Last week I posted about our average travel costs in Argentina. However, if you’re ever planning on visiting the country there are two other key things to note and they are so important they warrant a separate post.
- Cash is King. In Argentina you need cash. Some places except credit cards, but frequently these shops will tack on an extra fee for using a credit card. So, while Visa may be everywhere you want to be; it’s everywhere you want to be with lots and lots of fees.
- Cash is hard to get. At some point during our journey (mid-November to be exact) the Argentine banks had some sort of crackdown and starting imposing 300 peso withdrawal limits. (About $86 US). At first we thought it was just the banks in the small town we were in. But even when we were in big cities this happened. What was worse was that the ATM informed me I had “insufficient funds” or that I had reached my daily limit. This caused a bit of a mini-freak-out the first time it flashed across the ATM screen. So I contacted my bank and they told me that neither of these situations was the case. After Googling it, I found a number of forums indicating that there was a $300 (Argentine) limit on withdrawals. Luckily this didn’t happen until the end of our trip. Bottom line: it’s not fun to hop around from ATM to ATM each day (especially when your bank charges you ATM fees).
So, when you head to Argentina make sure you either plan to visit the ATM frequently, bring US Dollars to exchange, or (and I hate to suggest this) bring Traveler’s Checks. And if you’re lucky enough to find an ATM that doesn’t limit you, withdraw enough cash to last you awhile.
Bonus Tip: Hoard your monedas (coins).
photo credit: ducdigital