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Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

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Danville, California
posts: 1
Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

I spent the last two weeks of June 2013 in Buenos Aires.

Shop keepers and street vendors often accept US dollars and give a better conversion rate than banks and credit card companies.

Banks will generally use the official exchange rate, which in June 2013 was approximately 5.4 Argentine pesos for one US dollar. Credit card companies will also use a rate close to the official rate but most also charge a fee of 2.5% to 3%.

Shop keepers and street vendor rates were between 7 and 8 pesos to the US dollar with no fees.

To get the US dollar rate from retail stores, agree on the price in pesos, then ask how much would this be in US dollars, in cash. The shop keeper will often take out a calculator and show you the peso price, divided by the exchange rate he or she is giving. The rate in June of 2013 was 7 or 8 pesos to the dollar and gives a significant saving over the official rate of 5.4 that you would get with a credit card or at a bank.

Another way to get a better rate is to change the money on the street. Florida is a major shopping street in Buenos Aires. On every block, there were several people standing on the street saying the Spanish word “Cambio”, which is an offer to exchange currencies. Rates varied from 7.8 to 8 pesos to the dollar.

When getting a higher return for your money, you are, as always, taking additional risk. Cash can be lost or stolen. You can mitigate this risk by leaving most of your cask in the safe in your hotel. If changing dollars on the street, it is probably better not to change too much at any one time and be sure to see the pesos you will receive before handing over your cash.

If you take more than $10,000, currency or other monetary instruments, out of the US, remember to file form FinCEN Form 105 (www.fincen.gov/forms/files/fin105_cmir.pdf) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is legal to take the cash; you just have to file the form.

Buenos Aires...
posts: 2,267
reviews: 81
1. Re: Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

While it is legal, I would not advise folks come into Argentina with more than US$10,000 in cash or equivalent..... paperwork with AFIP at EZE could be more than you want to deal with.

Pasadena, California
posts: 41
2. Re: Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

It is not wise for the typical tourist to trade dollars for pesos by randomly selecting a "cambio barker" on calle Florida. There is too great a risk of getting counterfeit bills. Better to inquire of a hotel employee, e.g., bartender, busboy or a trustworthy local for reliable cuevas or merchants who will trade.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 4,377
reviews: 669
3. Re: Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

Excellent! Thanks so much for sharing.

San Miguel de...
posts: 941
reviews: 37
4. Re: Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

Excellent! Danville Don has a knack for this kind of thing. Easy to read and understand, plus concise eh?

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 4,377
reviews: 669
5. Re: Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

Oops. I actually posted to the wrong thread. LOL. I meant it for a trip report thread. (Late night and tired from the trip back from Hawaii).

Actually I agree with Gaucho that although it's legal to bring in more than $10,000 US without declaring it. It's NOT a good idea. I just heard from a good friend that had some problems with a rather large amount of money. It was all declared but she said she got pulled into a room and then they were counting it and they claimed that some bills were fake. (She thinks that bills were switched).

I'm NOT sure what went on but in this type of environment, I wouldn't recommend bringing in more than $10,000 and if you do, I'd have an accounting of serial numbers or something so you avoid potential problems with customs there.

6. Re: Benefit to paying with US currency in Buenos Aries – 06/2013

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