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Attention to quotes prevents tourists from losing money in Argentina



BUENOS AIRES – Argentina is the only country in the world that has at least 13 types of currency conversions. Restrictions and taxes created quotes for different segments of the economy. In addition to the commercial, parallel and tourism dollar, as in Brazil, Argentina has the “wine”, “wheat” and “Bolsa” exchange rates, among many others. “So many quotes are the result of controls, export taxes and erratic economic policy”, said the chief economist at Fundación Libertad y Progreso, Eugenio Mari.

With so many distortions in the economy, and a very low level of reserves – of US$ 3.2 billion, exactly the minimum defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) –, the trend is for more devaluation of the peso, according to the economist. In the market, there is even talk of a new maxi-devaluation of the currency of at least 40%.

For the Brazilian tourist, although the real has gained value in relation to the Argentine currency, it is necessary to pay attention to pay a more advantageous price, instead of getting a bad deal. “By the official exchange rate, in 2019, R$1 was equivalent to 7.50 pesos; now, it’s 24 pesos for every R$1”, says Mari. However, the official exchange rate is still much less advantageous than the one obtained on the street, today already above 55 pesos for R$1.

Therefore, using a credit card in Argentina should be avoided as much as possible. This is because, as it is an official medium, the exchange is made by the official dollar (a loss of at least 50% in relation to the parallel). Card purchases are also subject to a 6.38% Tax on Financial Transactions (IOF).

In addition, many commercial establishments do not even accept credit cards, preferring cash (cash). As the currency has already devalued a lot, it is not uncommon for tourists to have to carry a cake of banknotes: those who exchange R$1,000, for example, can leave with 55 thousand pesos banknotes from the exchange house.

At the moment, one of the preferred ways for Brazilians to exchange currency is the Western Union network stores, a well-known international transfer service. It is not uncommon for chain stores to have queues that stretch along the sidewalk, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

THE lawyer Débora Cristina Pires, 39 years old, took a 20-day vacation with friends and family and arrived in Buenos Aires last Thursday. She went directly from the airport to a store in Western Union to withdraw the money he had transferred to his own name.

“We found out with friends about exchanging money for this modality and we thought it was a good one because the quote is competitive, without bureaucracy and without delay. I sent money yesterday and now the first thing we did was to come and collect it in pesos. It was worth it”, said the lawyer, who took a vacation, but was interested in controlling expenses on the trip.

The “arbolitos” (street money changers) in Argentina, however, are not happy with the new competition: one of them told the Estadãoon Florida Street, that the multinational is “taking our work”.

lessons for you

Hacks to not lose money when changing pesos

official x parallel

Contrary to what happens in Brazil, the values ​​between the official and parallel exchange rates are radically different in Argentina; therefore, it is better to avoid some official exchange points – such as banks at airports – and also the use of credit cards, which are based on the official value.

Beware of fake bills

A method of exchanging reais that has been successful among tourists are Western Union stores, a traditional international transfer network, precisely because the “arbolitos” – street money changers – can expose tourists to fraud. In addition, the exchange rate on the street is less advantageous. Those who opt for the exchange without proof must ask for references.

Pay attention to your name

It may seem obvious, but many people end up not receiving their money at Western Union because the

identification is made by the full name, without abbreviations. A lot of people have to edit the transfer request for errors like abbreviating the name, which can be a headache.

Pay attention to fees

Western Union’s exchange is seen as advantageous, but the network charges fees; for R$ 1 thousand, already considering the IOF, the amount to be paid is R$ 41; the network accepts Pix.

dollar in hand

Many commercial establishments accept dollars and even reais in Argentina, as locals are always looking for stronger currencies.

spend your pesos

Bringing pesos back to Brazil is a “mickey”, for two reasons: the currency will only tend to devalue in the coming months and inflation is very high, expected to reach 70% by the end of 2022. In other words: the peso of today will be worth much less in a few months.

Advantageous free shop

Spending pesos at the last minute, however, can be a good option: at the duty-free shop, local currency is accepted at the exchange

oficial, even if it was bought at a much more advantageous price by the tourist, in the parallel exchange

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