Blue Dollar Rate In Argentina: Everything You Need To Know 

Before travelling to Argentina, you need to know about the blue dollar rate in Argentina. You need to know how this limits your payment options before you arrive at the airport.

Before travelling to Argentina, you need to know about the blue dollar rate in Argentina. You need to know how this limits your payment options before you arrive at the airport.

Here’s everything you need to know about money in Argentina, the current exchange rate and how foreigners can use the blue dollar rate to their advantage. 

Currency in Argentina

Argentina has only one legal tender – the Argentinian Pesos (ARS). In most places, price tags are written like $1,000, and that’s why many confuse prices in Argentinian Pesos with US dollars. However, because of the inflation, most prices are over 1,000 pesos. 

To be on the safe side, when dealing with tourist services (tours, shows, etc.), you might want to ask if the price is in pesos or dollars. That’s because services that sell products or services to tourists, including hotels and tours, tend to have prices in US dollars to avoid changing them every day as the blue dollar rate in Argentina changes. 

As of May 2024, the exchange rate for 1 US dollar is 1,010 Pesos (to buy pesos) and 1,040 pesos (to sell pesos for US dollars. Note that at the exchanges, the rate will be slightly less, probably at around 1,000 pesos, but only for crisp $100 bills. 

For instance, if you exchange $20 bills, you will get less, and usually, each individual exchange office will give you a price for that. 

However, given the current exchange rate, the rate for $20 bills would be around 970 pesos for $1. This is just an example to better explain how this exchange works. 

By the time you visit Argentina, this exchange rate could dramatically change (hopefully for the better). 

Blue Dollar Rate In Argentina

Inflation in Argentina and why they have the blue dollar rate

In Argentina, inflation has been a persistent economic challenge for many years. This means that the prices of goods and services tend to rise over time, leading to a decrease in the purchasing power of the currency, the Argentine peso.

Several factors contribute to Argentina’s inflation, including government policies, fiscal deficits, and external economic conditions. Historically, the country has faced periods of hyperinflation, where prices skyrocketed at alarming rates.

To cope with inflation, many Argentinians have adopted strategies such as investing in foreign currencies, purchasing assets like real estate or gold, or seeking higher-yield investment options. However, these measures come with their own risks and challenges.

The government has implemented various measures to combat inflation, including price controls, subsidies, and monetary policies. However, these efforts have had mixed success, and inflation remains a significant concern for both policymakers and the general population.

For tourists, inflation is a good and a bad thing. The good thing is that your foreign currency is worth more in Argentina, and you will be able to purchase things at a better price. 

Blue Dollar Rate In Argentina: Everything You Need To Know 

Exchange rate in Argentina

The bad thing for tourists is that because of the economic situation in Argentina, there are now two different exchange rates – the official rate and the Blue Dollar rate

The official exchange is used by official entities, such as banks and foreign cards. Some places and shops might also accept foreign currency, but they use the official exchange rate. 

The issue with the two exchange rates is that there is a dramatic difference between the two. The purpuse of the current government in Argentina is to reduce that difference and eventually eliminate that Blue dollar exchange rate, but that hasn’t happened yet. 

When I visited Argentina in April 2024, the difference between the official rate and the Blue Dollar was about 15%, which is on the lower side, considering past rates. 

You can check the current blue dollar exchange rate here. The blue dollar rate in Argentina changes daily (weekdays), during 12 pm, just like any other exchange rate. 

Tips for using the blue dollar rate in Argentina

To benefit from the best exchange rate in Argentina, as a foreigner, here is what you need to know and do:

Bring USD in cash. There is no place in Argentina where you can get USD from a bank or ATM. Note that if you bring more than $10,000, you will have to declare it at customs. 

$100 bills have a greater value than $50 or $20. Bills should be in good shape. If they don’t look good, they might be rejected by exchanges. 

You will find people on the touristy streets asking if you want to exchange. Most of them are legit, but you should always be careful not to be tricked. Some may appear legitimate but then try to trick you when handling the money (i.e. giving you less after they count it, etc.). 

The best way to exchange cash is to ask a local for a safe exchange. But don’t worry. I found that most exchange places offer a rate close to the Blue Dollar rate, and that’s what I did. I also only exchange a bit at a time, as the rate changes daily. 

If you ever find yourself in a shop or restaurant and don’t have enough cash, you can always pay by card. However, some places might add a small tax if you pay by card (it could be something like 5%). Some places even offered a 10% for paying in cash. But this depends. 

Can you get USD in Argentina?

In Argentina, there is no option to get USD from an ATM. The only way to get USD is from exchanges. 

If you use your foreign card to get cash from an ATM, your card/bank will exchange it at the official rate, which is lower than the Blue dollar, and you will lose money. 

Using foreign cards in Argentina

If you pay with your foreign card, the card’s bank will also use the official exchange rate, and you will lose money. 

Some smaller shops in Argentina might not accept foreign cards. 

Not all foreign cards work in Argentina. For instance, I have a digital card that I have used all over the world, but it didn’t work everywhere in Argentina. 

I use a few different cards when travelling. I noticed that the Revolut card has the official exchange rate when paying in Argentina, which is not great, as you are getting a really low rate.

However, I also used Wise a lot, and that rate is much better than what your home card might offer. So, if you have no other option, using a Wise card is a pretty good option.

How foreigners and expats send money in/to Argentina

Many foreigners send money via Western Union because this payment service offers a good exchange rate, close to the Blue Dollar rate.

The issue is that it takes a few days to receive the money, a few after the first transfer, and there might be issues finding a Western Union branch that is open or has enough cash. There are also queues for those. 

General tips for travelling in Argentina

Besides all these tips about using the blue dollar rate in Argentina, I have to add that it will help you get by in Argentina:

  • Learn a bit of Spanish, it will go a long way
  • Stay in touristy areas
  • Argentina is one of the safest places in South America. Don’t worry too much, as always; just follow what locals do
  • Use public transportation, because traffic gets crazy at rush hour in Buenos Aires

I hope all these tips will help you travel stress-free in Argentina. Since this trip was part of my 3-month long trip in South America, every dollar counted and tried to save whenever I could. I was pretty stressed out before arriving in Argentina, but it turns out that things are actually much easier to do than what the internet says. Enjoy your time in Argentina.

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

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