Changing Argentine pesos into pounds/dollars
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jul 18, 2012 3:43 AM Last Post By: mendocinateacher
May 22, 2012 3:39 PM
Changing Argentine pesos into pounds/dollarsHello,
Am aware this has been covered in passing before but am keen to find out for certain, as have had conflicting advice, so sorry if this seems to be retreading old ground.
Is it (a) legal and (b) possible for a non-resident to change Argentinian pesos into pounds or dollars within the country? Am thinking about Buenos Aires in particular.
Just need a definite answer one way or the other - any help most gratefully received!
May 22, 2012 4:52 PM
yes, it's completely legal and possible to change ARS into pounds or dollars. Anyway once you are in Argentina, in big cities like B.A you'll notice it's better to have only the neccesary pesos for taxis or small things in drugstores, since you'll find that it's better to pay with U$D .Many restaurants and stores give a better currancy than exchange offices. You can pay in pesos to artisans in streets, and even though they can accept U$D.
May 22, 2012 7:15 PM
Theoretically, the AFIP (tax department) laws here allow you to exchange excess pesos into the dollars or other currency IF you have proof (such as ATM receipts) that you bought the pesos in Argentina with the currency you plan to exchange the excess pesos for. That is, if you get AFIP approval.
Nobody has come on here since the currency controls were enacted in October and dependably said they have done it however, it all just seems theoretical now. There have been posters who have said that they have talked to people who have done it , but were short on details. There are people who have done the exchange on the grey and black markets, but there are risks there (such as forgeries and swindles).
The first reply is somewhat misleading, obtuse and disingenuous on this issue. Technically legal yes, practically possible maybe. Just do not count on it. The rest of the answer is good tho.
As with many things in life, there are no definite answers to this one. If you cannot live without definite answers I respectfully suggest you are not ready to travel in far different cultures.
If you try to do this, can you please report back with your results to help clear this up?
May 24, 2012 4:37 AM
3Frankly, I think you will run into difficulty. In theory, tourists can exchange remaining pesos for dollars as long as they have their original exchange receipt, but the rules have changed so often (and so many banks/casas de cambio don't play by the rules in the first place) that I take anything AFIP says with a grain of salt. For example, on another travel forum, one poster was told by Piano that Banco de la Nacion was the ONLY bank allowed to sell dollars to tourists, while another went to Nacion and was told they were NOT allowed to sell dollars to tourists! AFIP recently tightened the dollar controls yet again, sending the black market rate for dollars up to 6... so I imagine that buying them for the official rate of 4.46 is only going to get more difficult. All you can do is stop into Banco Piano and Banco de la Nacion with your pesos and receipt and hope for the best...
May 29, 2012 1:06 PM
4TARSILA mentioned below that many restaurants and stores give a better currency than exchange offices. Is this also the case when paying in Euros? If yes, would the exchange rate which they apply lie somewhere between the oficial rate and the black market rate? Has anybody experience with Euro payments in Buenos Aires or the rest of Argentina which might be the possibility to avoid the manupulated official rate?
Jun 1, 2012 12:17 PM
The regulations are not clear so most banks and exchange offices avoid the risk of selling foreign currency to anyone even tourists from other countries. Buy only the pesos you need to use and not more.
I just heard that Global Exchange booths at Ezeiza airport are selling pesos at the incredible rate of AR$ 3,60 for each US$. Please do not use them. The official exchange rate (Banco Nacón or Casa Piano in Ezeiza airport) is AR$ 4,49 for each US$, and the black market estimated rate is around AR$ 5,90 for each US$.
Jun 1, 2012 4:43 PM
Jul 16, 2012 2:09 PM
7The situation is rather dire. My husband and I have been in Argentina now for a little over a month and a half and we're flying home to San Francisco tomorrow. I called Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Charles Schwab and a number of foreign exchange services today (7/16/12). All of them will not take Argentine pesos. Apparently, they stopped taking ARS 3 months ago - and they can no longer exchange them if you were to sell them back home (which was our plan). I'm not sure about other banks and foreign exchange services outside of California though - there might be other options out there that we weren't able to find. Our last recourse was to send a money gram via Maguiexpress in Recoleta. We were charged an exorbitant rate - 6.77% + a 4% transaction fee. My advice for future travelers is to limit the amount of Argentine pesos and to use your credit cards whenever possible. Good luck and travelers beware...
Jul 16, 2012 11:36 PM
8thanks for that warning.
Yes, limit the amount of Argentine pesos purchased to what you will need. You can transfer them, at poor rates, in neighboring SA countries however.
However, I advise taking as many US dollars as you are comfortable carrying, as they are easily exchanged, and as well you can get good rates at many restaurants, hotels, shops, tourist businesses etc
I advise against the use of credit cards unless really necessary, because of the high chances of double booking and misuse. Also, the major credit card companies are now using credit institutions in local countries in many latin american countries to avoid the risk and responsibility of misbilling, and they are more difficult to deal with. For example, I had many relatives use credit cards in Chile about 6 months ago, and many were double or misbilled . The fact that most commerical vendors in Chile use an intermediate credit organization like the terrible Transbank to process the billings that there is an intermediary between the commercial vendors and the international credit card companies and your credit card providers means that there is a gap in responsibility. Unfortunately, many of my family are still fighting clear cases of misbilling that would have been cleared up quickly had the mistakes occured incountry). In addition, there are usually extra service fees for using credit cards here, usually 10 % but sometimes more above the cash or direct debit price. And, many places just do not take credit cards.
Generally, the best route to take is using a debit card at an ATM and using US dollars, limiting credit card use for emergencies or where you have no other choice.
Jul 18, 2012 3:43 AM
9For part of my reason for my prior statement about carrying US dollars in Argentina, look at his response to a question on the Peru subsection which is especially applicable to Argentina:
"No...US dollars are not necessary, but may be financially more beneficial.
Remember that the difference in buy-sell rate for US dollars is always smaller than other currencies around the world, especially in latinamerica. This is because the US dollar is still the universal currency and worth proportionately more for real currency exchange than other currencies. This means that very often you save money by converting your local currency like Euros into dollars in your home country (in this case Italy), and then converting the dollars in to the local currency of the the country you are visiting (in this case, Peru)
The OP from Italy and asked about Peru NSoles in the other thread, so FOR AN EXAMPLE look at the current exchange rates in Milan.
100 Euro=144.59 US
100 Euro=394.88 Peru NS
100 US= 273.1 Peru NS
Now, look at the current exchange rates in Lima: http://www.exchangerate.com/currency-converter/EUR/USD/1.00/?XR-200Plus_Converter=convert&calc_short_from_iso=266&calc_short_to_iso=239
100 Euro=323 Peru NS
100 US= 283.8 Peru NS
100 Euro= 122.6 US
Therefore, you do not have to be a mathematical genius to figure out that your best option is to buy US dollars in Italy, and then converting the US dollars into Peru NS in Peru (even taking into account the built-in fees for double exchange). Your second best option is to buy Peru NS, as much as you think you need, in Italy. The reason is that in practical exchange terms (not the flat equivalencies shown in straight conversion sites like XL), the dollar is always in demand and worth more than other foreign currencies. Euros may be accepted, but they are just not as much in demand, especially in Latinamerica. This is the general pattern all home countries and all destination countires (especially in Latinamerica).
US dollars are also:
1. More useful for exchange in neighbouring countries.
2. More beneficial in many shops/hotels/restaurants (especially in countries with foreign exchange controls like Argentina and Venezuela, and for countries like Chile where the law allows for not applying sales taxes for foreigners using US dollars with a foreign passport in some circumstances, or if you go to places like Eucuador or Panama where the US dollar IS the currency).
3. Regardless of what anyone says, dollars are always more recognizable and accepted in most countries, especially in Latinamerica.
For this reason, GENERALLY the best strategy for financing your travel costs anywhere within Latinamerica is to use a combination of debit cards for ATM's and as many American dollars as you are comfortable carrying (the latter especially for Argentina, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador). A good strategy if you are intending to stay in a primary location first for acclimatization (ie: a few weeks in an apartment or a language school, or tours or other initial activities) is to bring US dollars and spend them on these things first, so you are not carrying as much US cash with you as you continue your travels.
Many posts here are now advising against using credit cards generally in destination countries such as in Latin America due to high possibility of mischarging, and the increasing trend in use of intermediate credit institutions (like the terrible Transbank in Chile) which puts further distance between the commercial vendors and your home credit card provider, causing increasing problems with resolving issues caused in visiting countries. Therefore, I recommend only using credit cards for where you have no other choice for things you really want or need, or for emergencies .
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