Currency exchange in Argentina for beginners
Exchanging currency and understanding exchange rates must be one of the trickiest and most confusing things foreigners have to deal with when visiting Argentina. Read on for a list of money-related pro tips by Signature Tours’ experienced travel professionals.
Cards or cash: what should I bring with me for my trip?
If you are visiting our nation from Western Europe, North America, Oceania, or any country with a strong and stable local currency, it will be extremely shocking for you to find out what is going on down here. Probably one of the strongest cultural shocks you will have during your trip.
Due to a never ending ciclic history of economic crisis, racing inflation, and tremendously high devaluation rates, most people in Argentina do not trust their own country’s currency. Locals use Argentine Pesos on a daily basis but when it comes to stacking money under their mattresses, for logical reasons, they have a strong tendency to save USD notes if possible.
The problem is that the more people want to buy USD in a country that is not allowed to print these bills, the more the price rises (and that of our own currency declines).
Throughout the past years, the government has been implementing a series of economic regulations that aim to keep the price of the dollar as flat as humanly possible. Locals are now only allowed to purchase 200 USD a month and card transactions that are charged in USD have very high taxes applied.
This has led to the emergence of a USD black market, locally known as “Dolar Blue”, whose exchange rate is much higher than the official one.
This Dolar Blue rate was extremely beneficial for international travelers, as it provided much more value than the official rate. But exchanging through unofficial suppliers is always risky as it is very easy to get scammed, especially if you are not familiar with the notes.
Fortunately, that is not the case anymore. The government has recently announced that foreigners will now be able to exchange money in some banks for a rate that is nearly the same as the Blue one. Travelers will get the best of both worlds: high value without risking loosing it all to a scammer.
How does this work?
Tourists must present their passport at the exchange bureaus or banks and may exchange up to US$5,000 per person, or its equivalent in reais or another currency.
As travel professionals with several years of experience in the field, we always advise travelers coming to Argentina to bring as much cash as possible.
ATMs often run out of cash and also charge extremely high fees.
Cards are not accepted in many places, and when they are the exchange rate is very low compared to the previously mentioned alternatives.
Have you got further questions on this topic? Do not hesitate to contact us, we are just a message away, ready to help you and hoping to see you soon around here to say: “Welcome to Buenos Aires. Enjoy your stay”.