Sending dollars to your argentina bank account - TransferWise vs. normal wire transfer

camel

Registered
I recently opened a Santander Rio bank account. I tried sending US $1000 two different ways: (1) a standard wire transfer, and (2) TransferWise. Here's how it went:

Wire Transfer to Santander Rio

Someone told me if I wired money from my own account in the US (under my name) to my account here with the same name, I should be able to keep the money in dollars (in my U$S Santander account). In other words, no conversion to pesos.

I sent a standard wire transfer from my US bank, and surprisingly, my US bank asked for my argentine CBU instead of "account number". I didn't expect my US bank to know anything about CBUs, but I entered it and it worked. I submitted the wire transfer around 3pm Argentina time. At 8pm Argentina time, I got a "COMPROBANTE" email from Santander notifying me that they have received a USD $1000 wire transfer "A VUESTRO FAVOR". (Why do they use "vuestro" in Argentina?) Their email also said I must submit Formulario 6-234 (available on this page) to my Santander bank branch.

Formulario 6-234 asks for your name, account number, CUIL, whether you want to receive your funds in pesos or foreign currency such as USD, and for the "Concepto de la Operación", which seems to mean the reason for the transfer. It also asks for a "código de concepto", which is a 3-digit alphanumeric code that you must get from this list: Códigos de conceptos. The code that fit me best was: "A07 - Depósitos de residentes en el exterior." I filled out the PDF form, printed it out and brought it to my branch. The woman at the branch told me I couldn't receive it in US dollars and I had to change the form to say I wanted pesos. I reminded her that the money was coming from my own account in the US to my own account here, and asked "are you sure?" She said yes, so I changed the form and left.

Meanwhile, I emailed comexindividuos@exch.bancorio.com.ar, giving them my comprobante number and asking them to explain why I had to convert to pesos. Their response was, "Respecto a su consulta, si usted transfiere fondos entre cuentas espejo (misma titularidad) puede mantener la moneda USD." In English, "Regarding your question, if you transfer funds between mirror accounts (same ownership) you can keep the USD currency." Win!! So I went back to the branch and showed them this email and resubmitted the Form 6-234 requesting US dollars. She sounded doubtful but said she would submit it anyway. It took a few days but the money finally showed up in my Santander USD account, exactly US $1000. However, I knew they would charge a fee (comisión) for the transfer. Sure enough, a day or two later, they charged me $3,499.32 pesos for "Com por tx internacional por canje" and $87.48 pesos for "Comision por canje internacional". They took the fees out of my pesos account, not my USD account. But converting to USD, the fees were about $62. Here is the fee schedule:

1570737795883.png

TransferWise

For comparison, I then did a US $1000 transfer using TransferWise, again from my US bank account to my Santander Rio account. Transferwise only let me send as pesos, no option to send dollars. The TransferWise fee was US $6.11. I made the transfer around 8pm at night Argentina time. The next day, the money arrived in my Santander Rio pesos account, it was $57,491 pesos. There was no Santander Rio fee.

So to summarize:

Normal Wire Transfer: US $1000 transfer had fees of US $62, but remained in dollars. If I had converted to pesos and subtracted the fees, it would yield: $52,913 pesos.

TransferWise: US $1000 transfer had fees of US $6, but was converted to $57,491 pesos. If I wanted to keep it in US dollars, at the current rate it would convert to US $950.26.

So TransferWise is much faster, requires no interaction with the bank (no Form 6-234), and costs less. Only downside is it forces you to convert to pesos, but even with that, you can buy USD and still come out ahead.
 

bdk1

Registered
At 8pm Argentina time, I got a "COMPROBANTE" email from Santander notifying me that they have received a USD $1000 wire transfer "A VUESTRO FAVOR". (Why do they use "vuestro" in Argentina?)
It is used in cases of extreme formality in some Latin American dialects, but not all. It is a singular possessive pronoun and is completely unrelated to the plural informal pronoun that is used in the Iberian dialect.
 

Neil

Registered
For those trying to get USD$ out.

You can send USD through Transferwise ( from Arg.) per their instructions below:

Sadly, Argentina is not one of the countries where you can send funds directly to your USD details - there is a limited list of countries for that only.

You can, however, deposit money in another manner. For this, go to your USD balance, click on 'Add USD' and as the payment method, choose International transfer. You will be shown our UK USD account details to where to send the money - so you are going through our own account to get the funds deposited to your Balance. From your bank, there is not much difference in the procedure, just the account details are different.
 

Jerbo

Registered
I recently opened a Santander Rio bank account. I tried sending US $1000 two different ways: (1) a standard wire transfer, and (2) TransferWise. Here's how it went:

Wire Transfer to Santander Rio

Someone told me if I wired money from my own account in the US (under my name) to my account here with the same name, I should be able to keep the money in dollars (in my U$S Santander account). In other words, no conversion to pesos.

I sent a standard wire transfer from my US bank, and surprisingly, my US bank asked for my argentine CBU instead of "account number". I didn't expect my US bank to know anything about CBUs, but I entered it and it worked. I submitted the wire transfer around 3pm Argentina time. At 8pm Argentina time, I got a "COMPROBANTE" email from Santander notifying me that they have received a USD $1000 wire transfer "A VUESTRO FAVOR". (Why do they use "vuestro" in Argentina?) Their email also said I must submit Formulario 6-234 (available on this page) to my Santander bank branch.

Formulario 6-234 asks for your name, account number, CUIL, whether you want to receive your funds in pesos or foreign currency such as USD, and for the "Concepto de la Operación", which seems to mean the reason for the transfer. It also asks for a "código de concepto", which is a 3-digit alphanumeric code that you must get from this list: Códigos de conceptos. The code that fit me best was: "A07 - Depósitos de residentes en el exterior." I filled out the PDF form, printed it out and brought it to my branch. The woman at the branch told me I couldn't receive it in US dollars and I had to change the form to say I wanted pesos. I reminded her that the money was coming from my own account in the US to my own account here, and asked "are you sure?" She said yes, so I changed the form and left.

Meanwhile, I emailed comexindividuos@exch.bancorio.com.ar, giving them my comprobante number and asking them to explain why I had to convert to pesos. Their response was, "Respecto a su consulta, si usted transfiere fondos entre cuentas espejo (misma titularidad) puede mantener la moneda USD." In English, "Regarding your question, if you transfer funds between mirror accounts (same ownership) you can keep the USD currency." Win!! So I went back to the branch and showed them this email and resubmitted the Form 6-234 requesting US dollars. She sounded doubtful but said she would submit it anyway. It took a few days but the money finally showed up in my Santander USD account, exactly US $1000. However, I knew they would charge a fee (comisión) for the transfer. Sure enough, a day or two later, they charged me $3,499.32 pesos for "Com por tx internacional por canje" and $87.48 pesos for "Comision por canje internacional". They took the fees out of my pesos account, not my USD account. But converting to USD, the fees were about $62. Here is the fee schedule:

View attachment 6187

TransferWise

For comparison, I then did a US $1000 transfer using TransferWise, again from my US bank account to my Santander Rio account. Transferwise only let me send as pesos, no option to send dollars. The TransferWise fee was US $6.11. I made the transfer around 8pm at night Argentina time. The next day, the money arrived in my Santander Rio pesos account, it was $57,491 pesos. There was no Santander Rio fee.

So to summarize:

Normal Wire Transfer: US $1000 transfer had fees of US $62, but remained in dollars. If I had converted to pesos and subtracted the fees, it would yield: $52,913 pesos.

TransferWise: US $1000 transfer had fees of US $6, but was converted to $57,491 pesos. If I wanted to keep it in US dollars, at the current rate it would convert to US $950.26.

So TransferWise is much faster, requires no interaction with the bank (no Form 6-234), and costs less. Only downside is it forces you to convert to pesos, but even with that, you can buy USD and still come out ahead.
Does Santander Rio charge you a monthly for maintenance of a dollar account?

I'm being told at Banco Provincia that it's $25 per month for a dollar account - which is the only class of account that will receive transfers in dollars.

On the op-ed side, it's amazing to me that in a country short of dollars, the banking system would make it so expensive to bring dollars in.
 

camel

Registered
Does Santander Rio charge you a monthly for maintenance of a dollar account?
For my account (caja ahorro, in both pesos and dollars), the monthly fee is $279 pesos (currently around US $5). I didn't specifically request the USD account, it comes standard I think. There's a promo I got where I pay no monthly fees for 6 months. I'm not sure if the monthly fee is fixed at 279 pesos forever, or if it goes up with inflation. I expect it to go up.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
I recently opened a Santander Rio bank account. I tried sending US $1000 two different ways: (1) a standard wire transfer, and (2) TransferWise.

TransferWise: US $1000 transfer had fees of US $6, but was converted to $57,491 pesos. If I wanted to keep it in US dollars, at the current rate it would convert to US $950.26.

So TransferWise is much faster, requires no interaction with the bank (no Form 6-234), and costs less. Only downside is it forces you to convert to pesos, but even with that, you can buy USD and still come out ahead.
Thank you for going through all the trouble and extra expense of actually making a wire transfer.

I just check the Transferwise website and it shows the total fees for a transfer of US $1000 as $20.11 USD.

I usually transfer $350 per month and the fees for that amount have always been close to $10 USD, so I do wonder why the fee you paid was so much lower.

The fact that the funds have already been concerted to pesos doesn't bother me. I use the pesos to pay my Santander Rio cred card the same day they arrive. I simply keep my dollars in my Schwab checking account until I need them. The transfers almost always arrive the same day.

Even with a fee of 20 USD, the cost of making a bank to bank transfer is cheaper than making a wire transfer.

Not having to go to the bank is priceless.


PS: I made a post about wire transfers verus a bank to bank transfer on April 8th, but it was in a thread that didn't deal directly with the subject:

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.
Here's he thread: Best U.S.-based bank for expats in Argentina
 

steveinbsas

Registered
For my account (caja ahorro, in both pesos and dollars), the monthly fee is $279 pesos (currently around US $5). I didn't specifically request the USD account, it comes standard I think. There's a promo I got where I pay no monthly fees for 6 months. I'm not sure if the monthly fee is fixed at 279 pesos forever, or if it goes up with inflation. I expect it to go up.
Speaking from experience, yes, it will.
 

camel

Registered
I just check the Transferwise website and it shows the total fees for a transfer of US $1000 as $20.11 USD.

I usually transfer $350 per month and the fees for that amount have always been close to $10 USD, so I do wonder why the fee you paid was so much lower.
I think I may have gotten an introductory fee because it was my first transfer. I just checked TransferWise now and it also showed me a fee of $20.19 USD.
 

bdk1

Registered
Just to add to this: TW fees are a bit smaller if instead of transferring to your ARS account you just convert EUR/USD/GBP into ARS for your TransferWise debit card. You can then use this ARS balance with your TW card anywhere in Argentina that takes Mastercards.

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