The Argentinian Tourist Dollar - Save Money off EVERYTHING?

Saw this elsewhere and thought this might interest people. In a nutshell, the Argentinian government have introduced a tourist peso exchange rate, designed to encourage tourists to spend in AR$ rather than USD. Except the scheme isn’t limited to physical purchases in ARG, so people outside of ARG have been setting AR$ as their preferred payment currency in PayPal and using it to get huge reductions in the cost of anything they buy, anywhere. Detail (copied from another site) below.

Of course, the jury is out on the legality/morality of taking advantage of this loophole, so caveat emptor.

Until recently, payments made in Argentina with foreign credit cards were changed at the official dollar exchange rate, which is AR$185.75 to the dollar at the time of writing. But on November 4, Argentina’s central bank launched a preferential exchange rate for foreign tourists.

Known as the “foreign tourist dollar”, it means payments made on foreign credit cards use the “MEP” (“Electronic Payment Market”) dollar exchange rate, which is currently AR$331.79 to the dollar. In other words, if you’re paying by card, your dollars go 78% further than before. (Source)

Visa evens shows this tourist rate on its official exchange rate calculator: Exchange Rate Calculator | Visa

Someone on Germany’s Hotukdeals, Mydealz, found a way to exploit it. First, by purchasing 100€ Amazon gift cards via MTCGame.com and paying in Pesos via Visa for 60€. Off 40 percent. He posted his findings on Mydealz.

Others chipped in and found that you can make use of this Peso discount whenever a web shop allows for Paypal payments (so pretty much everywhere): add Visa card to PayPal, changed currency to Peso, use this visa card via PP on checkout.

End of the story: people are buying EVERYTHING with Pesos right now. iPhones that usually cost 900 Euros for 600€, for instance.

The Mydealz thread stands at 81 pages full of comments, as of now. Within two days.

No words from Visa, PayPal etc. as of now. MTCgame has started blocking PP payments.

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Seems dicey as heck. Who’s eating that difference between the true exchange rate and the tourist rate? The Argentinian government I presume?

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I don’t know if I have done it the wrong way. I have renewed a domain name from Cloudflare at $9.15, I set my Chase card in Paypal as payment card and set its currency to Arg Peso. Paypal refused to charge the Chase card and instead went for the back up payment card (Wise) . Chase is set up to be the one for Cloudflare pre-approved payments.

I’m guessing their debt is largely USD dominated, so this is probably a net benefit for them. Their inflation is already crazy so exchanging money they can print on demand and keep out of circulation for USD seems like a great idea

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A bit like the Banana Republic that is the UK

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I’d advise you to do some reading on what a banana republic is, tbh

Edit: In political science, the term banana republic describes a politically unstable country with an economy dependent upon the export of natural resources.

@Oberoth; the UK has an extremely diversified economy not dependent on export of natural resources.

Let’s see… High inflation, tanking currency, banking system used for money laundering, unstable & corrupt government with an unelected leadership.

If the shoe fits and all that.

Just so’s this thread doesn’t take an unfortunate turn, I’ll respectfully point out the guidance around subjects to avoid. In this case - Politics.

Please do keep this discussion on the original topic. If it’s difficult to avoid the political dimension - best leave it there.

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