Due to the number of people who have read the post entitled “Tips for traveling to Argentina: Currency – dollar, euro, official, parallel, blue” and the number of comments and questions that it has generated, I thought it would be helpful to add a part II written in a Q & A format addressing the most commonly asked questions.
Here is a short introduction recapping the previous post:
A few months ago, the Argentinian government prohibited the purchase of dollars (currency exchange control). At this time, Argentinians are not able to go to a bank or currency exchange place to purchase dollars (or Euros, Yen, etc.). Only persons authorized by the government are allowed to purchase currency, and only under specific circumstances.
This has led to the development of a black market that sells dollars and Euros at a much higher price than what has been established by the government (also known as the “official” dollar or Euro). The parallel or blue dollar/Euro is governed by supply and demand and once the flow has been closed off, making dollars difficult to come by, their price increases and continues to do so.
Below we answer questions for tourists entering the country and explain how they are affected by these changes:
Where can I exchange my dollars in Argentina?
There are so-called “financial branches” typically located on Calle Florida (a pedestrian street). They purchase dollars from the black market and are persecuted by the AFIP. Therefore, I believe it is best to exchange dollars at the hotel, or that you pay directly in dollars at restaurants or shops, at the parallel dollar exchange rate (they will give you slightly fewer pesos for every dollar or Euro, but you will receive more than the official exchange rate).
As a tourist, am I able to exchange money at a bank or exchange place?
If you exchange dollars or Euros into Argentinian pesos at a bank or exchange place, you will receive the official exchange rate (you will receive fewer pesos than if you exchanged them at the parallel or blue rate). You will not be able to purchase dollars (for example, if you wish to sell your leftover dollars before returning to your country). It is strictly prohibited, save one exception. It is therefore recommended that you enter the country with dollars or Euros and exchange them little by little and that way you can spend any remaining pesos on a coffee at Ezeiza Airport or at the duty-free shop.
Is there a limit on the number of dollars or Euros that a foreign tourist can bring in?
Yes, $10,000 per person. Customs cannot do or say anything if you enter the country with up to $10,000 (or its equivalent in another currency). It is completely legal.
Are there any restrictions regarding the number of dollars/Euros that can be taken out of the country by a foreigner?
Yes, both Argentinians nationals as well as foreign nationals cannot leave the country with more than $10,000 (or its equivalent in another currency).
What is the best way to pay in Argentina? It is best to pay directly in dollars or Euros in cash at the parallel exchange rate (in many locations such as hotels, restaurants, clothes shops, they will be more than happy to receive them). You can also exchange them into local currency but it is best to do it at the parallel or blue exchange rates (see question one).
What happens if I pay with my foreign credit card? If you use your credit card it will be charged at the official exchange rate, which means you will pay more than if you paid using dollars or Euros in cash or with pesos purchased in the informal market. It is not beneficial to pay by credit card in Argentina if you are a foreigner. Argentinians traveling abroad have the opposite case – they pay everything by credit card because it is based on the official exchange rate.
Where can I read more regarding customs regulations? Click here
Where can I see the exchange rates for the official, parallel and blue dollars/Euros?
CLICK here to find out more
If you would like to receive exclusive information, subscribe to our newsletter and download the FREE “Guide to Argentina”
- Once you are subscribed to our newsletter you will have immediate access to our “Tourist Destinations in Argentina” guide with information regarding the different regions, main attractions and activities. In only 34 pages you will have a clear panorama of what you can see and do in Argentina.
- You will receive a monthly newsletter with discounts and exclusive content.