Local Currency in Argentina

Dollars? Rupees? Yuan? Baht? Riyals? Euros? Pounds?
What is your local currency called and what is it worth?

The local currency in Argentina is called “Peso” or “Pesos.” The sub-currency is called “centavos.” For a current exchange rate, visit xe.com. The Argentine government has set this rate**

Here is what the currency looks like. The bills come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 2. Argentine’s write “AR$100″ to show Argentine currency.

Argentina Currency


**Argentina is currently suffering from large inflation (check out this Wall Street Journal article for more info). Inflation has many ramifications. One of which is that the price of goods is often changing and could go up during the time you are abroad. In addition, inflation has caused two different currency exchange markets to open. The Argentine government has set the US Dollar to Peso exchange rate at an artificially low amount. The amount above is much less than the amount someone could receive on the blue or black market exchanging US Dollars for Pesos. That amount is closer to 14 or 15 Pesos to every US Dollar, almost double the official exchange rate. Here is an article from Bloomberg with additional information.

Accessing your money abroad:
The most common method of accessing money is to use your ATM/debit card attached to your U.S. bank account. Using ATM cards enables you to access your own personal bank account from any ATM machine around the world. The primary advantages of getting money from an ATM are 24-hour access and preferential exchange rates. In Argentina, Visa and Mastercard debit cards are accepted at nearly all ATMS and credit cards are accepted in many locations as well. Using these cards will give you the official exchange rate.

Argentina ATM

Another option is to use XOOM.com. This will help you transfer money from US Dollars to Pesos. The exchange rate you’ll get it somewhere between the official rate and the blue/black market rate.

Check with your bank to make sure you can use your card overseas, and to inform them that you will be living abroad. Give them your dates, and all the countries you anticipate traveling to. It is not uncommon to be cut off from your bank account after using your card abroad, even after giving them forewarning. If this happens, don’t panic! Banks do this to protect their clients, and we should be grateful! If this happens to you, you just need to contact your bank to ensure them that you are in possession of your card and that you need to have access to your account while you are abroad. If you have a shared account with a family member and their name is also on the account, sometimes it’s helpful to get word to them to call the bank for you, considering the time difference between countries.

In order to withdraw cash from an ATM using a debit or credit card, you must have a 4-digit pin. While you’re most likely very familiar with your debit PIN, you might not know a PIN for your credit card. Be sure to ask before you travel, banks will not release this information over the phone, via text, through an email or in any other way than to mail your PIN to the mailing address associated with your account.

Please ask your bank about their fees associated with international transactions, they may charge you anywhere from $5.00 to $7.00 per transaction, and that adds up!