Photo Credit: Geronimo Giqueaux
Double Your Cash On Your Next Trip To Argentina
If you like fresh steaks and wine, you’ll love what Argentina’s government has implemented for tourists headed to this amazing South American country. Argentina’s government has launched an exchange rate specifically for tourists who use their debit or credit cards for purchases.
The Dolar Blue
When I spent a few months in Argentina, I was not made aware of the “Dolar Blue” until I was two months in. I had been going to the banks and withdrawing cash for a $10 fee on each withdrawal. It was becoming costly, and I had to figure out another way of getting my money exchanged.
I tried Western Union, which gave me a much better rate than the banks, but I had to walk around with a lot of cash to make it happen. Eventually, I went into Facebook groups and read about exchanging money on their black market. As soon as I inquired, I had a dozen messages from locals trying to exchange my dollars for double what the banks were giving me. This exchange is what they called the “Dolar Blue.”
I would request an amount via Whatsapp and a guy on a motorbike would show up at my Airbnb with a box of Argentine cash. I wouldn’t even exchange money for weeks at a time. I felt like Franklin Saint with money pouring out of my tiny closet.
Argentina Has Taken Action
The great news is, two years later, the government has now matched the black market amount for tourists. Due to their lack of recovery from the pandemic and not attracting as many tourists as Caribbean countries, the government has decided to finally give in. Also, if tourists continued to use the black market to exchange cash, Argentina’s economy would never recover since it’s money they can’t tax.
Double Your Cash
Now, with your credit or debit card, you’re doubling your money. For example, last week the official rate for the dollar was 158 pesos. As a tourist, with the new exchange rate, your dollar now becomes 292 pesos.
Initially, credit and debit card purchases were charged at the normal rate the banks offered. In most cases, you still had leverage with the American dollar but after credit card fees and exchange rates, it just wasn’t as appealing for travelers to spend their money there. Now that the government has changed to the Dolar MEP, this makes it more appealing to tourists all over the world. This will also attract more long-term digital nomads and expats into the country.