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Looking for updated ATM advice in Argentina

Looking for updated ATM advice in Argentina

Old Dec 12, 16, 1:34 pm
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Looking for updated ATM advice in Argentina

Up until a recent change in policy, my HSBC Premier account (US-based) consistently refunded every ATM fee so long as I used an ATM at an HSBC Argentina branch.

They advised me today rather unceremoniously that they will no longer do that (apparently it was an "exception" that they just did consistently month in and month out).

My online research as well as memory is turning up conflicting reports.

Does using a Citi debit card at a Citi ATM get around the fee? What about Citi's equivalent of Premier (I think they call it Gold)? I don't have either of these at the moment, but am hoping I could open banking relation with Citi and get a debit card sent to me ASAP.

Barring a complete avoidance of the fee (and/or in the short term before I can change banks), are there any banks with higher ATM limits than the paltry AR$2000 per transaction (I seem to remember Citi also falling into this category before)?

I haven't had to worry about this in awhile, but now very suddenly have to. At peak moments, HSBC Premier was reimbursing me up to US$250-300 per month in ATM fees! That's a lot of money to be losing each month just in their euphemistically named "Access Fees."
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Old Dec 12, 16, 1:46 pm
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Citi was to be pulling out of Argentina. I don't believe they have yet, and maybe they've changed their mind.

The highest limits seem to be AR$2500, and you have to take into account the fee, so that meant no more than $2400. Given the current exchange rate, it will probably be $2300 soon.

I was last there in October, so who knows what my January surprise will be!
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Old Dec 12, 16, 3:24 pm
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Citibank Argentina was sold to Santander Rio , the Argentine subsidiary of the Spanish bank . They are currently changing all their ATM machines to the Banelco system.

I can get 3000 Pesos a time with my Arg bank card.

I hear the limit is to be lifted as soon as the majority of the ATMs are adapted to the 200 and 500 peso notes.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 3:34 pm
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The Citibank sale to Santander has been completed, and as far as I know is just waiting for the approval of the regulatory authorities, which should be forthcoming.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1945576-e...a-del-citibank

The limit on ATM withdrawals still seems to be 2 x $2400 (pesos)/day independent of whether you have a higher daily maximum on your foreign account (the network surcharge was $97.20 last Friday, so as the peso weakens the maximum withdrawal may decrease to $2350).

The ATMs I've used in the last couple of weeks have been loaded with $500 notes so theoretically they won't run out of bills so quickly (although that has been a problem recently because the bank workers have been staging strikes/go slows).

I use Schwab in the US which refunds foreign ATM fees.

Last edited by SoFlyOn; Dec 12, 16 at 3:42 pm
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Old Dec 14, 16, 5:32 am
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Thanks for all the info... I didn't know about Citi pulling out, and also never knew that the limit was actually 2500 (but including fee) as opposed to 2000. So, my new number for now is 2400...

Barring a reversal of policy with HSBC, I guess my best bet is to open a Schwab account ASAP. To me it seems utterly absurd that I can have HSBC Premier in the US, and still have to pay US$6 per transaction even at HSBC Argentina's own machines... Up until last month, what I understood was simply that they didn't have the mechanisms in place to refund the Banelco fee automatically, but now they're saying they just won't refund it at all any more.

One thing that HSBC US people have now said more than once is that I should use their "encashment" service in the branch to withdraw up to US$2000-2500 at once without a fee... this looks like it's intended only for emergency use (and even states that it should be used only when ATM cards are lost, stolen or not working). Yet for some reason HSBC US employees have been telling me to use this instead of the ATMs.

Has anyone here ever tried that? Between bank holidays and bank strikes I haven't even attempted to speak to an actual person at a bank in awhile... I feel lucky if I can get to a machine without a significant wait!
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Old Dec 14, 16, 8:24 am
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The advantage of having an account that reimburses ATM charges is that you can use it at multiple banks. Schwab/VISA uses the Banelco network - there are ATMs on that network everywhere.

N.B. Schwab posts the ATM debit and fee reimbursement at the same time time as separate line items.

You'd have to deal with both a bank officer and a cashier using the "enchashment" service, after taking a number and waiting ... and of course the bank employees would have to be not on strike (there were strikes announced for today and tomorrow, but the government announced obligatory conciliation last night).
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Old Dec 14, 16, 2:35 pm
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For what it's worth, HSBC (as Premier) has covering other banks' ATM fees for me as well, although in Argentina I was never sure if that was part of the deal (but they did it). In the US, for example, I think they expressly cover other banks' fees, and indeed they're credited automatically on each statement cycle.

The latest they told me is this: "The following countries do not reverse the ATM fee, Argentina, Bermuda, France, Greece, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama and Turkey. We have done it as a courtesy this time but can no longer going forward."

For now it seems I should try to get an account going with Schwab ASAP. And in the meantime, if I have a chance to pop over to Uruguay, I'll get as many dollars as I can like I did back in the Blue days (there's a fee even at HSBC machines there as well, but it's proportionally less, and according to the message quoted above, should still be refundable).
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Old Dec 19, 16, 8:44 am
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The ATM limiits in Argentina have today been raised to 5,000 pesos per transaction, according to the news. The dailly maximum is up to your bank. The transaction fee yesterday was 96 pesos per transaction (maximum was 2,000 pesos), but I do not know what it is now.

http://www.cronista.com/finanzasmerc...1219-0024.html (when they talk about figures more than 5,000 pesos, they are referring only to customers of the Argentina banks involved, not for foreign cards).
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Old Dec 19, 16, 9:26 am
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I was in Argentina beginning November and made a small experiment with my CITI Mastercard Debit Gold (issued in Europe).
At calle Florida 199 there is a CITI branch and I withdrew ARS 2500 there - CiTI charged my account with USD 166.92 --> thus the rate of exchange was 14.97 ARS/USD.
No fee was collected.
A moment later I approached a blue market maestro and he offered a rate of 15.20 ARS/USD.
The difference is negligible and you deal much faster with an ATM than with a human cambiador.
All this is for the records only. As we learn CITI is closing its operations in Argentina
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Old Dec 20, 16, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by David Beach View Post
The ATM limiits in Argentina have today been raised to 5,000 pesos per transaction, according to the news. The dailly maximum is up to your bank. The transaction fee yesterday was 96 pesos per transaction (maximum was 2,000 pesos), but I do not know what it is now.

http://www.cronista.com/finanzasmerc...1219-0024.html (when they talk about figures more than 5,000 pesos, they are referring only to customers of the Argentina banks involved, not for foreign cards).
With a foreign card yesterday, I don't *think* I was able to take any more than 2,500 out (including fee, so 2,400 net). I don't remember how hard I tried and when... but I think I tried a couple of higher numbers, not even knowing that supposedly the maximum withdrawals had been increased.

Has anyone had any success taking out more than this yesterday or today?
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Old Dec 20, 16, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by David Beach View Post
... The dailly maximum ...
Just poking fun, but the exact words you're looking for are "Your Dialy Limit"

For years the Banelco machines have said this, and clearly no one cares about spelling the message correctly.
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Old Dec 21, 16, 2:50 pm
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As of midday today I still can't take more than 2500 minus access fee from any machines using my HSBC US card.

In more upbeat news, I've already opened an account with Schwab and will have a card on its way as soon as I get my account funded.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by abeyro View Post
I was in Argentina beginning November and made a small experiment with my CITI Mastercard Debit Gold (issued in Europe).
At calle Florida 199 there is a CITI branch and I withdrew ARS 2500 there - CiTI charged my account with USD 166.92 --> thus the rate of exchange was 14.97 ARS/USD.
No fee was collected.
A moment later I approached a blue market maestro and he offered a rate of 15.20 ARS/USD.
The difference is negligible and you deal much faster with an ATM than with a human cambiador.
All this is for the records only. As we learn CITI is closing its operations in Argentina
I will be going to BA again next March
I assume the currency situation has settled and there is no more need to bring stacks of $100 bills? Just a credit card and ATM card will suffice?
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Old Dec 29, 16, 11:47 am
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Yes. Wont hurt to bring some cash too.
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Old Jan 10, 17, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by SoFlyOn View Post
The advantage of having an account that reimburses ATM charges is that you can use it at multiple banks. Schwab/VISA uses the Banelco network - there are ATMs on that network everywhere.

N.B. Schwab posts the ATM debit and fee reimbursement at the same time time as separate line items.
Used my new Schwab card for the first time yesterday... the debit has posted with a transaction date of yesterday, but no reimbursement yet. FWIW I used a machine on the LINK network, since that's what's closest to my house.

Just to double check, for you does the reimbursement post to the account on the same day as the withdrawal, or does it just show up on the statement?
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