Receiving Us Military Benefits $ In Bsas

AFVA

Registered
Considering spending some time in BsAs with my spouse, who is a veteran receiving monthly V.A. benefits. These funds are direct deposited to our US bank account. I've done a little bit of reading on these forums, but forgive me if I have missed this information already.

I understand that cash for everything is best. Would the process that makes most sense be that we withdraw the entire amount of money at the beginning of the month and then exchange for pesos as we go along? What kind of fees should we expect?

And what kind of general living expenses should we expect? We're two adults, no children. I am lucky that I have family in BsAs already who can provide an apartment to live in at a reasonable rent. What about daily expenses? We'll have no car, use public transport. We're not huge shoppers or foodies. We just want to get to know the city and the culture, maybe a few domestic trips to see the rest of the country. How much should we budget for expenses? $2k-3k/month?

Thanks everyone in advance for any advice.
 

diegoro

Registered
AFVA,

Welcome to the Forum (and Argentina).

Let's wait for others posts, but I'll think that you'll be more than ok, with a budget of 100 USD per day (about 1.500 AR$) for food and transport (public or taxi).
For a domestic trip you'll need an extra for the tickets, but after that, two people we'll certainly survive anywhere in the country with a 100 USD per day.

I hope you really enjoy visiting the country. If you can, try to not miss visiting the southern areas (Patagonia: Bariloche/San Martin de Los Andes/El Calafate. Mendoza -if you are a wine lover-).
 

Sleuth

Registered
I understand that cash for everything is best. Would the process that makes most sense be that we withdraw the entire amount of money at the beginning of the month and then exchange for pesos as we go along? What kind of fees should we expect?
You cannot get US dollars here unless you bring them with you. Your best option will be to use a service like Xoom to transfer the money to pesos here at just a bit less than the blue rate. Lots of posts on here about using Xoom.
 

AFVA

Registered
Thank you everyone for the advice online and in private message. I appreciate the time you took to respond. It's all been very helpful for our plans. I will definitely explore the Xoom option, sounds like everyone seems to trust it as a reliable method to transfer funds.

What about credit in Argentina? Is it ridiculous to consider getting an Argentine credit card for emergencies at all? And how exactly does getting credit work there? Is our US credit history something we can use to our advantage or do we essentially have to start over?
 

ElQueso

Registered
You won't be able to get an Argentine credit card, don't even consider the possibility. It doesn't have to do with your credit rating (though your rating from the States wouldn't matter anyway) but rather the fact that it is very nearly impossible to even get a bank account here as a foreigner unless you have residency. And if you are a US citizen, it has become more difficult than with other foreigners to get a bank account even if you are a resident thanks to our lovely government's FATCA laws. Not impossible (with residency), but a number of expats have reported having their accounts closed down recently.

You can use your credit cards and debit cards here, though, so your emergency fallback is still there. The reason to not use credit cards or debit cards from outside Argentina is due to the difference between the official value of the Peso (held down artificially by the government) vs the rate we can exchange dollars here on the blue market (or via Xoom, or Ria, etc). There is a good 30-40% difference in these prices and you would be paying through the nose for whatever you buy or cash you pull out of ATMs as a result.
 
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