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Argentina currency

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Jan 30th, 2014, 07:45 AM
  #1
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Argentina currency

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has just published this analysis of changing money on the blue/black market. Is it accurate? I would like to hear opinions from recent visitors and this forum's regular contributors. Thanks.

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...dollar-tourism
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Jan 30th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...get-40-off.cfm

Have a great time in our country, at 30/40% off.
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Jan 30th, 2014, 09:48 AM
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Yes it is accurate? We were in Argentina last year and changed USD at the blue rate which was pretty straightforward, if illegal. The downside is that you have to take A substantial amount in cash if you are staying for any length of time.

Given the carnage going on in emerging markets over the last few days ( not just Argentina) it is anyone's guess where this could end. I think that the official rate has been edging closer to the blue rate recently ( Avrooster will confirm whether this is indeed the case I am sure). A bit like King. Canute, I doubt the argentine authorities will be able to hold off a full scale devaluation for long - or at least accept the reality of the situation and allow the peso to float unrestricted. But who really knows?
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Jan 30th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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As repeatedly indicated in the thread I linked in my the first reply to the OP, the "gap", with which you could get a discount of over 40% has narrowed somewhat to 30 something percent, after the recent devaluation of the official dollar.

At some unknown point in time, Argentina will return to a free exchange market and the "gap" will vanish. Tourists will find Argentina cheap, without having to bring cash.

I have seen this cycle (cheap dollar/expensive dollar) I don't know how many times. At this time, the trend has changed and we are going from a preposterously cheap dollar towards an expensive dollar.

In this century, the highest point for the expensive dollar was in April of 2002. At that time, dinner out with my wife cost 24 pesos and the dollar stood at 4 pesos. In other words, dining out cost me 6 bucks. Now, it costs me about 20, still not cheap by our standards, but down from 30/40 not so long ago.

Have a great time in my country, at +30% off.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 10:41 AM
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You can still do well without resorting to the black market if you take a lot of US$ and use that when you are out spending. Many stores and restaurants will negotiate in US dollars at close to the black market rate, so you get the benefit of the rate without doing something illegal in an alley. The downside, of course, is no frequent flyer miles!
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Jan 31st, 2014, 11:33 AM
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Not one of the Fodor's posters I have helped with the matter felt like they were "doing something illegal in an alley". One great poster even pulled out her passport, to carry out the transaction! LOL!!

Highly respected TA DE http://www.fodors.com/community/profile/marniewdc/
put it this way in http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...enos-aires.cfm :

"Taking advantage of the 'Blue Rate' here, this year and last, feels, to me, to be without anxiety and without ethical constraints."

Have a great time in our country.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 12:28 PM
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I don't think it matters one iota whether you use dollars to pay in stores or restaurants or hotels or whether you use those same dollars to exchange for pesos in a back alley. It is still an ”unofficial" or black market rate and, is still probably technically illegal. Personally, I exchanged my dollars in the comfort of a nice coffee shop in Salta rather than a back alley. I even went into an official Cambio just around the corner from the said coffee shop and was offered the same blue rate.

Avrooster, thanks for The Economist link. A good summation of the current situation. I didn't realise the situation was quite so dire in Venezuela!!
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Jan 31st, 2014, 12:50 PM
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Out there, in Chavez country, the black market dollar is worth SEVERAL TIMES the official rate!
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Feb 1st, 2014, 10:47 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/wo...ref=world&_r=0

You may need to register or subscribe, to read the above.

Have a great time in our country.
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Feb 1st, 2014, 01:22 PM
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We sent money using the service Xoom. You initiate a transaction from your bank in US dollars and pick up the money in Argentine pesos at an office in Argentina. The rate was close to the blue rate. You can see the rate on their website. There is a small charge too. I opened a separate account at my bank to transfer money out of, as I didn't want to give access to my main account.

The rate was better changing in a shop in Buenos Aires, but I didn't want to deal with finding one and feeling like I was doing something back-alley. After having been and seeing how everyone does money, I would have been fine with changing in a shop, but before going I was a little worried about that.
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Feb 1st, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Took a look at XOOM's website and disagree with the above "the rate was close to the blue rate".

Besides, I'm ALMOST sure Xoom is also illegal.

Have a great time in our country.
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Feb 1st, 2014, 06:59 PM
  #13
 
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We are not using the blue rate as we just take out money from ATMs as needed. We find the prices here in buenos aires quite reasonable anyhow.
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 04:27 AM
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Avrooster last night we saw a large police presence on Florida street, and a number of tourists, mostly young, being ticketed it looked like. We also had people saying "cambio, cambio" as we walked by, and saw a few people exchanging money with tourists.

Would the police ticket people that they catch exchanging money? If so, what happens to the people who are selling it?
As I said we are not exchanging any, just curious.
Debbe
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 05:44 AM
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Debbe:

I cannot be absolutely sure, because I wasn't there, but it would be unheard of if a tourist was fined for exchanging his currency out of the official channels.

So, I believe perhaps the police was just trying to discourage the practice. Maybe by asking them for their passpost?

Furthermore, as your post above indicates, the pros were working freely, which contradicts the above, as their activity is clearly illegal.

It's all part of the way our wonderful country manages to function, in spite of its corrupt populist government.

Go on having a great time in our country, Debbe.
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 05:49 AM
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Of course, above I meant "passport", not "passpost". LOL!!
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 06:59 AM
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AV rooster - a spelling mistake or typo !

Almost as unheard of as the police reacting to Cambio activity.
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 07:27 AM
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A typo corrected only a few minutes later, Señora Marnie!
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 08:20 AM
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After we had exchanged our dollar in Salta we mentioned it to our hosts who told us that a month or two previously the police mounted a major operation in an area near the main square where the money changers congregated. The operation apparently involved the police turning up with lots of vans to arrest the money changers and their clients taking them away in the said vans. Not a regular occurrence apparently but it does happen from time to time.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 04:20 AM
  #20
 
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One thing to mention is that we can only withdraw from the ATMs $140 Cad at a time, 1000 pesos, so with the fees added this makes it expensive to use ATMs in buenos aires, I am assuming it will the same all over Argentina. This is not our bank restrictions, but the restrictions of the country.
.
So, in this case I guess briniging cash is a better option.
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