Madeira Island Money Matters, Credit Cards, Currency Exchanging, Banks and Post Office Services
Money Matters    


Exchanging Money

It is a very good idea to change your money only once you arrive on Madeira. It is, however, necessary to have some change in Escudos upon your arrival. So try to change the minimum possible back home. If you forget to change some money all is not lost. You can withdraw money direct through the automated cash withdrawal machine/s at the Airport and elsewhere. Nearly any card with a Visa/Mastercard/Electron sign on it can be used to withdraw money from international accounts.When you arrive at your accommodation you will find that most of the big hotels have a currency exchange service. But shop around as prices of exchange rates can become quite competitive. Best bets are the numerous banking institutions aligned along all the busy streets of Funchal.

In most cases you will have to pay a small commission. Some financial institutions charge a flat once-off fee for the global sum of the change, or a low percentage fee.

A great tip ! If you are penny pinching and find it aghast to pay exhorbitant commission fees you will find that at the Banco Espirito Santo offshore branch behind the TAP - Air Portugal offices (next to the Funchal Cathedral), you will encounter a very nice service: that is, for money exchanges below the portuguese value of 10 000$00 Escudos you do not get charged any commission fee ! Also, the rates are amongst the most competitve we have ever seen. In fact, the exchange rates that may be seen quoted in the Newspapers refer directly to the exchange rates quoted by this Bank.
Word of warning though, this branch is a very busy one. So expect to stand in a long cue sometimes.

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