Opening an account abroad helps travelers to escape the tourism dollar

The dream of traveling the world and having a lower cost became a reality with the arrival of so-called fintechs, startups in the financial market. The novelty of the time involves the opening an international account to circumvent the purchase of coins in tourism quotealways traded at a higher price than the commercial exchange rate.

Offered by institutions such as banks BS2 and C6 and fintechs Nomad and Avenue, the international accounts guarantee a universally accepted credit card and allow travelers to make instant transactions via cell phone with a lower IOF (Imposto sobre Operações Financeiras) installment.


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In practice, buying a dollar at the commercial price, instead of the rate charged for tourists, guarantees savings of up to 10%. Last Friday (3), when the US currency was quoted at R$4.80, the lowest price found to purchase a dollar bill at exchange offices was at least R$5.03 . As for the purchase with a prepaid card, the value was over R$ 5.30.

“With a credit card from a Brazilian bank, you spend between 4% and 7% of service fee, in addition to paying 6.38% of IOF. With the international card, this spread over the commercial dollar is, at most, 2% and the IOF is only 1.1%”, explains Fernando Cesário, banking director at Nomad.

For Carlos Eduardo de Andrade Jr., executive director of BS2, the “solution” proposed by financial institutions allows setting the exchange rate at a desired level and paying only 1.1% of IOF, the same rate charged for the purchase of paper currency, but with the security of not having to keep the banknotes throughout the trip.

“The most important thing is that you can convert reais to dollars 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have any emergency abroad and you need more money, just make a Pix for the app and the money is available”, explains Andrade.

The alternative of opening a foreign account also appears as an option for Brazilians who make international purchases on sites such as Amazon and EBay, in addition to those who receive salaries in currencies other than the real.

Despite the fee exemption offered for opening and maintaining international current accounts, it is recommended that customers know the fees charged for each transfer abroad and for a possible cash withdrawal outside Brazil.


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“Before, the only way to have a account abroad it was either you being super rich and being served by the banks’ private banking to have this link or you went to a branch in the United States and opened the account. The problem is, these accounts all typically charge between $20 and $35 a month for maintenance. It is very expensive”, ponders Andrade, from BS2.

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