Argentine Currency-Again

Feb 10th, 2019, 03:48 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Argentine Currency-Again

We are leaving from Miami for BA next month (cruising after a few nights in BA).

Here is what I am hearing now:

ATMs often do not work and when they do they dispense only small amounts

The best place to get cash is the National Bank of Argentina I am hearing the lines at the EZE location are often long

I normally do not use Travelex but will check with them at MIA to see if they are even selling pesos (which I doubt). I was unable to pre-order any Argentine currency through my bank (something I rarely do).

Will plan on using credit cards for everything possible

IF I bring US cash am hearing it is best to have 20 dollar notes or 50 dollar notes, preferably new.

Please correct my thinking as necessary, folks.
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 04:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 949
Here's what we did when we visited in December.
Didn't take Argentine currency because we couldn't get it.
Used the National Bank of Argentina at the airport (line was long, but not outrageous).
Took crisp $50.00 to exchange at the bank at the airport.
Used credit card for purchases and restaurants.
Did not use any ATM, so don't know about them.
Had no money issues at all. These were recommendations from folks here on Fodor's and they worked!
kathleen is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 05:52 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Kathleen, thank you very much. This is exactly the info I needed to hear
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 12:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,198
I would use your credit card to pay for stuff wherever possible. Any cash you take should be crisp, new $100 bills. Lower denominations like $10, $20 or $50 are either not accepted or get a lower rate. You sometimes need your passport as ID when paying with a card. A further advance of paying by card is that apparently, as a foreigner, you don’t get charged VAT.

Banco de la Nacion at EZE airport has fair rates but maybe long queues. Cuevas (unofficial money changers) usually have better rates - ask your hotel for suggestions.

I have always struggled with finding ATMs that work, so for the few days you are there I wouldn’t bother. Even if they do the fees charged (approx $10 and low withdraw limits approx $100) mean that you are paying at least 10% for the privilege of using them. It may be a price worth paying for convenience if there are long queues at the airport bank.

May be worth getting your accomdation to arrange transport from the airport so you don’t have to worry about it on arrival.
crellston is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 02:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 949
I misspoke-twice. It was crisp new $100.00s that we took to the bank at the airport for exchange. And the bank at EZE was Banco de la Nacion. Crellston was correct on both. Apologies.
kathleen is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 03:21 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,242
My suggestions:

Avoid ATMs, if possible.

Bring some 100 dollar bills in decent shape. Also bring some change for tips. Mind you, 5 dollars is a VERY good tip, 10 bucks is HUGE.

If landing on a weekend, change at the airport's Banco de la Nación, because other places may be closed.

You can reserve a car to get into town from Tienda León (Google them) and pay with your credit card. If you ask your hotel to have you picked up, it will cost more, maybe MUCH more and will be no better than Tienda León.

This link describes a place to change in the Recoleta area: https://www.tripadvisor.com.ar/ShowU...ECK_RATES_CONT

Have a great time in my town.
avrooster is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 05:50 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Wow, great addition info.

I have pre-paid for the ride from the airport to the hotel so that is taken care of.

I have noted the "need" for $100 bills vs $50's
'Cuevas" as in caves???
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 06:44 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,221
We have had no trouble at all with ATMs but the fees are very high ($4-9 USD per transaction — our bank covers the fees at any ATM) and the amount you can withdraw very low ($50USD).

Weve used a credit card for everything except taxis and tips (and sometimes an ice cream cone). Some restaurants won’t put the tip on the credit card. We have never once had to show ID.

P. S. This is current - we’re in BA now and have also been in Mendoza, El Calafate and Ushuaia.

Note the the the exchange rate varies widely, from 35 to 40 pesos per USD.
sf7307 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 09:08 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Originally Posted by sf7307 View Post
We have had no trouble at all with ATMs but the fees are very high ($4-9 USD per transaction — our bank covers the fees at any ATM) and the amount you can withdraw very low ($50USD).

Weve used a credit card for everything except taxis and tips (and sometimes an ice cream cone). Some restaurants won’t put the tip on the credit card. We have never once had to show ID.

P. S. This is current - we’re in BA now and have also been in Mendoza, El Calafate and Ushuaia.

Note the the the exchange rate varies widely, from 35 to 40 pesos per USD.
That would be exactly which exchange rate? The one given by a bank or by others? Please clarify and thank you
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 11:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,242
I hate this forum. My quite complete reply got deleted .

Trying again:

If you paid more than 40 dollars for the ride from the airport you were overcharged.

A "cueva" is slang for a black market exchange place.

The bank and the cueva rates are about the same at this time. At this riting, no way you can get 40 pesos per dollar, if you are selling. 37 would be OK. 35 would be poor.

https://www.ambito.com/contenidos/Dolar.html

Have a great time in my town.
avrooster is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 12:37 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Avrooster, thanks very much for your further comments which are appreciated.
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 09:38 PM
  #12  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
We were in Argentina in December and our experience pretty much mirrored SF307. Found only Bank National would change money for us. Other banks told us that currency exchange was only for their customers. Exchange rate varied between 37-39 during our stay. Was asked for a copy of our passport twice when purchasing some things with a credit card. Did stand in line at EZE upon arrival to change $400 in $50 new bills. Took about 20 minutes to make it through the line.
mjs is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 06:25 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,221
We used an ATM for the last time yesterday (we’re back in the US today). At Banco Nacional in Palermo Soho, our cards didn’t work - maybe they were out of money, we don’t know. At another big bank in Recoleta, no problem getting 2000 AP which was all we needed (taxi fare to the airport plus a few sundries). The fee was 232AP. FWIW, both the ATMs and the bank itself were packed.
sf7307 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 05:17 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Thanks for the additional comments. I am trying to tell myself the whole situation isn't as grim as I had thought it might be.
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 02:18 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,242
I don´t know what "grim" is supposed to mean in this context.

Argentina is at this time cheaper for Americans that it was a year ago and my American friends who are now here confirm that.

Have a great time in my town.

Last edited by avrooster; Feb 15th, 2019 at 02:21 AM. Reason: mistake
avrooster is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 06:56 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,306
Waiting in lines to exchange money at a bank and having bank say you must be a regular customer to do any business with it. An ATM that doesn't work and reports of this happening more than on occasion. Not being able to get a country's currency anywhere but In that country and all the rest of it are what i would call grim. I am glad things are cheap there (for Americans) but I suspect a lot of residents would be happier if things were a little more stable financially.

Once again I appreciate all the useful comments so I can actually SPEND my money.
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 10:30 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 153
Don't worry, you'll be able to spend your money!

We've been to Argentina twice during the past year and used credit cards everywhere. We have stopped using cash at home in Sweden and it was just as easy not to use any cash in Argentina (more so that in Switzerland and Japan for example).

We got back from our last trip only a few days ago. To be on the safe side I withdrew 4000 ARG (some 100USD) with a Swedish credit card from an ATM when connecting in AEP. The fee was high but I think that's great if it discourages the use of cash. We only used some some 1500 pesos (tips in restaurants, always 10%) so we spent the money at the airport when we left. The three places we visited in our two trips were Villa la Angostura, Calafate and el Chaltén. The only place that didn't take cards was the Arrayanes national park in Villa la Angostura. The Los Glaciares national park did take cards. We were also warned that we wouldn't be able to buy petrol in el Chaltén without cash.

Btw, as far as I could see you could buy ARG in both Brazil and Uruguay, so your statement "Not being able to get a country's currency anywhere but In that country" is not entirely correct.
ticino is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 01:22 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,242
I agree with ticino: "Don't worry, you'll be able to spend your money!" LOL!!!!

I have just been trying to help with getting the best rate of exchange, without suffering "grim" inconveniences.

Have a great time in my country and spend as much as possible.

Last edited by avrooster; Feb 15th, 2019 at 01:24 PM. Reason: mistake
avrooster is offline  
Feb 16th, 2019, 02:35 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 1
Hello I am new here and would like to join this conversation as this ATM issue is worrying me a little… we will spend 2 months in Argentina later this year (first time) and we dont want to bring alot of cash - we also have no USD or Euro so we need to change at home anyway…… can we also cash money at a bank with the cc?
What do you recommend? Ticinos remark is making me feel better………��
we have no itineray yet but will go down to patagonia and also mendoza area, salta and iguazu

im sure I will ask some more question in other posts��
muchas gracias
goofy73 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2019, 06:02 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,221
Just a little side “tip”. There is a casino in the Park Hyatt in Mendoza. Right outside the casino entrance from inside the hotel, there’s an ATM that has a much higher withdrawal limit than other ATMs. (Most are limited to 2000 AP, I think we got 6000 or more from that one).
sf7307 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:50 PM.