Best U.S.-based bank for expats in Argentina

gracielle

Member
Having searched the forum, it looks like Charles Schwab is the best option because they refund ATM transaction fees:
https://baexpats.org/threads/which-atm-can-i-get-cash-out-of-with-an-american-debit-card-fidelity-or-charles-schwab.40798/page-2
Has anyone had any negative experiences with Charles Schwab that would make me re-think this?
No complaints whatsoever. I have been using my debit card connected to my Schwab Bank High Yield Investor checking account in CABA since 2009. The customer service is excellent.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
When I opened my Schwab account was necessary to open a Charles Schwab brokerage account in order to get a Schwab checking account, but the funds can be easily transferred into the checking account and it it not necessary to maintain a minimum balance in either account.

I recently looked into the possibility of making wire transfers in dollars from my Schwab brokerage account to my Santander Rio savings account (in dollars) using Transferwise, but the wire fees from Schwab ($25 USD per transfer) to Transferwise made it 2.5 x more expensive than simply using Transferwise to send dollars directly from my Schwab checking account to my Santander Rio savings account in pesos.

PS: I usually transfer $350 USD per month using Transferwise and the current fee is less than $9.00 per transfer. I use my Santander Rio credit card to pay for almost everything (groceries, utilities, insurance, internet, netflix, nafta, etc.). One ATM withdrawal of $4000 pesos often provides enough cash for two if not three months..unless I have a major car repair (which happens less than once a year).

PS2: Yes, Schwab has excellent customer service and so does Transferwise.
 
Last edited:
I would also recommend a Citibank credit card, called Aviator I believe, which will give you a big chunk of airline miles with American Airlines when you open it, and it also allows you to pay things with no foreign transaction fees and will give you the official exchange rate. It also gives you one American Airline mile per dollar purchase. I pay almost everything I can with it and take out of ATMs rarely or bring cash with me from the USA when I go. If you also get a local Mercadopago account, you can put your USA credit card into Mercadopago and pay almost all of your bills using your US credit card quite easily, even when you are away from the country.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
what's the process for that?
Have a DNI and enroll/sign up for in mercadopago on their website and enter the credit card details.

PS: Not sur, but if you use a foreign credit card you may have to be "inscriptado" at level two or three with AFIP.

In other words, it may not be possible for someone to pay with a foreign credit card if they are living under the taxman's radar, even if they do have a DNI.
 

artisans

Just Joined
yup, no US based banks here. you will have to open a local account.

as far as accessing your money in the US, it's not difficult. you can either do as mentioned above to transfer money in, keep US credit cards while you are here (paying them with money from your US account), stuff like that.
HSBC has a strong US base and there are several locations in the Recoleta area. Also one on Florida. Further, if you have a Premier account they reimburse the local bank withdrawal charges at the end of each statement cycle. Don't know if they do that for a regular account or not.
 

artisans

Just Joined

sts7049

Registered
HSBC has a strong US base and there are several locations in the Recoleta area. Also one on Florida. Further, if you have a Premier account they reimburse the local bank withdrawal charges at the end of each statement cycle. Don't know if they do that for a regular account or not.
it seems you're right. although looking at their US site i see this disclaimer

https://www.us.hsbc.com/international-banking/

1 Global View and Global Transfers are only available for HSBC Premier and HSBC Advance clients and are not available in all countries. Foreign currency exchange rates and local country limitations may apply. Transfers from HSBC accounts from outside the U.S. may be subject to transfer fees. Personal Internet Banking is required to access Global View and Global Transfers. Access to U.S. Personal Internet Banking through Global View from outside the U.S. may be limited.


you probably need to verify if your account would easily link to/from argentina.
 

gracielle

Member
Having searched the forum, it looks like Charles Schwab is the best option because they refund ATM transaction fees:
https://baexpats.org/threads/which-atm-can-i-get-cash-out-of-with-an-american-debit-card-fidelity-or-charles-schwab.40798/page-2
Has anyone had any negative experiences with Charles Schwab that would make me re-think this?
P.S. I failed to mention in my previous post that Schwab issues a VISA debit card. They offer unlimited ATM withdrawals in pesos only, in adherence to local banking regulations. Reimbursement of the foreign ATM fees charged by local banks is done in bulk at the end of the month, which is when Schwab closes the statement cycle.

The user can check what is the daily VISA exchange rate from US dollars to ARG pesos....
https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/exchange-rate-calculator.html?amount=2600.00&fee=0.0&exchangedate=02/14/2019&fromCurr=USD&toCurr=ARS&submitButton=Calculate+exchange+rate
 
Last edited:
Top