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Our ATMs to give 500 and 100 peso bills

Old Jul 1st, 2016, 03:13 AM
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Our ATMs to give 500 and 100 peso bills

Many foreign visitors have complained about the difficulty of carrying relatively large amounts of cash in Argentine pesos, as the largest bill was 100 pesos (about U$S 7).

That is no longer so. Five hundred peso bills will soon be available. The ATMs will deal only in 500 and 100 peso bills. If you want "change" (100 peso bills), just ask for say 2400 pesos and you'll most likely get four 500 peso bills and four 100 peso bills.

The low extraction limits and high fees are another problem. That may or may not change.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1914303-l...ofrecer-cambio

Have a great time in my country.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 04:38 AM
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Thanks for the good info. What is your advice as far as using cash vs. credit cards in Argentina? I am happy to use either.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 04:57 AM
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No clear answer to your question. It depends on many things I know nothing about, such as your tolerance for the risk implied by carrying cash.

However, you need to know that Argentina remains an economy where "cash is king" and you can often get a discount for paying in cash, particularly in small businesses which take CCs, but in which the owner is at the cash register. Ask for: "descuento por pago en efectivo??" Furthermore, many small shops simply don't accept payment with CCs.

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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 09:30 AM
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My tolerance for cash carrying is good. Divide it up, different places, etc. Your feedback is helpful. Cash it is, with a credit card tucked away.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 09:43 AM
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In March I was able to use my credit card in many places, including restaurants and my hotel (who wanted only credit card payment!)

I still needed AR cash for taxis, and small purchases. Between two of us we withdrew approx $200 USD equivalent (and yes there is a big charge and low W/D limit) and it lasted for 4 days, including the travel back to the airport. Most of our meals were on credit card.

I booked my return to the airport online with taxiezeiza and was able to pay in cash with either AR or USD.

So I wouldn't walk around with huge wads of cash, personally. Taxis are very cheap.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 12:31 PM
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mlgb: I understand you stayed at the 1555 Malabia House.

It is quite strange for an hotel in Argentina to demand payment with CC only.

The only explanation I can think of is that they prefer not to handle cash.

Would you care to comment further on the subject?
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 02:09 PM
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Helpful info, mjgb. Nice to have a guideline for amount. If i have to deal with more than one exchange cost, I consider it a small expense in the big picture of the whole trip.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 06:55 PM
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I didn't ask why, avrooster. Maybe they didn't want to have cash, I could understand that.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 06:56 PM
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Also, I think after the change in government the 'blue rate' is not any longer an advantage, correct?

Especially compared to the risk of losing/theft of cash vs credit card.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2016, 02:01 AM
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Tahnk you, mlgb.

From the point of view of the hotel, the advantage of dealing in cash is not giving a "cut" to the CC and the disadvantage is the risk of being robbed, if it were known the hotel usually holds significant amounts of cash.

I guess for the Malabia the latter outweighs the former.

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Old Jul 24th, 2016, 03:08 PM
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Generally the cost for an ATM coughing up is imposed by your home bank rather than the foreign financial institution operating the machine. You can check the fine print in your agreement. I use cash to minimize the fees.
Cash can go missing; so can plastic. For security, obtain ATM/debit cards drawn on two different banks; credit cards too. Never carry all the plastic in the same wallet.
(Thanks to the ever-vigilant Rooster for his update.)
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 03:57 AM
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Southam: The "ever vigilant Rooster" is quite grateful for your recognition of his services to the community.

Have a great time in my country.
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 05:44 AM
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Incorrect Southam. There are two charges possible, the issuing ATM and the home bank. In my case the home bank does not charge ATM fees even for overseas withdrawals (Capital One). When I get my bill it details who has charged the fee. Also some ATMs (if not all) warn you of the added fee and ask for an approval.

This is separate from any % charged for foreign exchange, usually 1 to 3%, over published rate.

I understand that UK banks are less generous and some frequent travelers are using a different type of preloaded cash card?
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 07:55 AM
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I came back to this post to refresh my memory on advice. (I will take Atm/debit card, US dollars, and 2 credit cards, maybe a preloaded crd, too.) As I was rereading I see that mlgb stayed at Malabia House. That is where I will be for three nights - recommended by my fantastic agent, Isabel. I told her I prefer small lodgings in good neighborhoods, that let me know I am in another country when I open my eyes each morning. This appears to fill the bill. I hope you liked it.
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 09:35 AM
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Overall it was okay, there were a few things that could be better. I would say the main thing is to be sure you really want that neighborhood.

It is a little bit transitional, and the exact block isn't that convenient for using public transit, if that matters to you. It isn't near Recoleta, or the downtown area, or even the museums. It is kind of a far, hot walk to MALBA, for example, and some of the parks that you pass by have a lot of homeless men hanging around.

But if you will use taxis, it won't really matter.

The neighborhood has boutiques for window shopping, there are some small cafes nearby, but I didn't find anything great. Maybe I didn't know where to look or maybe I just don't like Argentina restaurant food!

Also, the barking dogs outside are pretty bad.

The girl that works at the front desk spends her time reading and isn't so friendly. The guy was very nice.

The breakfast is good, and I liked having the espresso machine. The beds, etc are very comfy and the decor is nice. My room had the bathroom across the hall, if that matters, it was private but a little inconvenient.
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 10:30 AM
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Mlgb is quite right. It is definitely worth checking out EXACTLY what your bank is charging you and what their max. withdrawal limits are. Most fx transaction are handled by visa and MasterCard whose "standard"charge is, I believe, still 2.75% charged on the mid market wholesale rate at the time the transaction is processed. This applies to cc and dc transaction. The bank may increase or reduce this charge by varying the profit margin it takes from visa etc. This charge is made by your bank NOT the ATM provider.

I addition to the % charge for ATm withdrawals some banks may charge a flat fee, usually 1-1.5 £,$ or €. Some charge nothing at all. Some ATM provider, in fact most in South America will charge a flat fee per withdrawal. In Peru 14 soles is the norm. Researching my upcoming visit to Avrooster's wonderful country, it seems that the Argentine ATMs typically charge 80 pesos per withdrawal. What makes it especially expensive there, are the very low max withdrawal limits which I am informed are 2400. That equates to a 3.33% charge add that to the 3.00% which court be charged by the card provider and that makes withdrawing cash in Argentina a very expensive process which is why I am bring a stack of USD which, fortunately, I purchased pre Brexit!

UK banks, probably because most are global players, do not tend to charge for foreign withdrawals but there has still been a huge growth in pre loaded debit cards. This is partly because their charges for ATM withdrawals are low to zero but mainly because they tend to take a much lower percentage charge - in many cases 1%. They also have the major advantage of not being linked to your main bank account in the event of hacking.

It all adds up even in a relatively short trip
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 11:01 AM
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If I had not been arriving on a holiday weekend, I might have gone the cambio route. I was able to get by with one withdrawal only and the rest on a credit card which has a 1% forex fee but gives me back a 1.5% cash credit.

I didn't need a lot of cash, really mainly for taxis.

FYI at the exchange rates of the time, the ATM fee I was charged in Argentina (by HSBC Arg) was $6, and $7 in Chile (but at the airport, so could have been higher than normal).

In the past in Peru I was able to withdraw fee-free at Scotiabank, and actually a few other banks, soon I will find out if that still holds true.
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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Thanks AV
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 01:11 PM
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AV, I notice that my Malabia House charge was billed by a travel agency in Florida. Perhaps that is why they ask for credit card payable in USD only, do you think?
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 02:07 PM
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I don't really know mlgb, but, knowing my country, I would not be at all surprised if it had something to do with tax evasion.

Have a great time in my country.
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