Canadian dollars for pesos at EZE?

Old Jul 26th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Canadian dollars for pesos at EZE?

My wife and I are making our first visit to Argentina in October. Given the idiosyncrasies of ATMs in Argentina we plan to exchange dollars for pesos from Banco de la Nacion when we arrive at the Buenos Aires airport. The question for us is US dollars or Canadian dollars. The bank's web site indicates a reasonable buy rate for Canadian dollars. I say "reasonable" based on xe.com and a peso charge for a flight wih Andes that just showed up on my Visa statement. It is easy enough for me to get US dollars here in Canada but the money changer always takes a cut so I would prefer to take Canadian dollars.

Are the rates posted at www.bna.com.ar the rates used for retail exchanges? One concern I have is that the BNA web site has two boxes, one blue that lists C$ (click otras...), and a green box that lists only USD, euro and Brazillian currency...the three that one would expect to be most commonly ecountered. I have been unable to figure out the difference between the two boxes.

Has anyone here exchanged Canadian dollars or currencies other than the USD or euro at EZE?
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Old Jul 26th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Hello,
Yeh money is complicated in Argentina... I would recommend you change your money into pesos outside the airport, as they usually dont give you a very good rate. The problem is that you can no longer change money in private banks, lots of places dont take cards and the maximum you can withdraw from ATMs is $300 AR, so... bring US dollars and change them into pesos at a "casa de cambio" when you get to the city... in Recoleta (one of the main tourist areas) there are plenty!

Good luck!
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Old Jul 26th, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Bsasexpert, Thanks for the sdvice. I'll be in BA in just a few short weeks myself! I am very excited & looking forward to it very much!
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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Before you leave, take a look at http://www.dolarhoy.com/indexx.php
to get an idea of the prevailing rates of exchange.

I suggest you change to US dollars back home, if you can get a good rate and then change the US dollars into pesos here.

The rate you will get from the Banco de la Nación branch at the airport should be fair.

Do NOT change in a conveniently (in the luggage pick-up area) located booth operated by "Global Exchange". They are crooks.

Have a great time in our country with your wife, Gavin.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Gavin, I will be very interested in knowing how you make out.
When we went the Argentina last year we used ATM's. I'm not sure this is the way to go, because of the user fees. Bank of Nova Scoatia charges $5.00 per transaction and I think other banks are similar.
BUT, I've always been advised not to change money twice. As you say, the money changer will get a cut when you buy your US dollars.
If you can get a good rate exchanging your Canadian dollars, I'd do that. If Banco de la Nacion gives a good rate, why change to US dollars first?

Please come back and post of your experience. I'm going to Argentina for 6 weeks this winter, and have to figure out the best way.
BTW if you do buy US dollars, at least the rate it good right now!
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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The rate between USD and pesos is really convenient for you guys! 1 USD - $3.79 or $3.80 pesos at some places, and considering our economic situation this rate will continue for a while... No matter where you exchange, NEVER do it at the airports. The only place you can exchange money at the airport is the Banco de la Nación who have the official rate.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Here is what was the case for me in April, although it might be different now. If you go to an HSBC bank ATM in Buenos Aires, you can withdraw 640 pesos (You can't withdraw 660, so maybe the real limit is 650, who knows?). If you go to a Citibank ATM, you can withdraw 2400 pesos. This is for a Canadian user. Now one thing that has changed is that Argentinian ATMs are now charging an extra fee that amounts to a few dollars on each transaction. So think carefully about using credit cards versus cash and about taking out large amounts of cash rather than dribbles here and there.

If you are in Vancouver, you can get good rates for changing Canadian dollars to USD (2% over the interbank rate with no fees), but less good rates for changing Canadian dollars to Argentinian pesos, here:
http://www.vbce.ca/
I still decided to get some Argentinian pesos before I left, and given how the exchange rate changed on that trip, it was actually a good deal (but no guarantee that will happen in your case). I had some leftover USD that I also took, and this turned out to be useful for my Brazilian daytrip at Iguazu.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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Great information, WillTravel. DO you know if all Citibank ATM's allow 2400 pesos?
Is Buenos Aires also called Capital Federal? When I go onto the web site for Citibank it does not list Buenos Aires, only Capital Federal?
I'll also be in other cities, so I hope they have the same high limit. since I'll be paying a fee, I want to make each withdrawal worthwhile.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Yes, the big city of Buenos Aires, as opposed to the province of Buenos Aires, is Capital Federal.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Thank you Will.
Do you remember what Citi Bank charged for a ATM withdrawal?

I just called Citi Bank in Toronto, and if I open an account with them , there will be no ATM charge by them up here, but could possibly be a fee in Argentina. They could not answer this question.
This could be the best solution.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:00 PM
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Thank you all for your input. WillTravel, that is interesting information about Citi. In addition to many Citi ATMs in BA I see that there is one in Salta. If we can get a reasonable amount of cash in one transaction then the fees are not so objectionable.

I am still curious if anyone knows if Canadian dollars can be exchanged for pesos at a reasonable rate (or at all). I recall being surprised that I could have sold Canadian dollars for Ethiopian birr at the Addis Ababa airport and saved me changing money twice if I had known ahead of time.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:39 PM
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I have a $5 (CAD) Plus withdrawal fee on my bank statement for each withdrawal, but I think that is something TD charged me, rather than Citi or HSBC.

The new additional ATM fee that I mentioned, which was introduced after I went, is something the Argentinian government has imposed. Read more about it here.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/argen...sage-fees.html
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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Actually, that new fee is not from the Argentinian government, and it's not clear if HSBC and Citi will charge it.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 07:36 PM
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Yes my bank will charge me $5 and now evidently the local bank will charge a few dollars as well. These fees are only minor irritants if I can get by on a couple of big withdrawals for the trip. If on the other hand I can only get the equivalent of $100 per withdrawal then I will go back to the primative method of exchanging paper currency.
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Old Jul 28th, 2009, 04:25 AM
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Gavin: about your "I am still curious if anyone knows if Canadian dollars can be exchanged for pesos at a reasonable rate (or at all).", I gave you a link to a website that shows you CAN exchange Canadian dollars for pesos in BA.

http://www.dolarhoy.com/ indicates that, as of yesterday, you could get 3,488 pesos per Canadian dollar at Puente Hnos. Of course, this could change anytime.
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Old Jul 28th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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Thank you avrooster. I had tried the dolarhoy.com link a few times yesterday and it did not work. I just got into it and can see that the strategy of taking Canadian dollars rather than US will pay at some establishments and not at others.
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Old Jul 28th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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Several years ago, while I was in BA, a friend came for part of the stay. She was planning to get USD but enede up running late and didn't get to the bank. So she came with Canadian $$. She had no trouble at all changing them at the Banco de La Nacion at the airport. When she told me this, I sort of cringed and thought thought - oh she probably got a bad rate... But, when we compared the rate she got for the transaction with the rate I got from taking out money using my CIBC ATM card, the rate was pretty much the same. This was right before the banks put a 100 dollar limit per transaction. Also now the extra new fee makes it even worse. So I think Gavin is right about relying a bit on the "primitive method" these days.

She didn't try other banks during her stay, so I don't know if others would exchange Canadian $.

raquel
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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After landing at EZE we found the line up for currency exchange at Banco de la Nacion. It was long and slow moving. A security guard suggested using the ATM to another passenger on our flight and he had no trouble getting 300 pesos. We opted to try for 590 (to get some smaller bills) it worked and were on our way. Saving a couple of dollars did not seem very important after the long flight from Toronto. For the rest of the trip I had a wad of Canadian money for which no handy way of exchanging ever appeared. Since 600 peso withdrawals were possible with two out of the three ATM cards we had, it was not such an issue as when I thought I was going to be limited to a much lower amount and I did not try very hard. One ATM card (Cirrus linked) only allowed 320 pesos (so I aborted the trnasactions) except at a CITI ATM where it let me have 600.

After checking the transaction records with my bank I found that there was about a 7.6% advantage to me to use my credit card over cash. This is assuming that there is no discount for cash and that you are not avoiding the inexpensive restaurant that does not take credit cards! The $5 fee that my bank (CIBC) charges me is included in this analysis. The Argentine bank fee is rolled into the withdrawal amount so a 600 peso withdrawal shows as 611.53 pesos.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Gavin, I'm finding this quite interesting. We're going to BA in late February (for 9 days), then to Uruguay for a week. I rarely take CAD $ with me when I travel - too awkward (but we usually take a small amount of USD). We tend to rely on ATMs and credit cards (when we can). We also bank at CIBC, but it sounds like it's a good idea to have multiple ATM cards. I may open up an account with another bank, just to be on the safe side.

Thanks for posting.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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One other thing I should mention is that outside Buenos Aires credit card acceptance is lower than in most places that I have been to. Don't even count on gas stations taking credit cards.

SusanInToronto, having two different ATM card is allways a good idea no matter where you travel. At times when my CIBC card has not worked my wife's TD card has. Both are Visa/Plus. Argentine ATMs ask you which network your card is linked to so it is handy to what type your card is. For your CIBC card select "Visa", this has nothing to do with Visa credit cards and is not a cash advance.
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