Smart money logistics?

HelaineT

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Hola! My professional and personal expenses during my upcoming 3-month stay in BA will be more than I’m willing or able to carry up front in cash from the US. Instead of making frequent ATM withdrawals of pesos, which would be inconvenient and costly, can I use Xoom to regularly send myself money? Or, since I now live about half-time in BA - two 3-month visits each year - would it make sense to get a residency and a DNI so I can open a bank account? (P.S. I did browse the archives here first.)
 

steveinbsas

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Hi Helaine, In my opinion, opening a bank account is not enough reason to go to the trouble of getting temporary residency in Argentina, especially if you are in the country just under six months each year.

You should be able to open a bank account with CDI which you can get from AFIP and even if you have a problem with that, you should be able to send yourself money by XOOM and pick up the funds in cash in BA using your passport as your ID.

A Charles Schwab debit card will enable you to make ATM withdrawals when you want and they will refund the transaction fees. It is necessary to open a brokerage account with an initial deposit of $1000 USD to get the checking account and the debit card, but those funds can be moved into the checking account and no minimum balance is required to maintain either account.

PS: I'm not sure which category of temporary residency you would actually apply for. In fact, it would take a great deal of effort to get temporary residency. You would have to deal with migraciones on an annual basis, pay their fees, get the FBI report, prove your source of stable foreign income, and/or...
 

HelaineT

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Steve, I was hoping you would reply! Thanks!

Yes, I’d prefer to avoid any bureaucracy (I went through it in Italy, where I lived full-time for 20 years). I just wrote to Fidelity to see if they do what Schwab does.

The XOOM option seems simplest. Writing them now to verify that I can pick up funds from myself using a passport, as you say!

This was a big help. Thanks again!
 

Caribbean Cool

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I don't like any of these solutions....speaking as someone who will be living in BA for an extended time. I prefer to use Western Union and send the DOLLARS to Uruguay and pick up the money in DOLLARS and then convert as blue dollars. It costs about $17 to send any amount.....then the plus of having dollars in hand. Uruguay gives dollars.......Seems like a no brainer to me....no fuss. Just a pleasant boat ride once a month or once every 2 months, no ATM fees, no nothing. I would love to hear from those who disagree.
 

HelaineT

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I don't like any of these solutions....speaking as someone who will be living in BA for an extended time. I prefer to use Western Union and send the DOLLARS to Uruguay and pick up the money in DOLLARS and then convert as blue dollars. It costs about $17 to send any amount.....then the plus of having dollars in hand. Uruguay gives dollars.......Seems like a no brainer to me....no fuss. Just a pleasant boat ride once a month or once every 2 months, no ATM fees, no nothing. I would love to hear from those who disagree.
Hi, CC. I’m glad you brought up the Uruguay dollars option. I’d like to learn more about it. Have you actually done this process before? Is it safe, legal, and worth it to convert to blue dollars?
 

Caribbean Cool

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Hi, CC. I’m glad you brought up the Uruguay dollars option. I’d like to learn more about it. Have you actually done this process before? Is it safe, legal, and worth it to convert to blue dollars?
Hi....no I have not done it because I am not in BA yet...but I have researched it. It really depends on how much a month you are talking about.
 
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HelaineT

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Well. Caribbean Cool, SteveinBsAs has been living in BA for many years. I used to appreciate his advice to others years ago when I was a newbie, so I never brush off anything he suggests.

I have professional expenses that far exceed $2,000 per month. Our situations are different. But I do want to understand the Uruguay option, so thanks so much for bringing it up.
 

Caribbean Cool

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The advice of using a Schwab card will not work for you. Not taking advantage of the Blue Dollar premium is a unique luxury. If it goes to 20% or higher I'll see you on the boat.
 

Macanudo

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I would take Steve's advice. A Schwab debit card is very useful. As for going to Uruguay, you can use your Schwab card to withdrawl as many dollars as you need from ATMs there. But if you are only going to be here for three months at a time, why bother going to Uruguay to get dollars? Is it safe? It's probably safer and less stressful to just bring dollars with you in a money belt than take a few thousand out of an ATM in Uruguay. After this week's election we should have a bettter idea of the difference between the bank and blue dollar rate. Right now there's a big difference, but a couple of weeks ago it was basically the same.
 
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