Buenos Aires - Post Report Question and Answers

Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

It’s a very cash-based economy. Some larger stores will accept credit card, but it’s unreliable even there. ATMs apply high fees for withdrawals. We used Western Union to get cash from our U.S. accounts. Even with the fees, it was the most cost-effective. - Apr 2022

Yes, they are widely accepted and safe but they take FOREVER. It will boggle your mind how long the grocery store line is and that's because every person who uses a credit card waits several minutes for the terminal to connect. ATMs are common and I believe safe (didn't use much because I just changed personal checks with Embassy cashier) but they for sure have a daily limit on them which can become annoying. - Jul 2020

Credit cards are widely accepted, but it seems that VISA is still more preferred than Mastercard. ATMs are common, but they have limits to what you can withdraw, and there are always service fees for foreign ATM cards. They can be used, but with caution. There have been reports of people getting robbed after using ATMs. We usually withdraw our money in the US Embassy. - Jul 2019

Widely used and accepted. Cashiers don't like to make change so sometimes it is easier to use a credit card. - Jun 2015

Don't use credit cards. This is a cash society and the unofficial exchange rate is much higher than the official one, so you save a lot of money using cash. HOWEVER getting U.S. dollars IN Argentina may be pretty difficult. There is a service called xoom.com that transfers money from your U.S. bank account for a small fee and at a rate slightly lower than unofficial "blue" rate but still much better than the official rate. If you go to Uruguay, withdraw lots of U.S. dollars from their ATMs. - Jan 2015

We never use ATMs and limit our use of credit card due to the inflation rate and difference between the official exchange rate and the blue dollar exchange rate. - Aug 2014

We use cc only. - Aug 2011

We use our debit card all over. - May 2011

No problem using ATMs or Credit Cards. Be aware however that if you are using an ATM from a U.S. bank, they have started imposing withdrawal limits of $300 pesos at a time. Also, ATMS are usually closed in banks every afternoon (from 1-2 or 2-3) to restock cash. You also will be charged a transaction fee for using your credit card or ATM by your U.S. company usually. - Jul 2008

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