Tag Archives | dolar blue

American Airlines Restricts Ticket Sales in Argentina

I haven’t even been back in Argentina a full day and the dollar blue hits a record high of $15! That’s immediately followed by American Airlines announcing that they are restricting ticket sales in Argentina. Ahh, financial uncertainty how I’ve missed you.

We used to be so happy together.

We used to be so happy together.

American Airlines will no longer sell tickets to or from Argentina for purchase in pesos for more than 90 days out. Want to fly from Buenos Aires to New York after December 18? Sorry, you’ll have to choose a different airline (while you can).

American is implementing this measure because of the widening gap between the official exchange rate ($8.43) and the blue rate ($15.00). Without knowing where this will end up, they do not want to get stuck holding pesos that become more and more worthless everyday.

So, here’s why American Airlines is not happy (and how you can benefit)…

Assume I want to go from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Miami (MIA) for a week in October. If I”m on the American Airlines website in the United States, the fare comes out to U$S 1213. Switching my country to Argentina, I find the same flight for U$S 1688 (higher due to the 35% Argentine tax on travel). Which one do I book?

Well, paying for that U$S 1688 flight on my Argentine credit card, I’d get billed at the official exchange rate, and end up with a charge of ARS $14,230. Now, if I convert my dollars at the blue rate to pay off the credit card, I’d only owe U$S 949. That’s a savings of almost 25% off the flight for me!

The 35% travel tax implemented by the government last December was designed to make this practice less attractive, but since the gap between the official rate and blue rate keeps widening, this is once again an attractive option for booking tickets.

Only time will tell what happens next…

UPDATE: Here’s American Airlines policy that was sent to ticket agents:

Argentina Point of Sale Restrictions
September 26, 2014
American Airlines has implemented sales restrictions for Argentina point-of-sale on our flights to/from Buenos Aires (EZE), Argentina.  These sales restrictions do not apply to point-of-sale outside of Argentina.

Reservations can still be made or ticketed for travel on American and American codeshare (AA*/OA) flights for departures prior to:

·       84 days for flights departing EZE
·       90 days for flights arriving into EZE

Reservations cannot be made or ticketed for travel on American or American codeshare flights (AA*/OA) for departures more than:
·       84 days for flights departing EZE
·       90 days for flights arriving into EZE
American will not accept bookings on other airlines with Argentina point-of-sale.

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Send Money From The UK To Argentina For Free

Reduced Rate to Send Money From UK to ArgentinaUPDATE: This offer is over, but check out our main Azimo page for updated codes and deals. You can still get a £10 Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate for your first transfer using the links here.
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For those of you who want to send money from the UK to Argentina at the blue rate, we’ve got good news!

Azimo (whom we’ve written about before) is celebrating their one year  anniversary by making all transfers free for the month of October. That’s right, you’ll get a rate of £1 = ARS $13.85 with absolutely no fee. This offer ends October 31, 2013, so you’d better hurry.

Time to get sending money!

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Using Bitcoin to Get the Dolar Blue Rate in Argentina

One of our more frequent topics is on the “dolar blue” rate in Argentina. This is the unofficial rate at which the US dollar trades in Argentina. Yesterday it hit a new record high of U$S 1 = ARS $9.40. That’s an 81% difference to the official rate and a great reason never to use your credit card or ATM in Argentina.

There are a few ways to take advantage of the dolar blue rate that we have discussed before:

  • Bring US dollars and convert at the blue rate.
    Pros: the best rate available
    Cons: theft, counterfeit bills, finding a cueva to exchange, technically illegal
  • Use a money transfer service like Xoom or Azimo and get a rate close to the blue rate.
    Pros: legal, transfer from your bank account overseas, relatively easy
    Cons: not available in all countries, must physically pick up money, paperwork required, rate good but lower than blue rate

A new method has emerged as well using the relatively new digital currency, Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency and payment system that is not under any government control. Check out the video below for a more detailed overview (or check out this Bitcoin course for a much more in-depth explanation):

Ok, so now you know that you know what Bitcoin is, how can you use it in Argentina to get the blue rate?

Argentines are not very fond of holding pesos – especially with inflation estimated at 25% – 30% per year. And with government restrictions on purchasing foreign currency or gold, many Argentines see Bitcoin as an investment opportunity that is outside of the government’s control. Unfortunately, the currency controls also make it impossible for Argentines to purchase Bitcoins online with pesos. This is where the trading process comes in. You purchase Bitcoins and then trade them for physical pesos at the blue rate.

Watch this short documentary film, “Bitcoins in Argentina,” for a great overview of the process:

Ok, so now you’re ready to trade Bitcoins, right? There’s a few steps you’ll need to take:

1. Get some Bitcoins
In order to get Bitcoins, you need to set up an account and purchase them. We’ve found Coinbase to be a great site to do this. This may take several days to set up, so don’t wait for the last minute.

2. Find someone to trade with
There are a few methods for finding a trading partner in Argentina – the Bitcoin Argentina Mailing List, LocalBitcoins, Bitcoin Argentina on Facebook, and Bitcoin Meetup. The mailing list seems to be the most active, but LocalBitcoins is growing rapidly. Once you find a trading partner, agree on the rate, pick a spot to meet and trade away!

So, what are the pros and cons of using Bitcoin?
Pros: relatively easy to use, completely anonymous, high exchange rate, works for people from almost any country, no need to carry cash, no paperwork
Cons: relatively new currency with high level of price fluctuation, must find a trading partner, must meet in person for exchange, false bills

The biggest con in my mind is the high number of price fluctuations and crashes that Bitcoin has experienced, however I think this can be somewhat offset as the seller by buying and selling in the same day. The buyer holding the Bitcoins has a lot more exposure to these price fluctuations. As for finding a trustworthy trading partner, a lot of the resources above will let you see what other trading the person has done before, and be sure and count the money before sending your Bitcoins.

Are you ready to start trading? Let us know in the comments if you do and what your experiences have been.

– Thanks to this Reddit post for more info on Bitcoin in Argentina.

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Send Money from the UK to Argentina

UPDATE: Added some new promo codes and rate info! Plus, use the links below and you’ll receive a £10 Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate on your first transfer.
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Azimo is a new service that allows anyone from the United Kingdom to send money to Argentina – and get the blue rate!

Money Transfer UK to ArgentinaWe’ve previously written extensively about Xoom, but that only works for those with a US bank account. Well, now is the time for Brits to get in on the money-sending action too.

Azimo allows you to send money using any UK debit card, online or telephone banking, or by going into a Barclay’s bank if you’re in the UK. You can then pick up the money in Argentina from a wide range of locations (a lot more than Xoom offers) or send it directly to a bank account. Please note that while their site states that you can pick up US dollars or pesos, that is not correct. You can only get Argentine pesos.

So, what is the rate? Currently it’s an impressive £1 = ARS $21.15 with their standard £5 transfer fee. Compare this to the official rate of £1 = ARS $13.63, and that’s an extra 55% on your money! There is currently a limit of £899.99 every 30 days, but that can be raised by providing proof of identity.

For a limited time, if you use the promotion code 2MYFIRSTTRANSFER or UPTOSPEED when sending, you’ll get the transfer fee (£5) for free as well. (You can also try the code AZIMODISCOVERBA.) And, if you click through my links, you’ll get a £10 Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate on your first transfer.

Here’s a quick overview video of their incredibly simple process:

Go give Azimo a try now and let us know in the comments how it worked out for you.

(Please note that I earn a referral fee if you use my links above. It’s a great service and I appreciate the support!)

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