Summary of Financial Options

  • Hi All -


    We have some Argentinian friends that we met in the US and are very interested in doing an extended trip to Argentina. We have traveled and lived outside of the US extensively and the finances have mostly not been an issue (we use a schwab bank account that refunds ATM fees) while traveling to other countries. So after reviewing this forum it seems like the potential options for paying for living expenses are as follows (from what I read on earlier posts). 1) use ATM's and get hammered in fees & taxes with very low limits of cash 2) bank runs to Uruguay 3) Potentially get landlords to accept transferwise or use 4) CASH. Since none of these options seems easy and/or best practice for traveling, how dangerous is it to bring cash into the country (I read the limits are 10k USD per person). I am more specifically thinking about storing the cash once in country (not exceeding the limit)? Under the mattress doesn't seem ideal either.


    Thoughts?

  • Not sure when the borders will open up but for what it's worth, here are some things to think about.


    If you use ATMs you will be stuck with the official exchange rate which is not the way to go.


    Transferring money to yourself via Western Union allows you to get close to the grey market rate.


    Yes , 10 k is the limit


    Storing cash at home or in your apartment is clearly not wise and non-residents cannot open a bank account.


    But if you use WU as your bank you can do transfers every 15 days or so....

    • Official Post

    The thing with WU - correct me if I am wrong - is that if you transfer too much too often they ask for paperwork. What kind, I don't know - I am merely recalling something I read on a forum or on a FB group. Perhaps there is any difference if you are sending money to yourself from abroad and if someone else sends you money from abroad?


    Another option is to find someone who does money exchange for a living. There are a couple that serve the central neighborhoods of Capital that even come to your place and can exchange cash, paypal balance for cash, bank transfers for cash etc. They cather to expats specifically and operate at the blue rate.

  • How long an extended visit are you planning, PCLocal ? Will you be staying in a few places for extended times, or staying on the road most of the time? Will you be staying long in the place where your Argentine friends live? If so, could you take cash and have your friends keep it in their bank account, doling it out to you as needed? (Or, GlasgowJohn , would that trigger problems for the friends, with AFIP?)

  • The thing with WU - correct me if I am wrong - is that if you transfer too much too often they ask for paperwork. What kind, I don't know - I am merely recalling something I read on a forum or on a FB group. Perhaps there is any difference if you are sending money to yourself from abroad and if someone else sends you money from abroad?


    Another option is to find someone who does money exchange for a living. There are a couple that serve the central neighborhoods of Capital that even come to your place and can exchange cash, paypal balance for cash, bank transfers for cash etc. They cather to expats specifically and operate at the blue rate.

    I have read the story about WU but have never heard of anyone who has had to produce excessive paperwork.


    Once a year they ask you to fill in the " I am not a money launderer" form but that's it .


    When you do the first transfer to a bank account, the receiver also has to fill in a form, but only once.


    All money transfer people have similar forms - WU is not any worse than the rest.


    How long an extended visit are you planning, PCLocal ? Will you be staying in a few places for extended times, or staying on the road most of the time? Will you be staying long in the place where your Argentine friends live? If so, could you take cash and have your friends keep it in their bank account, doling it out to you as needed? (Or, GlasgowJohn , would that trigger problems for the friends, with AFIP?)

    IN theory , AFIP may want to find out more about the cash


    Not sure at what level they would want to know more

  • Rice

    We are still working that out, but ideally 3-6 months.

    I think we would stay in one or two places. Probably BA & Cordoba.

    Based on GlasgowJohn recommendation it seems like WU might be a good option especially if we are not staying for a much longer period of time.


    There was also an element of curiosity as to how expats stay longer without serious hassles to pulling money into the country.


    Thank you everyone for your feedback.

    • Official Post

    For 3-6 months, you can bring on you enough cash to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while here, especially if you are two adults.

    I understand your concerns about bringing 20k USD cash with you and where to put them.


    When my uncle visited, he wanted a safe in a bank for a three weeks stay - I think he had 4-5 k USD on him. He couldn't believe there was no such option to non-residents and that safes are not easily available as they are very sought after. He had worked in a bank all his life and definitely the adjustments imposed on you by Argentina weren't easy to digest for him, not to mention the money exchange man coming to our place to change the money.


    I think he has never seen such a thing, not even in Cuba, where he vacationed at least 3 times.