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Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

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Seattle, Washington
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Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Get pesos as soon as you arrive. Based on my experience you will use more local currency than i have used in any non-USA country. With all of the theft/robbery warnings we had planned to use our credit cards to minimize our losses. Here were our eperiences.

We booked a tour through the hotel for our first full day. After the tour ended and they wanted to be paid, they said it had to be in cash/pesos. Well i only had US cash in the amount needed, which they finally took after some discussion. We did a very expensive tango show dinner that night ($130US per person for transportation, dinner with a bottle of wine and show), and fortunately they did take credit cards.

The next day we thought we would take the hop-on and Hop-off bus, as there were a few places i wanted to go back to. This tour bus company will only take pesos (no credit cards and no US).

Then at the Havana store, where they sell the national treat, the guy behind the counter wanted to see my passport if i used credit.

At that point, i was ready to leave BA...so we went to Iguazu Falls. At Iguazu Falls Airport, the cab drivers will only take pesos (no CC) plus you have to pay the park entrance in pesos ($110 pesos + $130 pesos). However once in the park CCs are readily taken. When we returned to BA for an overnight before flying to Peru, we stayed at the new Holiday Inn by the airport. The cabs going to and from there will only take pesos....

We were out of pesos and patience at the lack of credit cards in light of all of the theft warnings. I am posting this not so that others can learn from that experience, and get pesos and lots of them as soon as you get to BA... You will need them.

1. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

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San Diego...
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2. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Absolutely credit cards aren't as readily accepted as most other places with tourism around the world. You have to understand that the banking system is HORRIBLE in Argentina and the locals have a real lack of faith in the banks in Argentina.

Add into the mix the huge credit card fees charged for a merchant account and then the fact that the locals don't trust the banks that the funds will be deposited into and you have the combination for what you see.

All of the major hotels and most bigger restaurants do take credit cards in Buenos Aires. But for small shows, taxis, etc. then do keep some cash.

I think the chances of getting robbed of your cash are very very slim so I wouldn't be too paranoid about that. Argentina is one of those places if you come for tourism you need to expect to bring some cash with you as you won't use your credit card as much as other places.

And it's always a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport with you. I lived there 8 years and never carried around a passport copy. I only used my USA driver's license and NO PLACE ever turned down my credit card so I'd think just a photo ID is ok.

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Can I safely assume though that I can use an Australian Debit card (used no problems in USA, Canada, Europe and Asia) with a 4 digit PIN perfectly well in ATM's in Argentina?

Would there be anything different i should know before I get there? My hotels and transfers would be paid in advance so it would only be local sightseeing, local transport and food I would need cash for.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Kameka,

Yes you won't have any problems with your debit card with your 4 digit PIN. ATM machines are readily available. Just keep in mind they all charge a fee each time you withdraw so better to take out as much as you can each time. Most ATM machines limit you to about 1,000 pesos each withdrawal.

queensland
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5. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Just Returned from BA and used a Debit Card without any problems until a Sunday- not sure why but we tried a dozen ATM machines thinking they just may have been out of money but locals before us were able to get money. Concerned that my card may have been compromised I actually rang my bank- Everything was fine this end and they couldn't see any reason for it not to work. Worked perfectly fine the next day,Monday- no problems. Maybe it's a Sunday thing!!!

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Mary V

All mayor credit cards can be used in Argentina, as in many other countries in the world when you take a taxi, a bus or you want to buy little things you have to have the national currency. It happens in Europe, Brazil, South Africa or in USA. Many cabs in USA dont have credit cards and if you are comming from Spain you have to pay with dolars and not with euros.

The hopon hopoff bus in BA is available to credit cards through the web page. I been in Barcelona last april and they only take euros not pounds or dollars.

You can take cash from the ATM, that work in the same way that do in the rest of the world.

Take a valid ID card with a photo because you have to show it when you buy something with a debit or credit card.

Gustavo

Buenos Aires...
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7. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

stalks, we have that happen now and then, the machines are out of money.

Weekends/Fridays are the bad times to withdraw money .. the machines get sucked dry fast ;)

Everywhere we have gone, we have used credit cards to get local currency.

Unless otherwise noted, everyone should use the currency of the country you are in and not expect them to accept USD.

Punta del Este...
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8. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Three points for those intending to buy lots of Pesos upon arrival in Argentina:

Don't buy at the airport unless it's from Banco de la Nacion. Others there give horrible rates. In downtown BA you can get the "right" official rate for your Dollars almost anywhere, and if you dig around a lot or know someone, you might be able to find a place to give you the unofficial rate, which means 30% more Pesos for your Dollars.

Don't buy excess Pesos, because you will have a problem converting them back into Dollars upon leaving. You might have to find some "unofficial" exchange house, and there you will get 30% less in Dollars than you expect from the official rate.

Do not buy Pesos before getting to Argentina, even if you can find them. You will get a horrible rate, at least 30% worse than the official rate in Argentina. And don't depend on selling your Pesos for Dollars after you leave Argentina; again, you will lose at least 30% in the exchange outside the country, if you are able to find someone to buy your Pesos.

queensland
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9. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

Scarlett01. That's what we thought too but locals in front of us at at least 2 out of the 12 ATM's we tried ,both got money. Who knows! Had a great time in BA though- just loved your city!!

Brazil
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10. Re: Trip Review - #1 dont count on using credit cards

We´ll be going to BA next month and are trying to calculate how much we're going to spend so that we do not end up with a lot of pesos to change back.I understand you cannot do that officially nowadays, so you have to spend all your pesos or bring them home... Is it safe to exchange at unofficial places? I think 1 US= 4,50 Pesos, is that so?