Banking Questions

victoria

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Feb 12, 2009
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Thanks everyone! My mind is a gog with possibilities. Perhaps I should just strap several thousand dollars on my body with duct tape (joke).

So, there are Citibanks in BA? Perhaps I should start an account there ... Lee, do you withdraw money from inside the bank using an ATM card or a withdrawal slip?

Victoria
 

superpacko

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Hey there, im from Buenos Aires and i work in Banelco as a programmer, so i'll try to explain you how things work here.

There's a limit for international withdrawals, usually up to 500 pesos, but i can check that for you next week. Besides the limit theres a little "trick" to withdraw more money each day, since the financial day goes from 5pm to 5pm, so you can withdraw 500 at 3pm and then again at 6pm. Nothing illegal, thats what everyone does (at least the ones who know) when your limit is not high enough and u need the cash.
regarding the fee, i think is 10 usd, maybe 15..not 100% sure, i can check that as well.

About rent ....usually everyone ask for it in dollars, so... I dont think u'll find a landlore that uses paypal. I'd go for a online transaction or ATM withdrawal, is safer than being carrying lots of money all the time.

hope it helps!
 

jimdepalermo

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If you're here for only a few months on a tourist visa, opening a bank account is not a worthwhile way to spend your time, even if it is possible (which is questionable). If I were you, I would

  • Carry the cash to pay the few months' rent. It's legal, and it's not all that dangerous to do on an airplane. It will save you a lot of hassle. To avoid any risk on arrival, I would get a remis from Manuel Tienda Leon at the airport and go directly to the rental agent or apartment, to settle the rental cost.
  • Plan to use a credit card whenever you can. Check with your bank to make sure it doesn't have onerous fees for foreign charges or currency conversions. If it does, get a card from CapitalOne, which has no such fees at all and will issue a card on the phone to anyone who can breathe. (It's the only major US card issuer I know that doesn't rip you off abroad.) You should call your credit card company every month or so to remind them that you're travelling in Argentina, so their fraud systems don't reject your charges arbitrarily.
  • With your rent paid and most of your expenses on a credit card that you'll pay online from your US bank account, you won't need that much cash, and you can deal with the ATM limits, lines, fees, and annoyances.
If you're staying longer and have a valid resident's visa, it makes sense to start a relationship with a local bank. Having a local account simplifies life enormously, and you may need to demonstrate legal transfers from abroad to maintain your visa in any case (if you're qualified as rentista, pensionista, etc.), in which case you'll need an Argentine bank account to receive the transfers.

If you want or need an Argentine bank account, there's a recent thread at http://baexpats.org/expat-life/5997-bank-account.html that's worth reading. And a lot of discussion about ATM availability, limits, and fees that you can find with the search engine.

Plan to enjoy your stay here. Don't waste time on financial transactions that you could be spending enjoying this wonderful city!
 
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