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Local travel tickets purchased with cash pesos

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Argentina’s exchange controls have generated an “informal” dollar/peso market in which the dollar, as most readers probably know, trades at a significant premium to the government’s official rate. You can check this rate here: http://www.ambito.com/economia/mercados/monedas/dolar/

As of yesterday, the dollar commanded in this market a premium of nearly 70%. As is usually the case, excessive government intervention can cause problems, but it can also generate opportunities.

If a foreign tourist buys a plane or bus ticket for travel within Argentina with his credit card, he/she will be charged for the corresponding amount in pesos converted into his currency at the official rate. In fact, this tourist is, in a way, selling his currency at the official rate. This is also the case with any expenses paid locally with a credit card by said tourist.

But, going one step further, what if this tourist brings cash dollars (or his currency, but preferably dollars) to Argentina, changes them in the “informal” market and buys here in pesos all the tickets needed for travel within our country?

It would obviously seem that significant savings could be obtained. I’ll confirm with my travel agent on Monday that this would work, but I’m pretty sure it does.

On the other hand, you have the risk of carrying cash and the possibility of the travel dates you need not being available.

But if you don’t mind carrying cash, travel in the low season, have a flexible schedule and saving money on local flights and/or buses is an important consideration for you, perhaps you should consider this alternative.

Have a great time in our country.

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