South America Living

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Money and Currency in Uruguay

Money in Uruguay - Uruguayan Peso

The currency used in Uruguay is the Uruguayan peso (peso Uruguayo in Spanish). One United States Dollar is approximately 20 pesos, one British Pound approximately 31 pesos and one euro approximately 27 pesos.

To convert your currency into Uruguayan pesos with real-time rates click here:   South America Living – Currency Calculator.

The Uruguayan peso is subdivided into 100 centesimos. Coins in circulation are 1, 2, 5 and 10 pesos. Bills you will use when traveling or living in the country come in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 denominations. The currency symbol is $U and the currency code is UYU.

Money Exchange & ATMs

There are ATM machines (cajero automático in Spanish) located throughout Uruguay, just don´t expect to find one if going to a small town. Even popular tourist locations such as Cabo Polonio and Punta del Diablo on the Atlantic coast do not have a bank or ATM.

ATMs have a $300 USD limit per day, and charge a small fee per transaction (in addition to the $2-4 USD fee you most likely are being charged by your bank back home).

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely accepted in Uruguay by hotels, sit-down restaurant establishments and most boutique shops. You will have the most luck carrying Visa and MasterCard, others such as Diners may or may not be able to be used for payment.

To avoid multiple fees at an ATM machine when needing to withdraw over $100 USD, you can use your Visa or MasterCard (or bank debit card Visa, MasterCard) at some local banks to withdraw larger sums of cash. If you have it in your account, they will be able to run it through on your card, have you sign and give you the amount in dollars or pesos, whichever you perfer.

Uruguayan Two Peso Coin

Western Union & Money Gram

Western Union and Money Gram are located everywhere, even in the Tres Cruces bus terminal in Montevideo –   Travel in Uruguay – Tres Cruces Bus Station.

Unlike in the USA, Canada, UK or Australia – you will need to have the sender of the cash give you (via phone call or email) the number of the transaction after it has been sent. They will not be able to look up the information using only your name. Save yourself much time and hassle by having it at the ready when going to pick-up your wire transfer.

Western Union – Uruguay       Money Gram – Uruguay

Travelers Checks
Search for locations (complete with map and addresses) where you can cash your American Express Traveler Cheques directly online at American Express.com. Enter in the city you are in and then click search: Where to cash American Express Traveler Cheques in Uruguay. I came up with 7 locations for Montevideo.

You Need To Carry Small Change

Very few taxis or shop owners will have change for large denomination bills – anything over 200 pesos. If possible, change 500, 1000 and 2000 bills at the bank.

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2 to “Money and Currency in Uruguay”


  1. Marcos says:

    Great article. But not sure if your “ATMs have a $100USD limit per transaction” is still true where you found it, and I know for a fact it is not universally true.

    In and around Atlántida, at least, the ATMs often have an undisclosed limit of about $4000-5000 UYU (Pesos), or about U$S 200-250USD. I’ve routinely found that on both my Debit Mastercard from a US credit union, and two different-bank Visa Debit cards.

    Yet those same ATMs will dispense USD ($100 dollar bills only) and I never have a problem with at least U$S 300-400 withdrawals. True for the BROU, the Santander, and some other bank I don’t recall inside Tienda Inglesa hypermarket.

  2. Molly McHugh says:

    Excellent information Marcos and I will correct the above. It’s been awhile since we have been there now and things definitely change! Countries get smart, as you can’t do diddly with $100 USD and they want you to spend your cash :) Appreciate you taking the time to write, Molly


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