Paying rent in dollars


Jul 9, 2009
Hey Guys,

So the owner of the apartment wants Rent in dollars and not pesos. How do i get dollars in BA without first making several ATM withdrawals at a time to get pesos (there is a low daily limit at ATMs), each time paying a withdrawal fee and a 3% conversion fee, then going to a cambio to get dollars and pay the cambio conversion fee and a terrible exchange rate?

It seems like an awful lot of trouble and awfully expensive way to pay rent that is already incredibly marked up for non-residents.

Someone must have gone through this before can you share your experience?
As a property owner I'd really appreciate feedback on this issue. What would be the ideal method of payment? Pesos? If not pesos, bank transfer (to an American account)?
If you go to the superville bank on salguero and charcas (only this branch not any other superville) with your credit card ( visa or mastercard) and passport you can take out the amount you require in one lump sum at the counter.
Also bank of piano on san martin in the micro center is doing the same service.
The gov is asking tax details of argentines who are buying dollars.which may be why some owners are now demanding dollars from the rentees.
Lee said:
I have explained that as a tourist it is not possible for me to walk into a bank and pull out dollars.

Actually it is possible to walk up to a bank ATM and withdraw dollars. Citibank's proprietary ATMs (NOT their generic, Banelco machines) offer greenbacks.

If you're going to be here long enough to warrant opening a local bank account, you can also maintain a dollar-denominated account and withdraw dollars from it whenever you want. With most banks, you'll need to visit a human teller to get dollars. Alternatively, if you open a peso-denominated account, you can tell the teller that you need USD XXX from your peso account, and they'll handle the conversion at the window, so you never see physical pesos, although you'll sign the withdrawal slip for the equivalent amount in pesos, as well as a currency conversion slip. (For this, you'll need to carry your passport to the bank.)

I think Windy is right about the owner's motivation. There's a fear that AFIP will notice if s/he is buying a lot of dollars. Also, it's often possible to negotiate better deals with dollars, so by receiving payment in dollars, the owner may actually benefit by a couple/few %age points.

Using the same logic, you might offer to pay in dollars only if s/he discounts the rent by 2-3%!
If you have an American Express card you can go to the Amex travel office downtown and they will cash a personal check for you and give you dollars with no transaction charge. I think this is the best way to get dollars here.
Lee - you cant pull out dollars unless you have an Argentine Citibank dollar account. (For example, I have a Citi US account & can't). Withdrawing dollars is only for people with a local account and a local dollar account at that.

Re: original question there really are only 3 options. If owner has US or outside account, wire the money directly. Or negotiate to pay in pesos at the daily exchange rate. Or be prepared for a lot of bank trips/headaches.
Sorry to disagree, citygirl -

Withdrawing dollars is only for people with a local account and a local dollar account at that.
I don't have dollar accounts in Argentina, and the Citi ATMs always offer me dollars. I'm reasonably certain they used to offer me dollars when I used my US bank card for withdrawals from US accounts, as well, although I'm not absolutely certain about that, and I haven't accessed US accounts from here in quite some time. I'll try that card the next time I'm near a Citi branch, and I'll report back.

UPDATE 2009-09-01:

I finally stopped by a Citi branch last weekend and tried my US Citicard. Citygirl is right that the US dollar option is there only when I use my Argentine Citicard.

But no dollar account is required to get dollars from the Citi ATM. It works for clients with only peso accounts as well.

Apologies for the misinformation.
I'll be interested in learning what you discover, Jim. The screens always offer dollars, but the few times I've tried to get delivery, no go. Porteño friends have told me that the supposed choice is simply a relic of pre-latest-crisis days.