EC card / credit card
In general the EC card is a good choice in Brazil. Banco do Brasil, HSBC, Citibank and Banco 24 Horas all have designated ATMs from where money can be withdrawn. VISA is commonly accepted, but is more expensive. The daily limit is set at 1,000R$, but in some cases at a maximum of 600R$. The German Post’s ‘Sparkarte’ offers ten cash withdrawals per year abroad free of charge. At the gas station at the entrance to Cumbuco is an ATM that accepts international bank cards. For car rental or possible treatment in a private hospital a credit card is required.
Due to the unfavourable exchange rate it is not recommended to change money in advance. At Fortaleza airport are several ATMs, which can be used safely to a certain degree.
Credit card cloning
Unfortunately it happens time and again and is of course very annoying. Credit card cloning, is when a device is installed on top of the card reader slot to collect data. Additionally a tiny wireless camera is installed to get your PIN number. The devices are hard to recognize and by using the data and a blank card, perpetrators can make an exact copy of your card and go on a shopping spree, all before you have any idea it has happened!
What can be done?
– Cover up the keypad when entering your PIN
– Make a note of the phone number to call in order to block your credit card
– Check your balance regularly
– Ask your bank in advance how to protect yourself
– Be aware of your surroundings and do a visual sweep of the ATM machine…anything that looks strange, funny or out of the ordinary, probably is!
HSBC Bank in Monsenhor Tabosa (Fortaleza/Meireles) is known for credit card cloning on a more or less regular basis, there the ATMs should be avoided. The ATMs in Cumbuco have also been affected in the past.