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 $15 Amazon gift card for using a referral link (if you use this link, you’ll get a $15 gift card and so will I).
After that first transaction I decided to transfer the maximum amount – U$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 $15 if you use my referral link.
BONUS TIP: Here’s an interesting idea that will work if you have a US bank account and an Argentine credit card. You can make 10% or more on your money and even rack up frequent flier miles if you have a card that earns miles.
Pay yourself or someone else in the US using PayPal and your Argentine credit card. You’ll be billed the official exchange rate for these transactions on your credit card plus the PayPal fees. Now, transfer pesos to yourself using Xoom and pay your credit card with that money. Due to the differences in the official vs. Xoom rates, you will end up making money on the deal. There is a U$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.