South America Living

Money and Currency in Argentina

Argentine 100 Peso Bill

The currency used in Argentina is the Argentine peso. One United States Dollar is approximately 4 pesos, one British Pound approximately 6 pesos and one euro approximately 5 pesos. To convert your currency into pesos with real-time rates click here: South America Living – Currency Calculator.

The peso is divided into 100 centavos – with 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavo coins. The small 1 centavo coin has been removed from circulation and is not minted anymore (post 2001) but you will still see it at times. Banknotes come in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 denominations. The currency symbol is $ (placed before the number amount) and the currency code is ARS.

Due to an economic crisis in 2002 the peso was devalued – and Argentina became a First World country travel bargain at Third World prices. Though prices have increased, Argentina is still a great value for your travel dollar, euro or Pound!

One Peso Coin in Argentina

Money Exchange & ATMs

In Argentina you can exchange foreign currencies for pesos in banks and “cambios” (exchange houses in Spanish). When crossing into Argentina from Chile, Brazil, Paraguay or Uruguay you can change your Chilean peso, Brazilian reals, Paraguayan Guaranís or Uruguayan pesos for Argentine pesos at the border.

The majority of towns – small and large – have one or more ATM. You will want to know the Spanish name for this – cajeros automáticos (or cajeros for short) – as no one will know what you are talking about if you ask; “¿Donde es un ATM?” (Where is a ATM?). You need to say; “¿Donde es un cajero?”.

Due to ATM scams and robberies, the country set a limit of $100 USD per ATM transaction. It has been increased to $250 USD per transaction (July, 2011). You can get more money with multiple withdrawls (up to the limit of the issuing bank in your home country) but most likely will end-up paying fees on both ends. A new per transaction fee was initiated in Argentina in 2009, that now (2011) is 16 pesos ($3.80 USD).

Most ATMs that accept International cards have the LINK logo dispayed. Others may perform your transaction but most that don´t have this logo accept only cards issued by an Argentine bank.

Credit Cards

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the most widely accepted cards – often an establishment will accept only one type of card, not all three. With credit-card purchases a 5-10 percent surcharge (recargo in Spanish) may or may not be added on to the cost.

To avoid getting multiple charges on ATM transactions when needing more than $100 USD cash – you can get larger amounts with a credit card or bank debit card at a bank or some cambios. The hard part is finding one. In Buenos Aires banks will not perform this transaction. There is only one location in the city – at an exchange house (cambio). In other parts of the country, such as the town of Esquel, you will find a bank to perform the withdraw.

Wire Transfers, Western Union & MoneyGram

In order to complete a bank wire transfer you would first need to open a bank account in Argentina. Then your bank abroad will send the money to Argentina through the central bank. The incoming funds will be converted into Argentine pesos by the central bank. You can then withdraw the funds in Argentina.

Western Union and MoneyGram offices are located throughout Argentina. To find a location near you, check their respective websites:   Western Union     MoneyGram.

When accepting an incoming transfer you need to get the number of the transaction from the sender – they often are unable to find the transaction with your name alone, as is common in the U.S. and Canada.

Travelers Checks

Travelers checks may by accepted by some high-end tourist businesses (restaurants, hotels, tour companies in Buenos Aires) but most likely they will want cash or a credit card. You can exchange the checks at banks and cambios.

You Need To Carry Small Change

Very few taxis or shop owners will have change for large denomination bills. If possible, change AR$ 100 and even AR$ 50 bills at the bank.

More Articles You May Enjoy:
Capital Cities in South America (complete with links to Online Travel Guides!)
Living in Ecuador – How To Buy Real Estate
Archive of Articles on Argentina

Thinking of moving to Argentina? Want to take an extended trip? Check-out our FREE online Living in Argentina Guide!

Logo Header Menu