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ATM Problems in Argentina

ATM Problems in Argentina

Old Feb 20, 07, 4:50 pm
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ATM Problems in Argentina

I'm currently back in the US, but I was reading a thread today on a local Argentine BB where several posters have reported problems with the Banelco ATM network in Argentina that started last weekend. The Banelco network is affiliated with the VISA/Plus system, and probably the most widespread.

One of the posters talked to a Banelco representative today and was told that all VISA/Plus Network cards in the Banelco network will now only allow a maximum withdrawal of AR$100 (~US$32) per operation and a maximum of 3 operations per day. This is apparently being done for "our" protection, in case of card theft. [I can't see how allowing 3 transactions/day will help in this regard ...]

Apparently the MasterCard/Cirrus network is still able to dispense larger sums (but I don't have any details).

Up until a couple of years ago, the Banelco network would dispense AR$800/day, but then that was lowered to AR$500/day (even if your card has a higher US$ limit than this).

Any savings by using a Banelco ATM will be eaten up by the foreign ATM transaction fees imposed by US banks (usually US$3-5/transaction, unless you're lucky enough to have a fee-free card).

I'll keep an eye on the problem and report back if there are updates or a resolution.

The next best alternative in the meantime (if you don't have a MasterCard-branded ATM card), is to use one of the major banks. Foreign exchanges transactions are possible in the later morning (I think it's after 11:00 am), and you will need to present your passport. Usually there's not any problem with exchanging amounts up to US$1000 - the only problem I've encountered was at the PNB Paribas branch close to Gaucho100K's wine store, which only allowed me to exchange US$300, if I remember correctly (and I only went inside the bank since the ATM network was down at that time). The last couple of times I've used a bank, I've been asked to show them the immigration entry stamp in my passport.

So if you're flying into EZE, the best place to get pesos is at the Banco de la Nácion, which is directly on the right just before you exit customs. Remember to ask for some small bills and peso coins, since taxi/remise drivers don't carry much change.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old Feb 21, 07, 3:33 am
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John, great post. Ive know of the limitations on the Banelco network, but my experience with the Cirrus network and specifically with the BNP Paribas bank is that it will give you up to AR$3000, or USD 1000 per day. I havent used my US based ATM in the last 60 days or so, and perhaps things have changed recently, but as I say... Ive been able to get those amounts from my US checking accounts with no issues. FWIW, my US bank is Bank of America, and my card has all possible logos on the back so I guess it works with both Cirrus and Visa Plus and a host of other systems.

I understand that there are a couple of "new" internet banks that offer special ATMs with custom-tailored daily limits. It seems that these banks are able to bypass local regulations on daily limits... at least this is what Ive heard from folks posting on Trip Advisor. I will dig up that information and re-post it here once I find it.

Cheers
Alex (Gaucho100K)
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Old Feb 21, 07, 11:49 am
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Alex -

I've only been able to use my Wells Fargo and Schwab ATM cards on the VISA/Plus (Banelco) network. The cards have the VISA-affiliated logos on them (not Cirrus). At least with my Schwab card, I get all ATM fees reimbursed, so I've been able to get the interbank exchange rate.

John
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Old Feb 22, 07, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Gaucho100K View Post
.....Ive know of the limitations on the Banelco network, but my experience with the Cirrus network and specifically with the BNP Paribas bank is that it will give you up to AR$3000, or USD 1000 per day...
Gaucho100K:

$1,000 on an ATM seems very high. I never got more than $400 to $500 in a foreign country, mostly less than this. BTW, I talked with my banker not to put a limit on my account for ATM withdrawals. I was also told, the bank who runs the ATM also sets a limit for withdrawals!
To be safe, I always carry 3 ATM cards from 3 different banks.
In Buenos Aires I had only trouble with a Citi Card at Citi Bank, went next door to the ATM from Banco Gallicia and got the ARS.
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Old Feb 23, 07, 3:53 pm
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Banelco Update

Banelco have admitted they made a mistake in programming their ATM network, as reported in the BA Herald:

... Sources at Banelco, Argentina’s electronic funds transfer company, told the Herald that the glitch arose because a ruling by Plus had been misinterpreted by local officials and that this had resulted in the capped withdrawals yesterday.
"The glitch is being worked on and the system should allow tourists to make up to three withdrawals a day of up to 300 pesos each," the source said...


http://www.buenosairesherald.com/bus...hideIntro=true

Local expats have reported that larger transaction amounts are still possible through the LINK network (at least AR$1000).

See http://www.redlink.com.ar/Cajeros/index.htm for a search engine for ATM locations.

These are some of the banks that have ATM machines that can connect to the LINK network:

BANCA NAZIONALE DEL LAVORO S.A.
BANCO DE LA CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES
BANCO DE LA PROVINCIA DE BUENOS AIRES
BNP PARIBAS

John
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Old Feb 24, 07, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by USAFAN View Post
Gaucho100K:

$1,000 on an ATM seems very high. I never got more than $400 to $500 in a foreign country, mostly less than this. BTW, I talked with my banker not to put a limit on my account for ATM withdrawals. I was also told, the bank who runs the ATM also sets a limit for withdrawals!
To be safe, I always carry 3 ATM cards from 3 different banks.
In Buenos Aires I had only trouble with a Citi Card at Citi Bank, went next door to the ATM from Banco Gallicia and got the ARS.
Hi USAFAN-- as I post above, I have been able to draw AR$3000 using a BNP Paribas Link ATM machine, and I bank with Bank of America. I dont know if the limits have since been changed, but next time I use the card I will report back.
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Old May 5, 07, 1:14 pm
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I thought I'd update the situation concerning VISA/Plus ATM transactions in Argentina.

This last week I've only been able to withdraw ARS$300/transaction (but since I've not needed much cash, I've not tested if I can do three transactions/day). Unfortunately I don't have a LINK-associated debit card, so I can't report on any limitations on that network.

I'm still waiting for the transactions to post electronically - I made mine on a Schwab card associated with my Schwab One account. As I mentioned previously I get all ATM fees waived on this card. and the rate of exchange is very close (or better) to the OANDA FX interbank rate.

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

John

Last edited by SoFlyOn; May 5, 07 at 1:27 pm Reason: Added OANDA link
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Old Jun 29, 07, 1:15 pm
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Just bumping this thread as a reminder.

Some folks have also reported ARS$300/transaction limitations on the LINK network. That limitation is still in place on the Banelco/VISA Plus network.

John
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Old Jul 26, 07, 8:25 pm
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I was testing the number of allowed transactions on the VISA Plus/Banelco Network today in BsAs, and can confirm that only 3 transactions/day are permitted (even if they are for small amounts of cash).

Two of the transactions were made from the same machine about 15 minutes apart. So if you want more than 300 pesos using a VISA-branded card, you will need to make multiple transactions. Depending on your bank's fees, currency exchange at a local bank may be cheaper. Also remember that ATM machines in popular places, especially on the weekend, may run out of cash.

John

Last edited by SoFlyOn; Jul 26, 07 at 8:31 pm
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Old Jul 26, 07, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Gaucho100K View Post
Hi USAFAN-- as I post above, I have been able to draw AR$3000 using a BNP Paribas Link ATM machine, and I bank with Bank of America. I dont know if the limits have since been changed, but next time I use the card I will report back.
Where are the BNP Paribas machines located? Do they still waive the fee for BofA customers?
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Old Jul 27, 07, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
Where are the BNP Paribas machines located? Do they still waive the fee for BofA customers?
Puerto Madero has one, right behind the Hilton Hotel. Just go in the alley between Asia da Cuba and the Hilton Hotel and you'll see it. (This was my preferred place to get cash when the correlito hit and the rest of the machines in the city seemed to be out of cash. )

There are others within a short cab ride distance away too:

http://www.bnpparibas.com.ar/es/home/agences.asp#

Last edited by GUWonder; Jul 28, 07 at 9:42 pm
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Old Jul 27, 07, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
Where are the BNP Paribas machines located? Do they still waive the fee for BofA customers?
Kathy,,, don't know where you are in BsAs. but I use one on Callao y Guido never had problem withdrawing 2-3000 ar.
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Old Jul 27, 07, 8:19 am
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Kathy, there is also a BNP Paribas branch a block away from Alex's wine store:

Fray Justo Santa Maria de Oro 2923

John
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Old Jul 27, 07, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by SoFlyOn View Post
Kathy, there is also a BNP Paribas branch a block away from Alex's wine store:

Fray Justo Santa Maria de Oro 2923

John
Indeed.... the only catch for this ATM is that your best bet is to use it at 4pm, after the branch fills it up as its a very popular cash-mashine and by the end of the day its usually empty.
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Old Jul 28, 07, 8:53 pm
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Thanks to all for the responses, and thanks for the link above.

The nearest BNP to where I'll be staying is near Plaza San Martin on av. Santa Fe.

As for the branch near Alex's wine store, I believe I tried that one a year or two ago, without success. Perhaps the explanation is that it was empty, as suggested by Alex?
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