck 10000km away from your home and bank with no money in your wallet. For safety reasons, travel with several bank cards if possible.
  • Beware of swindles! You should never be separated from your credit card, waiters in some very high class restaurants have been known to fraudulently use customers' credit cards.

Travelers' checks

  • Travelers' checks in dollars allow large amounts of money to be carried safely. The checks can be changed in the banks, certain hotels and shops of the major cities of the country. The commission is about 1,5% to 2%.
  • One should immediately sign all the travelers' checks when received at the bank. Write down the number of each check and the phone number of the service center on a piece of paper that should be kept in a safe place during the whole journey. In case of robbery, this information will be useful to replace the checks.