Xoom Keeps Up With Record Dolar Blue Rates

dolar blue vs official peso rate argentina 300x125 Xoom Keeps Up With Record Dolar Blue RatesThe “dolar blue,” Argentina’s black market rate to buy dollars, has been on a tear in January – setting new highs every week. Today’s rate of $7.81 pesos to one US dollar sets another record, and widens the gap between the official rate ($4.9755) and the unofficial rate to an amazing 57%.

For a good explanation of some of the reasons for this gap, check out FT’s Argentina’s “Blue” Dollar Blues article. It provides a pretty good summary of this phenomenon. But, the better question for most expats and tourists alike is “How can I take advantage of this huge discrepancy?”

The first thing to realize is that you’d better plan to put away your foreign credit and ATM cards. Those are only going to get you the official rate (plus fees). Cash is king here, so plan on bringing it with you (crisp hundred dollar bills are best) or transferring money here with Xoom or Azimo and getting a rate close to the blue rate with less risk.

You see, once you have the dollars here, you need to find a currency exchange house called a “cueva” to exchange money for you at the unofficial rate. For tourists, Calle Florida is often the best bet with money changers on the street calling people to come inside and sell their dollars. This is not without its risks – fake bills, poor exchange rates, robberies, AFIP busts, and language barriers, just to name a few. Still, if you have a strong spirit of adventure, this could be the best avenue for you.

Before you head to Florida Street, you can find the dollar blue rate on a number of websites including: Ambito, Dolarblue.net (always lower than the others), Dolar-Blue.com and even on it’s own Dolar Blue Facebook page which has over 12,500 likes. The rate you should expect to get  for your smaller transaction is about 5% less than the “compra” price listed on these sites – about $7.3815 today.

Too risky for you? Then you’ll probably want to turn to Xoom (or Azimo for UK accounts) which has been doing a good job in keeping up with the blue dollar rate. Their rate today is $7.2339. We’ve written about Xoom a number of times in the past so feel free to check out our other articles, but basically their service allows anyone with a US bank account or credit card to transfer money to Argentina and then pick it up in pesos when they get here. It’s a relatively simple process that will make your money go a lot further… It’s much nicer to divide by seven than by five.

(If you use my Xoom links, we’ll both get a $15 Amazon gift card after your first transaction.)

16 Responses to Xoom Keeps Up With Record Dolar Blue Rates

  1. Allison Carabajal February 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Any ideas as to how this would work in the real estate market? My husband is from Tigre but we live in the US. Thinking about renting for a year in Zona Norte and trying it out.

    • DaVe February 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

      If you have an account in the States, this is a great way to bring money into the country at the blue rate. I’d make sure that your rent here is in pesos if at all possible. Of course, there is no guarantee of where the blue rate will be a year from now, but it has been consistently higher than the standard rate for almost a year. Another option is to come with $10,000 cash each, but that is always a bit more risky.

      • Allison Carabajal February 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

        Thanks for the reply! I’m planning to spend a couple months in Tigre this summer. I’m going to explore this more!

  2. PAUL WARD April 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m coming to BA in a few weeks so is it better to change my pounds here in England into American dollars and then bring with me there? £1 is currently just under 8 Argentina pesos so I’m not sure if it’s best for me to change into American dollars or not, thanks Paul

    • DaVe April 2, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      The market for USD is much stronger than the market for pounds. I’d recommend changing to USD before you come as that will give you the most flexibility.

      • PAUL WARD April 11, 2013 at 7:08 am #

        Cheers thanks so where can I change my dollars then in Buenos Aires, any recommended places that are respected as trusted as I don’t want to change them for fake money which I know is a big deal out there, I will have my Argentina gf with me anyway so she will know the money better than me and can tell, it’s all new to me but if you can give some places to change will be great, as right now the dollar to pesos is 5.14 and I would rather get the 7 and above price

        Thanks Paul

        • DaVe April 11, 2013 at 9:13 am #

          The blue rate is closer to $8 right now. You can find the rate at http://www.ambito.com/economia/mercados/monedas/dolar/ and expect to get about 5% less than what is listed there. Most people go to Calle Florida and do the exchange. I have not heard any complaints about fake bills.

        • DaVe April 11, 2013 at 11:01 am #

          Just added a new post about transferring money from the UK to Argentina which may be another option for you. http://www.discoverbuenosaires.com/send-money-uk-argentina

          • PAUL WARD April 12, 2013 at 9:26 am #

            Thanks that’s great I will use this service soon then in a few days time, looks great and a great rate indeed :) I will return and use your affiliate link also no worries there, thanks for you help and you have a great blog here which I will read all of in time.

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