How does the reimbursement work when buying a trip to a local agency in Argentina?

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If you are a foreign tourist and you travel to Argentina you can benefit from a government policy that offers a refund of up to 40% of everything you pay with your credit card “in pesos”. In this article I will explain how it works.

Why does the Argentine government offer benefits to foreign tourism?

In Argentina the exchange rate between the Argentine Peso and the Dollar/Euro does not fluctuate freely, but the state intervenes in the official exchange rate to control it and prevent the peso from devaluating.

This has led to the emergence of different types of changes in recent years.

In this other article I explain in great detail how exchange rates work in Argentina and the difference between them.

These different exchange rates are generally much better on the black market than the official exchange rate you get at the bank in Argentina.

The problem for the Argentine state is that if you exchange your dollars or euros on the street (black market), that currency will not officially enter Argentine banks.

That is why as of December 2022 the Argentine government has created a law that allows foreigners to access a special exchange rate called MEP Dollar, which represents a significant saving for your trip compared to the official exchange rate .

How does this refund work?

In order for you to access this special exchange rate the Argentine government has implemented a system through Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards. which offers the possibility of making purchases with a MEP exchange rate to foreign tourists visiting the country or making purchases from abroad to Argentine companies in pesos.

Let’s see an example:

If you pay 797 € to a travel agency in Argentina the card will first charge you the equivalent in pesos at the official exchange rate and then refund you the difference between the official exchange rate and the MEP exchange rate, which is about 40%.

neuschwanstein How does the reimbursement work when buying a trip to a local agency in Argentina?

In the image above you can see from my German card how first a charge of 797,56 euros was made on 13.03 and on 17.03 at the closing of the card I was reimbursed 350,67 euros.

This example is valid for all purchases made from an Argentine company in pesos either in person or online. Here it is explained directly by Mastercard Argentina and by the official page Visa Credit Card.

So if you pay with credit/debit card in Argentina during your trip (restaurants and shopping in general)…you will also benefit from this exchange rate which is very convenient because you avoid having to change money on the street which can be unsafe.

A busy foreign tourism season is expected in Argentina driven by this new exchange rate for foreign tourism and of course because Argentina is a great travel destination.

If you are planning a trip to Argentina, you cannot fail to consider the benefits offered by Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards to foreign tourists.

The possibility of booking your trip with a special exchange rate can represent a significant savings in your travel budget.

In addition, by paying by card, you save yourself the risk of exchanging money on the street and in an insecure manner. So, don’t hesitate! Take advantage of this benefit and make the most of your experience in Argentina.

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About the author

I am Matias, born in Patagonia, and a lover of my land.

For more than 20 years I help foreign travellers to organise their trip to Patagonia.

I also manage this exotic accommodation on the Atlantic coast.