5 money related things to know before coming to Buenos Aires
- Always carry cash on you! Although a lot of restaurants, shops and bars will take card, you often get a worse exchange rate and sometimes they will even charge you more. (Side-note: if you do pay by card, they will normally ask for an ID and go off with your card to take the payment – a strange concept for tourists but the done thing here so don’t be alarmed!)
- Ironically, ATMs are pretty hard to come by and often when you think you have found one, it doesn’t work or will charge you a high fee to withdraw money. I recommend using a money transfer service such as Western Union. This allows you to send yourself money from your bank account almost instantly and then collect your money from any branch. It’s very easy and straightforward to set up an account via the app.
- The 5 peso note is being discontinued and replaced with a coin. Don’t accept them when you are given change as you won’t be able to pay with them another time. Ask for the coin (la moneda) instead of the note (un billete).
- When travelling from the airport to your accommodation, taxi companies/transfer services will charge around 35-60 USD (depending on where they are taking you obviously!) However, bear in mind Uber operates in BA and is safe as well as much cheaper.
- The final point is more loosely related to money, but still useful to know. I really recommend getting a sim card – even if your visit is only short. From Claro, you can buy a sim card with 3GB of data for 20 days which costs 300 pesos (less than £4 or $5). The best part is Claro, although it gives you a new Argentinian number, lets you keep your original WhatsApp number!