Tag Archives | peso

Xoom Now Offering Better than Blue Market Rate

UPDATE (12/17/15): This information is no longer accurate as the government has eliminated the blue rate.

I know, I know… We’ve had a lot of posts about using Xoom to transfer money to Argentina (and here), but today they’re offering a rate of ARS $6.0213 to USD $1 which we had to write about. This is now better than the blue market rate of ARS $5.93!

It also means that if you use your debit card in Argentina to withdraw cash or use your US credit card (even without foreign transaction fees), you could be losing up to 33%! How’s that you ask?

Well, your debit or credit cards will only give you the standard exchange rate – currently ARS $4.50. When you compare that to Xoom it comes out to be a significant amount of money. For example, if you spend U$S 2999 on your credit cards or through ATM withdrawals, you’re getting $13,495.50 pesos. With Xoom, you’ll get $18,057.95 pesos. Now, I’m sure you can find something to do with an extra $4562 pesos.

– If you use my Xoom link, you’ll get a $15 Amazon gift card and so will I. Another way to maximize your savings.

UPDATE: While Xoom is US only, you can use Azimo to transfer money from the UK to Argentina at the blue rate. Xoom is slightly lower than the blue market rate but changes quite frequently to keep up with it.

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Money Transfer Argentina: Xoom Follow-Up

A few weeks ago I wrote about using Xoom to transfer money from the United States to Argentina (from the UK, use Azimo) and I thought now would be a good chance to follow up on my experiences and the experiences of a few others.

First of all, the rate has skyrocketed to 5.5357 dollars to 1 peso as of today. The official rate is at $4.469. This means that if you transfer the maximum amount of U$S 2,999 rather than withdraw from an ATM, you’ll be earning an extra $3032 pesos / U$S 692. That’s a 22% increase in your money! (UPDATE: as of April 2013, the blue market rate to official rate is at 80% more!)

My first transaction with Xoom was for only $25 and was completely painless. It took about 2 business days for the funds to appear in my Argentine bank account. I also received a $25 Amazon gift card for using a referral link (if you use this link, you’ll get a $25 gift card and so will I).

After that first transaction I decided to transfer the maximum amount – U$S 2999. That process was not as quick due to several verification steps. First I had to verify my identity with Xoom by sending them a photo ID. Next, I had to verify the echeck withdrawal amount from my US bank account. Then, More Money Argentina (Xoom’s transfer partner here) had to verify the source of the funds as well as DNI, CUIL/CUIT, address, etc. This process took just under two weeks. I have been told that the next transfers will go much quicker, but this is something to be aware of.

I transferred the money directly to my Argentine bank account, but I have had several friends go and pick up their money from More Money’s location at Libertad 1057 (open 9am – 6pm business days). This is the only valid location in Capital Federal even though the Xoom site lists other locations. All of my friend’s transactions were completed within two business days and all they had to do was show their passport when picking up the money. Some of them were asked for the source of the funds, but they simply said savings and all was good.

One friend was told that $10,000 pesos was the cut off point that triggered additional paperwork requirements. Another friend was told that Xoom transfers do not appear as cash advances if you use your credit card, though I would confirm this before transferring a large amount.

Have you tried it yet? As I mentioned above, we both get $25 if you use my referral link.

BONUS TIP: Here’s an interesting idea that will work if you have a US bank account and an Argentine credit card. You can make 10% or more on your money and even rack up frequent flier miles if you have a card that earns miles.

Pay yourself or someone else in the US using PayPal and your Argentine credit card. You’ll be billed the official exchange rate for these transactions on your credit card plus the PayPal fees. Now, transfer pesos to yourself using Xoom and pay your credit card with that money. Due to the differences in the official vs. Xoom rates, you will end up making money on the deal. There is a U$S 6000/month limit from Xoom, but this is an interesting way to take advantage of this currency discrepancy and make money for doing virtually nothing.

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Buenos Aires News: Edition 13

Gay marriage is now legal in Buenos Aires after President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner signed the bill into law last week.  Perhaps the best headline I saw about this was, “Argentina approves gay divorce.” 🙂 Here’s what else is making news over the past week:

Argentine Peso Gets Lift From Record Soy Harvest as Volatility Gauge Sinks [Bloomberg]
Argentine currency traders are reducing expectations for peso fluctuations to the lowest since March as a record soybean harvest swells export revenue in South America’s second-biggest economy. Economists predict it will weaken to 4.2 per dollar by year-end, according to the median of 13 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The consensus forecast was 4.5 per dollar a year ago.

Buenos Aires on a leash [The Christian Science Monitor]
Argentine dogs live a life of pampered sophistication in this elegant city as dog walkers can earn more than teachers here.

Debate over legalising abortion intensifies in Argentina [BBC]
After the recent vote by the Argentine Congress to legalize same-sex marriage, the legalization of abortion seems set to be the next big debate in the country.

American, JetBlue partner on select flights at JFK [Crains]
JetBlue, light on overseas options, links passengers to Europe, South America and Japan via American flights, while American sends domestic passengers to 18 new cities via JetBlue.

BA Construction Activity Rises 10% [InvestBA]
Recent headlines regarding Buenos Aires real estate sales activity have been improving steadily this year, and La Nación says builders are starting to feel equally optimistic. During the first five months of 2010, the construction industry posted a 10% increase in new projects under development, while the sale of condominiums and single-family homes advanced 7.1%, according to the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE).

Lower Congress Approves Glacier Protection Law [The Argentina Independent]
After 12 hours of debate, Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies approved a law that would limit mining and oil drilling activity in the country’s Andean ice fields on Thursday morning. The legislation’s provisions are similar to a glacier protection law that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner controversially vetoed in 2008.

Maradona to continue as Argentina coach [AP]
Diego Maradona will reportedly remain as coach of Argentina’s national team, a decision he is expected to announce next week after meeting with Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona.

What’s the deal with Buenos Aires? [NY Post]
Argentina’s capital is overhyped, overcrowded and terrifically annoying. It also might be one of the best places you’ll ever visit.

Private Parking Lots Forced To Offer Space For Bikes In Buenos Aires [TreeHugger]
In a city where bike theft is a very good reason to make you doubt about riding somewhere, providing parking facilities is almost as important as creating new bike paths. This is the case in Buenos Aires (and many cities around the world), and the reason why it’s so good to hear that the government has pushed a new law to provide several bike-parking facilities, including spaces inside private parking lots at lower rates. If you ride in Buenos Aires or are thinking about doing it, you need to read this.

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Buenos Aires News: Edition 5

Fires Burn Over 1,200 Acres In Argentina [LAHT]
A state of emergency has been declared in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, where more than 500 hectares (1,234 acres) of forest have been scorched by several fires, forcing the evacuation of dozens of people, officials said Sunday.

Argentine automakers to sell at cost, protect jobs [Reuters]
Argentine automakers will sell basic models at cost through state-subsidized loans in a plan to protect jobs in Latin America’s third-biggest economy from the global economic slowdown. Local plants of Renault SA, General Motors, Peugeot, Ford Motor Co. and other automakers will participate in the government’s plan to protect 150,000 auto industry jobs and to keep production from falling steeply next year.  Now this is an interesting idea!

Argentine Unions Want Floor for Peso Devaluation [Bloomberg]
Argentina’s union leaders want the government to put a limit on the peso’s devaluation, claiming that a softer currency will fuel inflation and undermine workers’ buying power.

Madge blows $1 million in hotel bill [The Times of India]
Madonna reportedly shelled out a million dollars on the Four Seasons hotel in Buenos Aires after she and her crew checked out from its posh premises. The megastar blew an alleged 9,000 dollars per night to stay at the hotel’s private mansion while her 200 backing dancers, singers, make-up artists, choreographers, managers and security checked into another 110 rooms – costing at least 600 dollars each.  Now, I know where at least part of my ticket money went!

Argentina Gun Swap Wildly Successful [IPS]
As a disarmament campaign launched 17 months ago in Argentina nears its end, the government and civil society groups involved in the initiative announced that it has far exceeded even the most optimistic projections, despite the lack of publicity.  The Interior Ministry reported that the programme, in which people voluntarily swap their firearms for cash, has so far collected over 102,000 guns and 721,000 munitions, all of which were destroyed.

Why Have So Many Restaurants Closed in Buenos Aires?  (english version) [La Nacion]
An interesting read, about the closure and pending closures of almost 300 restaurants in Buenos Aires due to the economic crisis. Many of these restaurants had relied on the tourist market and thus increased prices so significantly that they lost the locals. It will be intersting to see if the new visa tax that goes into effect on January 1 will cause a further decline in tourism and what the fallout will be.

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