The exchange rate for those traveling abroad exceeded $200 yesterday. The purchase of tickets, tour packages, hotels, car rentals or any other expense in dollars will be converted to that value.The so-called “card dollar” has been getting more expensive at the same rate as the official exchange rate, since it adjusts with an additional 30% of the Country tax and another 35% in advance of Earnings.
The price of $200.20 is the one that is also applied to the “solidarity” dollar, which is the one in force for those savers who have authorization from the Central Bank to buy up to 200 dollars. However, there are fewer and fewer who can actually access it.
The “dollar card” also applies to the purchase of tickets to travel outside of Argentina. The prices are expressed in dollars, but then the conversion is made at that exchange rate, now higher than $200.
On the other hand, practically there is no longer any advantage of using the card for expenses outside the country instead of paying in cash, as happened in the summer. In January the free dollar had risen to $220, so it was convenient to spend with a card at an exchange rate close to $180. Savings in favor of “carding” purchases exceeded 15%.
Now all financial exchange rates are aligned, at practically identical values. While the card dollar is trading at $200, the free one is at $101 and the MEP dollar (which can be purchased through stock transactions) ended yesterday at $203.5. The “count with liquidation” finished just under $205. This means that the difference between the different quotes is less than $5.Of course, the official dollar is the one that lags behind the most, barely touching $120.
Although it is at the same price as the free dollar, spending with “dollar card” has an advantage, which is the possibility of requesting a 35% refund of Earnings, although only the year after consumption.
Those who use the dollar card when traveling have, however, an advantage, which is the possibility of requesting a refund of 35% of Earnings the following year. Although the effect of inflation ends up partially liquefying this return, it is ultimately an improvement in the exchange rate.
It is also necessary to calculate that the expenses made today with a card abroad do not have an established exchange rate. Only on the day of payment of the summary is the price fixed.
In recent months, the number of Argentines traveling abroad has increased and this affects the reserves of the Central Bank. The exchange balance showed an expense of USD 450 million for this concept and in the first quarter it was USD 1,300 million.
To make matters worse, foreign tourists who enter the country prefer to change their dollars in the free market, since they obtain an improvement of almost 70%. This liquidation would be helping the informal dollar to remain very stable, despite high inflation.
In the two years of the pandemic, the balance of the tourism balance was practically neutral. But now it points to a deficit that could reach $5 billion for the whole year. This is a significant figure that will hit the level of reserves and jeopardizes the accumulation of foreign currency that the government committed to the IMF.
As well as what comes in from foreign tourists practically does not remotely compensate what goes out for trips outside Argentinathe red of the tourist balance is accentuated.
The official dollar is increasing at a rate of 4% per month, still below inflation. In recent weeks there have been increasing signs of exchange rate delay, something that the government specifically promised to avoid in the agreement reached with the Fund.