Paying with foreign cards at the MEP exchange rate

There are 24 replies in this Thread which has previously been viewed 1,369 times. The latest Post () was by serafina.

  • Sounds too godo to be true.

    Dólar para turistas extranjeros: Massa anunció que podrán pagar con tarjeta al valor MEP y que el objetivo es sumar reservas

    Es decir, mientras con la regulación actual cuando un turista pasa su tarjeta, por ejemplo, para pagar la cuenta de un restaurante, sus dólares valen unos $155 por unidad (según el Banco Nación hoy), a partir del viernes, cuando entre en vigencia la nueva medida, necesitará menos divisas para pagar esa cuenta ya que ese dólar tendrá un valor equivalente al MEP, que este miércoles cotizaba 291 pesos.

    El esquema funcionará para cualquier gasto que un visitante no residente realice con una tarjeta de débito y crédito emitidos por una entidad financiera del exterior

  • It's in place as of the end of December.

    It's working with Visa and converts at just below the MEP rate when the transaction is processed.

    It also works with Mastercard, but here the transaction goes through at the official rate but you are given a refund a few days later. The net rate is similar to the Visa rate, which is a little below the MEP rate.

    Cash is still king but using your card saves you from carrying piles of cash around.

    this link for the VISA USA page is fairly accurate

    Currency Converter - Exchange Rate Calculator
    Exchange Rates & Currency Conversion Calculator - Use the converter to get an indication of the rate you may receive when using your Visa card. Learn more.

    Right now it indicates a transaction will change at 321.42 per dollar

    the mep today was around 351 - 352

    and the blue is quoted at 372- 376 but most smaller Cuevas are paying out at around 367-368

    Western Union is paying out today at 348.

  • That's helpful.

    Do I have to fill in a form, or pre-register for this, or request to not have the official rate in the store, hotel or restaurant, or state that I am a tourist and don't live here?

    Or is just all automatic?

    Couldn't find a definite answer after 10 minutes of search but looks like automatic? Negligible chance at all to pay for something and find out later that I was charged at the official rate?

    Just hand over cards and pay as normal, and automatically get the MEP rate?

    I have Chilean and UK cards by the way, no USA cards, and no dollar accounts. I'm assuming there is some equivalent of the MEP rate for every currency.

    What about paying in cash? Would dollars normally be accepted at I'm guessing most restaurants but not a fast food place which would be only pesos - is that a good guess?

  • Works for all European cards.

    Chilean I don't know but there is no reason it shouldn't work. Just don't know anyone from Chile who has used a card.

    It's automatic as far as I know.

    I can't answer your question about paying in cash I am afraid.

    But I would imagine that most will take dollars and you have to negotiate the FX rate.

  • Looks like from your response by "Europe" you include UK in that...

    Thanks for your help.

    Are ATMs still to be avoided, and still at the official rate?

    To get pesos, is it fairly safe to change small and moderate amounts with street vendors, or random people that you meet, or are ripoffs and tricks common. Better to go to a shop with a sign that looks legit?

    I'll need to figure out where to get pesos coming from Chile, maybe in Uspallata somewhere.

  • Not sure about ATMs , will ask about and see if anyone has tried.

  • Not sure about ATMs , will ask about and see if anyone has tried.

    A friend of a friend says he got the new rate on the ATM on Tuesday. Treat this with caution though as I have only ms this guy once.

    With regard to one of your previous questions , some places prefer cashand will give cash discounts - It is also possible that  their ability to process an electronic transaction will be "temporarily suspended," This doesn't typically occur at higher-end places, but it certainly can with regularity at smaller places.

    The whole FX situation is in a state of flux. 

    I am still using WU for my needs but that may not suit everyone

  • My local PagoFácil-WU-cueva location has suspended WU transfers for almost 6 months. I am not sure what happened. Perhaps it was not worth the risk. It is a tiny place.

    I also don't understand if all PagoFácil-WU serves as cueva or not. There are two places in my area that do, and the cueva rate differs hugely. I am not sure if it is an initiative of each franchisee or else. I thought being linked with the WU circuit, allowed them to offer the blue rate, but who knows!

  • Hello everybody,

    A summary of my Chilean Visa card related experiences last week going to Puerto Montt from Bariloche:

    As per the ATMs in Argentina, there is a service charge, I think of about 4%. I used the readily available Santander (big blue) machines.

    The Chilean peso is about 1000 to the USD, my eyes still water when I withdraw 150 000 pesos for a 100 USD hotel bill plus bar..

    So why did I not use my Visa card at the hotel ??.....because their terminal accepted only CREDITO and not DEBITO accounts on Visa. This was presumably a software /hardware hitch, as the card worked elsewhere.

    The exchange rate was correct, with a 2% charge from my bank in France.

    I took out more than needed, as I was able to change them back to Euros in Germany, unlike the ARS

    My bar bill was under 10 dollars for 2 artisanal beers and Chili sausage (in Chile) with chips..

    Here is the view of the Pacific from the Costanera...

    After sunset the Cross lights up..


  • I assume this website is legit:

    Blue Dollar Rates : Informal Rate, Formal Rate & Bank Rate of US Dollar in Argentina
    Blue Dolar is unofficial Dollar Rate in Argentina. Get all information on the Blue Dollar such as Quotes, Charts, News. All types of Informal Rate, Formal Rate…

    Don't care about inaccuracies of 1%-2% or whether it has the rate up to date to the hour or the day but I mean broadly speaking I assume I can use as an accurate reference

    Let me know if anyone has found a better one.

    Also here for the MEP:

    Dólar MEP HOY - Cotización Dólar MEP ¡Precio Actualizado!
    Precio del dólar MEP HOY. Conozca la Cotización del Dólar MEP y su valor actualizado. Cómo comprar o vender dólares mep. Sepa cómo funciona

    I did fine one that showed the MEP, Blue dollar, official and others side by side as well, but can't find it now

  • this might be the one you were looking for.

    Dólar hoy, cotización del dólar, precio del dólar, precio histórico del dólar, evolución del índice UVA, dólar blue |
    Seguí la cotización del dólar minuto a minuto, compara cotizaciones, visualiza los valores históricos, conocé el precio del dólar, evolución del índice UVA en…