Reloading SUBE cards

Old Mar 15, 19, 8:53 am
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Reloading SUBE cards

I just went through this, and I thought I'd share the knowledge.

I've a SUBE card from previous trips, you can use these to pay fares on subways and city buses in BA. There are a bazillion loading points in the city, but you can only use cash at those.

To reload using a credit/debit card:

1) Get the Mercado Pago app
2) Register a credit/debit card
3) Tap on "Cargar SUBE"
4) Follow the prompts
5) Once the transaction succeeds, you will be told to tap the card at an official validation point. The SUBE app tells you where they are, most banks seem to have them, as well as city government offices of which there are many around the city. NOTE: tapping at a subway station to open the turnstile won't work to validate the load.

There are sometimes promo offers where you get 25% off (ie, you load AR$100 on the card, but you get charged AR$75).

Note that you can also use the Mercado Pago app to pay at merchants that normally don't take credit cards, by scanning a QR code. I did this at a few kiosks [1] with zero problems.

Hope this helps!

[1]: the ratio of candy sale points to other stores has to be the highest in the world
Eastbay1K, Marambio, HIDDY and 1 others like this.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 4:33 pm
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Thanks for that.
Glad to say I have a free SUBE Card as they also give one to the spouses of teachers who qualify for one through their pension. Never likely to use it as whenever I'm in BA I just use taxis.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by fliesdelta View Post

[1]: the ratio of candy sale points to other stores has to be the highest in the world
I think there are only 3 in my block. Maybe 2. Probably 3.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 9:50 am
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I can confirm the Mercadopago trick works. We have a Whatsapp group with some friends and always one alerts the others when there’s a Mercadopago discount for topping up Sube – the offers usually last for just a few hours, and the maximum top-up limit is ca. 200 pesos, but yes, they make the discount instantly.

Also some merchants (e.g. McDonald’s and Green Eat, BA’s answer to Pret a Manger) make discounts if you pay through Mercadopago, so it’s convenient to have the app linked to your credit card if you are here for a long-ish period.

There’s a very nice short story/sociological analysis by writer Hernán Casciari about “kioscos” and Argentina. He concludes that in other Latin American countries, when people are broke they emigrate to Europe and the US. In Argentina, when people are broke, they set up a kiosco. :-)

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Old Mar 17, 19, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
I think there are only 3 in my block. Maybe 2. Probably 3.
I'm gonna guess 2-3 per street around your block...

OK, so 8-12 per city block might be a bit much, but in the microcentro area, I bet it's not far from that!
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