Author Archive | DaVe McComb

Argentina Ends US Reciprocity Fee Payment

Argentina Ends US Reciprocity FeeWow! Obama and Macri must have really gotten along when they met today as news just came out that Argentina will no longer require US passport holders to pay the USD $160 reciprocity fee to visit Argentina.

That’s right – as of March 24, 2016, US visitors to Argentina no longer have to pay the reciprocity fee. No word yet on whether or not those who paid it for future travel will get it refunded (don’t hold your breath).

Argentina is hoping for the US to grant their citizens unrestricted travel without the need for a visa too, but that is a little ways off. At the moment, the US has agreed to waive the interview requirement for those Argentines under 16 or over 65. Not much, but it’s a start!

Canadians and Australians still must pay their respective reciprocity fees. Maybe it’s time for Justin Trudeau to visit Argentina too!

Here’s the text from the embassy’s website:

In order to strengthen the relationship between Argentina and the United States of America, the Argentine Government has resolved to suspend the collection of the reciprocity fee from US passport holders who visit our country for less than 90 days, for tourist or business purposes.

Buenos Aires, March 24 2016

UPDATE: The US and Argentina are also working on removing the tourist visa requirement for Argentine passport holders in a “reasonable amount of time.”


Negative Miles and Points Changes for Argentina

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big miles and points junkie. I regularly use miles and points to reduce the cost of traveling internationally with a family of four. Of course, good things don’t last and there are two major negative changes coming to redeeming miles on American Airlines and Delta for travel to Argentina.

For bookings made as of March 22, 2016, American Airlines is making three negative changes to their award charts for southern South America.

First, American is eliminating MileSAAver Off Peak Awards. These were 20,000 one-way coach awards for travel to and from Argentina during non-peak times. My family used these many times – booking roundtrip flights for 4 people for only 160,000 miles! It was an incredible deal, and apparently too generous for American to continue. They will now only offer MileSAAver awards at 30,000 miles one-way. That means for our family of four, flights will now cost 240,000 miles roundtrip.

Not content with that, American is also increasing the cost of one-way business class saver awards from 50,000 miles to 57,500 miles. They are also drastically increasing one-way first class saver awards from 62,500 miles to 85,000 miles! That’s a 36% increase.

Not to be outdone, Delta also decided to increase the number of miles needed to travel from the US to Argentina. One-way business class fares will go from 62,500 miles one-way to 75,000 miles. This applies to all travel from October 1, 2016 on and also applies to their partners Aeromexico and Aerolineas Argentinas. Luckily, economy fares stay the same at 30,000 miles one-way.

So, any good news here?

Amazing Business Class Award Space

Tons of business class award space!

The only potential positive is that you have until March 22 to book travel on American Airlines at the old prices. You can also make free date changes to those award tickets and keep the old pricing. So, if you have any potential travel plans, I’d recommend booking now.

The other positive is that American Airlines has opened up an incredible amount of business class and first class award saver space (see chart). While they were usually quite stingy with award space, their award calendar now shows a ton of space with many seats available.

We decided to take advantage of this and just changed our flight back to the US from coach to business for 50,000 points each. What’s the point of earning miles and points if you can’t spend them, right? And with these devaluations, there’s no point in hoarding them as they just decrease in value over time.

Where to sit with kids?

Where to sit with kids?

It will be interesting having a 2-year old and a 5-year old in business class, but they’re seasoned travelers at this point. The toughest decision was figuring out how to pick our seats since American has a 1-2-1 herringbone seat configuration on their 777-200. While we originally had the middle seats, the partition between the two means it would be difficult to reach across to the other side to help. I decided to change the seats to one middle and one window, so we’re just across the aisle from each other. I’ll let you know how that goes!

– You can get more info on the rest of American Airlines award changes at the View from the Wing blog.


Moving Sale!

We’re having a moving sale!

Lots of household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, baby items and much more are for sale at

Check it out! We’re adding more things daily…

(And yes, we are leaving Argentina. More on that in a future post.)


The End of US Netflix in Argentina

Netflix Streaming from Outside of the USIt was bound to happen sooner or later…

Netflix has announced that they will begin cracking down on those who use proxies or “unblockers” to access content outside of their geographic region.

Of course, many expats use these tricks to get the version of Netflix from their home country. I love being able to have US Netflix titles in Argentina rather than the Argentine content. It’s also nice to switch to other countries to get content that is not licensed for your area.

Netflix announced these coming crackdowns in a blog post that lamented that they could not offer the same content across all regions “given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories.” They also stated that they keep pushing towards that goal, but I would not expect any changes there for many years.

Netflix has been pretty lax on blocking these unblockers in the past. They had the technology to do more, but chose not to – because it was not in their best interest. Now it seems that the media owners have finally forced their hand.

We’ll have to see if the unblockers and proxies can come up with new technological solutions to get around these new blocks.

Let’s hope Netflix does not start to eliminate the sharing of account passwords!