Bank account

markbsas

Registered
I have recently moved to Buenos Aires with my wife who is Argentinian. She is expecting our first child and wanted to be near her family. We have been here for a month and a half and I am struggling to adjust but I'm working on it.

Anyway, any recommendations on a local bank? We are considering opening an account in my wife's name so we can make bill payment here a little easier. Good grief what a pain... so... We want an account to wire money or deposit checks into, then use a debit card to make payments or withdraw cash.

Is this a good idea? Anything that I should be aware of? Are any banks safer than others to use? Right now I'm a little paranoid and just want to be careful. Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Mark
 

ElQueso

Registered
As far as banks, I just opened an account at Banco Galicia, but I did so because my lawyer has a deal with one of the guys there to get his clients banks accounts if they are going through the process for their DNI. So far, it's got nice online banking features and enough locations where I need them to suit me. I don't know yet if I'd recommend it or not yet. The only thing I've hit that I don't like is an $800 peso sale limit on POS purchases. Even though a "ticket comun" can be up to $1000 pesos.

One thing to think about with the bank choice is what discounts you get paying with the account's debit cards. Many supermarkets will have general discounts on certain days for all debit or credit cards, but some places have special deals with the banks for certain discounts on certain days.

Santander Rio is a big bank and seems to have a lot of adds for discounts. HSBC also. Look around and see who seems to offer the best deals.

As far as transferring money in, I think it will be difficult for an Argentine to receive wires from outside, maybe even impossible. Banking regulations are pretty strict on that kind of thing. One way to do it would be to become a Monotributo (Argentina's version of a contract worker). I think the current limit is something like $72,000 pesos before you have to form a corporation. Taht limit is supposed to rise significantly, from what I understand. A monotributo pays a set tax based on the amount of income. They are qualified to bill international companies (I don't remember if they have to pay the 3% export tax that companies pay). They have to create invoices and do accounting.

Otherwise, I have heard that AFIP takes 33% on a transfer like that to an Argentine citizen. I could be wrong about that, I have not researched it.

There is another possibility to get money into the country. There are wire transfer services in the bigger cambio houses that will accept foreign "accounts" to receive money. They charge anywhere from 1.5% to maybe 5%. It used to be fairly easy to get an account set up with one of the houses, but AFIP cracked down on the practice last year. One of these houses can be good for wiring something like $3000 to $5000 (US) a month.

There are other ways to get money into the country.

The question is, having the account in your wife's name, and her being an Argentine citizen, I don't know what tax liabilities you may be creating. I don't know, for example, that you would want to put all of even $3000 US in your account every month.

That might attract attention. I don't know enough about that to advise, other than to say talk to a local accountant and find out what your best options are on geting money into the country.
 

HenryNisental

Registered
Did you yrt citibank?
They work fairly well i think
regarding transfers, you an try casa piano on san martin st.
They will accept your personal checks for deposit and pay you back in a few days after they cashed it,they charge an small fee i think
 

Attorney in BA

Registered
Do you already have your visa, or when do you expect to obtain it? El Queso is correct about the tax liability; you might be required to justify to tax authorities where the money is coming from. Banks are required to inform AFIP all accounts that move more than AR$ 8000 per month (this was about a year ago, the amount may have changed). That doesn't mean that you'll be audited by AFIP, but it would put you on the radar. If you do this, to avoid tax liabilities, you will have to bring the money into Argentina from your account abroad (an account that you own) and through the banking system, that is, not through a casa de cambio. There is a lot of paperwork involved with this, and there are faster and easier ways, but you will have to weigh in the tax liabilities. For more on wire transferes, you may read http://argentinabusiness.blogspot.com/search/label/wire%20transfers.

About the checks you'll receive, who are they from? If you will provide any type of service here you will have to invoice.

To do what you want to do (put in some money to cover your monthly expenses, etc.) banks are ok. They are not safe -none of them- for long term investing or saving. Keep your savings abroad. When choosing a bank, the best option is taking the one that is close to where you live and that gives good discounts, as El Queso pointed out. I believe the ones with biggest discounts are Galicia, Santander and Frances.

Opening a bank account if you have your immigration papers in order is not a big deal and this should not be a reason for choosing a lawyer (but it will certainly come handy if the lawyer you choose does help with it).

If you have any more questions just ask here or through pm.
 

gouchobob

Registered
Not much point to a local bank account unless you have local income to put in it for the purposes you are stating. The problem is getting the money into Argentina account from outside the country as others are mentioning. I think you are better off just pulling the money out of your account back home via an ATM and paying your bills with cash. Paying bills as you mentioned is a major pain.
 

markbsas

Registered
I had a feeling it was not going to be straight forward getting money from outside Argentina into an account here. But I was wishing.

We would not need to deposit more than about $2000 US per month into a local account here. If that can be done without raising much of a stink we may open an account. But maybe it's not worth the hassle.

If there are more creative ways of getting funds here I'd be interested. But that discussion is probably not appropriate here in the forum. PM or email me if you have ideas in that regard.

Thanks everyone!
Mark
 

danc

Registered
I feel your pain, bank accounts in Argentina are a major hassle. If you open a HSBC premier account, min $100K USD deposit, my understanding is you'll have access to your funds in that account in Argentina (or anywhere in the world). An other option is to open a Charles Schwab checking account with debit card. Schwab does not charge ATM fees (they will actually credit you back any charges paid) and you'll get a decent exchange rate. You could pull money out of that account then deposit the cash into your local bank account. Services like western union and xoom are options, but the exchange rates are not attractive. Starting a company in BA is not a bad alternative, you'll be able to transfer funds, but you could come under the watchful eye of AFIP. Amex is another option, I believe if you are an amex card holder you can write and cash up to $5K USD in personal checks/month an their office in BA. Congrats with your new baby!
 

schef4711

Registered
Hello,

I guess for smaler transfers (<1.500 US$) cash through ATM/CreditCard is the cheapest way. But by the way - as I guess XOOM is much cheaper for bigger transfers I am not so sure because the currency payout is bad as from Western Union and you will loose a lot of money (like 200 Pesos per each 1000US$).

On their website https://www.xoom.com/sendmoneynow/help/what-are-the-cash-pickup-requirements-in-argentina they told that you can pickup the amount also in US$ (not in Pesos Argentinos) but only through BBVA.

For the IMPORTANT information I am not so clear if someone - as I will have it - will have the DNI if there is any trouble to get the payout from BBVA. I know that banks here are shit stuff but otherwise I know that there exist some law that anybody who will have the DNI is like as a citizen of Argentina.

So I am not sure why XOOM will tell that residents (maybe they mean without DNI) will have troubles. Have anybody has used the payout directly in US$ here in Argentina with XOOM ??

I have asked the XOOM support but never had get an answer back.

thx alex
 

French jurist

Registered
schef4711 said:
Hello,

I guess for smaler transfers (<1.500 US$) cash through ATM/CreditCard is the cheapest way. But by the way - as I guess XOOM is much cheaper for bigger transfers I am not so sure because the currency payout is bad as from Western Union and you will loose a lot of money (like 200 Pesos per each 1000US$).

On their website https://www.xoom.com/sendmoneynow/help/what-are-the-cash-pickup-requirements-in-argentina they told that you can pickup the amount also in US$ (not in Pesos Argentinos) but only through BBVA.

For the IMPORTANT information I am not so clear if someone - as I will have it - will have the DNI if there is any trouble to get the payout from BBVA. I know that banks here are shit stuff but otherwise I know that there exist some law that anybody who will have the DNI is like as a citizen of Argentina.

So I am not sure why XOOM will tell that residents (maybe they mean without DNI) will have troubles. Have anybody has used the payout directly in US$ here in Argentina with XOOM ??

I have asked the XOOM support but never had get an answer back.

thx alex
I've used the payout in US$, using Xoom, at BBVA Banco Frances : you need a DNI (it doesn't work for passport holders : they have to cash the money in pesos at Latin Express).
 
Top