Cambio?

B

Bianca

Guest
Ok, so what's with the guys on Calle Florida whispering "Cambio" as if they were selling fake Rolex's in China Town? Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems like they don't want to be heard by the wrong people. Don't they just work for the banks? :confused:
 

desertrose

Registered
No they don't. There are many casas de cambio that are not licensed. Usually if you go to an official one you have to show your ID and sign a paper. With these illegal casas de cambio there are no questions asked and they often give better rates. I would not trust some guy on the street but whenever I have to exchange money I go to this "cueva" in San Isidro - no waiting in line, no hassle at all.
 

nativexpat

Registered
Another way to exchange your dollars is to pay with them at Disco, Carrefour, Jumbo, etc. Carrefour's rate sucks, though.

Most banks will not exchange your US$ if you are not a client. Santander doesn't care.
 

Attorney

Registered
Buying or selling dollars without the intervention of an authorized agency is a crime enacted in the Ley Penal Cambiaria. For that reason they "advertise" their services in a very low voice so that the police dont hear them. They could be arrested, they do not go to jail, they pay a fine, but if the keep on doing it they could serve some weeks in prision. Honestly, its been quite sometime since I dont see this type of charges, I think nobody really cares.
 

cujodu

Registered
nativexpat said:
Another way to exchange your dollars is to pay with them at Disco, Carrefour, Jumbo, etc. Carrefour's rate sucks, though.

Most banks will not exchange your US$ if you are not a client. Santander doesn't care.
I've never had a bank refuse to take my dollars. I've never tried at Santander, but I cash checks there every month though I'm not a client. Banco de la Nacion gives the true rate so I always go there now.
 

Irish Cailín

Registered
If you are changing cash or bringing cash into the country to change try to make sure the bills are in perfect condition. I have been handed back bills lots of times in the last couple of years with a little rip or corner missing or with something written on them. You can change the 'bad' bills in casa de cambios but the rate is poorer than in the banks. Galicia seem to be particularly fussy about what bills they accept or reject.
 

nativexpat

Registered
Cujodu,

I had to exchange dollars a couple of months ago. I went to Galicia, Banco Francés, Standard Bank and Citibank and none of them accepted them unless I was a client.

Since then, I go directly to Santander.
 

Tapioca

Registered
Those "arbolitos" as they're known remains from the days of high inflation, controlled exchange and the consequence of black market.
I go to exchange houses. There's one on Santa Fe between Suipacha & Esmeralda. Open till 5PM and they have show the day rate on a lit display over the sidewalk. You have to have ID but the Central Bank doesn't care for small amounts. The exchange is free in Argentina... unless you're a narco! ;-)
 

Bryon Butler

Registered
The street money changers are called "arbolitos" (the diminutive for "arbol", or "tree"). They do sometimes offer better rates. If you are a member at Santander Rio you can do an exchange online and get a better rate than a bank branch will give you.
 
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