Book flights and hotels in ARS

  • Hey guys,


    I know that it's getting harder and harder by the day to book hotels and flights in ARS. Yet I found a website, which is still billing you in ARS at the official rate. I have used my international credit card and got billed in ARS.


    Can local credit cards be used online to book hotels billed in ARS or is there a "lock" on them so that they cannot be used or only by paying a government tax (similar to when you wanna book a flight)? Since I have to book quite a few hotels next year, it would be nice to save a bit on them ;)

  • I think we have used our local card to buy hotels on booking.com. However, the hotel owners are smart enough to let you only pay a deposit on booking.com and the rest in cash upon arrival or at the actual rate short before the booking. They don't want to commit today for, say, 4,000 thousands in 2021. They quote in USD, you pay the deposit at the current rate in ARS.

  • I think we have used our local card to buy hotels on booking.com. However, the hotel owners are smart enough to let you only pay a deposit on booking.com and the rest in cash upon arrival or at the actual rate short before the booking. They don't want to commit today for, say, 4,000 thousands in 2021. They quote in USD, you pay the deposit at the current rate in ARS.

    Well, I know sites which let's you book the hotel and pay it in full in ARS for the official exchange rate. Using a ARS issued credit card should then give you some nice savings ;)

    Unfortunately, I don't have an ARS credit card. Does anybody know a travel agency which could help out here and use their business credit card to book it?

  • Well, I know sites which let's you book the hotel and pay it in full in ARS for the official exchange rate. Using a ARS issued credit card should then give you some nice savings ;)

    Unfortunately, I don't have an ARS credit card. Does anybody know a travel agency which could help out here and use their business credit card to book it?

    I don't know of any card for tourists (opening a bank account in Argentina is not quick and easy as elsewhere, getting a credit card even less).

    If you book through local agencies while you are here, you can pay in ARS cash. If you pay with your foreign card, you get charged in USD at the official rate.


    I am not sure why you are eager to pay the official rate, which is highly unattractive for foreigners. Perhaps you got your words mixed up?

  • No, seems like I should have been more clear about it. Lemme try again :)


    Let's say, I want to book a hotel in bella Italia - Rome. The room is 100 Euro per night. The website I am talking about, takes the official exchange rate EUR-ARS and converts the Euro into ARS, which is then around 9,000 ARS. If I now would have access to a credit card, which charges me in ARS, then I would have to pay 9,000 ARS and 9,000 would then get deducted from my ARS bank account. Whereas when I would use my Euro credit card I would get billed 9,000 ARS as well but they will convert it back to Euro and I would get charged 100 Euro + conversion fees in the end.


    On the other hand, I could exchange 100 Euro using the dolar blue and would get much more ARS for it. Effectively 9,000 ARS would then cost around 53 Euro. But this only works when you could use a credit card which charges you directly in ARS and do not convert it. Hence I would need a ARS credit card.


    Does anyone know a travel agency or someone who has access to a credit card which charges directly in ARS? Thanks a lot!

  • I think you are not aware of the existence of dolar turista. When you use your ARG credit card to make purchases abroad, you get charged the official rate but also a 35% 'solidarity tax' (impuesto país).


    The only way to take advantage of the blue rate is to pay cash to a local travel agency for Argentinian travels.

    If you go to a local travel agency to buy foreign travels, they will be charged the dolar turista rate, as well, so you wouldn't get the same saving.


    As a reference, the blue dollar is at 140, the dolar turista is at 100, the official is around 75.


    El dólar turista es utilizado en las operaciones de compra de pasajes, productos y servicios en el exterior, siempre que se realicen en moneda extranjera (y el comprador no los abone con dólares atesorados previamente).


    There is also a 200 USD per month spending allowed.

  • There is a useful simular here.


    Your 100 EUR hotel in Rome, which is 117 USD, would end up costing you 15491,97 ARS if paid using an Argentinian credit card.


    I exchanged yesterday at 140, so you would spend 110 USD instead of 117 USD.


    This is without taking into account any intermediary fee or credit card conversion fee, which will probably take away any convenience in such deal.

  • No it does not, because the website uses the official USD-ARS rate to convert it and you will then get billed in ARS. So there is no USD charge on your credit card, but rather an ARS charge.

  • mike , i think you are not including the additional taxes that your Argentine bank charges you when the statements are issued.


    You pay 30% surcharge and then another 35% and in addition our friends at the AFIP start to look at all aspects of your tax affairs...

  • No it does not, because the website uses the official USD-ARS rate to convert it and you will then get billed in ARS. So there is no USD charge on your credit card, but rather an ARS charge.

    Just to be clear, an Argentinian card, even if it is linked to a bank account with both ARS and USD balance, doesn't get charged USD ever. They foreign purchase is always converted in ARS and charged with taxes, and debited on the ARS balance.