Welcome to Argentina! The home of the Argentinian Peso (ARS). The Argentinian Peso is a very vulnerable currency. Here we give you the best tips on how safe exchange money in Buenos Aires, where to change your money and even sometimes make a profit!

We will talk about: ATM withdrawals, Exchange bureau’s, Calle Florida (black market), XOOM and Western Union, Creditcard and, paying directly in Dollar or Euro in stores.

TIP: don’t change your local (USD, EUR, …) money to Argentinian peso in your home country. The peso fluctuates hard during days, so you probably lose value even in a couple of days.

Read also: what is the best time to visit Argentina?

Buenos Aires airport Ezeiza transfer welcome

The symbol for Argentinian Peso is familiar with the dollar sign: $. In Argentina, the shortcut for the US dollar is USD or U$S.

1. The best place to exchange money in Buenos Aires

In our application (iOS and Android), we give you daily updates on the best safe places to change your money in Buenos Aires. Find the best exchange office, updated daily. The app is free and available for iOS and Android. Disfruta! Download here and view the current exchange rate per office.

Important note: due to the currency controls in Argentina it also has effects on tourists. Without any problem, you can exchange Dollars or Euro to Argentinian peso, but the other way there is a restriction. Do you have Argentinian peso left after your stay? You can only exchange a maximum of 100 dollars worth of pesos back to dollars or euro. This is per person.

Daily-update-exchange-rate-Buenos-Aires

2. ATM Withdrawal

Don’t use an ATM! We mention ATM withdrawal in Buenos Aires at first because it’s the last we suggest to do. The withdrawal commission can get up to USD 10, bad exchange rates, and sometimes no money in the ATM. So, there are better ways to get Argentinian pesos. Using the ATM is not the best way to exchange money in Buenos Aires! Don’t you have any other options? Go to the bank and take an ATM with above “Cajero Automatico”. These ATMs are for everybody. An ATM with above “Autoservicio” will not work for tourists.

3. Exchange bureau

Is your local currency US Dollar (USD) or Euro (EUR), then you are lucky. Also, currencies such as the British Pound (GBP), Swiss Francs (CHF), New Zealand dollar (NZD), and others are possible to exchange into Argentine peso.

There are enough exchange bureaus available in Buenos Aires. Always take your passport with you when you’re going to the exchange bureau. It’s used that the exchange bureau will only accept banknotes higher than 20 USD or 20 Euro. Changing coins is not possible. Withdrawing money here is not available. Read the article for the best exchange places: “The best places to change your money in Argentinian peso, Dollar and Euro

We listed all the best places to change your money. Read our extra article

Tips when you go to the exchange bureau (Casas de Cambio in Spanish)

  • Don’t change immediately all your money. Are you staying longer than 3 weeks? Then change it by every 100 USD or EUR.
  • Don’t accept any extra fee or commission at the exchange bureaus. This is illegal by Argentinian law.
  • A rate that is 2 ARS under the current rate is acceptable. For example, the actual interbank rate is 60 ARS for 1 US dollar. If you can get 58 ARS for 1 US dollar, that’s ok. Go to some different exchange bureaus and compare them. You get the best rate during bank office hours. Check the current interbank rates on xe.com. Here are the best places to change your money.

4. Calle Florida: black market

Not afraid of some negotiation? Then go to the pedestrian street “Calle Florida” near the presidents’ house (Casa Rosada or Pink House in English). When you walk down the street you will hear people saying “Cambio, cambio”. These persons work for a bigger boss.

Exchanging dollars and euros is possible. Be in a strong position to negotiate. Don’t take the first one, but play them against each other. Once you accept a rate after negotiation they will guide you to a small office somewhere located near the street Florida.

It’s possible, once you arrive in the office, they start to negotiate again. Keep with the rate that they said outside. If not, just go outside again.

Secret tip in Calle Florida: the black market will give a better exchange rate for notes of USD 100 or €100. Because these banknotes are highly sought after.

Best place to exchange money in Buenos Aires
Coin and banknotes in Argentina (ARS)

5. XOOM and Western Union

Do you want to travel cashless to Argentina? Then there is XOOM and Western Union. You can send money to Argentina and pick it up on arrival at one of their offices in Buenos Aires. Western Union and XOOM have several offices in the city. Western Union works together with PagoFacil and XOOM with Cobroexpress. You will have the option where you want to pick up your money. For Western Union, we suggest heading to the office in the street Montevideo 825 (not in Uruguay 😉 ).

The rate at this moment is pretty good. Western Union almost offers the black market rate or even better. The only thing that you need into account is the transaction fee. Both companies are around USD 25 per transaction. So, if you exchange 500 USD or more, XOOM and Western Union will be cheaper.

6. Credit card

Paying with a credit card (Mastercard and Visa) are widely accepted in the city and safe to use. Restaurants, bars, and supermarkets mostly accept your credit card for any amount. By April 1st, 2018 all stores have to accept card payment by the law, but often small kiosks, the bakery or newspaper store around the corner don’t.
Before going to a restaurant always ask if they accept your credit card or check the window for any signs.

7. Coto supermarket or other stores

A not very know way to change your Dollar or Euro to Argentinian peso is going to a Coto supermarket or other brand store (Havanna, Falabella, …). At the Coto supermarket go to the cashier lane and you will see a little announcement with the rate they will give you.

The system works as follows. You buy something small – for example, a little bottle of water. Thereafter, you go to the cashier and pay with your US Dollars or Euros. Use a note of 50 Euro/US Dollar or smaller notes. The cashier will give you Argentinian peso for spare change. Coto supermarket often gives a higher rate than the actual rate.

8. Top-up credit card

There are debit Mastercard- or Visa cards available such as Revolut. It is a top-up debit card. Revolut, for example, uses the interbank-rate that fluctuates during the day without any fee. A good way for travelers and residents without an Argentinian bank account. Check out more on their website.

Extra tip!

Have some cash with you. We mentioned that stores have to accept credit/debit card payments by law, however not every store is happy with it. Also when a store accepts card payments, it’s common that they will make a difference between paying cash or with a card. They will put two prices on the price tag. One in cash (cheaper) and one for card payments.

Get more tips that will save you more money: The best places to exchange your money in Argentinian peso. Read in our app. Download our app for free.

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Footnote: Secretsofbuenosaires.com is not responsible for any wrong information or problems that appear with payment by following one of these tips.

Author

My roots in Buenos Aires started as a tourist. After some great adventures in Argentina, I moved in 2017 to the metropolitan city of Buenos Aires. I felt a need for correct and honest information for tourists. That's why we created this content for you. I hope you enjoy Buenos Aires as much as I do!

32 Comments

  1. Hi Glenn!
    Thanks for your post! It’s been very useful. I am going to Buenos Aires at the end of the months and I was wondering how to exchange money when I get there. I have checked the Western Union rate and it is amazing, way better than the official rate, as of today for 1USD you get 80 ARS. According to their website, it would be as it follows:

    Summary
    Exchange Rate
    1.00 USD = 80.6600 ARS
    Transfer amount 500.00 USD
    Transfer fee + 25.00 USD
    Transfer total 525.00 USD
    Total to receiver 40330.00 ARS

    so I am wondering, does Western Union charge you something additional once you get there to withdraw the money? or would I really get 40330 ARS by paying 525 USD (500 transfer + 25 transfer fee) ?

    Thank you in advance for your help

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Almudena 👋, thank you. We are happy to help people coming to Buenos Aires. Indeed, Western Union gives at this moment the best rate. The economy of Argentina is pretty unpredictable. But I expect no major changes in the upcoming month. Meaning that Western Union will give the best exchange rate in Buenos Aires. There a no fees when withdrawing the money because you already paid the fee when sending. :-).

      Wishing you a fantastic time in Buenos Aires! 😊

      • Hello Glenn,
        Based on the previous conversation I am planning on using WesternUnion as well. Do you recommend a particular Western Union location store to pick up my money? Thanks much
        Jim

  2. Hi Glenn,
    I will be in Buenos Aires in two weeks staying in the Palermo Hollywood District. Where is the best place to exchange dollars into pesos in that area? Love your website, very helpful. Thanks for providing such a great service to visitors

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Jim 👋, the exchange rate in exchange offices are not the best right now. But, we can suggest Euroamerican or a Banco Nacion office near Plaza Serrano or Plaza Italia. Banco Nacion’s offices are the official offices of the central bank. Have a nice stay in BA!

    • I was in Palermo just a few weeks ago and my AirBnB hostess showed me a storefront cambio on Callebo that provided great rates. Where others were offering 57.50 to 59, this offered 65 if at least 50 to 100 dollar bills. I changed US20 for 64 pesos. Pretty sure it was couple of doors down from Farmacia Varela. Good luck!

      • Thx much for this information. I will do my best to look for this Cambio. Hopefully the manager of the hotel where I will be staying (Ilum Home Experience) will be familiar with it.

      • We will be in Buenos Aires only one day from a cruise ship. We are taking a day long tour and then have an airport transport arranged. Wondering if it is acceptable to tip the guide and driver in US dollars.

        • Glenn Reply

          Hola Shirley 👋, giving a tip in US dollars to the driver and guide is a kind gesture. Feel free how much. Enjoy your stay in Buenos Aires 😊

  3. Hi Glenn,
    I am visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina next month and I found your website extremely informative. Thank you so much. You mentioned about Western Union being one of the options to get Argentinian Pesos from my local currency (Canadian dollars) At the time of this writing, I see the official interbank rate on xe.com, between CAD and ARS, is 1CAD = 46ARS. On Western Union money transfer page it quoted 1CAD = 57ARS (fine print indicates the actual exchange rate will be determined at the time of payout). The service fee is 7CAD.

    So from your experience it is common that Western Union exchange rate is actually higher than official rate, right? I am thinking about using this method of getting ARS when I visit Argentina. This would save me from exchanging money from CAD to USD then to ARS (CAD is very weak against USD now).

    I have never used Western Union at all. I see on their website there are over 1100 locations where I could pick up the money. Really???!!! That many locations???!!! From the name of those pick up locations, none of them that I saw actually says “Western Union”. Instead they are all sort of weird places like drug stores, paper shops, etc. I am confused. Are those places safe to pick up money? Or, do you have a recommended location to pick up money from Western Union when in Buenos Aires?

    Thank you very much for your kind help.

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Max 👋, thank you for the compliment. Indeed, Western Union does offer a very good rate at this moment. Sometimes even better than the black market (Dollar Blue) rate. The service fee is ok. Depending on the amount. It’s indeed the best option to exchange Canadian Dollar (CAD) to Argentina Peso (ARS), avoiding first to exchange to USD.

      True, many Western Union offices are looking strange. I suggest going to the Western Union office located in the street Montevideo 825. 👈 Click on the link for the direction. It’s open on weekdays from 8AM till 7PM and on Saturdays from 9AM till 12:30PM. Subway line “D” is close to there.

      Have an awesome stay in Buenos Aires!

      • Glenn,
        Thank you so much for your information and provided your recommended Western Union location to pick up cash (Montevideo 825). I will try to make it to this location but in case I cannot conveniently make it (because I won’t be staying near that location. I will be staying in Almagro), if some other location that looks legitimate with big Western Union yellow color signs outside across the entire store, should those ones be safe as well? Any previous stories of fake bills being handed out by Western Union pick up location? I am being cautious because likely I will be sending over $1000 CAD. Sorry, I might be asking dumb questions because I never used this service before. Thank you so much for your kind information.

        • Glenn Reply

          Hi Max, when you exchange money with Western Union in Buenos Aires, you should send the money in parts. Not directly $1000 CAD. Maybe 4 times $250. This because not all Western Union offices have directly that amount ready. When you exchange the money with Western Union you will receive a code. With that code, you can go to any office that you see. True, that many offices do look weird. But there are so many, that you are free to choose. I didn’t hear stories yet about fake bills. Have a nice stay!

  4. Justin Dunning Reply

    If ATMs are no good for cash withdrawal are there alternatives, such as cash back at the grocery store? I brought some USD with me but not enough for my whole trip, thinking I could withdraw some each day but my first proved your point about the awful deal it is. Thank you for the article!

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Justin 👋, withdrawing money is not the best option. You can do it, but I would suggest to take the maximum possible. Every ATM transaction, no matter the amount, will cost you around USD 10 (Argentina Bank Fee).

      You can send money from your country to Buenos Aires with Western Union or Xoom. The exchange rate of Western Union is good and the transaction fee is acceptable. There a many offices in the city.

      Withdrawing money in a grocery store on top of your purchases is not possible. Only Argentinian cards. Of course, exchanging money is possible. But I suggest going to Calle Florida. The black market gives up to 30% more than the actual exchange rate in Buenos Aires.

      Have a nice trip! Saludos.

  5. Glenn, what to you recommend when selling tranches of USD 10.000 against Pesos and hoard the Pesos in expectations of better times ahead? I am not familiar with capital controls at Argentinian banks at the moment? Is it recommendable to these transactions via bank accounts or get a safe? How is the behavior of the street guys in Calle Florida when exchanging these amounts? I hope they don´t have too much “grandes cojones” when smelling higher amounts and show some disrespect?

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi, thank you for reaching out. Exchanging dollars for Argentinian Pesos, and by that saving Argentinian pesos in an Argentinian bank is not recommended at this moment. Dollars are very popular among people. There are no restrictions when exchanging your dollars to ARS.

  6. Thanks for your awesome blog… helped me texchange $ with more confidence, even on Calle Florida! Here’s my RECENT Nov/December 2019 experience… The official rate was about $59.50. I found a nice store front recommended by my AirBnB host that gave me 65 pesos/USD for a USD$50 note (they sure like big notes… for USD$20, they would give me 64 pesos, still a great rate). The store is on Cabello. The above listed Cambio places were closed when I found myself out of pesos. So desperately, I took a bus to Calle Florida. As you described, ‘cambio, cambio’ in every pitch sounded. I founded the most professional looking person (some looked really marginal), asked for their rate (quoted 66 for one, then when went to store, was told 62 because 66 was for 100 USD.. I walked away). Found someone who quoted 64 pesos, they asked me to follow them. I asked where before I even moved an inch. He pointed to guy standing in plain site beside a building on same street, I went over. The guy had a wad of pesos. I just needed USD20 to tide me over so I can get ‘legit’ exchange back at my Palermo store. He counted 1280 pesos and handed to me. I didn’t have my USD20 ready yet;) He gave me 500 pesos notes – I rejected them, and told him I wanted smaller notes (quiero cientos). Figured less chance of funny money. No problem, smooth transaction. Just be street wise, be in plain site and public, get USD ready and all good to go! Thanks GLENN!!

  7. Thanks for your info.!! I’m cross-eyed reading all the reviews and wish I had found your site first! Would you suggest the grocery store as 1st choice then? Also, what are your thoughts on XOOM? I’ve read quite a few people mentioning it. Thanks! I’m leaving for Peru this coming Monday then Argentina.. would prefer not to be glued to the google and enjoy my trip))

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Olivia, at this moment we suggest exchanging your money in Calle Florida. However, you will need to bring cash with you. The rate of XOOM is actually good and the fee is reasonable. Choose Cobroexpress as the place to pick-up your money. There are several stores in the capital city. Have a nice stay in Buenos Aires 🙂

  8. DanielLaurl Reply

    Many thanks for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the good work!!!

  9. Alexander Ellison Reply

    Hi we have changed some money in the uk to dollars but they only gave us 10 and 20 dollar notes can this notes be exchanged for paso easily

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