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UPDATE: New Fee Hits Cash Withdrawals At Link ATMs

July 14th, 2009 | Categoría: Economics

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Link Fee

I just returned from 10 days in the U.S., so thisay not be news to any of you. But tonight, for the first time since I came to Argentina in 1995, a local bank charged me a $3 fee to withdraw cash from an overseas bank. The fee is in addition to whatever fees my bank charges in the U.S.

I withdrew the money from a “Link” network at a local branch of Banco de la Ciudad. I haven’t had a chance to test other banks or see if Banelco (Link’s competitor) is also charging a fee.

The fee would seem to be an easy way for local banks to make more money at the expense of foreigners. But it’s not year clear what the motivation behind the new fee is. According to Argentine Central Bank officials, ATM regulations here are largely determined not by the government but by just two private companies, Link and Banelco.

These companies are responsible for imposing what many people feel are unreasonably low limits on cash withdrawals from foreign banks. The limits, which vary from person to person and bank to bank, usually hover around 300 pesos per transaction. (The limits often confuse tourists accustomed to withdrawing much more cash, leaving them unable to pay for certain cash-only transactions.)

“We don’t have anything to do with imposing those limits,” a Central Bank official recently told me. “You need to talk with those companies to get more information.”

My transaction limit, for example, is a mere 370 pesos. Most visitors or foreign residents here can surpass the limits by taking out multiple transactions. But each one has its cost, and now that cost appears to have risen substantially. Link’s fee was almost exactly $3 (11.46 pesos as seen in the photo above), regardless of the amount withdrawn. When I tried to take out just 20 pesos, the fee was still $3.

Needless to say, the new fees will increase the cost of getting cash in Argentina. And needless to say, The Argentine Post will be contacting Link, Banelco and, again, the Central Bank, to figure out why this is happening.

If you’ve had any experiences with this, please post a comment and share your feedback.

UPDATE: In a statement, Banelco said both it and Link last month started charging a US $3 commission on every cash withdrawal using foreign cards. The companies, which work as networks representing Argentine banks, said the practice is the same as has been applied in other countries “for more than a decade.”

However, for the reasons mentioned above (the withdrawal limits and the discriminatory application of a fee only on foreign cards) , the commission doesn’t seem comparable to those charged in most countries. Banelco declined to answer questions about this or discuss the motives behind the new fee.

However, Banelco said both it and Link have raised the withdrawal limits to 1,000 pesos (without a daily limit) for the Cirrus network and 1,000 pesos (with a daily limit of 3,000 pesos) for the Visa Plus network.

I’ve tried using both networks and in neither case have I been able to reach the 1,000-peso limit. Instead, my limit seems to be around 930 pesos.


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72 Comments

ChrisNo Gravatar says:

Wow. That’s insane, Taos. I’m interested to see what you uncover….

Robert Evans says:

I wonder if this applies to the visa network.

Anonymous says:

You expect the local banks to give you cash at no charge? for free? based on what?
your bank charges you why not the local bank charge you if in the end this is the one that is actualy giving you the money in advance that only god knows when they are going to get it back!! is a short time credit! you see?

americans think the world is theirs I guess?

taosNo Gravatar says:

Hi there anonymous,

Why the anonymity and the hostility toward Americans? At the end of the day, we’re all the same family, my friend. In any case, expectations are based largely on past experience and custom.

Based on what? – you ask, in an unnecessarily accusatory tone. Based on human psychology. It’s pretty simple, really. If you’re accustomed to something, whether you’re Argentine, American or Taiwanese, and you encounter abrupt change, it gets your attention and leads, if you’re even slightly curious about the hows and whys of your environment, to the asking of questions.

This is not to say that the change in itself is necessarily bad or good. Indeed, I don’t see any reason to ascribe any kind of moral connotation to Link’s decision to charge fees. But the change is news (news is often just that: change), and people come to this site for news and views. In addition, the fee seems quite high at $3, which likely makes it financially relevant for many people, regardless of their nationality.

As for my bank, in reality I get 10 free withdrawals per month everywhere in the world. So often my local bank fees don’t apply, and when they do apply, the fee is just $1 per transaction. Fees vary from bank to bank or credit union.

Your comment about Americans thinking “the world is theirs” is 1) untrue; 2) entirely irrelevant; and 3) shows a lack of tact and humility that will undermine your ability to persuade people of the validity and potential relevance of any other points you might have to make about this or other matters.

Taos

VergeNo Gravatar says:

Thanks for giving us a heads up! Sounds like a major cash grab. I guess I’ll have to seek out foreign banks such as HSBC and Citibank unless they are charging that ridiculous fee. Please update us. Thank you!

ElenaNo Gravatar says:

Re: anonymous’ comments. The worst thing is that as there’s a limit on how much you can take at a time, so taking out enough to pay my rent (which must be paid in cash) will cost me nearly an extra $20 a month on top of everyday spending. Added to this, my (UK) bank used to let me withdraw money with no charge but have started charging this month, so that’s another few dollars for every AR$300 I withdraw. Charging for withdrawals is one thing, but that fee is high considering they also force you into making multiple withdrawals – also known as having their cake and eating it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t be a universal charge…

[...] The Argentine Post » Blog Archive » New Fee Hits Cash Withdrawals At Link ATMs [...]

BillNo Gravatar says:

US-based PNC Bank reimburses all ATM charges, anywhere in the world. It’s saved me over $1000 the past several years.

Pablo says:

A few weeks ago, I got an offer from Capital One Bank saying that they’ll reimburse you any ATM fees you pay anywhere in the world once you open a checking account with them. I just checked their website and it seems the promotion is over.

claude guidiNo Gravatar says:

The unfortunate ‘new” custom of charging people a fee for withdrawing money has taken root all over the world. It’s something that I find very wrong, banks already have our money, they make money from it and they should not be allowed to practice this form of extortion. But they do.However, in the US we have, depending on individual situations, the ability to withdraw much larger sums of money, at a smaller fee.What I find disturbing is that these institutions in Argentina take it to a level that would make your average mobster quiver with joy. So if anonymous, no capital letter, has to give it a “hateful” spin, well that’s his choice and only shows his ignorance and cowardice. Americans visit Argentina and they are happy to see the country, meet the locals, and speak well about it. But keep it up Argentines, soon you’ll wonder what could be done with all those great hotels and all the rest. I am sure your neighboring countries, Bolivia, Peru and the rest will come visit and spend their money and bank fees to enjoy your wonderful beef, and witness the wonders of tango, and hopefully… not get mugged by a sweet grandmother.

DonaldoNo Gravatar says:

The financial services indutries’ reputations are beyond the pale & beyond repair, ESPECIALLY the Wall Street based companies (read Matt Taibi’s July piece for The Rolling Stone “The Great American Bubble Machine” on the theives at Goldman Sachs),though it’s almost quaint in a retro-nationalist kind of way to read “anonymous”‘s comments about those obnoxious foreigners (and actually one must concede that some expats are like carpet-bagging, blood-sucking vampyres). My bank gets to use my deposit to make money; the fee scams have reached the point of abuse. It’s so 1990s, naughts, and “early” Obama. The one bright light is Elizabeth Warren’s pro-consumer apologies for the Obam administration on TV and radio.

Anonymous says:

welcome back, kid…
Take it easy….enjoy a cafecito with nice amigos while getting updated with the local news. On banks….
Santander , was the one for me.
nasty atm did’nt get me any money at once…
Mambru

anonymous says:

i use citibank in the US and have spent half of the last 2 years here on and off. every time i’ve taken money out of an ATM here … citibank, ciudad, la nacion, santander, take your pick … i’ve been charged a fee of 3% of the transaction. i confirmed that citibank US isn’t the one charging me the fee … the local bank (or Link/Banelco network) in Argentina is the one charging the 3% fee. therefore, i’m not sure what you say is all that new … unless you are saying that you get charged $3 on top of the 3% fee.

re the withdrawal limit, i also can’t get more than ARP 300 at a time, unless i take money out of a citibank where i have gotten as much as ARP 500 at one time.

TinaNo Gravatar says:

My concern is… are the banks charging Argentines as well if they go to an ATM that doesn’t belong to their bank? That’s almost 12 pesos, quite a lot of money. :-(

Thanks for the info! You’re ever a great source!

Mariano SaulNo Gravatar says:

Taos (and Tina)
Argentinians also have a $3 cost at each withdraw of money. One difference is that if you request money at an ATM were you have you account you usually get 5 to 10 free withdrawals. What they might be charging you is for the fact that the account is outside Argentina (but I’ve never heard about this).
One suggestion as someone said above try to get you money at an ATM in an international Bakn like HSBC or Citibank.

Mariano
(T.K.Solis Cousin)

JohnNo Gravatar says:

Since this a LINK network imposed charge (and undoubtedly it will be charged on Banelco as well), all foreign-issued cards not matter if US, Canadian or European will see this charge appear.

Banks of course DO make money on cash transactions ignoring these new fees. The rate of exchange they give you is of course controlled by THEM.

sargeNo Gravatar says:

Well put taos with respect to the anti-American post. Enough said! As for the ATM charges that are being imposed, any solutions?

DanielNo Gravatar says:

How sad. Another (financial) reason for leaving a country full of the friendliest people you’ll meet anywhere on the face of the earth. I’ve lived in more than a handfull of countries and the amount of scamming (which is what this new ATM fee really amounts to) in Argentina is fast reaching unbearable levels.

Argentinians have a right to be (and feel) respected by foreigners. Also I’m aware of the plight of the average Argentinian. But discriminatory fees do not “even the playing field” as it were. So there is no reason for schadenfreude on the side of xenophobic Argentinians (of which there aren’t too many I hope). What we are really seeing is an undermining of competition that ultimately hurts everyone in the country.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATM_usage_fees) “The surcharge fee may be imposed by the ATM owner (the deployer or Independent sales organization) and will be charged to the consumer using the machine. The foreign fee or transaction fee is a fee charged by the card issuer (financial institution, stored value provider) to the consumer for conducting a transaction outside of their network of machines in the case of a financial institution.”

http://static.uspirg.org/usp.asp?id2=5076&id3=USPIRG& “Surcharges aren’t shared with anyone. Surcharges contribute dramatically to the profits of ATM owners, lessen the benefit to consumers of shared ATM networks and encourage the growth of bigger banks. Both the Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Reports to Congress and PIRG studies show that bigger banks charge bigger fees to all their customers, even those who don’t use ATMs. Not only is ATM surcharging unfair to consumers, since it is charging them twice for one transaction, it is also anti-competitive, since it encourages consumers to switch their accounts to bigger, higher-fee banks, ultimately limiting consumer choice. All consumers will end up paying higher bank fees unless surcharging is banned.”

patrickNo Gravatar says:

Wow, thanks for the heads up. I’ve been looking for no fee cards online. Maybe some will find the information in this Consumerist post useful…

http://consumerist.com/5267759/which-credit-and-debit-cards-are-the-best-to-use-overseas

ijimNo Gravatar says:

I think banelco and link have the right to add some fee to the transaction, but not every $300!. they must increase the withdraw limit in each time! this a robbery.

Mike says:

Yep..it’s true. It just started today. I’ve been living here for years and never saw this until today. Generally i wouldn’t have a problem as most ATM machines around the world charge a fee to withdraw funds. The main difference is that most ATM machines don’t limit you to only $100 US at a time!

ijimNo Gravatar says:

This is clearly a robbery. let’s do something using some compliance channels:

http://www.consumidor.gov.ar/
http://www.adecua.org.ar/
http://www.mecon.gov.ar/secdef/
In these sites you can put a complaince about this issue. I will visit the defensa al consumidor offices tomorrow here in Mendoza. I will put my compliance about banelco and link. they must increase the $300 limit in each withdraw if they apply a fee.

Everybody with this problem must put a compliance in these sites or visiting the closest defensa al consumidor office. If more people do it, maybe they increase the wd limit.

thank you!

Adrian says:

I can’t wait Taos to see what you find out about this. Are the local institutions actually charging you or is it your bank back in the U.S. charging the Argentine bank and, in turn, passing on that charge to the consumers? As you know, the practice of charging withdraw fees is extremely common in the U.S. when you use an ATM from a different bank than yours. For instance, if I bank with Citi and decided to use a non-citibank ATM, I’d be charged a fee –ranging from $1.50 up $3.00 — not to mention those random ATM’s located at bars or shopping malls. Some digging needs to be done.

Adrian says:

Guys — Has anyone read this article from CNN? Isn’t this shameful?

Exchange students live American nightmare

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/15/us.exchange.students/index.html

I had the opposite experience last night – a Banelco ATM wanted to charge me, and I went to a nearby Link ATM that did not charge me.

tonydNo Gravatar says:

I have only just started reading your articles….but what you are referring to is known as “fee harvesting” and according to many media sources is now being looked at as a major source of profit for the banks (local, national,international) that are in the midst of all these “failures”. It would appear that the average citizen is, again, being made to pay for the mistakes of those who run the big banking enterprises…..

KatieNo Gravatar says:

Taos,

Apparently some Banelco locations are charging a fee as well: http://southernconeguidebooks.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-expensive-is-buenos-aires.html

“Only a short time ago, when I went to the corner bank, the ATM told me it would charge me 11.46 pesos (about US$3.50) for my withdrawal of 300 pesos (the maximum allowable transaction, less than US$80). I rejected this withdrawal, from the Banelco system, and went to a nearby Link ATM that did not collect the charge.”

edNo Gravatar says:

i have been using ATM machines here for the last 6 yrs…up to 3 yrs ago i could withdraw up to 1000pesos for the 3% charge…that was at any bank any banelco or link machine..starting about 3 yrs ago my maximum withdrawal for the same 3% fee is 500pesos..so for the same 1000pesos i now was paying 6%..IT WAS ROBBERY..until i discovered that with A SCHWAB debit card there was no fee, since they reimburse whatever the charge is….
living here has become outrageously expensive at every level…it distorts what argentine could be for foreigners…

Barbara says:

This morning I withdrew 2200 pesos — basically the limit of my US-based ATM card — and I didn’t have any problem at all. I did not get any notice about an additional charge.

The secret is to use the blue machine at a CitiBank here. The blue machine apparently connects to another network (neither Link nor Banelco). You don’t have the US $100 limit, and you don’t get this extra fee.

taosNo Gravatar says:

I went around and test about half a dozen or so ATMs today and all of them charged the 11.46 peso fee. The only exception I know of seems to be the special Citi ATM mentioned by Barbara. It seems to have a special setup for its card users.

I’ll update this as soon as I’ve spoken with some bank contacts, as well as Link and Banelco, etc.

Thanks very much to everyone for all the interesting comments and feedback.

Saludos,
Taos

DanielNo Gravatar says:

@ ijim – I like your idea of enforcing compliance by letting consumor protection agencies take care of the problem. The problem that I see is that many people (including myself) are still learning proper Spanish. Maybe if ijim or someone else could post a template letter for use by the community? Does anyone have experience with the Defensa al Consumidor in Argentina? Is help usually forthcoming?

SibilaNo Gravatar says:

shame shame shame….anonymous…shame….Taos is sharing information, facts, things that tomorrow may affect you in one or another way. It has nothing to do with nationality, it´s common sense. If we get together as consumers we can change things that are simply not right!
Cheers Taos!!

VergeNo Gravatar says:

Has anyone tried HSBC?

allegraNo Gravatar says:

For Americans, there is an alternative to paying all the ATM withdrawal fees. When in the states, open an investor checking account with Schwab. The account does not require a minimum balance, no monthly fee and they will rebate you the ATM fees, home and abroad. It does require a US address and you can apply online. The card will be sent to your US address and must be activated initially from your US home telephone line. For those who have ATM cards from other institutions, you can avoid the new local ATM fee. Go to Banco Supervielle on Charcas, 3600 block. Request from a human cashier a cash advance in pesos. This bank, at this particular location, has no withdrawal limit except for the one imposed by your bank. They will charge your bank 1%, which will be deducted from your acct.

RonaldNo Gravatar says:

Fyi, this fee applies to both the banelco and link networks. On the other hand, it seems that banelco lifted the ar$300.- maximum withdrawal, I did not try it myself though. The only way I know of to bypass the limit and probably this new fee is, like Barbara said, to use Citibank’s own cash machines. The ones that don’t have the banelco/link logo’s on them.

Rich says:

Ronald,

Do you know what the maximum withdrawal limit is now? You mentioned you can take out more than 300 pesos but does anyone know what the maximum is?

Sebastian says:

Daniel — You’re so right. This is definitely a great reason to leave Argentina. I couldn’t agree even more with you. My God, three dollars will definitely break a poor’s person wallet. As a matter of fact, I’d not hesitate for a second, if I were you, and buy a return ticket tomorrow – as long as you can afford it, of course. Really, Argentina is UBER expensive and the prices are another “financial reason” to leave it. I must then assume you moved to Argentina because of “financial reasons.” Which translates into, “I couldn’t afford a decent living back home so I decided to move to an affordable place.” If almost three friggin’ dollars are breaking your wallet, it is definitely the time for you to leave Argentina — really. That means you can’t even afford living in Argentina nor the U.S., or Europe for that matter.

Recommendation. You should move to Mexico: it’s an awesome place and close by –assuming you’re from the north.

Danke,
Sebastian

SamNo Gravatar says:

I can report that the Banelco machines at HSBC branches are charging the $11.46 even WITH my HSBC (U.S.) card for any transaction amount. the only difference is it DOES appear they have raised the withdrawal limit as before I could only take out $350 (10 separate times!) and now can do $700. Still it’s a robbery. I opened HSBC accounts in both the U.S. and Argentina specifically to reduce the charges….NOW THIS! of course as with all thing NOBODY knows anything about it and they all point you in the other direction. “Contact HSBC U.S.”, “Contact HSBC Argentina”, “Contact Banelco” blah blah blah. Let’s be clear though: it’s easy to say this is a problem with Argentina when the truth is it’s the BANKSTERS worldwide who are robbing us all.

RonaldNo Gravatar says:

Rich,

no I don’t know. A friend of mine managed to withdraw 300, then 400 and then 900 AR$, but didn’t try more because he didn’t want to walk the street with such a big wallet. (From a Dutch account that is)

Anonymous says:

HSBC, BNP Paribas, Citibank, etc. are NOT International banks in terms of Central Bank regulations. They are not “branches” of the “Originals”. Opening a bank account in a HSBC NY and another in HSBC BA will not help you to reduce fees or to increase the amount of Deposit Warranty or anything of any importance whatsoever.

IF you read the text in the ATM it clearly says this $11.46 are “impuestos” by Link. This has nothing to do with Central Bank regulations, impuesto as a verb means that has been impossed, is not the same as “impuesto” as a noun, which is a tax.

It is a fee Link net charges to foreign bank accounts holders.

The reason for charging this fee I do not know, it could a) they just need to charge the client for what they cannot obtain from the foreing bank that issued the card. 2) since the “encajes” between banks could have decreased because there is not much liquidity lately (remember the US Crisis?) they decide to charge this extravagant service of recieving here money that you have over there, 3) banks are owned and directed by international organized crime. 4) they are going to contribute this money to Fundacion Favaloro. 5) they are encouraging you to save as much you can,6) they bet Americans cannot manage to write a letter in Spanish 7) Although you managed to hire someone to write the letter nice, they bet Americans cannot start and sustain a complaint process

When having a local bank account in the Link net they do not charge you anything for withdrawing money from my bank’s ATM’s.

Anonymous says:

Solution: open a local bank account here and make a wire transfer from your USA bank!

That’s the way to go. Very simple!

I think is normal the bank charge for transactions. They need to “survive” :-) and this is one of the ways they use. I’m sure if I go to U.S.A. or Europe I also will be charged with some high comission, that’s the way the world works. Here, for an argentinian, if you take money from any ATM that’s not from your bank you’ll be charged with $ 3.- (pesos) or more, but it depends on the agreement you have with the bank, obviously if you have a lot of money on the bank or if you work for an important company that has an agreement with the bank, you won’t be charged. Banks put conditions, is simply and I think it’s no new, always was this way, or am I wrong? Welcome to captialism :-)

JonathanNo Gravatar says:

The only spot to get decent amounts of money out is a CITIbank using a credit card withdrawal.

Pablo GNo Gravatar says:

I have an accaunt in Argentine and when I was in USA, american ´ATM charged me a 3 dolar fee to withdraw cash and I have limit too 300 dolar per day. And my local bank too charge me some pesos per withdraw.

ijimNo Gravatar says:

To Anonymous and Pablo G…
Americans? we all are americans… I guess… Oh! you are speaking about people from USA! yes, their are americans too.

Anonymous says:

The person saying the things about branches is only PARTAILLY correct. HSBC NY does not charge me to use another HSBC ATM anywhere in the world. In that way they are connected. But that’s not the issue we are discussing here. What we are discussing is a NEW charge of $11.46 ARS that was previously NEVER charged!
UPDATE…today I went back to the same machine using another ATM card and I was charged NOTHING. This message had vanished. I was allowed to withdraw $750 ARS twice and then got the message — your card can not be used in this machine. PLEASE just give us a little consistency!!!

Anonymous says:

ijim,

When speaking in English the people born in the country placed between Canada and Mexico are called Americans. When speaking in Spanish the same people should called themselves Estadounidenses.

Unfortunately, they did not have much creativity at the time of choosing a name for the country, you have to excuse them, they were too busy you know…

Anonymous says:

Claude quidi,

typical American attitude. Thinking they are better than anybody else in the continent just because of the amount of money they can spend. It is always all about money with you guys.

ClaudetteNo Gravatar says:

The funniest thing is that I checked my account and realized that they charged me not 11.46 argentinian pesos (that is, 3 dollars) for one withdrawal but 11.46 DOLLARS, so I got 300 argentinian pesos (the maximum you can get) and paid 45 argentinian pesos for the withdrawal. I called my bank in the US, said they had lots of complaints about that, because Banelco and Link were wiring them 11.46 DOLLARS per transaction, and were trying to solve the problem. Check your accounts to see how much you were charged.

ATM's Withdraw Fees Charged in the U.S. says:

See ATM Fees charged in the U.S.

http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/yshoppingarticles/254/7-ways-youre-getting-ripped-off/

TaosNo Gravatar says:

This is not the same fee you get charged in the U.S. precisely because in the U.S., and most other places, you are not limited to a mere $100 per withdrawal. It’s this unusually small limit that makes Argentina’s fee standout. Taking out $500 in the U.S. costs $3. Taking out the same amount here in Argentina costs five times that much. This makes the fees here incomparable with those charged in most other countries.

Nick T says:

To impose such charges without prior warning, and without the now due explanation must be contrary to banking law. I dont know anything about the law, but this is what I would class as fraud, and if the word could have some implementation, it would be in this case.

I say this because it singles out foreign debit cards. This is money we own, it is not on credit, and certainly not in anyway ´linked´ to argentine cash machines. I already incur a charge from Visa for transactions at 0.84%, I accept this as an administration fee. A standard 11.46 peso charge, not based on withdrawal amount seems almost anti-system, and corrupt.

An even bigger injustice is that I have, this week, been charged for two transactions I refused to go ahead with, based on the charge. So on my online banking account, I have 2 withdrawals at 17.85 GBP, which I didnt withdraw, I selected no accept and took my card.

I am going to phone link today and try to get some info. I feel sorry for all the above who have been treated the same.

kastismoNo Gravatar says:

My wife and I had been planning on opening a wine business in Argentina. It is precisely because of practices like this, and more importantly, the apparent lack of understanding on the part of Argentines as to why this is a racket, that we are now planning on basing our business in Chile.

So you can argue all you want on whether or not these fees are reasonable as compared to fees other banks charge. Meanwhile, I and others like me, will be investing our money and knowledge and creating jobs somewhere else.

Anonymous says:

oh yes! Chile! a country full of Pinochetistas and extremely boring people! That’s the country for you to go! run Kastismo run!

Anonymous says:

your “money and knowledge” in “creating jobs”

jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaj that’s funny!

Kastismo: Your comments show a great ignorance. You complain for a 3 dollar fee in an ATM? Do you know why the world is having the greatest crisis? Do you know something called Wall Street? Do you know where is it?
Funny and ignorant.

kasperNo Gravatar says:

Its seems that the withdrawal limit now is higher than 300 pesos.

Normally international banks charge already a fee to your local bank to withdraw money. Your bank can choose if they let you pay that amount, or they take care of it as a service to you ( mostly depending on the type of account you have ).
This fee is an extra above the money LINK or Banelco already receive from your local bank. The fee is just added to your money withdrawal ( when I got 390 peso, my bank receipt said I withdrew 411,46 ).

In response on the discussion on America. I’m from Europe ( Holland ) and I don’t like the fee either :) Argentina is the first country where I saw such an extra fee when I withdraw money. So its at least worth a news item.

GaryNo Gravatar says:

I withdrew money on July 20 as mention before my is a VISA account debit card. There were no additional fees from the bank . So there seem to be a specific link with the type of card or bank you maybe using. I was thinking for the people who have been charged could you post if you are a Mastercard or VISA linked card. There has to be something in common since some of us are not charged for over seas transactions. Just my two cents Gary

EvelynNo Gravatar says:

I want to add that Banelco also charges this fee, and I have not been able to get an explanation by these companies.

yes, it’s a pain to get cash from ATM’s in argentina. with their $320 peso limit (debit/credit, US90), atm fees (us1-5), a slight chance your ATM card may get stuck in the bank machine, and unfair exchange rates … maybe they are trying to bring back the US1 to 1 peso back from the 90′s, just for tourists using atm’s.
Most tourists that go to Argentina do not come back. It’s like bungee jumping, they say they love it, but they don’t come back for seconds even if it’s free. This is not about being american like the moron that made that comment. Having been born in argentina and moved to canada in my teens, I see both sides. Argentina has always been about milking people with fees and charges because they have a rusted financial system, someone must pay for the misallocation of resources. Go with a wad of US cash and hope not to get mugged from ezeiza to your hotel (Using public ATM’s seems more unsafe to me than the latter).

Anonymous says:

I have contacted Link Net today. They explain they are not a Finantial Institution, they are an Operative System Providers servicing banks. Local regulations do not allow them to charge any money to the holder of a debit or credit card. They explained the fee is charged by the Bank that issues the card.

This is the peple I have contacted:
http://www.redlink.com.ar
Para mayor información: (011) 4317-1420.
Lunes a Sábado de 7 Hs. a 24 Hs.
Domingo de 9 Hs. a 24 Hs.

Anonymous says:

Link also told me in the ATM you can withdraw from $400AR to $12000AR depending on the agreement the bank of the card holder has with the client.

EMBNo Gravatar says:

The fee is known in the inner circles of the Argentine power structure as the Revolutionary Compensation Fee (RCF). The proceeds derived from withdraws of imperialist cards up to $930 are “redistributed” to the poor in secret ceremonies somewhere in the Andean Mountains. And this is the truth, the jol-trúz and nothing but the truth. So help me God!

Bubba HoTepNo Gravatar says:

My employer sponsored Citi Global Executive account pays all foreign fees. This has saved me thousands..

Posteador Anonimo says:

before you got 370 pesos per withdrawal, now you get 930. That is a change.

alishaNo Gravatar says:

Who mentions Schwab Bank offers atm refunds on foreing charges must also mention that they only cover $9 / month! that’s practically 3 atm transactions

GretelNo Gravatar says:

My experiences with ATM’s in Argentina are identical with those of the others who tell about their’s (paying per $300, having access to higher amounts, excceptions are some foreign banks). My bank in Europe is not charging for an ATM transaction!
I feel robbed everytime I have to deal with the Argentine bank, as do most Argentine citizens(!). When transfering a large amount of US$, the bank not only charges 3%, but gives a bad fantasy exchange rate (Santander). Furthermore the (Argentine) receiver has to pay similar ‘duties’ too. Anonymous’ opinion demonstrates the unwordly view of the banks nicely. Obviously the ‘family’ is very expensive. There is a lot of work for the IMF and WTO. Argentina should be top of the list of the richest countries, as before World War II! However pride and intelligence is a rare combination, isn’t it Anonymous?

GBSNo Gravatar says:

I hold an HSBC Premier account in the US (well, several, but that’s not pertinent here), and I opened it because I spend most of my time (and therefore also most of my money) outside the US. Being HSBC Premier gives me spot exchange rates for credit card transactions and ATM withdrawals, anywhere in the world. Most other banks and credit cards charge 2-3%. For me the difference runs easily into the thousands of dollars per year.

To those who say that extra fees for using ATMs outside your home country are the norm, my personal experience is they are not. I have used HSBC machines in at least a dozen countries in the last year. Not one has charged any fees until now, and now only in Argentina. Whoever is behind this, whether the Argentine Banks, the network operators, the Kirchners… whoever – they are making Argentina the rare exception – not emulating the rest of the world as some here suggest.

I have also used a lot of non-HSBC machines in more than a dozen countries in the last year, and the overwhelming majority of these also charge no additional fees. Rarely, very rarely, HSBC will charge their own fee when I use a non-HSBC machine.

Finally, as an HSBC Premier in the US, I can open an HSBC Premier account here in Argentina, and HSBC will waive all fees except those charged by the Argentina Central Bank when I transfer funds from my accounts abroad to my account here. Setting up the account here, however, is a bureaucratic headache – nothing at all like setting up an account back home. Even as a non-Argentine, I have surmised in the last few years that I do more transactions with Argentine banks than most Argentines (even Argentines with money). Argentines – especially those with money – avoid banks in general, and especially avoid banks here. I’m beginning to understand why. I had thought that by dealing with a large international name that has a strong reputation around the world, dealing with banks even here might not be so bad, but then you get those who say HSBC Argentina has nothing to do with HSBC in the rest of the world. It’s a murky area, because even HSBC in the rest of the world would seem to suggest (even advertise!) otherwise.

As some other posters mentioned above TRY THE BLUE CITIBANK ATMs.

When I’ve withdrawn money there it does not charge the fee. Well, at it least it does not prompt you with the message that says it will charge $11.46.

I wanted to double check and make sure it wasn’t charging the fee in the background and just not telling you. So I withdrew $700 pesos from a Banelco ATM:

NON-CHASE ATM WITHDRAW 009678 09/15BBV BANCO AR Peso 700.00 X 0.2638571 (EXCHG RTE) + 5.54 (EXCHG RTE ADJ) $190.24

Then I withdrew $700 pesos from a CitiBank ATM:

NON-CHASE ATM WITHDRAW 019395 09/29Av. Santa AR Peso 700.00 X 0.2604142 (EXCHG RTE) + 5.47 (EXCHG RTE ADJ) $187.76

Those are the lines from my bank statement.

This was about 15 days apart so unless the exchange rate changed during that time it appears correct that the CitiBank ATM does not charge the fee (it is about $3 less). It is not listed as a separate fee on your bank statement though, it shows up in the exchange rate.

Can anyone else confirm this? Anyway, if it’s true it means that Banelco and Link are about to get a taste of the free market at work. If wou raise price and people have an alternative, it means you lose business!

Jenice says:

All i know is, if you have a Citigold account with Citibank, the 3% exchange fee for withdrawing from a Citi ATM in a foreign country is waived. People have to remember, banks are a business. They are all different, and can impose their own rules and fees..
I suggest reading the client manuals and asking questions to your own banks.
Citibank has been great with me so far.

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Brooke says:

June 2010 and i cant get more than 500 pesos at a time with a $15 fee….so annoying!

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