Customers traveling to Brazil for the World Cup from around the world faced an unpleasant surprise last week when currency exchangers all over the world started running out of the Brazilian Real. This is no minor issue for foreign soccer enthusiasts, since, as the info-graphic above and viewed up close here demonstrate, carrying local currency is the best, and in some cases only way to pay.
Stadiums only take two payment methods, cash or Visa–so AmEx enthusiasts and MasterCard purists who intended to buy anything while attending the games, will need Reals in their pocket. As will anyone not planning to walk to every game–which considering the actual remote jungle locations of some of the stadiums seems a very unlikely plan. According to PYMNTS discussions with Travelex, cab drivers in Sao Paulo and across Brazil do not take credit cards, mobile payments or anything but cash.
Payments in Brazil, even for Americans who have the right credit card at the right place that actually takes them still face a problem–Brazil is a Chip and Pin country, meaning American cards simply won’t work in Brazilian machines.
The good news is, Americans were able to buy all the Brazilian currency they needed, as Travelex reports the U.S. did not experience the same kind of shortages that plagues Europe, and actually left the entire U.K. without any money to sell at all.
Before filling in the joke about American’s not actually liking soccer, it is important to note that according to Travelex, the U.S. travelers bought nearly three times the number of tickets to the World Cup as soccer fans from any other nation.
There are many Americans there, right now. And, because Travelex in the U.S. didn’t run out of currency, they are able to go shopping and enjoy Sao Paulo and the surrounding areas.
Travelex Helps U.S. Soccer Fans Score Big Value in Brazil This Summer InfoGraphic
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